The German Element in Brazil eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 50 pages of information about The German Element in Brazil.
a) Italians.  First mentioned in the records 1836. 
Total to 1862....................................       209
Total to and including 1915...................... 1,348,777
b) Portuguese.  First noted in 1837. 
Total to and including 1915......................   977,524
c) Spaniards.  First noted 1841. 
Total to 1868....................................       274
Total to and including 1915......................   470,107]

[Footnote 39:  Dr. Ernst Wagemann, of the Kolonialinstitut, Hamburg, recently estimated the German population of Espirito Santo at 20,000-30,000, according to statements by W. Muenzenthaler, German Consular-General in Rio.]

[Footnote 40:  The above estimates refer to conditions at the end of 1915.  The estimate for the total population of the country for that year was 23,000,000.]




As may be inferred from chapter I, the German immigration into Brazil antedating the nineteenth century was quite insignificant.  Beginning with the early years of that century, however, there was a steady current of new settlers from the German-speaking sections of Europe into the southern part of the country.  The people who made up this current settled, particularly during the early years, in small, widely separated colonial nuclei where they found themselves more or less thoroughly cut off from the outside world and its influences.  It is not surprising, therefore, to find that these people have developed a new dialect which we may call “Brazilian German.”

The Germanic settlers from Europe who had come to Brazil found themselves located in surroundings radically different from the ones to which they had been accustomed in the land of their nativity.  Physically they had to adapt themselves to a new climate.  From the moment of their arrival on the parcel of land allotted to them they were in contact with many objects for which their mother tongue offered no designation.  The animals, plants, insects and even the agricultural implements in the new home land had, to a large extent, names for which the German language offered no equivalent.  As a result, many non-germanic words had to be immediately adopted.

In reference to the older colonies, the German-speaking immigrants from any particular section of Germany, Switzerland or Austria would more or less settle in a particular section of Brazil.  Thus we have Petropolis in Rio de Janeiro settled by former inhabitants of the Coblenz district and Blumenau in Santa Catharina settled largely by Pomeranians.  In a general way it may be stated that the older colonies were in this respect relatively homogenious, while those founded since the middle of the past century drew their settlers to a larger extent from different German-speaking sections of Europe.

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The German Element in Brazil from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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