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Thread: "To share their troubles"... Portugal-Brazil

  1. #1
    President Pro Tempore Jape's Avatar
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    "To share their troubles"... Portugal-Brazil


    United Kingdom of
    Portugal, Brazil & Algarves
    "Friends may share their love, but what are brothers if not to share their troubles?"



    COMING SOON

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    Major Colonel Bran's Avatar
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    I suppose your capital will be in Rio de Janairo.
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    Field Marshal yourworstnightm's Avatar
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    So a united Portuguese Empire, nice!! (capital in Rio would be cool!!)

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    An interesting alternate history set up. Good luck.
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    Lord of Slower-than-real-time El Pip's Avatar
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    Ahh Jape, you return once again.

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    This looks pretty cool, I can't wait to see it.

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    Interesting premis! The only European country in history to have been goverened from her colony.

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    Hijo de Santiago robou's Avatar
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    An interesting idea, count me in


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    Prologue


    King Joao VI (1816-1826)


    At the turn of the 19th century, Portugal had long since passed its golden age. The days of Henry the Navigator and Vasco da Gama, when Lisbon’s fleets had opened up the world to medieval Europe, were long gone. After losing its dominion over the Indies to the Dutch, it was to lose its independence to Hapsburg Spain soon after in 1580. Although in law only a dynastic union, the once mighty kingdom was treated as little more than a province of the empire. Portugal was to only regain its freedom in 1665 after twenty-five devastating years of warfare. In 1755, as the country continued to rebuild its standing on the back of South American gold, a catastrophe even greater than that of foreign armies hit the capital: the Great Lisbon Earthquake. The ancient city was laid waste by fire and tsunami and Portugal left destitute. Although much was done under the ‘enlightened despot’ Pombal to once more restore Lisbon and the country, when the spectre of Napoleon stretched across Europe, Portugal was ill-suited to resist. The Portuguese attempted to retain neutrality, remaining friendly with their old English allies but refusing to antagonise the French. The soon-to-be Emperor and his Spanish allies however, were not satisfied. In 1801, the War of the Oranges, Portugal was swiftly bullied into giving up ties with London and bowing to Bonaparte’s might. Then in 1807, at Fontainebleau, Napoleon and Carlos of Spain signed a treaty dividing all Portuguese territory between them. Soon their vast armies marched on the small kingdom.

    Looking to Britain once more, General Arthur Wellesley arrived in Lisbon with an expedition, beginning the Peninsular Wars. As the Franco-Spanish forces advances on Lisbon in early 1808, Wellesley convinced Joao, the prince regent, and his court to flee to the safety of the Brazilian colonies, while a military junta oversaw the homeland for the remainder of the war. The royal family’s exile in Brazil had a profound effect on the colony’s relationship with the motherland. The new cortés in Rio de Janeiro saw a mingling of elites from both sides of the Atlantic unheard of, while retention of central government (in comparison to Spanish America’s slip into local caudillo rule) ensured stability and the flourishing of Brazilian culture and development. Rio, at the centre of it all, sprouted from a mining port into the beginnings of an Iberian metropolis*. In 1815, on the death of insane Queen Maria, her son took to the throne as King Joao VI. Much has been said about his first act as monarch, that of raising Brazil to the stature of kingdom. Whether driven by love of the country his royal forebears had never set eyes upon, pressured by Brazilian elites and the revolutionary fervours gripping Latin America, or a pedantic wish not to be crowned on mere colonial soil (although, there is varying evidence for all three), it has never been truly ascertained. Regardless, at Joao’s coronation in 1816 in Rio de Janeiro, he was proclaimed the first sovereign of the United Kingdom of Portugal, Brazil and Algarves. The people of the new kingdom cheered King Joao through the streets and the cortés were hopeful they could avoid the chaos gripping the Spanish Empire, however back in Lisbon there were grumbles of discontent. Portugal had effectively been under martial law since the now-Duke of Wellington’s arrival. Dissenters were treated harshly, corruption was rampant amongst the ruling oligarchy of British officers and merchants and the country had effectively become a supply depot for Westminster’s war effort. With the Napoleonic threat having ended a year previous, the Portuguese were keen to return to native, civilian rule. The King was somewhat reluctant to return, having grown accustomed to life in Rio and paranoid of a nationalist revolution. Finally in February 1817, after the sudden death of his wife, Queen Carlota, Joao relented and along with his two sons, Princes Pedro and Miguel, set sail for home**.


    Prince Pedro


    When the King and cortés arrived back in Lisbon, they found a country difficult to recognise. The scars of the Peninsular War still remained on the landscape, while the to and fro of armies had seen massive changes both socially and politically. The main cities of Lisbon and Oporto had swelled with an influx of peasants, many having seen their communal farms destroyed or seized by aristocratic landowners aided by British indifference. Meanwhile the King’s exile and the spread of radical ideas via the French armies had seen the feudal deference of pre-1808 severely knocked. Although republicans were few in number, amongst the urban classes of merchants, artisans and the new industrialists, calls for reform were particularly vocal. Ironically, although junta-rule had seen severe repression of crime and anti-British or pro-French sentiment, beyond this the Portuguese had gained new freedoms. The new liberal press for instance had become an epicentre of dissenting thought, while middle-class Societies and Clubs had begun to form based on politics, science and philosophy. With the return of King Joao VI, few intended to stop such activity. Once more, whether by accident or design, the King acted the neutral arbiter, allowing the new urban liberalism to continue, though unwilling to reform government. Although this avoided a violent confrontation that many believed was coming in 1817, it did little to answer the demands of the people. Alongside calls for reform there were suspicions over Brazil’s station. From reactionaries angry at the ‘loss’ of the colonial empire to radical liberals angry that Sao Paulo plantation owners had more say than Lisbon’s middle-class, a growing consensus viewed Joao’s treatment of Brazil with contempt. Finally in November 1822, as the King left for a six-month stay in Rio, protests filled the streets of the capitol. Prince Pedro, left to rule as regent, had long been keen to change the political landscape to ensure stability and now with his intractable father gone, intended to do so. Based on ideas he had acquired from Britain, the USA, France, and his own Iberian absolutist streak, the 1823 Constitutional Charter*** garnered a mixed reaction. It uniquely split power into four institutions: the legislature of the cortés, the executive of the King’s ministers, and the judiciary of the courts, all overseen by the crown, the moderating power. The cortés was to split between a traditional House of Peers and an elected Chamber of Deputies which represented the entire United Kingdom, with wealth-based suffrage. Alongside a large Brazilian bloc, representatives from the Azores, Macau, Angola and elsewhere were designated****. The Charter pleased many moderates, however left-wing riots in Oporto broke out soon after, while from the right, a threat far closer to home appeared.


    Punch caricuture depicting the international connections of the 'War of the Two Brothers'


    Prince Miguel, an arch-conservative and Germanophile, was appalled at his older brother’s actions which he saw as pandering to republicans and British liberalism. On King Joao’s return to Portugal he had hoped the Charter would be undone however the monarch proved as placid as ever to events beyond his palace walls. When the king passed away in 1826, tensions that had been building for years were suddenly unleashed. Miguel, with much support from senior army officers, landowners and the clergy raised an army at Vila Franca on March 3rd 1827, declaring Pedro unfit to rule and the nation at the mercy of Bonapartists and radicals. Pedro meanwhile was reliant on the navy and urban militias for support, and sent word to Brazil. Thus the Portuguese Civil War began. The war lasted four years before Spain and France withdrew financial support for Miguel and the new Whig government in Britain finally intervened on the side of Pedro, ensuring a swift conclusion. Beyond several abortive sieges of Lisbon, and Oporto changing hands several time there were few large-scale battles. What is of note however is how the nature of the conflict helped shape Portugal for decades to come. The mass support for Miguel within the Portuguese Army, particularly amongst the higher echelons saw an already noticeable shift towards the navy as the primary military arm, while the exile of many generals also saw a younger and more ‘colonial’ officer corps rise to fill the vacuum. Chief amongst these was Joao Saldanha, a veteran of the French Wars, he had gone with the royal family to Rio and become a colonel, only to return in 1828 as leader of a pro-Pedro expedition. Although it would be easy to, as state propaganda tried many times, to show this as the moment Brazil showed its power and care for the motherland, it certainly managed, if only by seeing its strongest critics fleeing or dead, to cement the Union somewhat. Similarly the massive financial aid of businesses and industry that fuelled Pedro’s war effort soon saw the beginning of the slow shift from agriculture to commerce as the power source of Portuguese politics (but not that of Brazil it should be said).

    Sadly for King Pedro IV, his newfound peace would be short-lived. In January 1834, the young king died suddenly, leaving the throne to his eight year old son, the now King Pedro V. An extremely intelligent child, Pedro would reign for much of the century, however his early years were to be dogged by problems his father had ignored, and a series of self-interested regents…

    *At this time Rio had a population of 150,000. By comparison New York had only 125,000.

    **This is the POD. In OTL King Joao didn’t return to Portugal until 1821, and then only due to mass revolts against his absence and junta rule. The reason for his long self-imposed exile seem to be: 1) He was infamously lazy and pleasure-seeking, Joao seems to have been content to live an extended tropical holiday, far from war-ravaged Portugal, while as mentioned there was fear if he left all the royal good will developed would dry up, 2) Queen Carlota: She held massive influence over the King, and as sister of King Ferdinand of Spain, she used her time in Brazil to develop conspiracies and coups in the hope of gaining control of as much of the fragmenting Spanish Empire as possible. Ostensibly, this was to secure them for Madrid but there’s plenty of evidence to suggest she was looking towards carving out a kingdom of her own. Without her around, Joao is more free and willing to return home, while I think her death would knock him out of his idyllic bliss.

    ***This is a cross between OTL’s 1820 radical constitution, the 1822 Brazilian constitution and the 1826 compromise charter, the last two having been written under Pedro’s supervision. I think historian Marshall Eakin put the Prince’s approach to government best as “liberal in heart, authoritarian in mind”.

    ****This might seem odd and unrealistic but it was how Portuguese politics and colonialism worked. The idea, or rather ideal, of Ultramar, the Portuguese universalism is a very unique approach to empire and by the 19th century was very much cemented into society. It can be seen in the formation of the United Kingdom in the positive and Salazar’s bitter colonial wars in the negative. The idea that wherever the flag flew was truly Portugal and at least superficially equal to it is one of the fascinating things about this country’s history.

  12. #12
    Lord of Slower-than-real-time El Pip's Avatar
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    Interesting, most interesting. I confess to never having made any attempt to study this particular corner of history, clearly though I have been missing out on a most intriguing period of history.
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    Major Colonel Bran's Avatar
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    Most impressive, lets hope it stay's unified.
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    The Empire of Portugal- Brazil will flourish forever!!

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    Very intruguing beginning!
    Maybe one can unite some ex-spanish colonies under the new Portubrazilian empire?

  16. #16
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    Intriguing!

    Consider me along for the ride! Spread green will far and wide!

    Beware those Anglo-Saxons though, they are bent on world-domination!

    TheExecuter

    P.S. Now I have to go read up on Portugese history, damn you!
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    Totally sick.

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    Hijo de Santiago robou's Avatar
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    A most interesting portion of history that, like El Pip, have never looked at. Please do continue, and let us see young Pedro try and form a kingdom to be proud of...


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    El Pip: You certainly have Mr. Pip, I can't quite remember when I started reading into Portuguese history but I've been doing it casually for some time now and although the Age of Discovery is the most obvious area I'm more intrigued by 19th and 20th century stuff. It is an intriging and unique history, its relationship with Brazil alone is unlike anything in American colonialism. Meanwhile Portugal's attempts to once more join the great powers of the world is fascinating, almost saddening as the country punches above its weight and is often slapped down and abused by many, even its ancient 'friend' Britain. Also I've kept Pedro IV's royal line in charge as his son, OTL's Emperor Pedro II of Brazil is an epic figure, a hybrid of Victoria and Lincoln in many respects. Basically I hope to see some of Portugal's wrongs righted, but the 'chickenhawk' element of Portuguese history will certainly be there in force.

    Colonel Bran: It is definately not a certainty, the homeland and Brasil wont always see eye to eye.

    yourworstnightm: Here's hoping

    Enewald: Hmm, South America and conflict... could work

    TheExecuter: I'll certainly try. Indeed Lisbon's closeness to the British was very much a double-edged sword in OTL, we'll see how differently things go.

    phargle: Eh? I trust you're impressed and not taken ill by events.

    robou: Well I hope to shed a bit of light on the history of the two countries throughout this AAR, but if you get the chance do read up on the period, its very interesting. Pedro certainly has the tools to be a great but how outside events effect him, you'll have to wait and see.

  20. #20
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    Chapter I: Growing Pains
    Part I



    Charge of the Farrapos (1893)


    Call to Arms!


    Brothers, the time has come to remove the shackles of European tyranny and join our American brother’s in freedom! We call on all Brazilians, white, negro and Indian to unite in fraternity and join the struggle for liberty. For too long we have suffered under Lisbon’s puppet junta in Rio de Janeiro, toiling for the fat House of Braganza. We must look to our own needs and wants now. President Goncalves requests all able-bodied men of sixteen to forty years to join the army of the Republic. Already the villainous hordes of Portugal are amassing but they shall fail.

    Independence or death!

    Provisional Government of the Riograndese Republic
    By 1836, cracks were already beginning to show for the United Kingdom and its liberal constitution. In Brazil, the new system of government was a jumbled one. Under the Decree of 1816 which had formed the Union, and then the Charter Constitution, the Kingdom of Brazil was a federal system of provinces. It was overseen by a Royal Council indirectly elected to represent the regions and semi-independent of the cortés in Lisbon. Technically this executive gave proportional representation to provincial governments, however in reality the wealthy sugar barons of the north-east and Rio de Janeiro itself proved the commanding forces, shutting out all others. Meanwhile the Council also held appointed positions. These included the Minister of State (de facto prime minister), who since the death of Joao VI was the radical professor Jose Bonifacio, whose left-wing, intellectual and bureaucratic credentials angered many rural elites.

    These qualms had seen the ignored squalor of peasants and reactionary aristocrats combined into numerous popular revolts in the past decade. Even though often ill-organised and easily crushed by the authorities, the uprisings only helped to fuel discontent. Things finally came to a head with two major rebellions in early 1836. In the extreme south of Brazil, Rio Grande do Sul, an independent republic had been declared in response to the plight of its mainly gaucho* population at the hands of growing commercialism and free trade. Politically they were influenced by revolutionary ideas across the border, and it was soon apparent Rosas, the dictator of Argentina, had helped agitate and supply the insurrection. Meanwhile in the north, in the vast territory of Grao-Para, cross-class discontent once more broke out into an uprising, however it was on an unprecedented scale, quickly overwhelming the local garrisons, even seeing several army units joining sides with the rebels.

    Calling for independence, republic and abolition, the Rio Grande, or more commonly named, Piratini Republic was looked on with horror by the slavocrat elites and soon found the brunt of the Union’s military brought to bear on it. Although the Royal Council vainly fobbed off suggestions of aid from Portugal over mere internal matters, the Piratini Army’s sudden advance into Sao Paulo and towards Rio de Janeiro in May saw Lisbon overrule Bonifacio and the Council, and an expedition of 8,000 men and five warships was soon on its way. Despite enthusiastic soldiers and talented leadership in the form of President-General Goncalves (as well as Italian revolutionary Giuseppe Garibaldi), the Piratini cause’s decentralised nature and totally volunteer military made it unsuited for a long-term war. By August their lightning coastal advance had abruptly come to a halt just outside the capital. Faced with a combined professional force of 24,000 men under the command of General Saldanha, Goncalves hesitated and decided to fall back with his 13,000 strong force. A series of skirmishes followed and after a disastrous rearguard action at Desserto, Union troops poured into the fledgling republic itself. This at least prompted a further 10,000 men to sign up in defence of their new homeland; however their inexperience and disorganisation overweighed their numbers. The War of the Farrapos** was epitomised by bold gaucho cavalry charges onto Portuguese cannon and infantry squares. Although highly adept at raids and flanking manoeuvres, the maverick horsemen fell in droves in numerous engagements, indeed only their mobility and local knowledge allowed them to remain active for so long. Finally in February 1837, Goncalves and his few thousand remaining soldiers (many having melted away after their term of duty or simply fled in the face of impending defeat) made a last stand at their capital of Porto Alegre. Outnumbered three to one and with a dozen men-o-wars blockading the harbour, the battle was a week-long grinding siege, before Portuguese forces broke into the city centre. Goncalves supposedly died during the final naval bombardment, however it is more likely he committed suicide. Small pockets of resistance would continue to harry Saldanha’s men into the winter, but the rebellion was effectively dead.


    The War of the Farrapos. October 1836.


    In the north meanwhile, the uprising had spread dramatically across Grao-Para province and with only a few regiments to spare from the south, the authorities were struggling desperately to contain it. Deeper in the interior, within the Amazon rainforests, Indian tribes had taken advantage of the situation and were themselves attacking government forts and slaver outposts***. This led to a three-way battle in many areas, with tribes, peasant militias and soldiers all fighting for control. By July 1837 more troops were being ferried up the coast to help deal with the rebels. The scattered and disorganised nature of the revolt, although tactically making the job easier during battles and skirmishes, strategically in the gargantuan, poorly connected region, made it a nightmare as government forces would clear a town only to discover a few days later that roving armed peasants had seized it once more. Things reached their most serious in April 1838 when rebels reached the regional capital of Belem. Rioting broke out and with the authorities busy further along the Amazon River, when fires began to break out, there was no-one there to stop. Within hours the almost entirely wooden logging town was ablaze leading to hundreds of deaths. However this was to be the climax of events and by 1840, the last rebel and Indian controlled settlements had been put down.

    In Portugal meanwhile events of a less dramatic but by no means less important nature were threatening the status quo. Due to King Pedro’s young age he was surrounded by a series regents (under Portuguese law he wouldn’t be ‘of age’ to rule unaided until 1843). These included cardinals, higher ranking aristocrats and members of the royal family, most notably Princess Teresa, his aunt. Due to her seniority in the family she was deemed chief regent, however her views were far more from those her late brother, Pedro IV. As such her regency council was dominated by the few remaining reactionaries of note in the cortés. Using her power to forward her political views, by 1836 the blooming free press had been repressed by censorship laws, while the Charter’s admittedly idealist notion of freedom of religion was rejected, with Jews being barred from elections, the judiciary and university positions in 1837. Many liberals, including the Prime Minister, the Marquis of Bandeira, were increasingly fearful about a possible return to absolutism.

    Finally in late 1838, Princess Teresa proposed a terrifying decree: the return of Prince Miguel to Portugal. The pretender and his heirs had been barred from returning following the civil war and the idea of his sudden reappearance was discomforting even to many conservatives. Similarly the absence of the young king from affairs removed a symbol for unionists, particularly in Brazil to rally around, and many feared the continued vacuum would only help to further destabilisation. As such by mid-1839, Bandeira was orchestrating a plot to remove the regents. On September 21st, soldiers of the Municipal Guard gendarme moved into position across Lisbon, securing the Cortés, armouries, newspapers and other strategic positions in case of a right-wing uprising, before moving to the residence of King Pedro and Princess Teresa: Ajuda Palace. Soon Pedro had agreed to dismiss his regents and a bill was hurried through the Chamber of Deputies declaring the King to be fit to rule without counsel, despite being only 14****. It must be understood that despite having all the trappings of a coup, the end to the Regency Crisis is typical of Portuguese politics. No blood was spilt and no reactionary insurrection took place, while Teresa was allowed to remain at Ajuda until her death in 1874. Indeed, although we will never know to what extent the King was pressurised during events, the fact Bandeira remained in office once Pedro held the power to remove him, and the events in years following, suggests it was merely popular will being expressed by other means. Pedro was known to be an extremely intelligent and shrewd boy, and it is probable he was well aware of his regents’ actions and their reception in society. It is after these events that Pedro’s reign truly started and despite a strong respect of constitutionalism, he would leave a very personal mark on Portuguese history.

    *Often compared to North American cowboys, gauchos are primarily smallholder pastoral farmers and ranchers living in the southern plains or pampas. They have strong connections with fellow Hispanic gauchos in Uruguay and Argentina, making them somewhat detached from Brazilian society, which is dominated by plantations and the growing coastal cities, even to the point of having their own Spanish-Portuguese hybrid dialect.

    **Meaning ‘tatters’, a reference to the rustic clothing of many of the non-uniformed Piratini volunteers

    ***Up until the mid-1800s, when slavery in general was on the wane in Brazil, in the interior Indians were still being used primarily as slaves for logging and mining, as poor infrastructure simply made it impractical to transport large numbers of Africans from the coast. When railways began to appear and European immigration increased however, companies were quite happy to replace the almost-permanently rebelling natives with white labourers and black slaves.

    ****In OTL King Pedro V was Emperor Pedro II of Brazil and a very similar early removal of regents took place about the same time. Given the situation after the civil war, I can see similar event unfolding in this ATL. Plus it was a fascinating snippet of history that I wanted to portray in some way.

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