Economy of Brazil Essay

This essay has a total of 1505 words and 7 pages.


Economy of Brazil





Defining Economy
I am researching the economy of Brazil. The definition of economy: The Management of the
income, expenditures, etc of a household, business, community, or government. Careful
management of wealth, resources, etc; avoidance of waste by careful planning use; thrift
or thrifty use. (1) The system or range of economic activity in a country, region, or
community. (2)

Characteristics of Brazil
The country of Brazil official name is Federative Republic of Brazil, the term for
citizens is Brazilian, and its capital is Brasilia. Brazil gained its independence for
Portugal September 7, 1822. Brazil shares boundaries with all South American countries
except Chile and Ecuador, and is 8,511,996 square kilometers (3)

The population of Brazil is 158.9 million with an average growth of 1.2% from (1994-1998).
Brazil Gross Domestic Product is $1111.5 billion with an average growth of 3.2%. The per
capita income is $4,820; these numbers are quite typical for a Latin American country. (3)

The Economy During the Pre-Colonial Period
European colonialism basically developed the economy in Brazil. The territory that
comprises modern Brazil had a native population in the millions, divided among hundreds of
tribes and language groups. Their ancestors have lived in this land for as long as 30,000
years. The Indians spoke languages that scholars have classified into four families: the
Gê speakers, originally spread along the coast and into the central plateau and scrub
lands; the Tupí speakers, who displaced the Gê on the coast and hence were the first met
by the Portuguese; the Carib speakers in the north and in Amazônia, who were related
distantly to the people who gave their name to the Caribbean; the Arawak (or Aruak)
speakers in Amazônia, whose linguistic relatives ranged up through Central America to
Florida. These were not tribes but language families that comprised many language groups.
Numerous tribes also spoke languages unrelated to any of the above. These tribes are
believed to have lived off the land as hunters and gathers. (4)


European Colonialism Effect on the Economy
European colonialism changed the economy in Brazil drastically. The country went
basically from hunters and gatherers to a major source of goods for exports do largely to
the Portuguese. Portugal explored Brazil because of the European commercial expansion of
the fifteen and sixteenth centuries. Portugal began in the fifteenth century to search
for other routes to the sources of goods valued in European markets. At first the
Portuguese did not find mineral riches in their American colony, but did not lose hope.
The Portuguese had to defend the Brazil from European intruders, they did this by
establishing a pioneer colonial enterprise. They began to produce sugar, and then in 1531
cattle began to arrive in Brazil, and developed quickly as an industry. The cattle
developed to the needs of the sugar industry for transportation and food for the workers.
(5)

By the mid-sixteenth century, Portugal had succeeded in establishing a sugar economy in
parts of the colony's northeastern coast. Sugar production, the first large-scale colonial
agricultural enterprise, was made possible by a series of favorable conditions. Portugal
had the agricultural and manufacturing know-how from its Atlantic islands and manufactured
its own equipment for extracting sugar from sugarcane. Furthermore, being involved in the
African slave trade, it had access to the necessary manpower. Finally, Portugal relied on
the commercial skills of the Dutch and financing from Holland to enable a rapid
penetration of sugar in Europe's markets. Until the early seventeenth century, the
Portuguese and the Dutch held a virtual monopoly on sugar exports to Europe. However,
between 1580 and 1640 Portugal was incorporated into Spain, a country at war with Holland.
The Dutch occupied Brazil's sugar area in the Northeast from 1630 to 1654, establishing
direct control of the world's sugar supply. When the Dutch were driven out in 1654, they
had acquired the technical and organizational know-how for sugar production. Their
involvement in the expansion of sugar in the Caribbean contributed to the downfall of the
Portuguese monopoly. Do to the downfall the Portuguese realized they could not maintain
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