Empire of Brazil

empire in South America between 1822 and 1889

The Empire of Brazil was a parliamentary democratic constitutional monarchy of the nineteenth century that covered the areas of modern Brazil and Uruguay. Brazil was originally a colony of the Portuguese Empire but became its center when the Prince Regent João VI fled the French invasion of Portugal in 1808. When João returned to Portugal he left his son Pedro as regent of the autonomous Kingdom of Brazil.

Empire of Brazil
Império do Brasil
Motto: Independência ou Morte!
"Independence or Death!"
Anthem: Anthem of Independence (1822-1831)

Brazilian National Anthem (1831–1889)
Map of South America with the Empire of Brazil highlighted in green
The Empire of Brazil including the former Cisplatina province.
CapitalRio de Janeiro
22°54′30″S 43°11′47″W / 22.90833°S 43.19639°W / -22.90833; -43.19639
Common languagesPortuguese
Roman Catholic
GovernmentConstitutional monarchy parliamentary unitary state representative democracy
Emperor of Brazil 
• 1822–1831
Pedro I
• 1831–1889
Pedro II
LegislatureGeneral Assembly
Chamber of Deputies
Historical era19th century
• Independence
7 September 1822
• Accession of Pedro I
12 October 1822
• Imperial Constitution adopted
25 March 1824
• Accession of Pedro II
7 April 1831
• Slavery abolished[1]
13 May 1888
• Monarchy abolished
15 November 1889
ISO 3166 codeBR
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Kingdom of Portugal
Brazilian Republic
Declaration of the independence of Brazil on September 7, 1822.

On 7 September 1822, Pedro declared Brazil to be an independent Empire and was acclaimed by the people as emperor. However, in 1831 he was able to return to Portugal. He abdicated the Brazilian throne and left his young son Pedro II as emperor. His reign saw three international wars and decades of economic prosperity and political stability.

Pedro I, Pedro II and the imperial family of Brazil wanted the abolition of slavery, and on 13 May 1888 the imperial princess regent, Isabel de Bragança and Bourbon signed the Golden Law on behalf of her father, ending slavery in Brazil. By that time, Brazil had become the last major nation to have slavery. Former plantation owners, dissatisfied with the abolition of slavery, joined the republican movement led by Deodoro da Fonseca, an elderly Marshal, to carry out a Coup d'etat and install a republic which became Brazil's first dictatorship on November 15, 1889. The imperial family was exiled, and the Republican government persecuted, tortured and killed all those who opposed the regime.


  1. Leslie Bethell (1970). The Abolition of the Brazilian Slave Trade: Britain, Brazil and the Slave Trade. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 9780521101134.

Other websites


  Media related to Empire of Brazil at Wikimedia Commons