Natal

All Sources -
Updated Media sources (1) About encyclopedia.com content Print Topic Share Topic
views updated

Natal

Natal, the capital and principal commercial center of the state of Rio Grande do Norte in Brazil, has a population of 712,317 (2000 est.). Founded on Christmas Day (hence its name) 1598, near a Portuguese fort, Natal was occupied by the Dutch from 1633 until their expulsion in 1654. After Brazil's independence, the city's political importance increased, but even regionally under the empire and during the republic, it was not of major importance. In the twentieth century, however, for various reasons, the city took on larger historical significance.

Capitalizing on political and economic turmoil in the early 1930s, militants of the Brazilian Communist Party fostered unrest in army garrisons at Natal and elsewhere, culminating in revolts in the city as well as in Recife in November 1935. The rebels established a "popular" government in Natal but, isolated and facing the arrival of troops from Paraíba and Alagoas, the government collapsed within a few days.

The city's geographic location on the Atlantic coast made it ideal for an air base, which became known as the "trampoline to victory" in World War II. Natal served as a stop on air ferry routes to Africa, in particular Dakar, to help the Allied campaign in North Africa. The South Atlantic Wing of the United States Air Transport Command based its headquarters near the city, maintaining an airport at Parnamirim that was temporarily the busiest in the world. The city was subject to nightly blackouts from March 1942 to May 1943. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt met with Brazil's president Getúlio Vargas in the city in January 1943. The wartime experience temporarily increased commercial activity and U.S. cultural influence there. In the early twenty-first century, Brazil maintains a military base near the city, and the rocket base of Barreira do Inferno is twelve miles to the south. Natal is a center of tourism, with the nearby historic Portuguese fort and the local sand dunes among its popular attractions.

See alsoRio Grande do Norte .

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Cascudo, Luís da Câmara. História do Rio Grande do Norte. Rio de Janeiro: Ministério de Educação e Cultura, 1955.

McCann, Frank D., Jr. The Brazilian-American Alliance, 1937–1945. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1973.

Medeiros, Tarcísio. Aspectos geopolíticos e antropológicos da história do Rio Grande do Norte. Natal, Brazil: Imprensa Universitária, 1973.

                                   Andrew J. Kirkendall

views updated

natalbattle, cattle, chattel, embattle, prattle, rattle, Seattle, tattle •fractal •cantle, covenantal, mantel, mantle, Prandtl •pastel • Fremantle • tittle-tattle •startle, stratal •Nahuatl •fettle, kettle, metal, mettle, nettle, petal, Popocatépetl, settle •dialectal, rectal •dental, gentle, mental, Oriental, parental, rental •transeptal •festal, vestal •gunmetal •antenatal, fatal, hiatal, natal, neonatal, ratel •beetle, betel, chital, decretal, fetal •blackbeetle •acquittal, belittle, brittle, committal, embrittle, it'll, kittle, little, remittal, skittle, spittle, tittle, victual, whittle •edictal, rictal •lintel, pintle, quintal •Bristol, Chrystal, crystal, pistol •varietal • coital • phenobarbital •orbital • pedestal • sagittal • vegetal •digital • skeletal • Doolittle •congenital, genital, primogenital, urogenital •capital • lickspittle • hospital • marital •entitle, mistitle, recital, requital, title, vital •subtitle • surtitle •axolotl, bottle, dottle, glottal, mottle, pottle, throttle, wattle •fontal, horizontal •hostel, intercostal, Pentecostal •greenbottle • bluebottle • Aristotle •chortle, immortal, mortal, portal •Borstal •anecdotal, sacerdotal, teetotal, total •coastal, postal •subtotal •brutal, footle, pootle, refutal, rootle, tootle •buttle, cuttle, rebuttal, scuttle, shuttle, subtle, surrebuttal •buntal, contrapuntal, frontal •crustal • societal • pivotal •hurtle, kirtle, myrtle, turtle

views updated

Natal. Former British colony in South Africa. British traders and missionaries settled at Port Natal (Durban) in 1824. A British colony was declared in 1843 to check the spread of Afrikaner influence in the region and British settlers were officially encouraged though their numbers were never large in comparison with the black population. Sheep-farming and, at the coast, sugar-growing were the main sources of wealth. The dismemberment of Zululand in the 1880s and 1890s extended the boundaries of the colony and in 1910 the colonists reluctantly accepted the inclusion of their country within the South African Union.

Kenneth Ingham

views updated

Natal (nətäl´), city (1991 pop. 606,887), capital of Rio Grande do Norte state, NE Brazil, just above the mouth of the Potengi River. A modern city that has retained its colonial flavor and is beautifully situated among white palm-studded beaches, Natal attracts many tourists. Its port is important in the handling of coastal shipping and in the export of tungsten. There is also some light industry. Natal [Port.,=Nativity] was founded on Christmas Day, 1599. It was occupied by the Dutch from 1633 to 1654 and in 1817 was briefly the seat of a republican government until it was suppressed by imperial authorities. It grew rapidly during World War II, when an airport was built for flights to Africa. Natal has several institutions of higher learning.

views updated

na·tal1 / ˈnātl/ • adj. of or relating to the place or time of one's birth: after puberty a Hindu girl does not stay long in her natal home. na·tal2 • adj. Anat. of or relating to the buttocks: the natal cleft.

views updated

natal pert. to birth or nativity. XIV. — L. nātālis, f. nāt-, pp. stem of nāscī be born, f. *gn- produce; see KIN, -AL1.

views updated

Natal (nətăl´), former province, South Africa: see KwaZulu-Natal.

views updated

Natal Former name (1910–94) of KwaZulu-Natal