The problem of the first trips to the Brazilian coasts is still very controversial. It seems that in his 1499 voyage Amerigo Vespucci, coming from the Guianas coast, followed the coast of South America with Spanish ships up to about 60 south latitude; he would also have discovered and briefly ascended the Amazons and Pará. After him, Vicente Yáñez Pinzón, on January 26, 1500, would have reached a cape located at over 8 ° of lat. S. that for its beauty he called Rostro Hermoso (the chief Saint Augustine of the Portuguese) and that we find recorded in the Juan de la Cosa map of 1500. It is certain that on 22 April of that same year 1500 a Portuguese fleet commanded by Pedro Alvares Cabral and headed for the East Indies came within sight of the Brazilian coast at a much more southern point, near a mountain “mui alto e redondo” called by the discoverer Monte Paschoal; its landing took place on 23 April in the bay now called Cabralia (at about 16 ° lat. S.): and the new land, considered an island, was occupied by Cabral in the name of the king of Portugal and called the Land of Vera Cruz. According to Magnaghi, Vespucci, invited by the king of Portugal, to whose service he had passed, from August 1501 to January 1502 would have made the exploration of the entire Brazilian coast from Cape S. Rocco to Cananea and beyond: the voyage would be witnessed by the names given to the various coastal localities touched and “which are included in some marine maps built in 1502, names taken from the recurrences of the calendar and which do not agree with the time of any other expedition to the
According to a2zdirectory, Portugal, legitimately considering itself the owner of these lands lying to the east of the partition line assigned by Pope Alexander VI, initially limited itself to keeping only some coastal points occupied and to exploit the Brazilian wood., trying to prevent smuggling. Only in 1530 did they begin to think of colonization, attempted with the granting of captaincy to Portuguese nobles. In 1549, with the foundation of the city of Såo Salvador, on the shore of the bay of Todos os Santos, a general government was established for the whole colony. However, the occupation always remained limited to the coast; only the Jesuits who preached the Gospel to the Indians entered the interior, and a few adventurers in search of precious stones. From 1580 to 1640, that is, in the period in which Portugal passed under the Spanish crown and in Brazil the attempts of Dutch occupation took place, very little progress was made in geographical knowledge, since all the energies of the colonists were aimed at maintaining independence. Also in the following period, bandsiras) made people cross the interior of Brazil in all directions, scientific knowledge was always very scarce, also because the jealous Portuguese government prevented access to foreign scholars. The travels of the Brazilian Alexandre Rodrigues Ferreira (1788-92) to central Brazil should be mentioned here.
This brings us to the century. XIX when, after Humboldt’s return from America, the influx of European travelers to Brazil began, where the government of Dom João VI and then the imperial one welcomed and facilitated explorations. LW von Eschwege (1811-14), Prince Maximilian Wied-Neuwied (1815-17), Augustine Saint-Hilaire (1816-22), Pohl and Natteres (1817-20) were the first, followed by JB Spix and CF Filippo von Martius who, sent by the ( Bavarian and Austrian governments, made a journey of great geographical importance through the central and northern provinces of Brazil, from San Paolo to Minas Geraes, from Bahia to Maranhão and also along the Amazon, up to Tabatinga (1819-22).
The Frenchmen D’Orbigny (1826) and De Castelnau (1843-45) visited, the first the southern part and the other the central regions from Goyaz to Matto Grosso, and the Swiss J. von Tschudi (1857-61) traveled and he studied the central and southern regions from Bahia to Santa Caterina. The geographical picture of Brazil was completed with the explorations of the southern tributaries of the Amazon, mainly due to Karl von der Steinen (1887-88) and Henri-Anatole Cudreau (1895-97); von der Steinen and P. Ehrenreich also studied the ethnography of the Indians of Brazil and Amazonia. In the last decade of the past century, the topographical survey of Brazil began, however limited to the states of Sao Paulo and Minas Geraes. Studies of a prevalent geological nature have been carried out in numerous regions by Orville A. Derby and by JC.