The Construction of the Nation, 1822 to 1889, National History Museum of Brazil

The Construction of the Nation shows the process of building the Nation and its challenges. “The Construction of the Nation” telling the story of the Imperial State, from its foundation, on September 7, 1822, until the Proclamation of the Republic, on November 15, 1889. The battles with uniforms, war objects and giant panels that adorned colonial palaces.

The following are discussed: conflicts and solutions under the aegis of Emperor D. Pedro I; his abdication and return to Portugal; compliance with the 1824 Constitution; the consolidation of the Imperial State; the economy based on slave labor; the Triple Alliance war; the performance of Princess Isabel; the abolition of slavery, exile from the Proclamation of the Republic.

Emperor D. Pedro II is presented from three perspectives: the philosophical and his relationship with artistic, scientific and technological advances: the Emperor by himself, with phrases of his own revealing his way of seeing topics such as education, duty of the State, health, etc. and the Emperor seen by the press.

On display, a rare copy of the medal entitled D. Pedro I’s Coronation Piece, the 1824 Constituent table, symbols of the second reign and monumental paintings such as Combat Naval do Riachuelo and Last Ball of Ilha Fiscal


[Estudo para a] Coroação de D. Pedro II
by Manuel José de Araújo Porto-Alegre
D. Pedro II was acclaimed emperor in 1841 and ruled the country until 1889. His long reign consolidated the unification of the country, faced national and international conflicts and placed Brazil in a prominent position in the South American scenario.

During the reign of D. Pedro II began a new economic period, with the exploitation of the coffee culture.

[Retrato de] General Manuel Luís Osório
by Jean-Baptiste Courtois
General Manuel Luís Osório, also known as the Marquis of Herval, participated in many Brazilian military events in the late nineteenth century, such as the Paraguayan War. He is the patron of the Brazilian Army Cavalry.

Tipos de Escravos do Rio de Janeiro
by Christiano Júnior
A new economic reality gradually gained strength in the country, with the presence of European immigrants. The abolitionist movement grew and moved towards the end of slavery.

Final do Império
by Adriana Bandeira Cordeiro
The political, economic and social issues of D. Pedro II government are present in the MHN exhibition circuit.

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[Retrato da] Princesa Isabel
by Auguste Petit
Princess Isabel was regent of the empire three times, and in 1888 signed the Golden Law, ending slavery in Brazil. Heir to D. Pedro II, would have assumed the throne after the death of the monarch had not occurred the proclamation of the Republic in 1889.

A caneta da Redentora
by Lau Torquato
Pen presented to Princess Isabel, the Redeemer, on behalf of the Brazilian people, for the signing of the Lei Áurea, which abolished slavery.

[Retrato de] D. Pedro II
by Desconhecido
The canvas was ripped by a sword at the Minister of War’s office after the proclamation of the Republic. The Museum team chose to keep in this painting the record of that historical moment.

From the cave to the 21st century
The Exhibition Circuit starts on the ground floor, in the escalator hall, with panels telling the story of the architectural ensemble. Highlight for the equestrian sculpture of D. Pedro II, by Francisco Manoel Chaves Pinheiro. In the hall on the second floor, there is access to the gallery with a ceiling decorated by Carlos Oswald, where the multivision is projected on the trajectory of the National Historical Museum. After the exhibition, exhibitions present the history of Brazil: traditional collection, contemporary pieces and multimedia resources help the visitor to understand the history.

National History Museum of Brazil
The National Historical Museum of Brazil was created in 1922, and possesses over 287,000 items, including the largest numismatic collection of Latin America. The architectural complex that houses the museum was built in 1603 as the St. James of Mercy Fort; earlier structures date back to 1567, erected by order of King Sebastian I of Portugal. In 1693, the Calaboose Prison, for slaves, was built. In 1762, the Casa do Trem was added as a depot of weapons and ammunition. The last additions are the War Arsenal (1764) and the Barracks (1835).

The formation of the collection of the National Historical Museum began with the transfer of items from other institutions that already existed at the time of its foundation. Several items and pieces came from the National Archives museum and from the National Library’s numismatics office. The Casa da Moeda, the National Museum of Fine Arts, the Ministry of the Army and the Ministry of the Navy also contributed to the initial formation of the collection.

Currently, the National Historical Museum occupies the entire architectural complex of Ponta do Calabouço and became the most important museum of history in the country, bringing together a collection of 258,000 items, including objects, documents and books, and being an institution of production and dissemination of knowledge.

National Historical Museum maintains long-term and temporary exhibition galleries in a 9,000 m² area open to the public, as well as a library specialized in Brazil History, Art History, Museology and Fashion, and the Historical Archive with important manuscript documents, watercolors, illustrations and photographs, including Juan Gutierrez, Augusto Malta and Marc Ferrez.

It also maintains programs to students, teachers, senior citizens and poor communities. Its storage rooms, conservation and restoration laboratories and numismatics (collection of coins and other printed figures) can be consulted by prior appointment. Picturesque inner courtyards and a friendly cafeteria offer pleasant options for relaxing moments.