The Portuguese sailors arrived in Brazil in 1500, just two years after Vasco da Gama landed in Cochin in India. The Portuguese started settling in this newly found land from 1500 after the 1494 Treaty of Tordesillas divided the continent between Portugal and Spain. Rio de Janeiro functioned as the capital of the Kingdom of Portugal from 1808 to 1821 when Lisbon was occupied during the Napoleonic Wars. Brazil achieved independence from Portugal in 1822. Slavery was abolished in 1888 and in the next year became a republic.



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