Copper engraving of the newly independent Empire of Brazil, which was established in 1822 in the wake of the Portuguese court’s exile in Brazil during the Napoleonic wars. When the Portuguese king returned home, he left his son in charge of the crown colony. But Pedro I (known as Pedro IV in Portugal) declared independence from his homeland and established the Empire of Brazil, with himself as Emperor. Brazil’s autonomy was cemented in the Treaty of Rio de Janeiro, signed in 1825, the same year this map was published.
The map is a fine copper engraving carved by B. de Beaupre and hand-colored before publication. It divides Brazil into its various regions/states, including an extensive toponymy covering natural features like rivers and mountains. The map itself is surrounded by descriptive text in Italian, which provides information on Brazil’s climate, resource profile, riverine infrastructure, cities and towns, and local history.
Continents of change
The map was issued in the Italian edition of “Les Deux Ameriques” (1825), Buchon’s adaptation of Carey & Lea’s Atlas of North and South America, published in Philadelphia in 1822. Theatals was extremely important because it provided an urgently needed update on American geography. Within the United States, it details the formation of states and territories in the early 19th century. Central and South America were undergoing massive changes in these years, being in the throes of revolutionary change. Primary among these changes was the independence of Brazil and the establishment of the first South American empire.