Professor explains the differences between settlement colonization and exploration colonization and how they are currently reflected

It is common for Brazilians to dream of a trip to Disney or New York than to stay in their own country admiring Christ the Redeemer. From the popular point of view, is the United States a much more attractive place than Brazil? Professor Ueldison Azevedo shows if this is true and shows how this feeling of colonization still prevails today.

Fabiano de Abreu. Foto: Vagner Souza / MF Press Global.
Fabiano de Abreu. Photo: Vagner Souza / MF Global Press.

Brazil's history goes back to a past that may answer this question: Why we look at the United States with such charm and why we don't have the best look at Brazil? History professor Ueldison Alves de Azevedo explains that “this vision we have goes back to our colonization between the 15th and 16th centuries, because Central America (mesoamerica), South America, the African continent and even the Asian peoples had a different colonization from the Americans ”.

This difference is called by historians of settlement colonization and exploration colonization. The professor says that “when Columbus decided to cross the sea and conquer the Indies, which was a very common thought for that period, he believed that the air on that soil was similar to the European. This does not mean that there was no land exploitation and slavery, but at first the idea was just to populate that place, and yes, there were already different peoples even before the court arrived in the United States ”. However, “This process of exploring minerals like tea for example, and slavery, it is a little slower and more time consuming compared to the continents that had an exploratory colonization ”.

Ueldison Alves de Azevedo, professor de história. Foto: Divulgação / MF Press Global.
Ueldison Alves de Azevedo, history teacher. Photo: Disclosure / MF Global Press.

Ueldison recalls that, when arriving in Africa, for example, "For‘ racial ’reason" (language used by Europeans to justify the division of Africa in their sharing of 1884), the color of the skin placed the afros as objects a ‘thingification’ that now belonged to the metropolis. Everything that belonged to the colony was part of the European domain, it was not different from the Aztecs until the Incas and arriving in Brazil ”.

So, when we observe two monuments, like the Statue of Liberty, which was a gift from France to the Americans shortly after their independence, or the Christ Redeemer, that was built during the Getúlio Vargas era, the historian points out that “we are showing how colonization strongly influenced nationalist identities as a people”. The fact is that, he completes, “The Portuguese when they arrived in Brazil in 1500, even with the Tordesillas treaty signed in 1494, ends up creating ties with indigenous peoples, where the process for the exploration of our lands begins progressively, even though this activity will take some time 30 years to be matured ”. After all, the historian recalls, “Brazil was not, at first, the eyes of the girl from Portugal, but the conversation with the indigenous people will still remain. During the period, there were tribes that agreed to make a ‘bankruptcy’ with the Portuguese and other rebels who will be enslaved and as many runaways who will give work to the bandeirantes, while other Indians will take classes with the Jesuit priests, those who in Europe were created for the inquisition and so on ”.


In this way, the teacher says it is easy to understand this mentality still present. An example of this is seen in the turn of the Empire to the Republic in 1889. Ueldison says that the then Minister of Finance of the government of Marechal Deodoro da Fonseca, Rui Barbosa, “Was responsible for creating the Brazilian flag equal to that of the United States. This measure lasted less than a day in force, but more interesting is that the official name of Brazil until the decade of 1960 was ‘United States of Brazil”. Only after 1968 and with the constitution of 1988, the professor points out that Brazil has become a Federative Republic (union of states).

Ueldison Azevedo believes that all these arguments show how “the imaginary of this form of colonization is not just of a social class, but as a whole, because the way colonizations were made has drastically affected how we think and how we are today ”, ends.


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