German immigration

Brief Introduction to the history of German immigration in Rio Grande do Sul.

At the beginning of the nineteenth century the independent states that now make up Germany lived under the impact of almost 100 years of military conflicts and still feeling the effect of the industrial revolution.

In many states in Germany there was unemployment in the cities and little work in the countryside.

At the same time, Brazil emerged as an empire that sought to become independent of Portugal.

Dom Pedro I, assisted by Empress Leopoldina, established a policy to encourage the migration of German citizens to Brazil.

The objectives would basically be two: first to colonize the province of São Pedro (now the state of Rio Grande do Sul) encouraging the system of small properties and the second to populate the state including in this strategy the formation of regiments of soldiers to defend the Brazilian frontier against possible enemies of neighboring countries.

Encouraged or not by the promises of the Brazilian emissaries, the fact that it is an important number of Germans came to Rio Grande do Sul from 1824.

The period from 1824 to 1830 is called the first cycle of German immigration in Rio Grande do Sul.

It is also a fact that the first immigrants had many misfortunes both in the trips from Europe to Brazil, both in arrival, as well as in the beginning of the work in the colonies that were destined to him.

Frequent travel deaths, a long waiting time for the colonies where they would live and the hard life in the colonies, facing the woods, animals and bugres (descendants of the Indians who lived in the state) were some of the problems faced by German immigrants.

Despite the sometimes unimaginable problems, the emigrants overcame everything and everyone and collaborated to make the state of Rio Grande do Sul one of the most important in Brazil.

In this year of 2017 we celebrate on July 25, the day of the settler. 193 years of German Immigration and Colonization in Rio Grande do Sul (1824-2017).

From the colony established in São Leopoldo (as it is known today), German immigrants settled in several locations such as Torres, São Sebastião do Cai, Santa Maria, Santa Cruz, Nova Petrópolis, Dois Irmãos, Bom Princípio, among others.

Ademar Felipe Fey

August 2017


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