From the beginning of the second half of the 19th century, rubber began to exert a strong attraction to visionary entrepreneurs.The activity of latex extraction in the Amazon revealed its lucrative possibilities.The owners of the plantations or rubber barons were rich, but those who collected the rubber made very little as a large amount of rubber was needed to be profitable.
Others chose not to participate in the rubber business and stayed away from the main rivers.
Because tappers worked in near complete isolation, they were not burdened by overseers and timetables.
The regional economy was based on use of diverse natural resources in the region, but development was concentrated in coastal areas.
The Industrial Revolution in Europe led to demand for uses that natural rubber could satisfy.
A rubber factory that made rubber garters for women (suspenders (US) or braces (UK)) opened in Paris, France, in the year 1803.
However, the material still had disadvantages: at room temperature, it was sticky.Industrial treatment was developed to remove the impurities and vulcanize the rubber, a process that eliminated its undesirable qualities.This process gives it superior mechanical properties, and causes it to lose its sticky character, and become stable - resistant to solvents and variations in temperature.For the first four and a half centuries following the discovery of the New World, the native populations of the Amazon Basin lived practically in isolation.The area was vast and impenetrable, no gold or precious stones had been found there, as neither colonial Brazil nor imperial Brazil was able to create incentives for development in the region.These rubber plantations were part of the Brazilian rubber market, which declined as rubber plantations in Southeast Asia became more effective."The horrendous atrocities that were unleashed on the Indian people of the Amazon during the height of the rubber boom were like nothing that had been seen since the first days of the Spanish Conquest."Rubber had catastrophic effects in parts of Upper Amazonia, but its impact should not be exaggerated nor extrapolated to the whole region. Many nearby rubber regions were not ruled by physical violence, but by the voluntary compliance implicit in patron-peon relations.