The story

Municipalities History


Origin of municipalities

The story of a municipality can start in a town, which was formed because of its location (by the sea, on the banks of a river, in a protected location, close to inns) or by activities in the region (fairs, cattle breeding, agriculture).

The villages started with a small group of people. As living conditions turned out to be favorable, more people would live in them, such as merchants, artisans, and other workers. The village grew until it became a village.

New modifications were being made at an ever faster rate. Trees were being felled to make way for crops, pastures and all kinds of buildings, such as shops, industries, schools, hospitals and housing. The village grew and became City.

We often use the word City as a synonym for County. They do not mean the same thing. The municipality comprises both the city, which is the urban area, as the countryside, or rural area.

In the city there are houses, buildings, streets, avenues, banks and shops. In the rural area, we find forests, fields, forests, as well as farms, farms, farms, farms with plantations, livestock, among others.

To know the history of a municipality, we can, among other things, talk to people or search documents such as old photographs or texts.

Recent municipalities

Some municipalities originate from others that already existed. This occurs when a municipality divides or loses part of its territory. We then say that this part emancipated itself, that is, acquired independence.

There are also cities that are planned. In this case, first choose where it will be erected. Then, its plan is traced, with streets, avenues and neighborhoods. Some examples of planned cities are Brasilia, capital of Brazil, founded in 1960; Palmas, capital of Tocantins, founded in 1989; Teresina, capital of Piaui, founded in 1852; and Belo Horizonte, capital of Minas Gerais, founded in 1897.


Belo Horizonte - MG

The history of municipalities and their transformations

To know the history of a municipality, we can, among other things, talk to people who were born and have always lived in the same municipality or search documents such as old photographs or texts.

Based on these findings, some people write books, or make movies telling the story of the county surveyed.

The buildings that exist in a municipality help us understand its history. In some municipalities, many buildings have been maintained since the time of their origin, with many of their features preserved. We can mention, for example, Olinda (PE), Lençóis Maranhenses (MA) and other historical cities such as Ouro Preto, Tiradentes and São João del Rey, in Minas Gerais.

In other municipalities changes occur very rapidly, changes that often completely transform the local landscape. São Paulo, for example, is a city in which changes happened very quickly. Until about 1950 there were still many buildings made in previous centuries. With the economic development, the population of São Paulo increased a lot: in 1920 there were about 500 thousand inhabitants; By 1960 there were already 4 million people living in the city. As a result, many houses and buildings, sometimes entire streets and blocks, were demolished to make room for new streets, avenues and buildings.


Anhangabaú Valley (SP) in 1950


Vale do Anhangabaú (SP) in 2007

Many Brazilian municipalities underwent a similar process to São Paulo, undergoing major transformations in a short time. In others, changes occur more slowly, due, for example, to their location, usually in places that are difficult to reach and away from highways, or to the economic activities developed there.