|Brazil banknotes 50 Mil Reis banknote|
|Brazilian banknotes 50 Mil Reis|
Brazilian banknotes, Cédulas Brasileiras, Brazilian paper money, Brazilian bank notes, Brazil banknotes, Brazil paper money, Brazil bank notes.
Obverse: "Reveria", engraving Sukeichi Oyama from the painting of Friedrich Paul Thumann - "The Fates".
Reverse: "Independence or death" painting by Pedro Américo. Paulista Museum in São Paulo, Brazil.
Printed by American Bank Note Company, New York.
"Independence or death"
The Portugal Cortes, hostile towards Brazil returned its status back to that of a colony, something that Brazilians, including Pedro could not accept.
In the summer of 1821, Portuguese troops, known as the Legion took power in Rio under their commander General Jorge de Avilez. The Portuguese government ordered Pedro to return to Portugal.
On August 13, 1822, after Dom Pedro(1798-1834) had defied Portuguese authority by refusing to return to Lisbon, Brazilian authorities declared that any Portuguese troops landing in Brazil to reassert control would be considered enemies. These patriots urged Dom Pedro to proclaim Brazil's independence from Portugal. On August 14 Dom Pedro traveled to São Paulo, leaving his wife, Dona Leopoldina (1797-1826), as unofficial regent assisted by a group of ministers.
Dom Pedro visited cities and towns in São Paulo Province. His authority was recognized and respected everywhere. On September 7, on his way back to São Paulo, he stopped near Santos, on the banks of the Ipiranga River, where he received a message from Dona Leopoldina informing him that the government in Lisbon had reduced his powers.
Dom Pedro talked with the young soldiers of his honor guard. One of them, Padre Belchior Pinheiro de Oliveira (1775-1856), advised Dom Pedro to become the king of Brazil on the grounds that any other course would bring the risks of imprisonment and loss of his inheritance. The prince related Oliveira's advice to his other companions. He then took the blue and red Portuguese colors out of his hat and threw them away as his companions cheered. The crown prince defied the command, famously unsheathing his sword affirming that “For my blood, my honor, my God, I swear to give Brazil freedom” and then pronounced the words that became Brazil's national motto: "Independence or Death."
After Pedro’s decision to defy the Cortes, around 2,000 men led by Jorge Avilez rioted before concentrating on mount Castelo, which was soon surrounded by 10,000 armed Brazilians (as legend has it). Dom Pedro then “dismissed” the Portuguese commanding general and ordered him to remove his soldiers across the bay to Niterói, to await transport to Portugal.
Shortly after, Pedro was crowned emperor in Rio. In 1824, a national constitution was introduced, solidifying the government as a constitutional monarchy under Dom Pedro I.
That same year, their northern neighbor, the United States, became the first nation to recognize the Brazilian Empire.
Portugal and Great Britain followed the United States in recognizing Brazil’s sovereignty in 1825.