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History, Colonial Brazil

plantation agriculture, Portuguese Empire, southeastern Brazil, African peoples, southeastern region

With the establishment of early settlements along the coast and the successful introduction of sugar cultivation, Brazil began developing an economy based on plantation agriculture and powered by slave labor. The introduction of large numbers of African slaves transformed areas of Brazil into multiracial societies where Native American, European, and African peoples mingled. Following the discovery of gold in the captaincy of Minas Gerais (General Mines) in the late 1600s, Brazil expanded its borders into the interior of the continent. Gold made Brazil the most economically important region of the Portuguese Empire and caused a major shift in the concentration of Brazilís population. Settlements in southeastern Brazil, nearer the gold regions, grew at a rapid pace. Eventually the wealth and influence of the southeastern region eclipsed that of the older settlements of northeastern Brazil.

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Article key phrases:

plantation agriculture, Portuguese Empire, southeastern Brazil, African peoples, southeastern region, slave labor, discovery of gold, continent, areas of Brazil, borders, coast, wealth, influence, economy, interior

 
 

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