In 1820 the Constitutionalist Revolution erupted in Portugal. The movement initiated by the liberal constitutionalists resulted in the meeting of the Cortes (or Constituent Assembly), that would have to create the kingdom’s first constitution.The Cortes at the same time demanded the return of King Dom João VI, who had been living in Brazil since 1808, who elevated Brazil to Kingdom as part of the United Kingdom of Portugal, Brazil and the Algarves in 1815 and who nominated his son and heir prince Dom Pedro as regent, to govern Kingdom of Brazil in his place on March 7th 1821. The king left for Europe on April 26th, while Dom Pedro remained in Brazil governing it with the aid of the ministers of the Kingdom (Interior) and Foreign Affairs, of War, of Navy and of Finance.
The Portuguese deputies of the Cortes showed no respect towards the prince and openly mocked him. And so the loyalty that Pedro had shown towards the Cortes gradually shifted to the Brazilian cause. His wife, princess Leopoldina of Habsburg, favoured the Brazilian side and encouraged him to remain in the country.
Pedro departed to São Paulo Province to assure the province’s loyalty to the Brazilian cause. He reached its capital on August 25th of 1822 and remained there until September 5th. When returning to Rio de Janeiro on September 7th he received mail from José Bonifácio and his wife Leopoldina. The prince learned that the Cortes had annulled all acts from the Bonifácio cabinet and removed the remaining power he still had. Pedro turned to his companions that included his Guard of Honor and spoke: “Friends, the Portuguese Cortes want to enslave and pursue us. From today on our relations are broken. No ties unite us anymore” and continued after he pulled out his blue-white armband that symbolized Portugal: “Armbands off, soldiers. Hail to the independence, to freedom and to the separation of Brazil”. He unsheathed his sword affirming that “For my blood, my honor, my God, I swear to give Brazil freedom” and cried out: “Independence or death!”. This event is remembered as “Cry of Ipiranga”.