The golden age of Brazil

Algarve historian Peter Kingdon Booker will be holding a talk on the ‘Golden Age of Brazil’ on January 28 in the Lagoa Municipal Library and on January 31 in the Tavira Municipal Library. Both events start at 6pm.
Many people know that the king of Portugal grew rich for the first time on the receipts of the trade in Far Eastern spices. Fewer perhaps know that Portugal knew a second time of riches, based on the Golden Age of Brazil.
In the late 1600s in the Brazilian interior, gold was discovered. There was a gold rush, similar to the later gold rushes in California, the Klondike and Witwatersrand. And later on, gemstones were also found. Because Brazil was a colony of Portugal, much of this windfall was creamed off by the Portuguese crown, and Portugal saw a great age of building in the 1700s.
But what of Brazil? What effect did this sudden discovery have on the previously agrarian colonial society in the tropics? Is there any connection between the riches of Brazil and her later independence? Did this gold affect Brazilian politics? Did this gold give to Brazil any great buildings? How was Brazil changed by these discoveries?
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