In today Brazil, the Head of State does not pose as a defender of the environment.
However, it has not always been so and the country was governed in the past by an enlightened sovereign who made environmental protection one of his priorities at a time when we did not yet care about these questions.
A long reign
In 1822, the Kingdom of Brazil proclaimed its independence from Portugal in the guise of an Empire founded by the Braganza dynasty, driven out of Lisbon by Napoleonic troops and installed since 1808 in Rio de Janeiro.
In 1840 at the age of 15, Pedro II came to power after his father, the first emperor of Brazil, was forced to return to Portugal.
He would reign over Brazil until 1889, a period so long that he identified himself with half a century of national history.
An enlightened ruler
This unique political stability in South America, increases the prestige of the Empire. The Emperor himself is an intelligent and cultured man; he is in love with Europe and will never stop modernizing the country and changing the traditional socio-economic order of society, dominated until then by the Church and the conservative elites.
In particular, Pedro II militates in favor of the abolition of slavery, because if there is a stain that he does not support in the mores of Brazil, it is slavery! Pedro will do everything to remove what he will call the "shame of the Empire" and this will bring him the hatred of the big planters.
Modern emperor, humanist but also shy and discreet, Pedro II escaped from time to time to meet the men he admired: Victor Hugo or Louis Pasteur who would become his friends. Curious and open-minded, he always believed in the virtues of progress through education.
Taking advantage of his travels in Europe, the army overthrew him in 1889 and proclaimed the Republic without encountering any resistance. The elites no longer needed the Empire, but the popular masses will long retain nostalgia for the monarch.
In love with France, Pedro II will die in exile in Paris.
A pioneer in the defense of the environment
Pedro II gradually developed an ecological conscience at a time when the preservation of the environment was not a societal theme.
This led him to act to restore the biodiversity of Rio de Janeiro's forest: the Tijuca forest, devastated by coffee plantations, thus restoring the water supply of the capital of the Empire.
He will continue his ecological work in Petrópolis, his summer residence, because the "imperial city" was struck by the same evils as Rio de Janeiro.
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The TIJUCA brand pays tribute to Emperor Pedro II and what he bequeathed to future generations.
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