Treaty of Rio de Janeiro (1825)

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Treaty of Rio de Janeiro
Signed 15 November 1825
Location Rio de Janeiro, Empire of Brazil
Signatories Flag Portugal (1830).svg Kingdom of Portugal
Empire of Brazil Empire of Brazil
Ratifiers King John VI of Portugal
Emperor Pedro I of Brazil
Language Portuguese

The Treaty of Rio de Janeiro is the treaty between the Kingdom of Portugal and the Empire of Brazil, signed August 29, 1825, which recognized Brazil as an independent nation, formally ending Brazil’s war of independence.

The treaty was ratifyed by the Emperor of Brazil on August 24, 1825, and by the King of Portugal on November 15, 1825, and on that same date the two instruments of ratification were exchanged between Brazilian and Portuguese diplomats in Lisbon.

The Treaty entered into force on November 15, 1825, upon the exchange of the ratification documents. It was proclaimed in Portugal on that same date, and was proclaimed in Brazil on April 10, 1826.

Mediation of the United Kingdom[edit]

The treaty was mediated by the monarch of the United Kingdom, who had a clear interest in Brazilian independence, and who informally recognized the independence of Brazil before this treaty but wanted to obtain from the new nation the economy of the slave trade. This eventually delayed the drafting and signing of the Rio de Janeiro Treaty, which, as its name indicates, was signed in the city of Rio de Janeiro.

Among the reasons that led the United Kingdom to actively support the Brazilian cause, it can be emphasized that Brazil's independence facilitated politically the recognition of the Latin American republics; That Portugal was embroiled in internal turmoil, and therefore too weak militarily and economically to re-impose its rule over Brazil; As a result of trade relations developed since 1808, Brazil was already the third largest consumer market of British exports; Brazil had maintained the constitutional monarchy and was therefore a "good example" for other countries; That any delay in their recognition would jeopardize the stability and unity of the new country; That Brazil's declaration of independence allowed Britain to push for advances on the question of the abolition of the slave trade; And that independent Brazil was much more vulnerable to British pressure, especially since it depended financially and militarily on the United Kingdom.


The treaty consists of eleven articles, which establish respectively:

  • ART. I - King of Portugal D. João VI recognizes Brazil as an independent empire, headed by son Pedro and his descendants. However, D. João VI keeps for himself the prerogative of being treated like Emperor.
  • ART. II - D. Pedro I agrees that his father uses the title of Emperor until his death.
  • ART. III - The third clause of the Treaty establishes that no other colony could join Brazil. At the time there were many Brazilian slave traders living on the African coast with an interest in getting rid of Portuguese burdens. Many Brazilian pamphlets circulated in Angola, inviting Benguela to join the "Brazilian cause".
  • ART. IV - Determines that "from now on there will be peace and alliance and the most perfect friendship between the Kingdoms of Portugal and Algarves and the Empire of Brazil with complete forgetfulness of the past disputes between the respective peoples."
  • ART. V - It establishes that the rights of property and religion of nationals of both countries must be respected, and that such nationals should be treated in the same way as third-country nationals who receive the best treatment in Portugal and Brazil.
  • ART. VI - Determines the return of property and the indemnification of impaired owners during the War of Independence.
  • ART. VII - Determines the return and indemnification of owners of "captured vessels and cargoes", damaged during the War of Independence.
  • ART. VIII - Establishes a commission "nominated by both Governments, composed of Portuguese and Brazilians in equal numbers" to deal with the cases of articles VI and VII.
  • ART. IX - Establishes a procedure for handling "all public complaints from Government to Government", which must be "reciprocally received and decided".
  • ART. X - Restore trade between countries by imposing a provisional rate of 15% on consumption, and that rates of import and export would be the same as before independence.
  • ART. XI - Determines that the exchange of ratifications of this Treaty would take place in the city of Lisbon within the space of five months.

See also[edit]