History of São Paulo
«About Sao Paulo
Today, São Paulo is the richest and most important State of Brazil, and São Paulo (besides being one of the oldest) is the largest city in Brazil.
However, until the early 18th century, São Paulo was not that important.
São Paulo didn't have the same priviliged position of Bahia, which was in the middle of the shortest path between Portugal and the Eastern Indians and became the first administrative center of Brazil. Likewise, the culture of sugar cane which flourished for a while in the 16th century in São Paulo could not compete with the producers of Pernambuco, in the Northeast of Brazil, much closer to markets in Europe.
In the 17th century, thanks to the persistence of the bandeirantes, the gold mines in Brazil were found; the mines were originally situated in São Paulo, but the King of Portugal decided to create a new province, Minas Gerais, with jurisdiction over the mines, and a new capital, Rio de Janeiro, through which the gold should be exported to Europe.
It was only in the 19th century that São Paulo started to gain relevance. Coffee had first been introduced in Rio de Janeiro, but soon the lands of São Paulo proved to be much more propicious for the new culture.
Coffee became the major Brazilian product. With the movement to abolish slavery, farmers from São Paulo realized that it would be better to hire European salary-men rather than slaves. The Europeans brought their culture and a huge willing to work and succeed. When the coffee importance declined, the Europeans moved to the cities and started businesses. In the 20th century, after Brazil became a Republic, São Paulo took also the political power.
The mixture of money, power and hard work led São Paulo to become the largest and most important State in Brazil today.
Read below more details about the History of São Paulo.
São Vicente, the oldest city in Brazil. Read the reasons why the first city in Brazil was founded in São Paulo.
The foundation of the city of São Paulo. The biggest city in Brazil was meant to be a school to evangelize Indians.
The Bandeirantes. They wanted to become rich quickly.
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