Explaining Brazil #76: How Napoleon invented Brazil

Brazil is an improbable country. It is an immense mass of land, bound by a single language and a single flag. Even in the year of our independence, many thought Brazil as a nation would never actually come to pass. And yet, against the odds, Brazil managed to emerge as a unified country. This week, we tell the story of how Brazil became a nation. A story that wouldn’t be possible if not for Napoleon Bonaparte’s megalomaniacal plans of world domination.

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On this episode:

  • João Paulo Pimenta is a professor in the history department of the University of São Paulo. He has a Ph.D. in history, and is an expert in Brazilian history of the 18th and 19th centuries—especially Brazil’s relations with the Hispanic world.

Background reading:

Explaining Brazil is made by:

  • Gustavo Ribeiro, editor in chief of The Brazilian Report. He has extensive experience covering Brazilian politics. His work has been featured across Brazilian and French media outlets, including Veja, Época, Folha de S.Paulo, Médiapart, and Radio France Internationale.
  • Euan Marshall, editing. is a journalist and translator who has lived in São Paulo, Brazil since 2011. Specializing in Brazilian soccer, politics and the connection between the two, his work has been published in The Telegraph, Al Jazeera, The Independent, among others.

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