The area of Pernambuco was originally the home of native tribes, who would hunt and farm for their survival. Then, during the 1500’s, Portuguese explorers established settlements in the region now known as Pernambuco. There were several clashes between the Portuguese and the French, who were also trying to conquer the area. This was a coveted habitat, as its soil yielded rich supplies of cotton and sugar. In fact, it was one of the few captaincies that were actually blossoming during a time of economic and political struggles.
In 1630, Pernambuco was occupied by the Dutch, who allowed sugar production to remain the responsibility of the Portuguese. 24 years later, the Portuguese regained control over Recife and Olinda was the political centre once more. By the 18th and 19th centuries, Pernambuco was the site for the most significant rebellions of the country. In 1817, Pernambuco was declared a republic as a result of the republican separatist movement. Today, Pernambuco’s population retains its Dutch ancestry. Fernando de Noronha is an island that is more than 530 kilometres off the coast of Recife, but it has been part of Pernambuco since 1988.