Neighbouring states are (from the north clockwise) Roraima, Pará, Mato Grosso, Rondônia, and Acre. It also borders Peru, Colombia and Venezuela. This includes the department Amazonas in Colombia, as well as the Amazonas State, Venezuela, and the Loreto Region in Peru.
By the Treaty of Tordesillas (1494), the whole Amazon basin was in the areas of Spanish Crown. The mouth of the great river was only discovered by Vicente Yáñez Pinzón, who reached it in February 1500, followed by his cousin Diego de Lepe, in April of that year. In 1541, Spaniards Gonzalo Pizarro and Francisco de Orellana, from Quito, crossed the Andes Mountains and explored the course of the river to the Atlantic Ocean. The trip, which lasted from 1540 to 1542, was reported by the Dominican friar Gaspar de Carvajal, who said that the Spaniards fought with women warriors, the Icamiabas, which the banks of the Marañón River, fired them, arrows and darts from blowguns. The myth of women warriors on the river has spread in the accounts and books, without any popular scope, still making those regions were to receive the names of the warriors of Greek mythology, the Amazons - among them the largest river in the region that became known as the Amazon River. Also in the 16th century, there were the expedition of Pedro de Ursua and Lope de Aguirre (1508–1561) in search of the legendary El Dorado (1559–1561). Without effective occupation, and some factories English and Dutch exploring so-called " inner drugs "only during the Philippine Dynasty (1580–1640) the Hispanic-Portuguese Crown was interested in the region, with the founding of Santa Maria delle Grazie in Belém Grand-Para (1616), and worth recording the expedition of Captain General of the captaincy of Pará and Grand Cape, Pedro Teixeira, who ran the great river of the Atlantic Ocean to Quito, with 70 soldiers and 1,200 Indians in forty seven great canoes (1637–1639), and soon after that of Antonio Raposo Tavares, whose flag, leaving the captaincy of São Vicente, reached the Andes, the Amazon River returning to Belém, visiting a total of about , between 1648 and 1651 .
Aiming to evangelize the Indians, several religious and lay Jesuits founded several Spanish missions in the Amazon territory. These missions, whose economy had engaged in the dependence of the extraction and forestry, were the sites of origin of the first crossbred in the region. Subsequently suffered repeated invasions of other indigenous upset with the invasion of their territory and the white conquerors. White, accompanied by native Indians imprisoned rivals to sell them as slaves . The destruction of the missions spread deforestation over the territory.
From the 18th century, the Amazonas region began to be held by the Portuguese and Spaniards who lived in the Amazon River basin. This fight sparked a dispute over land ownership, which led to the formation of large estates. The region of the upper Amazon River was considered strategic to both the Spanish- the region provided access to the Viceroyalty of Peru- as well as to the Portuguese, especially since the discovery of gold in the hinterlands of Mato Grosso and Goiás, quickly drained by the Amazon River basin. It is in this context that fall past the secret instructions by His Majesty to the Governor and Captain General of the Captaincy of Grand Para, João Pereira Caldas, for seven factories that were founded by the course of the Amazonian rivers, from Belem to Vila Bela Mato Grosso and the capital of the Captaincy of the Rio Negro, to support trade ( smuggling ), with the Spanish provinces of the Orinoco ( Venezuela ), Quito (Ecuador), and Peru, this trade before it was done with the Colonia del Sacramento (top secret instruction, c. 1773 . Museu Conde de Linhares, Rio de Janeiro). The signing of the Treaty of Madrid in 1750 endorsed this view, and the Portuguese Crown in the region also asserted the principle of uti possidetis, "backed by a line of defensive positions that even virtually abandoned after the Consulate Pombal (1750–1777 ) and during the 19th century, diplomacy legariam Republic of the nascent the current location of the Brazilian border. Within the project of occupying the Amazon hinterland, was formed by Royal Captaincy of São José do Rio Negro by the Charter on , with headquarters in the village of Mariuá, elevated the town of Barcelos in 1790 . In the early 19th century, the seat of government of the Province was transferred to the village of Rio Negro bar, high bar of the village of Rio Negro for this purpose, on .
At the time of the independence in Brazil in 1822, residents of the village proclaimed themselves independent, establishing a provisional government. The region was incorporated into the Empire of Brazil, in the Province of Pará, as the District of the Upper Amazon in 1824.
Won the condition of Amazonas Province by Law No. 582 of , and the village of Barra do Rio Negro a city with the name of Manaus by Provincial Law of 24 October 1848 and was designated its capital on .
From the 19th century, the territory began to receive migrants from the northeast seeking a better life. Attracted by the rubber boom, they settled in important Amazonense cities such as Manaus, Tabatinga, Parintins, Itacoatiara and Barcelos, the first capital of Amazonas.