Q:

Who claimed Brazil for Portugal?

A:

Quick Answer

Brazil was claimed for the Portuguese empire by Pedro Alvares Cabral in April or May 1500. The Brazilian region had been spotted by Spanish explorer Vicente Yanez Pinzon earlier that year but not claimed for Spain due to the 1494 Treaty of Tordesillas.

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Full Answer

The treaty between Spain and Portugal granted land in the New World south of the 46th latitude to Portugal, while areas north of it went to Spain. Portugal slowly developed Brazil as a colony over the next 300 years, subjugating the native populations and exploiting the natural resources of the region. During the Napoleonic conquest of the Iberian Peninsula in the early 19th century, the Portuguese crown relocated to Brazil for 15 years.

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