HISTORY OF SAO PAULO http://www.embratur.gov.br/0-catalogo-imagens/destinos-saopaulo/SP_saopaulo_13_p.jpg First Steps What today is the city of Sao Paulo used to be inhabited in Prehispanic times by Tupian-speaking peoples along the coast and by the Tapuia in the interior.
What today is the city of Sao Paulo used to be inhabited in Prehispanic times by Tupian-speaking peoples along the coast and by the Tapuia in the interior.
During the first years of the Portuguese expansion in South America, the basic pattern of settlement was to establish some trading posts along the coasts for the purpose of storing goods (wood, mineral and stones), that would later be sent to the metropolis.
American Part of the Planisphere, Pierre Descelliers Parte americana do planisfério, por Pierre Descelliers(59,5 x 77,5 cm)map, 1546
On January 20th 1532 Martim Afonso de Souza founded Sao Vicente, one of the first and oldest settlements of what now comprises the territory of Brazil. The first foundation of Sao Vicente was carried out in order to secure the possession of this region from foreigners. Sugar cane was the first economic activity of these first settlers, but the location of the fields on a narrow strip of
On January 25th 1554 Jesuits, whose mission was to convert as many Indians as they could, founded a school in the Sierra del Mar. Soon, next to the school, houses were built, and thus, the first urban settlement of what would later become Sao Paulo began.
By that time, Portugal was one of the richest countries in Europe(the country had colonized much of Africa and had solid, profitable commercial relations with oriental countries). However, it had no intention of settling in the new land; a few missions were sent to patrol the coast and guarantee the possession, but no cities were founded.
The Coast of Brazil, between Cabo de Santo de Agostinho and the Cururipe River, by Van Keulen(51 x 57 cm)gravura, 1683
On January 25th 1554 Jesuits founded a school to convert the Indians in the Sierra del Mar, which would later become the city of Sao Paolo. But the Jesuits were not alone: behind them came the bandeirantes, groups of frontiersmen who explored the unknown lands of western Brazil searching for Gold, and who chased the Indians away to be enslaved in the cane plantations.
Combat between Indians and Bandeirantes(Detail from a grabado of Jean Baptiste Debret)
The bandeiras, the name given to a group of bandeirantes, ventured into territories that according to the Tratado de Tordesillas didn’t belong to the Portuguese. Bandeirantes were essential for the expansion and territorial formation of Brazil. Many modern cities like Sao Paolo grew around the mines that the bandeirantes discovered.
Monument of the Bandeirantes
Victor Brecheret, Sao Paulo
During the early part of the 19th century, two events significantly changed São Paulo. The first took place in 1882, when Emperor Pedro I proclaimed Brazil's independence from Portugal. The second occurred a few years later with the founding of the Law School, which attracted a new, transient population of students and intellectuals. As a political and intellectual center, São Paulo became a leader both in the campaign to abolish slavery and in the founding of the republic.
At the beginning of the 19th century, the sugar cane farms gradually occupied the banks of rivers Tietê and Paraíba do Sul, near the city of São Paulo (not by coincidence, these areas were the first ones to see coffee farms, later on).
São Paulo was going through a major change: bandeirantes were replaced by farmers and sugar producers. However, while in the northeast farms had an almost feudal structure (the patriarchs had nearly absolute power), in São Paulo there was a co-existence between the farms and nearby urban cities, and prosperity soon came to the region.
Farmers in Sao Paulo came to realize that coffee had a much better potential than sugar cane, and soon coffee replaced sugar as the dominant export product. Revenues from coffee plantations were largely responsible for the industrialization of the city and the region as well as for the construction of railways that connected Sao Paulo with other major cities.
In 1888, slavery was altogether abolished in Brazil. Aware of the inevitability of the abolition, the São Paulo farmers had been contracting Italian immigrants to work in the coffee plantations since the 1870s.
Immigration: Passport photo of an Italian familyItaly, 1923
In the continent, the United States, Argentina and Brazil (in descending order) were the countries that received most immigrants. In Brazil's case, statistics show that 4.5 million people immigrated to the country between 1882 and 1934. Of this total, 2.3 million disembarked as third-class passengers at the port of Santos in São Paulo State.
Family of italian inmigrants in the Colonial Nucleus of Jorge Tibiraá, Rio Claro, interior of Sao Paulo, 1911.
This influx of population, sponsored by the government, was no longer intended to attract families to set up smallholdings, but instead to hire hands to work in the coffee plantations.
Immigrants arriving to Brazil, before landing
Brazil became a Republic in 1889; the first two Presidents, who came out of the military, had both been leaders of the republican revolution. Afterwards São Paulo elected its first three civilian Presidents, who ruled from 1894 to 1902: Prudente de Morais, Campos Sales and Rodrigues Alves.
At the beginning of the 20th century, São Paulo was the richest Brazilian province. It had the most educated and skilled population, and politicians eager to assume power. The State was ready to become an economic and political leader of the Brazilian Republic.
During this time, another major change was happening in São Paulo: industrialization. A large number of men, free, well-paid and salaried , was being formed for the first time in the history of the country. Using the financial savings of the coffee barons, entrepreneurs (often, immigrants with specialized skills) started small factories to supply goods for this growing internal market.
The basic industries (steel and oil refineries), the large consumer market, the educated labor force, among other factors, kept attracting industries. During the 1950s, when President Juscelino Kubstcheck gave incentives to foreigner car makers to come to Brazil, General Motors, Volkswagen and Ford established plants in São Bernardo do Campo. They were followed by many other auto part makers.
By the time Sao Paulo celebrated its 400th anniversary in 1954, it was the largest industrial center in Latin America. By the same year, about one million of its 2,700,000 residents were factory workers. Skyscrapers went up rapidly, commerce spread everywhere, and 170,000 automobiles created the first traffic jams in its main streets and avenues.
After the first decades of the 20th century, foreign immigration slowed down, and another phenomenon became clearer and clearer - internal immigration. Attracted by prosperity, millions of Brazilians (mostly from the Northeastern States) migrated to São Paulo. Lacking education and other skills, the vast majority ended up working in lower jobs, such as construction.
São Paulo (known, during the 1980s, as the fastest growing city in the world) had many of its sky-scrapers built by the nordestinos, people from the North.
The internal migration had cultural impacts. Recent census show that São Paulo has more “northeasterners” than most capital cities in the Northeast. Vocabulary, culinary and manners of other Brazilians were incorporated into the life of São Paulo, thus mixing the cultures of the Indigenous peoples, Portuguese, Blacks and other immigrants who had come before. Besides being the richest, São Paulo is the most multicultural State of Brazil.
Today, the city’s area is of 1575 sq kilometers (575 sq miles). In 2003, its population was 10.9 million, making it the largest city in Brazil by far and the world’s second largest city in terms of population.
Museum of Ipiranga
Since its beginnings, São Paulo has been the principal economic capital of Brazil. It has had an important influx of inmigration from many countries including Japan, Italy, and Germany. An important consequence of this presence is visible in the amazing variety of the gastronomic choicesthat the city offers to its visitors. Japanese food, Italian food, Portuguese food, and other international foods are part of the wide array of combinations that are present today in Sao Paulo.