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Romanticized painting of Domingos Jorge Velho, a notable bandeirante
|Location||Portuguese colony of Brazil, Portuguese Empire|
|Outcome||Bandeirantes explored unmapped regions of the Brazilian colony and captured and enslaved Indians. Expansion of the Brazilian territory far beyond Tordesillas Line.|
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|History of Brazil|
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The Bandeirantes ( [bɐ̃dejˈɾɐ̃t(ʃ)is] ), literally "flag-carriers", were slavers, explorers, adventurers, and fortune hunters in early Colonial Brazil. They led expeditions carrying the Portuguese flag, the bandeira, claiming, by planting the flag, new lands for the Crown of Portugal. They are largely responsible for Brazil's great expansion westward, far beyond the Tordesillas Line of 1494, by which Pope Julius II divided the new continent into a western, Castilian section, and an eastern, Portuguese section.
They mostly hailed from the São Paulo region, called the Captaincy of São Vicente until 1709 and then as the Captaincy of São Paulo. The São Paulo settlement served as the home base for the most famous bandeirantes. Most bandeirante leaders were descendants of first- and second-generation Portuguese who settled in São Paulo,but the bulk of their numbers was made of people of mameluco background (people of both European and Indian ancestries) and natives. Though they originally aimed to capture and enslave Indians, the bandeirantes later began to focus their expeditions on finding gold, silver, and diamond mines. As they ventured into unmapped regions in search of profit and adventure, they expanded the effective borders of the Brazilian colony.
The term comes from Portuguese bandeira or flag, and by extension, a group of soldiers, a detached military unit or a raiding party. In medieval Portugal a bandeira was a military unit of 36 soldiers. The words were not used by the bandeirantes themselves. They used words like entry (entrada), journey, voyage, company, discovery and rarely, fleet or war. One writer dates bandeira from 1635 and bandeirante from 1740.
Before there were bandeirantes there were Paulistas. Brazil was originally a coastal strip between mountains and sea dominated by slave-worked sugar plantations. When the Portuguese crossed the mountains to the São Paulo plateau they were cut off from the sea and faced a great wilderness to the north and west where they might find their fortunes or die trying. The coastal Portuguese used African slaves while the Paulistas used Indian slaves or workers and many were part-Indian themselves. See Colonial Brazil.
The main focus of the bandeirantes' missions was to capture and enslave native populations. They carried this out by a number of tactics. The bandeirantes usually relied on surprise attacks, simply raiding villages or collections of natives, killing any who resisted, and kidnapping the survivors. Trickery could also be used; one common tactic was disguising themselves as Jesuits, often singing Mass to lure the natives out of their settlements. At the time, the Jesuits had a deserved reputation as the only colonial force that treated the natives somewhat fairly in the Jesuit reductions of the region. If luring the natives with promises did not work, the bandeirantes would surround the settlements and set them alight, forcing inhabitants out into the open. At a time when imported African slaves were comparatively expensive, the bandeirantes were able to sell large numbers of native slaves at a huge profit due to their relatively inexpensive price.
By the 17th century, Jesuit missions had become a favorite target of the expeditions. A bandeira that took place in 1628 and was organized by Antônio Raposo Tavares raided 21 Jesuit villages in the upper Paraná Valley, ultimately capturing about 2,500 natives. A bandeira tactic was to set native tribes against each other in order to weaken them, and then to enslave both sides.
In 1636, Tavares led a bandeira, composed of 2,000 allied Indians, 900 mamelucos, and 69 white Paulistas, to find precious metals and stones and to capture Indians for slavery. This expedition alone was responsible for the destruction of most of the Jesuit missions of Spanish Guayrá and the enslavement of over 60,000 indigenous people. Between 1648 and 1652 Tavares also led one of the longest known expeditions from São Paulo to the mouth of the Amazon river, investigating many of its tributaries, including the Rio Negro, ultimately covering a distance of more than 10,000 kilometers. The expedition traveled to Andean Quito, part of the Spanish Viceroyalty of Peru, and remained there for a short time in 1651. Of the 1,200 men who left São Paulo, only 60 reached their final destination in Belém.
In addition to capturing natives as slaves, bandeiras also helped to extend the power of Portugal by expanding its control over the Brazilian interior. Along with the exploration and settlement of this territory the bandeiras also discovered mineral wealth for the Portuguese, which they had been previously unable to profit from.
In the 1660s, the Portuguese government offered rewards to those who discovered gold and silver deposits in inner Brazil. So the bandeirantes, driven by profit, ventured into the depths of Brazil not only to enslave natives, but also to find mines and receive government rewards. As the number of natives diminished, the bandeirantes began to focus more intensely on finding minerals.
The bandeirantes were responsible for the discovery of mineral wealth, and along with the missionaries, for the territorial enlargement of central and southern Brazil. This mineral wealth made Portugal wealthy during the 18th century. As a result of the bandeiras, the Captaincy of São Vicente became the basis of the Viceroyalty of Brazil, which would go on to encompass the current states of Santa Catarina, Paraná, São Paulo, Minas Gerais, Goiás, part of Tocantins, and both Northern and Southern Mato Grosso. The bandeirantes were also responsible for unsteady relations between the Spanish Empire and the Portuguese Empire, as they essentially conducted an undeclared war on indigenous residents allied with Spain or the Jesuits. With only a few outlying Spanish settlements surviving and the majority of Jesuit missions overrun, the de facto control by Portugal over most of what is now the Southeast, Southern, and Central West territory of Brazil was recognized by the Treaties of Madrid in 1750 and San Ildefonso in 1777. Additionally, Portugal officially expelled the Jesuits in 1759, reducing the ability of the Jesuits to fight back even further.
Bandeirantes are generally considered heroes in traditional Brazilian historiography, but protests in 2020 have brought back up the more unsavory aspects of the bandeirantes activity to light.
Another list of Well-known bandeirantes includes Bartolomeu Bueno da Silva (the Anhanguera), Antônio Dias de Oliveira, Fernão Dias Pais (the Hunter of Emeralds), Domingos Rodrigues do Prado, Antônio Rodrigues de Arzão, Domingos Jorge Velho, Salvador Furtado Fernandes de Mendonça, Antônio Raposo Tavares, Estêvão Ribeiro Baião Parente, Brás Rodrigues de Arzão, Manuel de Campos Bicudo, Francisco Dias de Siqueira (the Apuçá), Pascoal Moreira Cabral, Antônio Pires de Campos, Manuel de Borba Gato, Francisco Pedroso Xavier, Lourenço Castanho Taques, Tomé Portes del-Rei, Antonio Garcia da Cunha, Matias Cardoso de Almeida, Salvador Faria de Albernaz, José de Camargo Pimentel, João Leite da Silva Ortiz, João de Siqueira Afonso, Jerônimo Pedroso de Barros, and Bartolomeu Bueno de Siqueira.
Colonial Brazil comprises the period from 1500, with the arrival of the Portuguese, until 1815, when Brazil was elevated to a kingdom in union with Portugal as the United Kingdom of Portugal, Brazil and the Algarves. During the early 300 years of Brazilian colonial history, the economic exploitation of the territory was based first on brazilwood extraction, which gave the territory its name; sugar production ; and finally on gold and diamond mining. Slaves, especially those brought from Africa, provided most of the work force of the Brazilian export economy after a brief period of Indian slavery to cut brazilwood.
The War of the Emboabas was a conflict in colonial Brazil waged in 1706-1707 and 1708-1709 over newly discovered gold fields, which had set off a rush to the region between two generations of Portuguese settlers in the viceroyalty of Brazil - then the Captaincy of São Vicente. The discovery of gold set off a rush to the region, Paulistas asserted rights of discovery and non-Paulistas challenged their claims. Although the Portuguese crown sought more control in the area and the Paulistas sought protection of their claims, the Emoboabas won. The crown re-assessed its position in the region and made administrative changes subsequently.
The Captaincies of Brazil. Beginning in the early sixteenth century, the Portuguese monarchy used proprietorships or captaincies—land grants with extensive governing privileges—as a tool to colonize new lands. Prior to the grants in Brazil the captaincy system had been successfully used in territories claimed by Portugal—-notably including Madeira, the Azores, and other Atlantic islands. In contrast to the generally successful Atlantic captaincies, of all the captaincies of Brazil, only two, the captaincies of Pernambuco, and São Vicente, are today considered to have been successful. For reasons varying from abandonment, defeat by aboriginal tribes, occupation of Northeast Brazil by the Dutch West Indies Company, and death of the donatario without an heir, all of the proprietorships (captaincies) eventually reverted to, or were repurchased by the crown. Many, however, retained their identity but were then governed as royal captaincies. Moreover, many of the states of present day Brazil can trace their names, and their founding, and further to some extent their municipalities and their boundaries to these early captaincies.
The Captaincy of São Vicente (1534–1709) was a land grant and colonial administration in the far southern part of the colonial Portuguese Empire in Colonial Brazil.
São Paulo dos Campos de Piratininga was the village that developed as São Paulo, Brazil in the region known as Campos de Piratininga. It was founded as a religious mission and a Jesuit Royal College by priests José de Anchieta and Manuel da Nóbrega on January 25, 1554. The village was initially populated by Portuguese colonists and two tribes of the Guaianás Amerindians. Later, São Paulo was the base of the Bandeiras, which was the great colonial expansion of the 17th century into the interior of the territory.
Martim Afonso de Sousa was a Portuguese fidalgo, explorer and colonial administrator.
Spanish Brazilians are Brazilians of full or partial Spanish ancestry.
The Rodovia Fernão Dias is a federal highway which runs in the Brazilian states of São Paulo and southern region of Minas Gerais. In Atibaia, the Fernão Dias highway intersects the Dom Pedro I highway, which runs from Campinas to Jacareí.
Brás Cubas was a Portuguese nobleman, explorer and the founder of the village of Santos. The son of João Pires Cubas and Isabel Nunes, he was twice governor of the Captaincy of São Vicente.
Pátio do Colégio is the name given to the historical Jesuit church and school in the city of São Paulo, Brazil. The name is also used to refer to the square in front of the church. The Pátio do Colégio marks the site where the city was founded in 1554.
Domingos Jorge Velho (1641–1705) was one of the fiercest and most effective Portuguese bandeirantes. He was born in Santana de Parnaíba, captaincy of São Paulo, to Francisco Jorge Velho and Francisca Gonçalves de Camargo. He was responsible for the repression of several indigenous nations in Bahia and especially Piauí, which he is reputed to have been the first colonist to explore. His greater fame, however, is due to his conquest of the Quilombo dos Palmares, in the hinterland of Alagoas, on behalf of João da Cunha Souto Maior, governor of Pernambuco. Velho accepted the assignment and, in 1694, with an army of Indians and mamelucos, European Native American offspring, overran the fortified city of Macacos, on the Serra da Barriga mountain.
Belgian Brazilian is a Brazilian person of full, partial, or predominantly Belgian ancestry, or a Belgian-born person immigrant in Brazil.
Amador Bueno was a landowner and colonial administrator of the Captaincy of São Vicente.
António Raposo Tavareso Velho (1598–1658) was a Portuguese colonial bandeirante who explored mainland eastern South America and claimed it for Portugal, extending the territory of the colony beyond the limits imposed by the treaty of Tordesillas. He also led the largest expedition ever made in the Americas, covering over 10,000 kilometres around South America, unifying completely the two large South American river basins and the Andes in a single voyage. Raposo Tavares departed from São Paulo towards the rivers of the Río de la Plata Basin and the Andean slopes, and from there to Belém, at the mouth of the Amazon. Raposo Tavares was partly of Jewish origin according to the Jewish historian Anita Novinsky.
The Battle of Mbororé was a battle between the Guaraní living in the Jesuit Missions and the bandeirantes, explorers and adventurers based in São Paulo. It occurred on 11 March 1641 near the Mbororé mountain, now the town of Panambí in the Misiones Province, Argentina.
Genealogia Paulistana is a São Paulo historical-genealogical work written by Luís Gonzaga da Silva Leme, published in nine volumes between 1903 and 1905. It is perhaps the largest Brazilian genealogical compilation, with more than two thousand pages.
Quatrocentão is a term used to designate members of elite families descendant from the early settlers and explorers of São Paulo. This term was first used in the early 20th century, in the past they were referred to as primeiros povoadores or nobreza da terra. These families had occupied important positions as governors, military commanders, aldermen and explorers of early colonial South America. They received large land grants from the Portuguese Crown and originated mostly in Portugal and Spain, but some in Flanders and other places in Europe. A portion of the original settlers were noblemen of the Royal House of Portugal. Under the rule of the Habsburgs and the Iberian Union, they were joined by Spanish families, some also of noble origin. The earliest of these settlers married descendants of the Amerindian Chief of Piratininga, Martim Afonso Tibiriçá, and after intermarried frequently among the families in the Genealogia Paulistana, forming an endogamous group. They were first listed in a genealogical study in the 1700s by Pedro Taques de Almeida Paes Leme and last listed in the classical genealogical work Genealogia Paulistana, published in 1905.
The flag of the state of São Paulo, Brazil, serves as one of the state's symbols, along with the state's coat of arms and anthem. It was designed by the philologist and writer Júlio Ribeiro in 1888, with his brother-in-law, Amador Amaral, a graphic artist. The flag has thirteen black and white stripes and a red rectangle in the upper left corner holding a white circle enclosing an outline map of Brazil in blue. There is a yellow star in each corner of the red rectangle.
The state of São Paulo has been inhabited since 12000 BC, when the first indigenous people arrived in the area. Portuguese and Spanish navigators arrived in the region in the 15th century. In 1532, Portuguese explorer Martim Afonso de Sousa founded the first European settlement in Portuguese America—the village of São Vicente. In the 17th century, the Bandeirantes intensified the exploration of the interior of the territory, which ended up expanding the domains of the Portuguese in South America, even beyond the borders determined by the Treaty of Tordesilhas.
João Ramalho (1493–1580) was a Portuguese explorer and adventurer. He lived much of his life among Tupiniquim natives in Brazil after he arrived there in 1515. He even became the leader of an Indian village after he developed a friendship with Tibiriçá, an important native chief at the time. Ramalho played an important role in the pacific interaction between the Portuguese and the natives, especially after the arrival of Martim Afonso de Sousa, with whom he became friends after meeting him in São Vicente, the first Portuguese settlement in the Americas.