The first settlement, Sao Jose do Rio Negrinho, was built in 1669. It became the Capital of the Amazon in 1850. The city prospered during a rubber boom in the late 1800s and early 1900s. In the late 1970s many companies and businesses were established in Manaus. The Brazilian government made the area a zona franca, or duty-free zone. Now billions of dollars worth of products travel through Manaus each year for distribution throughout the world.