Brasilia has been the capital of Brazil for 57 years. It was founded on april 21, 1960. This makes Brasilia a relatively young city compared to most Brazilian cities. However, what was the capital of Brazil before Brasilia became the capital?
The history of Rio de Janeiro as a seat of power
Rio de Janeiro is known for its beaches and for Carnival. It is also an ancient city, founded in 1565. However, there is something else for which Rio de Janeiro is credited, but which is not often known. This city has functioned as the seat of power for much of its history. It began as the capital of the captaincy of Rio de Janeiro. In 1763, Rio de Janeiro was the capital of the Portuguese colony of Brazil. The history of Rio de Janeiro as the seat of power would not end there.
The Portuguese royal court had its seat of power in Lisbon for most of its history. However, in the last 14 years of colonization of Portugal, Brazil temporarily housed the Portuguese royal court. Between 1808 and 1822, the Portuguese royal court called Rio de Janeiro home. The Portuguese monarchy in Rio de Janeiro is replaced by Brazil’s own monarchy in 1822. This is the year that Brazil became an independent country. Rio de Janeiro would be the capital of Brazil until 1960.
Geography of Rio de Janeiro
To understand why Rio de Janeiro was the capital of Brazil, geography must be understood. In particular, the geography of the population. The location of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil is on the Atlantic Coast. The highest concentration of the Brazilian population is located near the Atlantic Coast. When Rio de Janeiro was the capital of Brazil, it was here that most of its population, resources and economic activities lived. The relative location of Rio de Janeiro is somewhat central compared to other areas on the Atlantic coast of Brazil.
At the time, the location of Rio de Janeiro was considered a logical choice based on where most of Brazil’s population lived. Today, the majority of Brazil’s population is concentrated on the Atlantic Coast. However, more people live in the interior. Rio de Janeiro’s position as the capital of Brazil reflected the geographical distribution of Brazil’s population throughout much of its history.
Plans to move the capital
For much of Brazil’s history, there was talk of moving the capital of Brazil further inland, away from the coast. A proposal was made for the construction of a new capital. The new capital would be built in a more centrally located region in the interior of Brazil.
The name of the proposed capital should be Brasilia. The reason for such a proposal was to place the capital in a less developed region, away from the areas of high population density. This early proposal was never adopted. The reason was due to the dissolution of the General Assembly by that time – Emperor Pedro I.
In 1889, the time when Brazil was ruled by a monarchy ended. Brazil became a republic. To become a republic, a constitution was drawn up. Included in the Constitution was a clause regarding a new capital. According to that clause, the capital of Brazil must be moved from Rio de Janeiro to a place further inland, where it would have a relatively central location. The idea was to place the capital in a more neutral region
Juscelino Kubitschek de Oliveira became the 21st president of Brazil in 1956. He would call for the capital of Brazil to be moved, as well as the construction of the new capital. Kubitschek would do this with the consideration that the Brazilian Constitution stated that the capital of Brazil should be moved to a more centralized location. A location was chosen for the new capital, in the Brazilian state of Goias.
The city plan of the new capital would be known as”the pilot plan”. The layout of the city has the same shape as a bird or plane. Brazilian architect / urban planner Lucio Costa was responsible for designing the layout of Brasilia. Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer designed many of the buildings in Brasilia. On april 21, 1960, Brasilia became the capital of Brazil.
Geography of Brasilia
Brasilia is located in the Central-West region of Brazil. This city is located in the Brazilian Highlands. Population growth and economic growth have occurred in the interior regions of Brazil. More people have moved inland, such as Mato Grosso and Goias.
Goias was chosen as the site for building the capital of Brazil. The city of Brasilia is part of its own federal district, similar to Washington DC, in the United States of America. The capital of Brazil, being moved to Brasilia, reflects the desire to move the capital to a more central location. It also reflects the population growth of the interior of Brazil.