O Império Tropical

Long live...

  • O Imperador ! (Like this Timeline)

    Votes: 92 87.6%
  • O Brasil ! (It’s an okay one)

    Votes: 7 6.7%
  • A República (Didn’t like this one)

    Votes: 6 5.7%

  • Total voters
    105
Status
Not open for further replies.
IT STUMBLES, BUT HASN’T FALLEN
EBE71EB6-73B8-461D-BDFB-62A117C16BE9.png


O IMPÉRIO TROPICAL

“It stumbles, but hasn’t fallen.”

10A8A63D-BD80-4C25-86E0-7321777E3F46.jpeg

The night of the 9th of November of 1889 was certainly one to remember, rare were the occasions where the Royal Family held a ball, but when one happened, it was a major event for the aristocracy of the Empire. It was an important day, with the visit of the Chilean ship “Almirante Cochrane”, a man that the two nations shared in common, a hero for the independence of both countries. Brazil and Chile enjoyed close relations, they shared their rivalry to Buenos Aires, but were also the two most stable nations of a continent of Caudillos and civil wars. The Ball of Ilha Fiscal would be a night to remember, practically every important figure of the Empire would go to the celebration, barons, viscounts, ministers, military officers, diplomats, and industrials, with over 3,000 invited, although 1,500 entered without invitation. The people watched outside, from journalists to beggars, all seeing as the elite of the society danced and socialized.

The Emperor, D. Pedro II, would come at night, together with his son, Prince Pedro Alfonso, his wife Theresa Christina, his daughter Isabel and her husband, and his grandsons. D. Pedro II was not the young man he once was, with his large grey beard and thin body, he was a sickly person that has just returned from medical treatment in Europe, in contrast to his son. Pedro Alfonso was in his early 40s, but looking as vigorous as ever, sporting a mustache in contrast to his father’s beard, this man was the future Pedro III, the one who would start the “Terceiro Reinado” (Third Reign) once his father died. That was a great contrast to decades earlier, when the 1-year old Prince Pedro almost died, miraculously recovering from a fever, and since then he has been raised by the extremely intelectual Emperor, being nicknamed “O Príncipe Perfeito” (The Perfect Prince), just like his father was “The Magnanimous”.

The Royal family entered to the sound of the National anthem, walking on a red carpet while the other visitors watched, curving their heads solemnly. Pedro II would walk down the carpet, he didn’t like such fanfare, never being much of a social person and preferred to dedicate himself to studies, he was definitely not like his father, the adventurous, charismatic, and womanizing D. Pedro I (Although he had his mistresses like the Countess of Bahal, he was nowhere as explicit as him). But then, in the most anti climatic way possible, the Emperor stumbled upon disembarking on the island, losing balance for a few seconds before recovering it. Many people rushed to help him, but instead he jokingly replied.

“The Monarchy has stumbled, but hasn’t fallen...”

The ball would start at 23:00 PM, following the model of the European monarchies with dances and dinner, the Emperor has also oddly requested that ice cream was in the Menu of the night, and over 14,000 spoons would be served that night. One of the invited that night was the engineer André Rebouças, one of the few black men in the party. During the ball, he hesitated to invite one of the white ladies for a dance, and instead Princess Isabel would take the initiative of inviting him, one of the surprises of the night. The family would leave later, as alcohol started making an effect on the crowd of nobles, with the exception of prince Pedro Augusto, the son of the deceased Princess Leopoldina and member of the Saxe-Coburg and Gotha branch of the family. The young and festive prince, much like his great grandfather, enjoyed parties, and he was certainly one of the most charismatic members of the family.

Amongst those in the celebration, there was the old Marshal Deodoro da Fonsceca, one of the most senior and prestigious members of the Army and veteran of the Paraguayan war. He was there as a military representative, being a personal friend of the Emperor and a loyal monarchist, but he was certainly no friend of Gaspar Silveira Martins, senator of the province of Rio Grande do Sul and rival of Deodoro. The two men were at the same place and time, together with the President of the Council of Ministers (The Brazilian equivalent of Prime Minister), the Liberal José Antônio Saraiva, showing just how important was that meeting. The two would avoid each other the whole night, until Deodoro started feeling unwell and retreated back to his house.

For some reason, there was a feeling that there was someone lacking in the ball. For some reason it felt like a certain person was missing, like some person that could’ve drastically changed the course of Brazilian history was missing. On the 15th of October, 1849, in Niterói, a young boy named Benjamin Constant would lose his father, the sole provider of his family, and his mother would fall into insanity and sent to a mental hospital. Distraught and desperate, the boy that already had such a harsh life would decide to end it all, using his father’s old military pistol and shooting his own head. And while that happened, the sickly infant Prince Pedro Afonso would make a miraculous recovery, like if the life from Constant went to him instead. No one knew at the time, but the boy that killed himself could’ve changed the entire future of Brazil, influenced by the ideas of Comte, he would’ve spread the ideas of positivism and republicanism to the military youth at the School of Praia Vermelha, and would’ve been the main responsible for mobilizing military support, including even Deodoro himself, to launch a coup that overthrew the monarchy.

But that was in another universe, another reality where his father purchased a certain slave woman that saved him from committing suicide. But this time he didn’t, and the whole world would change because of that.
 
A TL about the Brazilian Empire...very good. I suppose Peter the 2th's reign was a bit different in TTL, as a living male heir could make him more willing to prepare the country for his successor.
 
Great start! It is an idea I wanted to explore in some TL, a surviving Brazilian Empire. This one here shows a lot of promise!

In 2017 or so I visited the Ilha Fiscal, in Guanabara Bay, mentioned here. Fascinating place, with an impressive historical relevance, owing to the "Last Ball of the Empire" you mentioned there. I took this photograph there:

Sem título.jpg
 
CHAPTER I: THE BRAZILIAN ODDITY
THE BRAZILIAN ODDITY

43802E87-FCD2-402E-8680-1ECDA611C911.jpeg

When one look at the map of South America in the 19th century, the first thing that attracts the attention of the usual reader is the massive nation that controlled half of the continent. Surrounded by “Republic of” nations like Argentina, Peru, and Colombia, it was the only one that was called an “Empire”. Brazil was an oddity, a monarchy in a continent of Republics, fruit of the actions of a coward that accidentally created the most powerful nation of Latin America.

Prince D. João was governing Portugal in 1808, with a mad Queen in power, he acted as regent. A timid and ugly man, João was between a rock and a hard place, in one side there was the vital trade relationship and alliance with Britain, on the other, Napoleon Bonaparte, the conqueror of Europe, demanding Portugal to join the Continental System and cut relations with Britain. Yet, for all his issues, the Prince would be able to outsmart the French Emperor, making an agreement with Britain in 1807 and fleeing from Lisbon to Rio de Janeiro, the new capital of the Portuguese Empire. In his time there, the Prince would completely change the colony, opening it up to the world, breaking the colonial monopoly, and introducing new technology like industry and press. But as it is known, Napoleon was defeated, exiled to Elba, and Portugal was free, but the Prince didn’t want to go back.

Brazil became the center of the United Kingdom of Portugal, Brasil and Algarves. Essentially turning Portugal into a colony in a ironical twist of fate, with the territory under British occupation under General Beresford. After conquering Cisplatina in 1816 and crushing a rebellion in Pernambuco, the now King D. João VI was at the height of his power. But soon he would be forced to choose between his old home and his new one. The Portuguese rebelled against the British in the Porto Liberal Revolution of 1820, sending an ultimatum, calling the Prince and his family to return and accept the new constitution, ending centuries of absolutism in Portugal. But D. João outsmarted his opponents again, he and his family would return and swear the new constitution, but he would leave his eldest son D. Pedro, a flamboyant but competent prince, to remain in the colony.

With the Portuguese Cortes demanding the return of the Prince and planning to restore the colonial status of Brazil, prince Pedro, advised by his wife Leopoldina and his advisor José Bonifácio de Andrada, would refuse to return in 1822. On September 7th, 1822, after receiving the orders from the cortes stripping him from his authority, Pedro would declare the Brazilian independence near the Ipiranga River, while his wife and Bonifácio would call the province governors to join in a formal declaration. What followed were 3 years of conflicts in the Brazilian war of independence, from Jenipapo to Salvador, the Brazilian troops fought against the Portuguese loyalists and troops from Lisbon, with an active war in the sea. The war would end in 1825, where Brazil would achieve its independence in return of 2 million sterling pounds to Portugal, D. Pedro I would become Emperor of Brazil, a nation extending from the Amazon to Cisplatina.

Yet conflicts would quickly start to arise, in 1823 the Constitutional Assembly was dissolved and Pedro would impose a constitution himself in 1824. The constitution was a very liberal one for the time, granting individual rights to the Brazilian people, but it had its peculiarities, like the creation of the “Moderador” power, reserved to the Emperor and placed above the traditional 3 powers of Montesquieu, the Emperor was capable of dissolving the General Assembly and appoint provincial governors and the President of the Council of Ministers. The catholic religion was also put as the State religion, but with the local clergy being subordinate to the Emperor, the “Padroado” would allow the Emperor to control the directives of the priests, choosing the bishops himself, and even overruling papal bulls. It was also required to earn at least 100,000 réis to vote, the equivalent of a year’s earnings of an average public servant, allowing about 13% of the population to vote. Although that number was much larger than the world average at the time, it would eventually require future reforms.

Pedro’s reign would be a turbulent one from the beginning, while the war of independence was still ongoing, the Northeastern provinces led by the province of Pernambuco again would try independence after the Constitutional Assembly was destroyed, creating the Confederation of Equador. In 1824 the movement would be crushed, but there would be almost no breathing room as in 1825 the Cisplatina province would declare independence as the Oriental Republic of Uruguay. The Cisplatinean war would last until 1828 and resulted in the independence of the province, an unpopular war that costed much to the public coffers and eroded Pedro’s popularity. In 1826, D. João VI would die and Pedro would become King of Portugal as D. Pedro IV, but the prospect of losing independence again and the constitutional prohibition of a union between Brazil and a Portugal would result in Pedro abdicating in favor of his daughter D. Maria II.


048EEB3A-53B5-4895-9043-449C06F9AEA3.jpeg

His brother, D. Miguel, would become regent in Portugal, but the ambitious autocrat has greater ambitions: He would overthrow his niece and become an absolute monarch in Portugal, starting the Miguelista War. Pedro would send in money, weapons, and supplies to his daughter, taking it from the Brazilian coffers, and that would further erode his popularity, by wasting resources in a foreign conflict. And finally, his personal life, full of major scandals (especially his affair with the Countess of Santos) would result in catastrophe. His wife, the much beloved Empress Leopoldina, would die in 1826 during a miscarriage, caused by depression and the fights she had with her husband. Even with Pedro turning away from most of his open affairs and marrying Amelia, a relative of Empress Josephine, wife of Napoleon, his popularity would reach such a low level that he would be forced to abdicate in 1831, leaving his son, the 6-year old Pedro II, as Emperor of Brazil. He would spend the remainder of his life fighting in the Miguelista war, restoring his daughter to the throne of Portugal with the help of liberal volunteers and mercenaries, he would die of Tuberculosis in 1834, at the young age of 35, being a figure that shaped the history of both sides of the Atlantic.

Between 1831 and 1840, Brazil went through its most turbulent era, the regency period. Governed by several different regents and being almost torn apart by separatists, the Country would pay in blood for unity. The last rebellion would only be crushed in 1845 (Or 1849 if the last attempt of Pernambuco, the Praieira Revolution, is to be counted) with thousands dead. Young Pedro would grow up with the trauma of losing both his mother and father before he was 10, being raised by tutors and couriers, he would find his greatest escape in books. The Emperor was no doubt one of the most enlightened figures to ever rule the world, being capable of speaking or understanding 22 languages, corresponding with intelectual figures around the world during this whole life, even republicans and socialists like Victor Hugo would become friends of the Emperor. Charles Darwin, Louis Pasteur, Graham Bell, Max Weber, among several other famous intellectuals would praise the Brazilian Emperor as a man of science. He even wrote a treatise of economics for the sole purpose of teaching his son, taking personal interest in Brazilian education, creating colleges, attending classes, overseeing tests, and funding writers, artists and scientists to study around the world and bring back technology to Brazil. He would be one of the pioneers in Photography, bringing the first machines to Brazil, along with railroads. He would repeatedly say that had he not been an emperor, his greatest desire would be becoming a man of sciences.

Yet, for all the intelectual ventures, he was still the Emperor, and the law had to be broken to save the nation. By 1840, with the nation being constantly torn apart by revolts barely contained by the army and national guard, both the Liberals and Conservatives would unite in a coup, overruling the 1824 constitution and changing the age of majority of the Emperor from 18 to 15 years old. That way, the young Prince Pedro would be launched into the throne, and he would have the second longest reign of the western world in the 19th century behind only Queen Victoria. It was the beginning of the Second reign, and if the first one was about consolidating the unity and independence, the second would be about forming a nation, the Tropical Titan that would only grow in power and influence inside South America.


68BF6CA0-5E6D-486D-9093-DE361A2B6C50.jpeg
 
One more thing, I like how industrialists are mentioned in the ball of Ilha Fiscal. I am also eager to see what Gaspar da Silveira Martins will do. If his wikipedia page is correct, he was seen as a potential prime minister.

EDIT: Which was how Constant convinced Deodoro to execute the coup.
 
Last edited:
CHAPTER II: THE POWER OF COFFEE
THE POWER OF COFFEE

65BF3696-7413-480A-B69E-D704A7FFA801.jpeg

In the mid 19th Century, Brazil is an agricultural titan on the rise, producing the majority of the world supply of coffee, but also a nation of contrasts: The Agrarian, poor, slave-holding countryside and the Cosmopolitan, prosperous, European-style cities like Rio de Janeiro. It was a nation of Coffee Barons, controlling their majority of the national wealth, centered around the Paraíba valley between Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, a system of exchange between the Empire and these farmers existed: In return of nobility titles and protection of their economical “lifestyle”, the Barons would give full support to the monarch. If depended on the Paraíba valley landowners, slavery was simply the natural order of things, and would remain for as long as humankind did, luckily, they weren’t the only force fighting over slavery.

The Paraíba Valley was a fertile land, but it would fail to come up with the times. The farmers were terribly reactionary, refusing to even adapt new tools and techniques, every few years, the land was exhausted, sometimes rains caused landslides, and the solution was to simply move somewhere else, going up the hills and making a new plantation. All of that depended exclusively on slavery, the backbone of the agrarian economy, with a large percentage of the population being made up of slaves. But further west, a more dynamic group was rising.

The Western part of São Paulo was a later addition to the coffee economy, where the land was discovered to have the perfect composition to grow coffee. In the late reign of Pedro II (1870-1891), the center of the coffee wealth would move west to the much more innovative Paulista coffee planters, adopting new technologies and techniques, including the use of paid labor, especially from Immigrants. One of the Pioneers was Senator Vergueiro, one of the first farmers to recruit immigrant manpower to his farm in Ibicaba, that recruited 180 families between 1846-1856, being known for his benevolence. That example would further encourage immigration to Brazil in the mid 19th century (1).

Everything revolved around Coffee, including industry. Before the Mauá era, Brazil was an agrarian nation, many farmers (especially from the Paraíba Valley) were convinced that the future of Brazil was to be the agrarian breadbasket of the world, and industry was a call for Northern nations. Yet it doesn’t mean it was a time without growth, with D. Pedro II encouraging the construction of railroads during the 1850s. Those were built mostly with the intention of bringing coffee to the ports, like Santos and Rio de Janeiro, but as consequence the trains were used for transportation of other people and goods. Port infrastructure would also be expanded, with shipyards being built to increase the exportation capacity, but as a consequence it would expand naval industry, especially with the creation of the Santos Naval Company (Companhia Naval de Santos) in 1858, under Napoleão Level, a pioneer in naval engineering in Brazil.


0AD9F355-C78E-4C7C-8D4D-45CB73B6D698.jpeg

Slavery was slowly, but inevitably, being replaced in Brazil. Foreign pressure from Great Britain against slave trafficking and the growth of the Abolitionist movement (especially after the 1860s) would force Brazil to go down a path to abolish it. In 1831, the Regency council approved a law to abolish international slave trade, but the turbulent conditions of the 1830s prevented the law from being applied, and the slave trafficking continued, especially from Portuguese Angola. For each 10 captured slaves, 2 would die only in the crossing of the Atlantic, and an even greater number would die still in Africa. In 1845, the British Parliament passed the Bill Aberdeen, allowing ships of the Royal Navy to board and confiscate slave trading ships, and that would deliver a crippling blow to International Slave trade, resulting in the Brazilian Congress passing the Eusébio de Queirós law in 1850, finally abolishing international slave trade, and this time it would be fully enforced, with the numbers dwindling to near zero by the end of the decade. This law would bring abolitionism as a growing political force in the Empire, especially among liberal ranks, and would start the decline of slavery in Brazil.

Brazil was not just an economical power in the region, but also a military one. Ever since the end of the Farroupilha war in 1845, the Empire has enjoyed a period of peace, yet it would be a short one as a conflict arose in the neighboring Argentine Confederation. President of Buenos Aires and de facto dictator of Argentina, Juan Manuel Rosas, would enter in conflict with the President of the Province of Entre Rios, Justo José Urquiza, reigniting the conflict of Federalists and Unitarians in Argentina. Not just that, in Uruguay, the ruling Blancos would enter in conflict against the Colorados, the latter allied with Urquiza. Seeing an opportunity to get revenge for the Cisplatinean War and establish its dominance over the Plate, Brazil would form a coalition with Urquiza and the Colorados against the forces of the Caudillo Rosas.


DCFB5E91-8550-478F-9859-7FE6154C9367.jpeg

The Platinean question was the main diplomatic question of Brazil during the reign of Pedro II, Juan Manuel Rosas, that acted as a dictator of Argentina, had the ambition of restoring the United Provinces of La Plata, integrating Uruguay, Paraguay, and even Bolivia and parts of Brazil into a power that could counter the Brazilian Empire. Obviously that was against the interests of the Empire, seeing as such nation would have the Hegemony of the Platinean basin. Rosas’ plan would depend on what happened in Uruguay, where Argentina and Brazil were fighting a proxy war since 1830, where Rosas would support President Manuel Oribe and the Blancos, against the Brazilian-aligned Colorados. During the 1840s, the Blancos would fight several border conflicts with the Province of Rio Grande do Sul, with local Caudillos fighting the so-called “Califórnias” (Associating itself with the ongoing golden rush in the American State) by sacking farms and stealing cattle and horses. Meanwhile, Urquiza, governor of Entre Rios, was establishing diplomatic relations with Antonio Lopez’s Paraguay, which Rosas recognized as a rebellious province and that would increase attrition between the two until Urquiza’s “Pronunciamento” in 1851 where he called for a open rebellion against Rosa. The Brazilian cabinet led by Pedro de Araujo Lima was decisively against the war, fearing that a defeat would cripple the monarchy like in 1828, but due to opposing interests, Lima would resign and a new Pro-War cabinet led by José da Costa Carvalho would be appointed in 1849. The Coalition would March on Uruguay first, with Luis Alves de Lima e Silva, the future Duke of Caxias, leading the Brazilian forces. Together with the Colorados, Manuel Oribe would be overthrown, fleeing to Buenos Aires, where he joined forces with Rosas and 35,000 men against the Coalition’s 26,000, with an elite core of 4,000 Brazilians. The two armies would meet outside of Buenos Aires in the Battle of Monte Caseros, one of the largest battles in South America up to that moment. On the 3rd of February of 1852, the two armies would clash, with Rosas himself leading his force. Although the Caudillo’s army had the higher ground in Mount Caseros and outnumbered the enemy force by about 9,000 men, the fierce determination of the Coalition and the inexperience of Rosas’ men would result in his defeat, with the President of Buenos Aires fleeing in a British ship to London and Urquiza becoming the new president of Argentina and the Colorados placed in power over Uruguay. And Brazil would secure its dominance over the Platinean river, ending the Argentine plans of restoring La Plata.


92324CFC-69BB-404D-AA4F-CEFC77B3D5CA.jpeg

Brazilian politics during the “Segundo Reinado” was essentially a bi-partisan System in the parliament: The Conservative and Liberal parties had the dominance, but although they were rivals theoretically, in practice historians have worked tirelessly to try to find the differences between them. While the Liberals supposedly supported more federalism and abolitionism, in practice the political quagmire of the time could be summarized by a popular phrase: “There is nothing more conservative than a Liberal in power, and nothing more liberal than a Conservative in the opposition.”

[1] A minor PoD, IOTL Vergueiro was a cruel man who exploited and mistreated his workers, that caused a revolt in his farm in 1856 and the immigrants would spread about their experience and provoke international outrage. Immigration to Brazil was greatly reduced, the governments of Prussia and Switzerland would even prohibit citizens from migrating to Brazil. By instead making him a generous person, he would set a better example to other farmers and Brazil would be receiving an earlier immigration boom.
 
Last edited:
Interesting to see how the Brazilian elite viewed the empire as a breadbasket. I'm guessing their support for the monarchy will cause some thorns for the future Braganzas if the latter are more progressive.

For the political system, are there any chances of an earlier labor movement or social issue that can add some disruption to the quagmire?
 
Interesting to see how the Brazilian elite viewed the empire as a breadbasket. I'm guessing their support for the monarchy will cause some thorns for the future Braganzas if the latter are more progressive.

For the political system, are there any chances of an earlier labor movement or social issue that can add some disruption to the quagmire?
The Social issue of the moment is slavery. And yes, as a result of an earlier industrialization and immigration, one might expect the labor movements arising before the 1910s IOTL.
 

Ganishka

Banned
Many people don't know that much about Brazilian history so it could be hard for them to realized that we didn't have many changes yet.

Your writing is very good so far. I want to see if this Brazil will be involved in WW1. Maybe the Great War could've a Platinean Front? The difficulty is that Argentina and Brazil would never dare to defy the British and the French at the same time, so it's hard to see them at opposing sides.
 
Last edited:
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top