The Era of Atlantic Revolutions


American Revolution

The 13 colonies were sent from Britain as to expand the empire and to gain another source of income to boost their economy. Over time the colonies started to develop into a more individualistic country and started seeing the unfair treatment through parliament. The people of the colonies were supposed to be considered citizens of Britain but the people of the colonies received unfair treatment through overpriced tax rates and unequal opportunities. Trade with other countries was not allowed and all transactions had to go through Britain. The colonies often smuggled goods to other countries just to pay for the tax rates that were opposed by the British rule. The colonist started to form a rebellion and boycott the over priced taxes. The rebellion fought until they drove the British back and declared its independence. They developed their own constitution, (shown in the image above) which starts off as, "We The People" which signifies that all the colonies were united as one. With unison now shown in the newly formed country, it sparked a flame that arose to form the era of atlantic revolutions.

Haitian Revolution

Haiti was a colony of the French. France just recently had their independence revolution and freed their slaves. Haiti felt that this was unfair because the colonies were unaffected by the new formation of the French constitution and that slavery was appealed after this but yet slavery maintained in the colonies including Haiti. This was different than the American revolution because slavery still existed in the Americas after forming their new constitution.

Brazilian Revolution

Their relationship was drastically different than typical mother country/colonies relationships because the royal family fled to the colony after Napoleon invaded and occupied Portugal in 1807. The royal family stayed in Brazil until 1821. Between those times, Brazil was liberated in 1811 and treated as an equal kingdom to Portugal in 1815 when queen Maria died. In 1820, portugesian people demanded their king to return to the mother country. The people of Portugal created a junta until the king returned. Dom João returned in 1821 and left his son to control Brazil under him. Portugal Cortes wrote a constitution to try to reinstate Brazil as a colony. Dom Pedro declared an independent Brazil in 1822 and in 1823 he was crowned emperor and established a liberal government.
Dom João was king of Portugal and Brazil after Queen Maria died in 1815. Dom pedro was left king of Portugal and to rule under his father when he went back to Portugal. Queen Maria was queen when the royal family moved to the colony to flee from the Napoleon’s occupation of Portugal. This is different than the American Revolution because the colony experienced processing the royal family and what it was like to be valued as an equal nation to the mother country. When Dom Pedro declared independence, he wasn't satisfied with the amount of powers he had, so he decided to create a new constitution that included bicameral legislature. This form of legislature is very similar to Parliament that the British used.

Brazilian Constitution

This constitution in 1824 gave Dom Pedro more power that he requested. This constitution introduced bicameral legislature which made it similar to the British Parliament during the time of the American Revolution. It divided legislature into two sections. This idea is still used today in U.S. congress. We have the house of representatives and then we also have the senate which is an example of bicameral legislature. This is different from our legislature because each branch in government has equal power but yet each control one main aspect. The new form of legislature gave Dom Pedro the freedom to elect the members of upper house, while the lower house was elected by male suffrage. Dom Pedro had full power to veto anything no matter what house it came from and also had power to dissolve the legislature at any time as he saw it necessary. This has changed over time to where no branch has superficial power over the other so that they are all valued as equal.
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"The Constitution of the United States: A Transcription." National Archives and Records Administration. National Archives and Records Administration, n.d. Web. 11 Dec. 2014.

"Brazilian Independence." Brazilian Independence. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Dec. 2014.

"Pedro I." Encyclopedia of World Biography. 2004, "Pedro I." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th Ed.. 2014, and "Pedro I." World Encyclopedia. 2005. "Pedro I." HighBeam Research, 01 Jan. 2004. Web. 10 Dec. 2014.