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Remember the Rainforest 1

 

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In addition to home and food, this system brings, however, great disadvantages, as it confines the robust youth to farming and the conjugal life in the settlements, sometimes for years. Bringing them to the capital for the unaccustomed conditions of the military service hampers the growth of the population and favors the moral and physical depravation of this race. Yet rarely does the Indian marry into a family in the city, and in the city men almost exclusively gain employment, which results in a large disproportion of the sexes, causing immorality and evil diseases.

So now, in a time when they are more esteemed than ever before according to the rights and dignity of men, we saw the race of indigenous people of Brazil, near the capital of Para, in almost the same sad condition, as when the zealous Antonio Vieira, the Las Casas of Brazil (1), boldly raised his voice in favor of the helpless sons of the jungles.

Antonio Vieira, the Las Casas of Brazil

In fact, to convince ourselves of the weakness of the human projects and the difficulties that go along with the fairest endeavors, we considered some more accurate than the numerous wretched accusations that plague the race hampering the redskins’ development. Neither the King's Christlike sentiments, nor the intentional support of statesmen, nor the protection and power of the church

were able to remove the Indians of Grao-Para from the jungle state in which they were found, nor to impress them with the benefits of civilization and safety of civil life As before, this degraded race remains, suffering, without meaning in the community, prey of the dishonest and the schemes of individuals, an inert weight for the community which will support it. Yes, even from his association with the highest degree of civilization and a consequence of not preserving almost anywhere as is done among the other human breeds, a family of pure Indians. The conclusion that one should take away is that the Indian, instead of being awakened and inspired by the civilization of Europe, on the contrary as by slow poison will disorganize itself and disappear altogether. To readers, who deem these considerations worthy of interest, we offer in the notes (note Ill) a historical description of the conditions in which the indians of Para existed, and the laws relating to Indians and their enemies. The other component parts of the Belem population represent themselves as, without doubt, more pleasant and prosperous.

Pombal

The turbulent spirit of the first settlers was, little by little relaxing, when Pombal (2), who was evaluating the importance of this province, directed here especially the emigrated of Portugal and its islands. The island people have, in general, the reputation of great activity, moderation, simplicity, loyalty, and, unceremoniously, are a contrast to the Portuguese of the continent. Besides these conditions of

Footnotes
1) Bartolome de Las Casas (1484-1566) was a Spanish Dominican friar who became famous for his defense of the rights of the native people of the Americas. His brave stand against the horrors of the conquest and the colonization of the New World earned him Bartolome de Las Casas (1484-1566) was a Spanish Dominican friar who became famous for his defense of the rights of the native people of the Americas. His brave stand against the horrors of the conquest and the colonization of the New World earned him the title “Defender of the native Americans”.
2) Marquis of Pombal, was an 18th-century Portuguese statesman. He was Secretary of the State of Internal Affairs of the Kingdom in the government of Joseph I of Portugal from 1750 to 1777. Undoubtedly the most prominent minister in the government, he is considered to have been its de facto head.

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