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Social Studies High School

Colonization in Latin America: Brazil's Portuguese Royal Families

In Brazil today, there are still laws dating back to Portuguese colonization. If you were to buy a home in the Brazilian city of Petropolis, you would make the usual payments, but also something more: a tax or tribute to a local family. These families, the descendants of Portuguese colonial royalty and nobles, legally still own over half the country’s land and charge a “rent” to property owners due to laws left over from 500 years ago. Listen to hear how this system, called enfiteuse (Pronounced: en-fee-TEE-oh-see), affects wealth distribution in Brazil, and what citizens are doing about it.

World History I Colonialism Law

Story Length: 4:57

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National Public Radio © 2015 National Public Radio, Inc. Used with the permission of NPR. All rights reserved.

AIR DATE: 08/25/2015

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