Inconfidência Mineira

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The Inconfidência Mineira ( Minas Conspiracy ) was a separatist movement in Brazil in 1789. Following the example of the American Revolution , the secessionists sought to detach the province of Minas Gerais from motherland Portugal . However, because of betrayal from within their own ranks, the planned revolt failed before it was implemented.


At the end of the 18th century, gold mining in Minas Gerais fell sharply, which hit the gold mine-dependent economy particularly hard. Local mine owners were no longer able to pay the taxes demanded by mainland Portugal . Members of the white upper class planned a revolt against the Portuguese with the aim of independence for the province of Minas Gerais. Intellectuals such as Tiradentes , Tomás Antônio Gonzaga and Cláudio Manuel da Costa participated in the Inconfidência Mineira . However, the conspirators were divided over the future form of government ( monarchy or republic ) and the maintenance of slavery . Before the uprising could take place, co-conspirators informed the Portuguese government about the events, which then had the protagonists involved arrested. Some, like Gonzaga, were exiled; others, like Tiradentes, were sentenced to death and executed.


The rebels of the Inconfidência Mineira are revered today as Brazilian national heroes. A national holiday is held on the day of Tiradente's death on April 21 . The state of Minas Gerais introduced a flag in 1963 based on the conspirators' design from 1789.


  • Maxwell, Kenneth R., Conflicts and Conspiracies: Brazil & Portugal 1750-1808 (Cambridge University Press, 1973)
  • Furtado, Júnia Ferreira, Chica da Silva: A Brazilian Slave of the Eighteenth Century (Cambridge University Press, 2009)