Brazilian lands have been inhabited for many thousands of years. A few million indigenous people lived in the region at the time of the first European contact, in 1500.
1500 - A Portuguese fleet of caravels, led by Pedro Álvares Cabral, arrived in Brazil, on April 22. They landed in Porto Seguro, on the southern coast of Bahia.
1503 - The first European settlement was founded in Porto Seguro, Bahia. There, the Portuguese built the first church and, later, the first hospital in Brazil.
1509 - The Portuguese nobleman Diogo Álvares Correia, also known as Caramuru, was shipwrecked off the coast of Bahia and established a mixed community of Portuguese, French and Indians in the Todos os Santos Bay region. He married the indigenous princess Paraguaçu, who became the first Brazilian to be baptized. The baptism took place in 1528 in the old Cathedral of Saint-Malo, France. Caramuru is considered to be the Patriarch of Brazil.
1549 - City of Salvador, Bahia, was founded, by Thomé de Sousa, as the first capital of the country. The first Jesuits arrived in Brazil.
1624 - First Dutch invasion in Salvador. John Maurice of Nassau consolidated Dutch rule in Brazil from 1636 to 1644. The Dutch were finally expelled from Brazil in 1654.
1694 - A gold rush started in Minas Gerais. It brought a flurry of optimism to Lisbon that would last for about a century.
1763 - The capital of Brasil is transferred from Salvador, Bahia, to Rio de Janeiro. Salvador continued to be the largest Brazilian city until the early 19th century.
1789 - A group that included José Joaquim da Silva Xavier, popularly known as Tiradentes, instigated the first rebellion for independence against the Portuguese. The rebellion was defeated and Tiradentes was executed.
1798 - The second rebellion for Brazilian independence started in Bahia. The movement was planed by a Bahian group of powerful rich men. This movement was later embraced by humble people, including slaves and tailors. The rebellion was defeated and, on November 8, 1799, four leaders of the conspiracy were publicly hanged.
1808 - The Portuguese Prince Regent Dom João and his court moved to Brazil, because of the Napoleonic invasion of Portugal. They arrived in Salvador, in January, where the opening of Brazilian ports to friendly nations was decreed. The first Brazilian medical school was founded in Salvador. Later, in March, they arrive in Rio de Janeiro.
1821 - Dom Pedro I, son of Dom João VI, was appointed Prince Regent. Dom João VI returned to Portugal. He established representative government in both Portugal and Brazil.
1822 - Pedro I proclaimed war against Portugal, seeking the independence of Brazil.
1824 - Portugal recognized Brazil as an independent country. Pedro I promulgated the first Brazilian constitution.
1832 - Charles Darwin in the HMS Beagle arrived in Brazil. They returned to Bahia in 1836.
1840 - Dom Pedro II was declared emperor of Brazil, at the age of 14. He ruled until 1889, when the Republic was established.
1864 - Paraguay started a war against Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay that lasted until 1870.
1888 - Slavery was abolished in Brazil.
1889 - The Republic was peacefully established. Marshal Deodoro da Fonseca becomes the first president of Brazil. Dom Pedro II went to Europe.
1891 - The first republican constitution was promulgated.
1930 - Getúlio Vargas, the losing candidate in the 1930 presidential election, led a revolt that placed him in power as a dictator until 1945.
1960 - The capital of the country was transferred to Brasília, a modern city constructed with a urbanization project by Lúcio Costa and buildings designed by Oscar Niemeyer.
1964 - A military coup started a dictatorship that lasted until 1985.
1988 - A new Constitution, which extended the rights of citizens, was promulgated.
2012 - Brazil became the sixth economic power in the world.
The main facts, in brief:
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Cores do Brasil