Why did Brazil change their capital from Rio to Brasilia
Why did Brazil change their capital from Rio to Brasilia? Rio de Janeiro was Brazilian second capital. The city lost its position in 1960 to the city of Brasilia. Read the text and find out the details of this transition and why it happened.
It all starts on Brazilian independence eve, when José Bonifacio (a Brazilian Politician), realized that the capital of the country was in a vulnerable situation. At that time French pirate attacks were commons and, as Rio de Janeiro is a coast city it was an easy target. Thus, José Bonifácio suggests building a new capital in the central highland.
The plan suggest by José Bonifácio was initially left apart and, only at the end of XIX century, was adopted when Brazil was already a republic. It all started with a law project about the transference of the capital to the countryside that was approved in the congress in 1891.
In the following year, 1892, the congress approved an expedition to recognize a plot in the Central highland and establish its limits. The expedition included astronomers, engineers, militaries, doctors, botanists and many other scientists.
But even with the approval of the law and the demarcation of the territory the Brazialian presidents didn’t show interest in building the new capital. Even though the law project prevailed in the next Brazilian constitutions (1934 and 1946)
Just when Juscelino Kubitschek was elected Brazilian president that the idea that changed the destiny of Brazil was put into practice. Juscelino Kubitschek wanted not only to avoid maritime attacks but also to populate the center of Brazil. By that time, the center of the country was completely desert.
50 years in 5. This was the motto of President Juscelino Kubitschek. In other words, its government plan was to make Brazil grow 50 years in 5. To do so, he invested in the opening of industries, construction of highways and investing in electricity energy. And its most ambition plan was the construction of Brasilia.
In 1956, the government launched a context to choose the best project to the construction of the new capital of Brazil. The winning project was of the city planner born in Rio de Janeiro Lúcio Costa. He invited to the construction of the buildings the famous architect Oscar Niemeyer
The construction of Brasilia main buildings took 3 years. Most of the workers came from the Northeast of Brazil, but also came from the Brazilian state of Goias and Minas Gerais. The work was exhausting and the conditions precarious.
There were many challenges for the construction of the city. The closest airport, was in the city of Anápolis, more than 100km from Brasília. The highway that connected both cities was unpaved, what made the transportation of raw material.
The inauguration of the city was on April 21st 1960. The city was projected to be the symbol of modernization and development of Juscelino Kubistchek. The president used the construction as a modernist and nationalist advertising, to exalt its government.
The city of Rio de Janeiro strugged with the lost of its power change of the capital to Brasilia. Almost every big city in Brazil has a street or avenue called Juscelino Kubitschek. Rio de Janeiro is an exception. There isn’t any street or monument to the president at that time.
Some people say that the real reason of the change of the capital to Brasília was’t to avoid a maritime invasion or develop the countryside of Brazil. By that time, Rio de Janerio had one of the most alphabeptized populations of Brazil. The government wanted, actually, to isolate itself from the literate population to dodge riots.
Read our article if you want to undertand why Rio became the capital of Brazil. Or if you want not only to know, but also see the important places for Brazilian history, join our free walking tour rio de janeiro.