History in Sao Paulo

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Sao Paulo is not only the capital of the state of Sao Paulo, it is also the largest city in Brazil. With an estimated population over over eleven million residents, this Brazilian city is rich in culture and has an impressive history.

Jesuit missionaries founded the city of Sao Paulo dos Compos de Piratininga on January 25, 1554. After establishing a successful mission with the intent of converting the locals over to Catholicism, they were expelled from Spain for protecting these natives. Once free to govern themselves freely, Sao Paulo became a huge stopping spot and base for sailors, explorers and slavers.

During the seventeenth century, the first of the Brazilian gold mines were discovered. In addition to gold, precious gems were found as well. The majority of the profits of these remarkable findings went to fund sugarcane plantations which were very successful towards the beginning of the eighteenth century.

In 1711, Sao Paulo officially became a city. Over the next two hundred years, Sao Paulo gained economic success which was primarily due to it's chief export of coffee that was shipped out of neighboring Santos, Brazil. After slavery ended in 1888, immigrants from Spain, Portugal and Italy flocked to Brazil to even out the races.

In the twentieth century, the stock market crash of 1929 combined with the decrease in international coffee prices caused an economic decline in the formerly thriving city. World War II only added to these difficulties, but Sao Paulo wouldn't stay down long. Sao Paulo soon began to take park in domestic consumption, in which local entrepreneurs and business owners began to thrive. During this time, the population nearly doubled, reaching half the population of the state in the late sixties.

The sixties was an important decade for the development of Sao Paulo. In 1967, Brandierantes expressway was built through the center of Sao Paulo along with countless other expressways as cars were quickly becoming a household item. Along with this technological advancement was the building of Sao Paulo's first subway in the late sixties.

In the late twentieth century, the city changed it's primary economic focus from industrialism to members in the service industry due to competition of its neighbor port cities. Still a leader in the services industry, Sao Paulo is also a huge destination spot for it's music concerts and futbol tournaments..



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January 11, 2010 change by christina tilicki

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