Angra dos Reis - 500 Years of History
a great bay and hundreds of islands, the town was an important commercial
store house for the great marine routes that, people coming from Europe
and/or Africa, navigated for South America, going in direction of São
Paulo, and the bands of the Continent of Rio Grande de São Pedro, that
were called the lands located in the end south of Brazil.
In the first two hundred
years, the original culture of the Indians disappeared in the area of the
current towns of Angra dos Reis and Parati, and appeared the gradual
introduction of large estate (latifúndios) with slavery turned to the
production of sugar and liquor, as well as nutritious goods destined to
the population. The whale fishing had its importance in this period.
In the beginning of the
1800’s, the consequences of the discovery of gold in Minas Gerais and
Goiás started to affect the place, where the African slaves' traffic
increased and the circulation of goods through the coast and interior.
At that time the famous
" Caminho Novo " (New Way) appeared. A road ordered to be built
by the El-king of Portugal, that was the connection through the country
between São Paulo and the interior of Minas Gerais, linking those areas
to Rio de Janeiro, avoiding the old marine course, through the store house
of Angra dos Reis and Parati, reared for pirates and avid corsairs because
of the gold and diamonds. There was a direct linking to Angra dos Reis,
through Lídice and Rio Claro, impelling the prosperity of the area.
In the century XIX, the town and the " parishes " lived golden periods provided by the coffee, like the Historical Vila de Mambucaba, that reached great economic prosperity with the expansion of the coffee plantation and of the trade that fed the port at that place, getting to exist even a theater.
is to say, it moved with space and time; more concretely, the railroad could transport great amount of load between Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, leaving the old tracks and dirt road back, with troops, horses and litters. Those roads continued to be used, however they lost their role of the dominant " transport.
The forests closed the mountains again, reappear, in that area of
Serra da Bocaina, an acme of the wild life. In the beginnings of
our century, there was a subsistence economy, with a population of few
people in many villages surrounded by branches of trees fences, dispersed in small
survival tasks, as fishing, cane cultivation, cassava and banana, the
manufacture of liquor, etc.
The population of the main urban centers was decreased, with the exit of many people in search of better lands.
The new century maintained the tradition that says that the town was
always tied up to the great economic cycles of the Country. With Juscelino Kubitscheck's (President of Brazil) development political, the 50’s saw the construction of the shipyard
Verolme, of Dutch capital, in the current district of Jacuecanga. The
naval industry would be privileged by the interconnection with the
National Metallurgical Company in the construction of its metallic ships
and for the geographical position of our coast. That enterprise, which
ended in 1969, brought a lot of money capital to area, with the many
migrants coming and the construction of labor villas, increasing the local
trade and the growth of the town.
In the decade of
70’s a new period dazzled, an authoritarian time, that brought a great
mutation to the area, submissive to the designs of the military
dictatorship installed in the Country in 1964. From then on, Angra dos
Reis turned into an area of national security, losing the prerogative of
choosing its leaders and had the social movements suffocated.
officers had as goal the implementation of an authoritarian modernization
of the Brazilian capitalism. For this purpose, they developed programs of
construction of great works, and some of them
were implanted in our town.
Plant Angra I (1972-1980), the Oil Terminal of the Bay of Ilha Grande
(1974-1979) and the Federal Highway Rio-Santos (BR-101) redefine the town
and its spaces, causing a series of transformations, as coming of
thousands of migrants in search of new work fronts. The intense growth of
the population and the expansion of the town continue in the urban areas,
generating the disordered occupation of the hills of the center and
adjoining, as well as the creation of great peripheral neighborhoods.
At this time,
the tourist enterprises, motivated by the easiness access provided by
Rio-Santos Highway construction, the process of occupation of the best
grounds begins along the coast.
process provoked countless modifications in the organization of the space
of our town, resulting in several conflicts of lands and getting the caiçara
(a village surrounded by a fence made of tree branches) population out, so
that it was forced to move for less valued areas, as the hills of downtown
and distant peripheries. Besides, it brought a decrease of the
agricultural area and the number of farmers; the embankments became common
and the destruction of the swamps, appearing a great demand for
re-urbanization of the central border of the city, the amplification of
the track of the airport to 1.200 m, the maintainable use of the natural
resources principally from Ilha Grande and the valuation of the cultural
patrimony, the consolidation of the tourist activity as the main source of
resources and generation of income should be the historical mark that the
end of the millennium will register to Angra dos Reis.
Credit: Projeto Memória & História (Project Memory & History) - Municipal City hall of Angra dos Reis.