In January 1808, Portugal was about to be invaded by the French in retaliation to the Continental Blockade led by Napoleon Bonaparte. Without having the proper military preparation, the regent of Portugal, Don João, decides to move the Portuguese court to its most prosperous colony, which served as the seat of the government of Portugal and installed it in Brazil. Then the prince, the royal family and a group of noble officials, left Portugal under the protection of the British fleet.
They arrived in Rio de Janeiro in March 1808. The colonists welcomed Dom João, who almost immediately initiated a series of reforms and in December 1815 designated the Portuguese domains as the “United Kingdom of Portugal, Brazil and Algarves,” a measure that essentially equated Brazil with Portugal, although it was not yet independent.
After the French withdrawal from Portugal, most of the Portuguese wanted Dom João to return to the mother country, but he stayed away for several years, as problems increased. In April 1821, Dom João sailed for Lisbon and He named his son Don Pedro as regent of the country.
After taking over the regency, Dom Pedro faced a complicated political situation: the opposition grew between the Portuguese and Brazilians: the Portuguese Court supported the restoration of Brazil to its former dependent colonial status and ordered Don Pedro to return to Europe by fearing that could lead an independence movement.
Defying the return order of the Lisbon court, Don Pedro responded with a speech known as “Fiço”(I stay), and most of the Brazilians supported his decision and on September 7, 1822, the independence of Brazil was proclaimed. Pedro was crowned emperor on December 1 of that same year. As stability and prosperity proved to be the norm in the newly independent Brazil, the country gained the respect of the world community.
In 1824 the United States officially recognized Brazil as a country, and the following year it was recognized by Portugal. Once this happened, many European monarchies began to establish diplomatic relations with Brazil.
Brazil, former Portuguese colony, maintained its territorial, linguistic, and, in some aspects, cultural integrity.