Brazil

Brazil

Overview
Brazil officially the Federative Republic of Brazil , is the largest country in South America
South America
South America is a continent situated in the Western Hemisphere, mostly in the Southern Hemisphere, with a relatively small portion in the Northern Hemisphere. The continent is also considered a subcontinent of the Americas. It is bordered on the west by the Pacific Ocean and on the north and east...

. It is the world's fifth largest country, both by geographical area and by population with over 192 million people. It is the only Portuguese-speaking country in the Americas
Americas
The Americas, or America , are lands in the Western hemisphere, also known as the New World. In English, the plural form the Americas is often used to refer to the landmasses of North America and South America with their associated islands and regions, while the singular form America is primarily...

 and the largest lusophone
Lusophone
A Lusophone is someone who speaks the Portuguese language, either as a native, as an additional language, or as a learner. As an adjective, it means "Portuguese-speaking"...

 country in the world.

Bounded by the Atlantic Ocean
Atlantic Ocean
The Atlantic Ocean is the second-largest of the world's oceanic divisions. With a total area of about , it covers approximately 20% of the Earth's surface and about 26% of its water surface area...

 on the east, Brazil has a coastline of 7491 km (4,655 mi).
Discussion
Ask a question about 'Brazil'
Start a new discussion about 'Brazil'
Answer questions from other users
Full Discussion Forum
 
Unanswered Questions
Recent Discussions
Timeline

1500   Vicente Yáñez Pinzón becomes the first European to set foot on Brazil.

1500   The fleet of Pedro Alvares Cabral leaves Lisbon for the Indies. The fleet will discover Brazil which lies within boundaries granted to Portugal in the Treaty of Tordesillas.

1500   Portuguese navigator Pedro Álvares Cabral becomes the first European to sight Brazil.

1549   The city of Salvador da Bahia, the first capital of Brazil, is founded.

1551   The foundation day in Vitória, Brazil

1554   Founding of São Paulo city, Brazil.

1573   The Brazilian city of Niterói is founded.

1695   Zumbi, the last of the leaders of Quilombo dos Palmares in early Brazil, is executed.

1812   The USS ''Constitution'' under the command of Captain William Bainbridge, captures the HMS Java off the coast of Brazil after a three hour battle.

1815   Foundation of Maceió in Brazil.

 
Encyclopedia
Brazil officially the Federative Republic of Brazil , is the largest country in South America
South America
South America is a continent situated in the Western Hemisphere, mostly in the Southern Hemisphere, with a relatively small portion in the Northern Hemisphere. The continent is also considered a subcontinent of the Americas. It is bordered on the west by the Pacific Ocean and on the north and east...

. It is the world's fifth largest country, both by geographical area and by population with over 192 million people. It is the only Portuguese-speaking country in the Americas
Americas
The Americas, or America , are lands in the Western hemisphere, also known as the New World. In English, the plural form the Americas is often used to refer to the landmasses of North America and South America with their associated islands and regions, while the singular form America is primarily...

 and the largest lusophone
Lusophone
A Lusophone is someone who speaks the Portuguese language, either as a native, as an additional language, or as a learner. As an adjective, it means "Portuguese-speaking"...

 country in the world.

Bounded by the Atlantic Ocean
Atlantic Ocean
The Atlantic Ocean is the second-largest of the world's oceanic divisions. With a total area of about , it covers approximately 20% of the Earth's surface and about 26% of its water surface area...

 on the east, Brazil has a coastline of 7491 km (4,655 mi). It is bordered on the north by Venezuela
Venezuela
Venezuela , officially called the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela , is a tropical country on the northern coast of South America. It borders Colombia to the west, Guyana to the east, and Brazil to the south...

, Guyana
Guyana
Guyana , officially the Co-operative Republic of Guyana, previously the colony of British Guiana, is a sovereign state on the northern coast of South America that is culturally part of the Anglophone Caribbean. Guyana was a former colony of the Dutch and of the British...

, Suriname
Suriname
Suriname , officially the Republic of Suriname , is a country in northern South America. It borders French Guiana to the east, Guyana to the west, Brazil to the south, and on the north by the Atlantic Ocean. Suriname was a former colony of the British and of the Dutch, and was previously known as...

 and the French
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

 overseas region of French Guiana
French Guiana
French Guiana is an overseas region of France, consisting of a single overseas department located on the northern Atlantic coast of South America. It has borders with two nations, Brazil to the east and south, and Suriname to the west...

; on the northwest by Colombia
Colombia
Colombia, officially the Republic of Colombia , is a unitary constitutional republic comprising thirty-two departments. The country is located in northwestern South America, bordered to the east by Venezuela and Brazil; to the south by Ecuador and Peru; to the north by the Caribbean Sea; to the...

; on the west by Bolivia
Bolivia
Bolivia officially known as Plurinational State of Bolivia , is a landlocked country in central South America. It is the poorest country in South America...

 and Peru
Peru
Peru , officially the Republic of Peru , is a country in western South America. It is bordered on the north by Ecuador and Colombia, on the east by Brazil, on the southeast by Bolivia, on the south by Chile, and on the west by the Pacific Ocean....

; on the southwest by Argentina
Argentina
Argentina , officially the Argentine Republic , is the second largest country in South America by land area, after Brazil. It is constituted as a federation of 23 provinces and an autonomous city, Buenos Aires...

 and Paraguay
Paraguay
Paraguay , officially the Republic of Paraguay , is a landlocked country in South America. It is bordered by Argentina to the south and southwest, Brazil to the east and northeast, and Bolivia to the northwest. Paraguay lies on both banks of the Paraguay River, which runs through the center of the...

 and on the south by Uruguay
Uruguay
Uruguay ,officially the Oriental Republic of Uruguay,sometimes the Eastern Republic of Uruguay; ) is a country in the southeastern part of South America. It is home to some 3.5 million people, of whom 1.8 million live in the capital Montevideo and its metropolitan area...

. Numerous archipelago
Archipelago
An archipelago , sometimes called an island group, is a chain or cluster of islands. The word archipelago is derived from the Greek ἄρχι- – arkhi- and πέλαγος – pélagos through the Italian arcipelago...

s form part of Brazilian territory, such as Fernando de Noronha
Fernando de Noronha
Fernando de Noronha is an archipelago of 21 islands and islets in the Atlantic Ocean, offshore from the Brazilian coast. The main island has an area of and had a population of 3,012 in the year 2010...

, Rocas Atoll
Rocas Atoll
The Rocas Atoll is an atoll in the Atlantic Ocean, belonging to the Brazilian State of Rio Grande do Norte. It is located approximately northeast of Natal and west of the archipelago of Fernando de Noronha. The atoll is of volcanic origin and coralline formation.-Description:The oval atoll is ...

, Saint Peter and Paul Rocks, and Trindade and Martim Vaz
Trindade and Martim Vaz
Trindade and Martim Vaz is an archipelago located about 1,200 kilometers east of Vitória in the Southern Atlantic Ocean, belonging to the State of Espírito Santo, Brazil. The archipelago has a total area of 10.4 km² and a population of 32...

. It borders all other South American countries except Ecuador
Ecuador
Ecuador , officially the Republic of Ecuador is a representative democratic republic in South America, bordered by Colombia on the north, Peru on the east and south, and by the Pacific Ocean to the west. It is one of only two countries in South America, along with Chile, that do not have a border...

 and Chile
Chile
Chile ,officially the Republic of Chile , is a country in South America occupying a long, narrow coastal strip between the Andes mountains to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west. It borders Peru to the north, Bolivia to the northeast, Argentina to the east, and the Drake Passage in the far...

.

Brazil was a colony
Colony
In politics and history, a colony is a territory under the immediate political control of a state. For colonies in antiquity, city-states would often found their own colonies. Some colonies were historically countries, while others were territories without definite statehood from their inception....

 of Portugal
Portugal
Portugal , officially the Portuguese Republic is a country situated in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula. Portugal is the westernmost country of Europe, and is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the West and South and by Spain to the North and East. The Atlantic archipelagos of the...

 from the landing of Pedro Álvares Cabral
Pedro Álvares Cabral
Pedro Álvares Cabral was a Portuguese noble, military commander, navigator and explorer regarded as the discoverer of Brazil. Cabral conducted the first substantial exploration of the northeast coast of South America and claimed it for Portugal. While details of Cabral's early life are sketchy, it...

 in 1500 until 1815, when it was elevated to the rank of kingdom and the United Kingdom of Portugal, Brazil and the Algarves was formed. The colonial bond was in fact broken in 1808, when the capital of the Portuguese colonial Empire
Portuguese Empire
The Portuguese Empire , also known as the Portuguese Overseas Empire or the Portuguese Colonial Empire , was the first global empire in history...

 was transferred from Lisbon to Rio de Janeiro
Transfer of the Portuguese Court to Brazil
The Transfer of the Portuguese Court to Brazil was an episode in the history of Portugal and the history of Brazil in which the Portuguese royal family and its court escaped from Lisbon on November 29, 1807 to Brazil, just days before Napoleonic forces captured the city on December 1...

, after Napoleon invaded Portugal. Independence was achieved in 1822 with the formation of the Empire of Brazil, a unitary state
Unitary state
A unitary state is a state governed as one single unit in which the central government is supreme and any administrative divisions exercise only powers that their central government chooses to delegate...

 governed under a constitutional monarchy
Constitutional monarchy
Constitutional monarchy is a form of government in which a monarch acts as head of state within the parameters of a constitution, whether it be a written, uncodified or blended constitution...

 and a parliamentary system
Parliamentary system
A parliamentary system is a system of government in which the ministers of the executive branch get their democratic legitimacy from the legislature and are accountable to that body, such that the executive and legislative branches are intertwined....

. The country became a presidential
Presidential system
A presidential system is a system of government where an executive branch exists and presides separately from the legislature, to which it is not responsible and which cannot, in normal circumstances, dismiss it....

 republic
Republic
A republic is a form of government in which the people, or some significant portion of them, have supreme control over the government and where offices of state are elected or chosen by elected people. In modern times, a common simplified definition of a republic is a government where the head of...

 in 1889, when a military
Military
A military is an organization authorized by its greater society to use lethal force, usually including use of weapons, in defending its country by combating actual or perceived threats. The military may have additional functions of use to its greater society, such as advancing a political agenda e.g...

 coup d'état
Coup d'état
A coup d'état state, literally: strike/blow of state)—also known as a coup, putsch, and overthrow—is the sudden, extrajudicial deposition of a government, usually by a small group of the existing state establishment—typically the military—to replace the deposed government with another body; either...

 proclaimed the Republic
Proclamation of the Republic (Brazil)
The Proclamation of the Republic was an episode in the history of Brazil, occurred on November 15, 1889, which established the Republican regime in Brazil, overthrowing the constitutional monarchy of the Empire of Brazil and ending the reign of Emperor Dom Pedro II.The proclamation of the Republic...

, although the bicameral
Bicameralism
In the government, bicameralism is the practice of having two legislative or parliamentary chambers. Thus, a bicameral parliament or bicameral legislature is a legislature which consists of two chambers or houses....

 legislature, now called Congress
National Congress of Brazil
The National Congress of Brazil is the legislative body of Brazil's federal government.Unlike regional legislative bodies – Legislative Assemblies and City Councils -, the Congress is bicameral, composed of the Federal Senate and the Chamber of Deputies .The Senate represents the 26 states and...

, dates back to the ratification of the first constitution in 1824. Its current Constitution
Constitution of Brazil
During its independent political history, Brazil has had seven constitutions. The most recent was ratified on October 5, 1988.-Imperial Constitution :Background...

, formulated in 1988, defines Brazil as a Federal Republic
Federal republic
A federal republic is a federation of states with a republican form of government. A federation is the central government. The states in a federation also maintain the federation...

. The Federation is formed by the union of the Federal District
Brazilian Federal District
The Federal District is set apart for Brasília, the capital of Brazil. Located in a region called Planalto Central, or Central Plateau, the Federal District is divided in 29 administrative regions. Brasilia - place where the three branches of the Federal Government are located - is the main...

, the 26 States, and the 5,564 Municipalities.

The Brazilian economy
Economy of Brazil
The economy of Brazil is the world's seventh largest by nominal GDP and eighth largest by purchasing power parity. Brazil has moderately free markets and an inward-oriented economy...

 is the world's seventh largest by nominal GDP
Gross domestic product
Gross domestic product refers to the market value of all final goods and services produced within a country in a given period. GDP per capita is often considered an indicator of a country's standard of living....

 and the eighth largest by purchasing power parity
Purchasing power parity
In economics, purchasing power parity is a condition between countries where an amount of money has the same purchasing power in different countries. The prices of the goods between the countries would only reflect the exchange rates...

. Brazil is one of the world's fastest growing
Economic growth
In economics, economic growth is defined as the increasing capacity of the economy to satisfy the wants of goods and services of the members of society. Economic growth is enabled by increases in productivity, which lowers the inputs for a given amount of output. Lowered costs increase demand...

 major economies. Economic reforms have given the country new international recognition. Brazil is a founding member of the United Nations
United Nations
The United Nations is an international organization whose stated aims are facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace...

, the G20
G-20 major economies
The Group of Twenty Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors is a group of finance ministers and central bank governors from 20 major economies: 19 countries plus the European Union, which is represented by the President of the European Council and by the European Central Bank...

, CPLP, Latin Union
Latin Union
The Latin Union is an international organization of nations that use Romance languages, with the aim of protecting, projecting, and promoting the common cultural heritage and unifying identities of the Latin, and Latin-influenced, world. It was created in 1954 in Madrid, Spain, and has existed as a...

, the Organization of Ibero-American States
Organization of Ibero-American States
The Organization of Ibero-American States is an intergovernmental organization, comprising the Portuguese- and Spanish-speaking nations of America and Europe, plus Equatorial Guinea in Africa....

, Mercosul
Mercosur
Mercosur or Mercosul is an economic and political agreement among Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay. Founded in 1991 by the Treaty of Asunción, which was later amended and updated by the 1994 Treaty of Ouro Preto. Its purpose is to promote free trade and the fluid movement of goods, people,...

 and the Union of South American Nations, and is one of the BRIC
BRIC
In economics, BRIC is a grouping acronym that refers to the countries of Brazil, Russia, India and China, which are all deemed to be at a similar stage of newly advanced economic development...

 countries. Brazil is also home to diverse wildlife, natural environment
Natural environment
The natural environment encompasses all living and non-living things occurring naturally on Earth or some region thereof. It is an environment that encompasses the interaction of all living species....

s, and extensive natural resource
Natural resource
Natural resources occur naturally within environments that exist relatively undisturbed by mankind, in a natural form. A natural resource is often characterized by amounts of biodiversity and geodiversity existent in various ecosystems....

s in a variety of protected habitats
Protected areas of Brazil
This is a list of protected areas of Brazil according to the National System of Conservation Units , a formal, unified system for federal, state and municipal parks created in 2000.-Biological Reserves:* Poço das Antas Biological Reserve...

.

Etymology



The etymology
Etymology
Etymology is the study of the history of words, their origins, and how their form and meaning have changed over time.For languages with a long written history, etymologists make use of texts in these languages and texts about the languages to gather knowledge about how words were used during...

 of Brazil remains unclear. Traditionally, the word "Brazil" comes from brazilwood
Brazilwood
Caesalpinia echinata is a species of Brazilian timber tree in the pea family, Fabaceae. Common names include Brazilwood, Pau-Brasil, Pau de Pernambuco and Ibirapitanga . This plant has a dense, orange-red heartwood that takes a high shine, and it is the premier wood used for making bows for...

, a timber tree that many sailors traded from Brazilian regions to Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

 in the 16th century. In Portuguese brazilwood is called pau-brasil, with the word brasil commonly given the etymology "red like an ember", formed from Latin
Latin
Latin is an Italic language originally spoken in Latium and Ancient Rome. It, along with most European languages, is a descendant of the ancient Proto-Indo-European language. Although it is considered a dead language, a number of scholars and members of the Christian clergy speak it fluently, and...

 brasa ("ember") and the suffix -il (from -iculum or -ilium). This theory is taught as official in schools of Brazil and Portugal
Portugal
Portugal , officially the Portuguese Republic is a country situated in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula. Portugal is the westernmost country of Europe, and is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the West and South and by Spain to the North and East. The Atlantic archipelagos of the...

.

However, the Brazilian scholar José Adelino da Silva Azevedo has postulated that the word is much older, either of Celtic or Phoenicia
Phoenicia
Phoenicia , was an ancient civilization in Canaan which covered most of the western, coastal part of the Fertile Crescent. Several major Phoenician cities were built on the coastline of the Mediterranean. It was an enterprising maritime trading culture that spread across the Mediterranean from 1550...

n origin. The Phoenicians traded a red dye extracted from a mineral mined in Celtic lands, from Iberia
Iberia
The name Iberia refers to three historical regions of the old world:* Iberian Peninsula, in Southwest Europe, location of modern-day Portugal and Spain** Prehistoric Iberia...

 to Ireland
Ireland
Ireland is an island to the northwest of continental Europe. It is the third-largest island in Europe and the twentieth-largest island on Earth...

. In Irish mythology
Irish mythology
The mythology of pre-Christian Ireland did not entirely survive the conversion to Christianity, but much of it was preserved, shorn of its religious meanings, in medieval Irish literature, which represents the most extensive and best preserved of all the branch and the Historical Cycle. There are...

 there is a Western island called Hy-Brazil, and this is seen by some, including the writer and philologist J.R.R. Tolkien, as one of the most likely etymological sources for the name "Brazil". The same theory was also advanced by 16th century scholars.

In the Guarani language
Guaraní language
Guaraní, specifically the primary variety known as Paraguayan Guaraní , is an indigenous language of South America that belongs to the Tupí–Guaraní subfamily of the Tupian languages. It is one of the official languages of Paraguay , where it is spoken by the majority of the population, and half of...

, an official language of Paraguay
Paraguay
Paraguay , officially the Republic of Paraguay , is a landlocked country in South America. It is bordered by Argentina to the south and southwest, Brazil to the east and northeast, and Bolivia to the northwest. Paraguay lies on both banks of the Paraguay River, which runs through the center of the...

, Brazil is called "Pindorama". This was the name the natives
Indigenous peoples in Brazil
The Indigenous peoples in Brazil comprise a large number of distinct ethnic groups who inhabited the country prior to the European invasion around 1500...

 gave to the region, meaning "land of the palm trees".

Portuguese colonization


The land now called Brazil was claimed by Portugal in April 1500, on the arrival of the Portuguese fleet commanded by Pedro Álvares Cabral
Pedro Álvares Cabral
Pedro Álvares Cabral was a Portuguese noble, military commander, navigator and explorer regarded as the discoverer of Brazil. Cabral conducted the first substantial exploration of the northeast coast of South America and claimed it for Portugal. While details of Cabral's early life are sketchy, it...

. The Portuguese encountered stone age
Stone Age
The Stone Age is a broad prehistoric period, lasting about 2.5 million years , during which humans and their predecessor species in the genus Homo, as well as the earlier partly contemporary genera Australopithecus and Paranthropus, widely used exclusively stone as their hard material in the...

 natives divided into several tribes, most of whom spoke languages of the Tupi–Guarani family, and fought among themselves.

Though the first settlement was founded in 1532, colonization was effectively begun in 1534, when Dom
Don (honorific)
Don, from Latin dominus, is an honorific in Spanish , Portuguese , and Italian . The female equivalent is Doña , Dona , and Donna , abbreviated "Dª" or simply "D."-Usage:...

 João III
John III of Portugal
John III , nicknamed o Piedoso , was the fifteenth King of Portugal and the Algarves. He was the son of King Manuel I and Maria of Aragon, the third daughter of King Ferdinand II of Aragon and Queen Isabella I of Castile...

 divided the territory into twelve hereditary captaincies, but this arrangement proved problematic and in 1549 the king assigned a Governor-General
Governor-General
A Governor-General, is a vice-regal person of a monarch in an independent realm or a major colonial circonscription. Depending on the political arrangement of the territory, a Governor General can be a governor of high rank, or a principal governor ranking above "ordinary" governors.- Current uses...

 to administer the entire colony. The Portuguese assimilated some of the native tribes while others were enslaved or exterminated in long wars or by European diseases to which they had no immunity. By the mid-16th century, sugar had become Brazil's most important export and the Portuguese imported African slaves to cope with the increasing international demand
Demand (economics)
In economics, demand is the desire to own anything, the ability to pay for it, and the willingness to pay . The term demand signifies the ability or the willingness to buy a particular commodity at a given point of time....

.

Through wars against the French, the Portuguese slowly expanded their territory to the southeast, taking Rio de Janeiro
Rio de Janeiro
Rio de Janeiro , commonly referred to simply as Rio, is the capital city of the State of Rio de Janeiro, the second largest city of Brazil, and the third largest metropolitan area and agglomeration in South America, boasting approximately 6.3 million people within the city proper, making it the 6th...

 in 1567, and to the northwest, taking São Luís
São Luís, Maranhão
São Luís is the capital and largest city of the Brazilian state of Maranhão. The city is located on Ilha de São Luís in the Baía de São Marcos , an extension of the Atlantic Ocean which forms the estuary of Pindaré, Mearim, Itapecuru and other rivers. Its coordinates are 2.53° south, 44.30° west...

 in 1615. They sent military expeditions to the Amazon rainforest
Amazon Rainforest
The Amazon Rainforest , also known in English as Amazonia or the Amazon Jungle, is a moist broadleaf forest that covers most of the Amazon Basin of South America...

 and conquered British and Dutch strongholds, founding villages and forts from 1669. In 1680 they reached the far south and founded Sacramento
Colonia del Sacramento
Colonia del Sacramento is a city in southwestern Uruguay, by the Río de la Plata, facing Buenos Aires, Argentina. It is the oldest town in Uruguay and capital of the departamento of Colonia. It has a population of around 22,000.It is renowned for its historic quarter, a World Heritage Site...

 on the bank of the Rio de la Plata
Río de la Plata
The Río de la Plata —sometimes rendered River Plate in British English and the Commonwealth, and occasionally rendered [La] Plata River in other English-speaking countries—is the river and estuary formed by the confluence of the Uruguay River and the Paraná River on the border between Argentina and...

, in the Eastern Strip region (present-day Uruguay
Uruguay
Uruguay ,officially the Oriental Republic of Uruguay,sometimes the Eastern Republic of Uruguay; ) is a country in the southeastern part of South America. It is home to some 3.5 million people, of whom 1.8 million live in the capital Montevideo and its metropolitan area...

).

At the end of the 17th century, sugar exports started to decline but beginning in the 1690s, the discovery of gold by explorers
Bandeirantes
The bandeirantes were composed of Indians , caboclos , and some whites who were the captains of the Bandeiras. Members of the 16th–18th century South American slave-hunting expeditions called bandeiras...

 in the region that would later be called Minas Gerais
Minas Gerais
Minas Gerais is one of the 26 states of Brazil, of which it is the second most populous, the third richest, and the fourth largest in area. Minas Gerais is the Brazilian state with the largest number of Presidents of Brazil, the current one, Dilma Rousseff, being one of them. The capital is the...

 (General Mines) in current Mato Grosso
Mato Grosso
Mato Grosso is one of the states of Brazil, the third largest in area, located in the western part of the country.Neighboring states are Rondônia, Amazonas, Pará, Tocantins, Goiás and Mato Grosso do Sul. It also borders Bolivia to the southwest...

 and Goiás
Goiás
Goiás is a state of Brazil, located in the central part of the country. The name Goiás comes from the name of an indigenous community...

, saved the colony from imminent collapse. From all over Brazil, as well as from Portugal, thousands of immigrants came to the mines.

The Spanish tried to prevent Portuguese expansion into the territory that belonged to them according to the 1494 Treaty of Tordesillas
Treaty of Tordesillas
The Treaty of Tordesillas , signed at Tordesillas , , divided the newly discovered lands outside Europe between Spain and Portugal along a meridian 370 leagueswest of the Cape Verde islands...

, and succeeded in conquering the Eastern Strip
Banda Oriental
The Banda Oriental del Uruguay was the South American territory east of the Uruguay River and north of the Río de la Plata, coinciding approximately with the modern nation of Uruguay, the Brazilian State of Rio Grande do Sul and some parts of Santa Catarina...

 in 1777. However, this was in vain as the Treaty of San Ildefonso
First Treaty of San Ildefonso
The First Treaty of San Ildefonso was signed on October 1, 1777 between the Spanish Empire and the Portuguese Empire, shortly after the crowning of Mary I of Portugal and dismissal of Sebastião de Melo, Marquis of Pombal as de facto ruler of Portugal....

, signed in the same year, confirmed Portuguese sovereignty over all lands proceeding from its territorial expansion, thus creating most of the current Brazilian borders.

In 1808, the Portuguese royal family and the majority of the Portuguese nobility
Nobility
Nobility is a social class which possesses more acknowledged privileges or eminence than members of most other classes in a society, membership therein typically being hereditary. The privileges associated with nobility may constitute substantial advantages over or relative to non-nobles, or may be...

, fleeing the troops of the French Emperor Napoleon I
Napoleon I
Napoleon Bonaparte was a French military and political leader during the latter stages of the French Revolution.As Napoleon I, he was Emperor of the French from 1804 to 1815...

 that were invading Portugal and most of Central Europe
Napoleonic Wars
The Napoleonic Wars were a series of wars declared against Napoleon's French Empire by opposing coalitions that ran from 1803 to 1815. As a continuation of the wars sparked by the French Revolution of 1789, they revolutionised European armies and played out on an unprecedented scale, mainly due to...

, established themselves
Transfer of the Portuguese Court to Brazil
The Transfer of the Portuguese Court to Brazil was an episode in the history of Portugal and the history of Brazil in which the Portuguese royal family and its court escaped from Lisbon on November 29, 1807 to Brazil, just days before Napoleonic forces captured the city on December 1...

 in the city of Rio de Janeiro, which thus became the seat of the entire Portuguese Empire
Portuguese Empire
The Portuguese Empire , also known as the Portuguese Overseas Empire or the Portuguese Colonial Empire , was the first global empire in history...

. In 1815 Dom João VI
John VI of Portugal
John VI John VI John VI (full name: João Maria José Francisco Xavier de Paula Luís António Domingos Rafael; (13 May 1767 – 10 March 1826) was King of the United Kingdom of Portugal, Brazil and the Algarves (later changed to just King of Portugal and the Algarves, after Brazil was recognized...

, then regent on behalf of his incapacitated mother, elevated Brazil from colony to sovereign Kingdom united with Portugal. In 1809 the Portuguese invaded French Guiana
French Guiana
French Guiana is an overseas region of France, consisting of a single overseas department located on the northern Atlantic coast of South America. It has borders with two nations, Brazil to the east and south, and Suriname to the west...

 (which was returned to France in 1817) and in 1816 the Eastern Strip, subsequently renamed Cisplatina
Cisplatina
The Cisplatina Province was a Portuguese and later a Brazilian province in existence from 1815 to 1828...

.

Independence and Empire




After the Portuguese military had successfully repelled Napoleon's invasion
Peninsular War
The Peninsular War was a war between France and the allied powers of Spain, the United Kingdom, and Portugal for control of the Iberian Peninsula during the Napoleonic Wars. The war began when French and Spanish armies crossed Spain and invaded Portugal in 1807. Then, in 1808, France turned on its...

, the King João VI
John VI of Portugal
John VI John VI John VI (full name: João Maria José Francisco Xavier de Paula Luís António Domingos Rafael; (13 May 1767 – 10 March 1826) was King of the United Kingdom of Portugal, Brazil and the Algarves (later changed to just King of Portugal and the Algarves, after Brazil was recognized...

 returned to Europe on 26 April 1821, leaving his elder son Prince Pedro de Alcântara as regent to rule Brazil. The Portuguese government, guided by the new political regime imposed by the Liberal Revolution of 1820
Liberal Revolution of 1820
The Liberal Revolution of 1820 was a political revolution that erupted in 1820 and lasted until 1826. It was unchained via a military insurrection in the city of Porto, in northern Portugal, that quickly and peacefully spread to the rest of the country. From 1807 to 1811 Napoleonic French forces...

, attempted to turn Brazil into a colony once again, thus depriving it of its achievements since 1808. The Brazilians refused to yield and Prince Pedro stood by them declaring the country's independence from Portugal on 7 September 1822. On 12 October 1822, Pedro was declared the first Emperor of Brazil and crowned Dom Pedro I on 1 December 1822.

At that time most Brazilians were in favour of a monarchy and republicanism
Republicanism
Republicanism is the ideology of governing a nation as a republic, where the head of state is appointed by means other than heredity, often elections. The exact meaning of republicanism varies depending on the cultural and historical context...

 had little support. The subsequent Brazilian War of Independence
Brazilian Declaration of Independence
The Brazilian Independence comprised a series of political events occurred in 1821–1823, most of which involved disputes between Brazil and Portugal regarding the call for independence presented by the Brazilian Kingdom...

 spread through almost the entire territory, with battles in the northern, northeastern, and southern regions. The last Portuguese soldiers surrendered on 8 March 1824 and independence was recognized by Portugal on 29 August 1825.

The first Brazilian constitution was promulgated on 25 March 1824, after its acceptance by the municipal councils across the country. Pedro I abdicated on 7 April 1831 and went to Europe to reclaim his daughter’s crown
Liberal Wars
The Liberal Wars, also known as the Portuguese Civil War, the War of the Two Brothers, or Miguelite War, was a war between progressive constitutionalists and authoritarian absolutists in Portugal over royal succession that lasted from 1828 to 1834...

, leaving behind his five year old son and heir, who was to become Dom Pedro II
Pedro II of Brazil
Dom Pedro II , nicknamed "the Magnanimous", was the second and last ruler of the Empire of Brazil, reigning for over 58 years. Born in Rio de Janeiro, he was the seventh child of Emperor Dom Pedro I of Brazil and Empress Dona Maria Leopoldina and thus a member of the Brazilian branch of...

. As the new emperor could not exert his constitutional prerogatives until he reached maturity, a regency
Regent
A regent, from the Latin regens "one who reigns", is a person selected to act as head of state because the ruler is a minor, not present, or debilitated. Currently there are only two ruling Regencies in the world, sovereign Liechtenstein and the Malaysian constitutive state of Terengganu...

 was created.

Disputes between political factions led to rebellions and an unstable, almost anarchical, regency. It is estimated that from 30 to 40% of the population of the Province of Grão-Pará
Grão-Pará
The vice-kingdom of Grão-Pará was one of the two Portuguese vice-kingdoms in South America, corresponding to today's North Brazil. Its capital city was Belém do Pará....

 died during the Cabanagem
Cabanagem
The Cabanagem was a social revolt that occurred in the then-province of Grão-Pará, Brazil.Among the causes for this revolt were the extreme poverty of the Paraense people and the political irrelevance to which the province was relegated after the independence of Brazil.The name "Cabanagem" refers...

 revolt. The rebellious factions, however, were not in revolt against the monarchy, even though some declared the secession of the provinces as independent republics, but only so long as Pedro II was a minor. Because of this, Pedro II was prematurely declared of age and "Brazil was to enjoy nearly half a century of internal peace and rapid material progress."
Despite the loss of Cisplatina in 1828 when it became an independent nation known as Uruguay
Uruguay
Uruguay ,officially the Oriental Republic of Uruguay,sometimes the Eastern Republic of Uruguay; ) is a country in the southeastern part of South America. It is home to some 3.5 million people, of whom 1.8 million live in the capital Montevideo and its metropolitan area...

, Brazil won three international wars during the 58-year reign of Pedro II (the Platine War
Platine War
The Platine War, also known as the War against Oribe and Rosas was fought between the Argentine Confederation and an alliance consisting of the Empire of Brazil, Uruguay and the Argentine provinces of Entre Ríos and Corrientes...

, the Uruguayan War
Uruguayan War
The Uruguayan War , also known as the War against Aguirre, was fought between Uruguay and an alliance between the Empire of Brazil and Uruguayan Colorados....

 and the War of the Triple Alliance
War of the Triple Alliance
The Paraguayan War , also known as War of the Triple Alliance , was a military conflict in South America fought from 1864 to 1870 between Paraguay and the Triple Alliance of Argentina, Brazil, and Uruguay...

, which left over 50,000 dead) and witnessed the consolidation of representative democracy
Representative democracy
Representative democracy is a form of government founded on the principle of elected individuals representing the people, as opposed to autocracy and direct democracy...

, mainly due to successive election
Election
An election is a formal decision-making process by which a population chooses an individual to hold public office. Elections have been the usual mechanism by which modern representative democracy operates since the 17th century. Elections may fill offices in the legislature, sometimes in the...

s and unrestricted freedom of the press
Freedom of the press
Freedom of the press or freedom of the media is the freedom of communication and expression through vehicles including various electronic media and published materials...

. Most importantly, slavery was extinguished after a slow but steady process that began with the end of the international traffic in slaves in 1850 and ended with the complete abolition of slavery in 1888. The slave population had been in decline since Brazil's independence: in 1823, 29% of the Brazilian population were slaves but by 1887 this had fallen to 5%.

When the monarchy was overthrown on 15 November 1889 there was little desire in Brazil to change the form of government
Form of government
A form of government, or form of state governance, refers to the set of political institutions by which a government of a state is organized. Synonyms include "regime type" and "system of government".-Empirical and conceptual problems:...

 and Pedro II was at the height of his popularity among his subjects. However, he "bore prime, perhaps sole, responsibility for his own overthrow." After the death of his two sons, Pedro believed that "the imperial regime was destined to end with him." He cared little for the regime's fate and so neither did anything, nor allowed anyone else to do anything, to prevent the military coup, backed by former slave owners who resented the abolition of slavery.

Early republic


At the beginning of the republican government it was little more than a military dictatorship, and the new constitution restricted political rights, such as the right to vote, yet provided for direct elections to be held in 1894. However, already in 1891, from the unfoldings of the encilhamento
Encilhamento
The Encilhamento was a economic bubble that boomed between late 1880s and early 1890s in Brazil, having burst during the provisional government of Deodoro da Fonseca , then becoming a financial crisis...

  bubble
Economic bubble
An economic bubble is "trade in high volumes at prices that are considerably at variance with intrinsic values"...

 and of the 1st naval revolt, the country entered in a prolonged cycle of financial, social and political instability, that would extend until the 1920s keeping the country plagued by several rebellions, both civilian as military, which little by little undermined the regime in a such extent, that by 1930 it was possible to the defeated presidential candidate Getúlio Vargas
Getúlio Vargas
Getúlio Dornelles Vargas served as President of Brazil, first as dictator, from 1930 to 1945, and in a democratically elected term from 1951 until his suicide in 1954. Vargas led Brazil for 18 years, the most for any President, and second in Brazilian history to Emperor Pedro II...

, supported by the majority of military, lead a coup d'état
Brazilian Revolution of 1930
The Revolution of 1930 was a movement that overthrew President Washington Luís and installed Getúlio Vargas as Provisional President.-See also:*Revolutions of Brazil*History of Brazil...

 and assume the presidency.

Vargas and the military, who were supposed to assume the government temporarily to implement democratic reforms related to 1891's Constitution, closed the Congress and ruled with emergency powers
State of emergency
A state of emergency is a governmental declaration that may suspend some normal functions of the executive, legislative and judicial powers, alert citizens to change their normal behaviours, or order government agencies to implement emergency preparedness plans. It can also be used as a rationale...

, replacing the states' governors with their supporters. Under the Claiming of the broken promises of changing, in 1932 the oligarchy of São Paulo
São Paulo (state)
São Paulo is a state in Brazil. It is the major industrial and economic powerhouse of the Brazilian economy. Named after Saint Paul, São Paulo has the largest population, industrial complex, and economic production in the country. It is the richest state in Brazil...

 tried to regain the power and in 1935 the Communists
Communism
Communism is a social, political and economic ideology that aims at the establishment of a classless, moneyless, revolutionary and stateless socialist society structured upon common ownership of the means of production...

 rebelled, having both been defeated. However, the communist threat served as an excuse for Vargas to preclude elections launching another coup d'état in 1937, creating a full dictatorship
Estado Novo (Brazil)
Vargas Era is the period in the history of Brazil that lasted from 1930 to 1945, when the country was under the leadership of Getúlio Dornelles Vargas....

 In May 1938, there was another failed attempt to takeover the power by local fascists.

In foreign policy
Foreign policy
A country's foreign policy, also called the foreign relations policy, consists of self-interest strategies chosen by the state to safeguard its national interests and to achieve its goals within international relations milieu. The approaches are strategically employed to interact with other countries...

, the success in resolving border disputes with neighboring countries in the early years of this period, was followed by a failed attempt to permanently exert a prominent role in the League of Nations
League of Nations
The League of Nations was an intergovernmental organization founded as a result of the Paris Peace Conference that ended the First World War. It was the first permanent international organization whose principal mission was to maintain world peace...

 after military involvement in World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

.
Notwithstanding, Brazil remained neutral at the beginning of World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

 until the Pan-American Conference of January 1942 when Brazil stood alongside the U.S.A. severing diplomatic relations with the Axis powers
Axis Powers
The Axis powers , also known as the Axis alliance, Axis nations, Axis countries, or just the Axis, was an alignment of great powers during the mid-20th century that fought World War II against the Allies. It began in 1936 with treaties of friendship between Germany and Italy and between Germany and...

. In retaliation, Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany , also known as the Third Reich , but officially called German Reich from 1933 to 1943 and Greater German Reich from 26 June 1943 onward, is the name commonly used to refer to the state of Germany from 1933 to 1945, when it was a totalitarian dictatorship ruled by...

 and Fascist Italy
Kingdom of Italy (1861–1946)
The Kingdom of Italy was a state forged in 1861 by the unification of Italy under the influence of the Kingdom of Sardinia, which was its legal predecessor state...

 extended their submarine warfare
Submarine warfare
Naval warfare is divided into three operational areas: surface warfare, air warfare and underwater warfare. The latter may be subdivided into submarine warfare and anti-submarine warfare as well as mine warfare and mine countermeasures...

 against Brazil, which led the country to enter the war
Brazilian Expeditionary Force
The Brazilian Expeditionary Force or BEF was a force about 25,700 men and women arranged by the Army and Air Force to fight alongside the Allied forces in the Mediterranean Theatre of World War II...

 on the allied side
Allies of World War II
The Allies of World War II were the countries that opposed the Axis powers during the Second World War . Former Axis states contributing to the Allied victory are not considered Allied states...

 in August of that year.

With the allied victory in 1945 and the end of the Nazi-fascist regimes in Europe, Vargas's position became unsustainable and he was swiftly overthrown in another military coup. Democracy was reinstated and General Eurico Gaspar Dutra
Eurico Gaspar Dutra
Eurico Gaspar Dutra , was a Brazilian marshal, politician and president of Brazil from 1946–1951.He was born in Cuiabá, Mato Grosso, and like many other Brazilians, was from Azorean-Portuguese origin...

 was elected president taking office in 1946. Having returned to power democratically elected at the end of 1950, Vargas committed suicide in August 1954 amid a political crisis.

Contemporary era




Several brief interim governments succeeded after Vargas's suicide. Juscelino Kubitscheck
Juscelino Kubitschek de Oliveira
Juscelino Kubitschek de Oliveira , known also by his initials JK, was a prominent Brazilian politician of gypsy Czech origin who was President of Brazil from 1956 to 1961. He was born in Diamantina, Minas Gerais, and died in 1976...

 became president in 1956 and assumed a conciliatory posture towards the political opposition that allowed him to govern without major crises. The economy and industrial sector grew remarkably, but his greatest achievement was the construction of the new capital city of Brasília
Brasília
Brasília is the capital city of Brazil. The name is commonly spelled Brasilia in English. The city and its District are located in the Central-West region of the country, along a plateau known as Planalto Central. It has a population of about 2,557,000 as of the 2008 IBGE estimate, making it the...

, inaugurated in 1960. His successor was Jânio Quadros
Jânio Quadros
Jânio da Silva Quadros , , was a Brazilian politician who served as President of Brazil for only 7 months in 1961.-Career:...

, who resigned in 1961 less than a year after taking office. His vice-president, João Goulart
João Goulart
João Belchior Marques Goulart was a Brazilian politician and the 24th President of Brazil until a military coup d'état deposed him on April 1, 1964. He is considered to have been the last left-wing President of the country until Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva took office in 2003.-Name:João Goulart is...

, assumed the presidency, but aroused strong political opposition and was deposed in April 1964 by a coup that resulted in a military regime.

The new regime was intended to be transitory but it gradually closed in on itself and became a full dictatorship with the promulgation of the Fifth Institutional Act in 1968. The repression of the dictatorship's opponents, including urban guerrillas, was harsh, but not as brutal as in other Latin American countries. Due to the extraordinary economic growth, known as an "economic miracle", the regime reached its highest level of popularity in the years of repression.

General Ernesto Geisel
Ernesto Geisel
Ernesto Beckmann Geisel, was a Brazilian military leader and politician of German descent who was President of Brazil from 1974 to 1979.-Early life and family:...

 became president in 1974 and began his project of re-democratization through a process that he said would be "slow, gradual and safe." Geisel ended the military indiscipline that had plagued the country since 1889, as well as the torture of political prisoners, censorship of the press, and finally, the dictatorship itself, after he extinguished the Fifth Institutional Act. However, the military regime continued, under his chosen successor General João Figueiredo
João Baptista de Oliveira Figueiredo
João Baptista de Oliveira Figueiredo was a Brazilian military leader and politician. He was chief of the Secret Service during the term of his predecessor Ernesto Geisel. Figueiredo was chosen to be president of Brazil by the former military leader, General Ernesto Geisel. He took the oath of...

, to complete the transition to full democracy.

The civilians fully returned to power in 1985 when José Sarney
José Sarney
José Sarney de Araújo Costa is a Brazilian lawyer, writer and politician. He served as president of Brazil from 15 March 1985 to 15 March 1990....

 assumed the presidency but, by the end of his term, he had become extremely unpopular due to the uncontrollable economic crisis and unusually high inflation. Sarney's unsuccessful government allowed the election in 1989 of the almost unknown Fernando Collor
Fernando Collor de Mello
Fernando Affonso Collor de Mello was the 32nd president of Brazil from 1990 to 1992, when he resigned in a failed attempt to stop his trial of impeachment by the Brazilian Senate...

, who was subsequently impeached by the National Congress in 1992. Collor was succeeded by his Vice-President Itamar Franco
Itamar Franco
Itamar Augusto Cautiero Franco was a Brazilian politician and the President of Brazil from December 29, 1992, to January 1, 1995. During his long political career, Franco was also a Senator, Mayor, Ambassador, Governor and Vice President...

, who appointed Fernando Henrique Cardoso
Fernando Henrique Cardoso
Fernando Henrique Cardoso – also known by his initials FHC – was the 34th President of the Federative Republic of Brazil for two terms from January 1, 1995 to December 31, 2002. He is an accomplished sociologist, professor and politician...

 as Minister of Finance.

Cardoso produced a highly successful Plano Real
Plano Real
The Plano Real was a set of measures taken to stabilize the Brazilian economy in early 1994, under the direction of Fernando Henrique Cardoso as the Minister of Finance, during the presidency of Itamar Franco....

 (Royal or Real Plan) that granted stability to the Brazilian economy and he was elected as president in 1994 and again in 1998. The peaceful transition of power to Luís Inácio Lula da Silva
Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva
Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva , known popularly as Lula, served as the 35th President of Brazil from 2003 to 2010.A founding member of the Workers' Party , he ran for President three times unsuccessfully, first in the 1989 election. Lula achieved victory in the 2002 election, and was inaugurated as...

, who was elected in 2002 and re-elected in 2006, proved that Brazil had finally succeeded in achieving its long-sought political stability. Lula was succeeded in 2011 by the current president, Dilma Rousseff
Dilma Rousseff
Dilma Vana Rousseff is the 36th and current President of Brazil. She is the first woman to hold the office. Prior to that, in 2005, she was also the first woman to become Chief of Staff of Brazil, appointed by then President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva....

.

Geography



Brazil occupies a large area along the eastern coast of South America and includes much of the continent's interior, sharing land borders with Uruguay
Uruguay
Uruguay ,officially the Oriental Republic of Uruguay,sometimes the Eastern Republic of Uruguay; ) is a country in the southeastern part of South America. It is home to some 3.5 million people, of whom 1.8 million live in the capital Montevideo and its metropolitan area...

 to the south; Argentina
Argentina
Argentina , officially the Argentine Republic , is the second largest country in South America by land area, after Brazil. It is constituted as a federation of 23 provinces and an autonomous city, Buenos Aires...

 and Paraguay
Paraguay
Paraguay , officially the Republic of Paraguay , is a landlocked country in South America. It is bordered by Argentina to the south and southwest, Brazil to the east and northeast, and Bolivia to the northwest. Paraguay lies on both banks of the Paraguay River, which runs through the center of the...

 to the southwest; Bolivia
Bolivia
Bolivia officially known as Plurinational State of Bolivia , is a landlocked country in central South America. It is the poorest country in South America...

 and Peru
Peru
Peru , officially the Republic of Peru , is a country in western South America. It is bordered on the north by Ecuador and Colombia, on the east by Brazil, on the southeast by Bolivia, on the south by Chile, and on the west by the Pacific Ocean....

 to the west; Colombia
Colombia
Colombia, officially the Republic of Colombia , is a unitary constitutional republic comprising thirty-two departments. The country is located in northwestern South America, bordered to the east by Venezuela and Brazil; to the south by Ecuador and Peru; to the north by the Caribbean Sea; to the...

 to the northwest; and Venezuela
Venezuela
Venezuela , officially called the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela , is a tropical country on the northern coast of South America. It borders Colombia to the west, Guyana to the east, and Brazil to the south...

, Suriname
Suriname
Suriname , officially the Republic of Suriname , is a country in northern South America. It borders French Guiana to the east, Guyana to the west, Brazil to the south, and on the north by the Atlantic Ocean. Suriname was a former colony of the British and of the Dutch, and was previously known as...

, Guyana
Guyana
Guyana , officially the Co-operative Republic of Guyana, previously the colony of British Guiana, is a sovereign state on the northern coast of South America that is culturally part of the Anglophone Caribbean. Guyana was a former colony of the Dutch and of the British...

 and the French
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

 overseas department of French Guiana
French Guiana
French Guiana is an overseas region of France, consisting of a single overseas department located on the northern Atlantic coast of South America. It has borders with two nations, Brazil to the east and south, and Suriname to the west...

 to the north. It shares a border with every country in South America except for Ecuador
Ecuador
Ecuador , officially the Republic of Ecuador is a representative democratic republic in South America, bordered by Colombia on the north, Peru on the east and south, and by the Pacific Ocean to the west. It is one of only two countries in South America, along with Chile, that do not have a border...

 and Chile
Chile
Chile ,officially the Republic of Chile , is a country in South America occupying a long, narrow coastal strip between the Andes mountains to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west. It borders Peru to the north, Bolivia to the northeast, Argentina to the east, and the Drake Passage in the far...

. It also encompasses a number of oceanic archipelago
Archipelago
An archipelago , sometimes called an island group, is a chain or cluster of islands. The word archipelago is derived from the Greek ἄρχι- – arkhi- and πέλαγος – pélagos through the Italian arcipelago...

s, such as Fernando de Noronha
Fernando de Noronha
Fernando de Noronha is an archipelago of 21 islands and islets in the Atlantic Ocean, offshore from the Brazilian coast. The main island has an area of and had a population of 3,012 in the year 2010...

, Rocas Atoll
Rocas Atoll
The Rocas Atoll is an atoll in the Atlantic Ocean, belonging to the Brazilian State of Rio Grande do Norte. It is located approximately northeast of Natal and west of the archipelago of Fernando de Noronha. The atoll is of volcanic origin and coralline formation.-Description:The oval atoll is ...

, Saint Peter and Paul Rocks, and Trindade and Martim Vaz
Trindade and Martim Vaz
Trindade and Martim Vaz is an archipelago located about 1,200 kilometers east of Vitória in the Southern Atlantic Ocean, belonging to the State of Espírito Santo, Brazil. The archipelago has a total area of 10.4 km² and a population of 32...

. Its size, relief, climate, and natural resources make Brazil geographically diverse. Including its Atlantic islands, Brazil lies between latitudes 6°N
6th parallel north
The 6th parallel north is a circle of latitude that is 6 degrees north of the Earth's equatorial plane. It crosses Africa, the Indian Ocean, Southeast Asia, the Pacific Ocean, South America and the Atlantic Ocean....

 and 34°S
34th parallel south
The 34th parallel south is a circle of latitude that is 34 degrees south of the Earth's equatorial plane. It crosses the Atlantic Ocean, Africa, the Indian Ocean, Australasia, the Pacific Ocean and South America....

, and longitudes 28°
28th meridian west
The meridian 28° west of Greenwich is a line of longitude that extends from the North Pole across the Arctic Ocean, Greenland, the Atlantic Ocean, the Azores, the Southern Ocean, and Antarctica to the South Pole....

 and 74°W
74th meridian west
The meridian 74° west of Greenwich is a line of longitude that extends from the North Pole across the Arctic Ocean, North America, the Atlantic Ocean, the Caribbean Sea, South America, the Pacific Ocean, the Southern Ocean, and Antarctica to the South Pole....

.

Brazil is the fifth largest country in the world, after Russia
Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

, Canada
Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

, China
People's Republic of China
China , officially the People's Republic of China , is the most populous country in the world, with over 1.3 billion citizens. Located in East Asia, the country covers approximately 9.6 million square kilometres...

 and the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

, and third largest in the Americas; with a total area of 8514876.599 km² (3,287,612 sq mi), including 55455 km² (21,411 sq mi) of water. It spans three time zone
Time zone
A time zone is a region on Earth that has a uniform standard time for legal, commercial, and social purposes. In order for the same clock time to always correspond to the same portion of the day as the Earth rotates , different places on the Earth need to have different clock times...

s; from UTC-4 in the western states, to UTC-3 in the eastern states (and the official time of Brazil) and UTC-2 in the Atlantic islands. Brazil is the only country in the world that lies on the equator
Equator
An equator is the intersection of a sphere's surface with the plane perpendicular to the sphere's axis of rotation and containing the sphere's center of mass....

 while having contiguous territory outside the tropics.

Brazilian topography is also diverse and includes hill
Hill
A hill is a landform that extends above the surrounding terrain. Hills often have a distinct summit, although in areas with scarp/dip topography a hill may refer to a particular section of flat terrain without a massive summit A hill is a landform that extends above the surrounding terrain. Hills...

s, mountain
Mountain
Image:Himalaya_annotated.jpg|thumb|right|The Himalayan mountain range with Mount Everestrect 58 14 160 49 Chomo Lonzorect 200 28 335 52 Makalurect 378 24 566 45 Mount Everestrect 188 581 920 656 Tibetan Plateaurect 250 406 340 427 Rong River...

s, plain
Plain
In geography, a plain is land with relatively low relief, that is flat or gently rolling. Prairies and steppes are types of plains, and the archetype for a plain is often thought of as a grassland, but plains in their natural state may also be covered in shrublands, woodland and forest, or...

s, highlands
Highland (geography)
The term highland or upland is used to denote any mountainous region or elevated mountainous plateau. Generally speaking, the term upland tends to be used for ranges of hills, typically up to 500-600m, and highland for ranges of low mountains.The Scottish Highlands refers to the mountainous...

, and scrubland
Shrubland
Shrubland, scrubland, scrub or brush is a plant community characterized by vegetation dominated by shrubs, often also including grasses, herbs, and geophytes. Shrubland may either occur naturally or be the result of human activity...

s. Much of the terrain lies between 200 metres (656.2 ft) and 800 metres (2,624.7 ft) in elevation. The main upland area occupies most of the southern half of the country. The northwestern parts of the plateau consist of broad, rolling terrain broken by low, rounded hills.

The southeastern section is more rugged, with a complex mass of ridges and mountain range
Mountain range
A mountain range is a single, large mass consisting of a succession of mountains or narrowly spaced mountain ridges, with or without peaks, closely related in position, direction, formation, and age; a component part of a mountain system or of a mountain chain...

s reaching elevations of up to 1200 metres (3,937 ft). These ranges include the Mantiqueira
Mantiqueira Mountains
The Mantiqueira Mountains are a mountain range in Southeastern Brazil, with parts in the states of São Paulo, Minas Gerais and Rio de Janeiro. It rises abruptly from the northwestern bank of the Paraíba do Sul River and extends northeastward for approximately , reaching a height of 2,798 m ...

 and Espinhaço
Espinhaço Mountains
The Espinhaço Mountains is a mountain range in Brazil. The range runs roughly north and south through the states of Minas Gerais and Bahia, and forms the divide between the upper watershed of the São Francisco River and those of the shorter rivers which flow east into the Atlantic, including the...

 mountains and the Serra do Mar
Serra do Mar
Serra do Mar is a 1,500 km long system of mountain ranges and escarpments in Southeastern Brazil, which runs in parallel to the Atlantic Ocean coast from the state of Espírito Santo to southern Santa Catarina, although some include Serra Geral in the Serra do Mar, in which case this range...

. In the north, the Guiana Highlands form a major drainage divide, separating rivers that flow south into the Amazon Basin
Amazon Basin
The Amazon Basin is the part of South America drained by the Amazon River and its tributaries that drains an area of about , or roughly 40 percent of South America. The basin is located in the countries of Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Peru, and Venezuela...

 from rivers that empty into the Orinoco River
Orinoco
The Orinoco is one of the longest rivers in South America at . Its drainage basin, sometimes called the Orinoquia, covers , with 76.3% of it in Venezuela and the remainder in Colombia...

 system, in Venezuela, to the north. The highest point in Brazil is the Pico da Neblina
Pico da Neblina
Pico da Neblina is the highest mountain in Brazil, above sea level, in the Serra do Imeri, a section of the Guiana Highlands on the Brazil–Venezuela border. As determined by a border survey expedition in 1962, its summit lies just within Brazilian territory, at a horizontal distance of only from...

 at 2994 metres (9,822.8 ft), and the lowest is the Atlantic Ocean.

Brazil has a dense and complex system of rivers, one of the world's most extensive, with eight major drainage basins, all of which drain into the Atlantic. Major rivers include the Amazon
Amazon River
The Amazon of South America is the second longest river in the world and by far the largest by waterflow with an average discharge greater than the next seven largest rivers combined...

 (the world's second-longest river and the largest in terms of volume of water), the Paraná
Paraná River
The Paraná River is a river in south Central South America, running through Brazil, Paraguay and Argentina for some . It is second in length only to the Amazon River among South American rivers. The name Paraná is an abbreviation of the phrase "para rehe onáva", which comes from the Tupi language...

 and its major tributary the Iguaçu
Iguazu River
The Iguazu River is a river in Brazil and Argentina. It is an important tributary of the Paraná River. The Iguazu River is long, with a drainage basin of .-Course:...

 (which includes the Iguazu Falls
Iguazu Falls
Iguazu Falls, Iguassu Falls, or Iguaçu Falls are waterfalls of the Iguazu River located on the border of the Brazilian State of Paraná and the Argentine Province of Misiones. The falls divide the river into the upper and lower Iguazu. The Iguazu River originates near the city of Curitiba. It flows...

), the Negro, São Francisco
São Francisco River
The São Francisco is a river in Brazil. With a length of , it is the longest river that runs entirely in Brazilian territory, and the fourth longest in South America and overall in Brazil...

, Xingu
Xingu River
The Xingu River , also called Rio Xingu, is a 1,230-mile long, river in north Brazil; it is a southeast tributary of the Amazon River.-Description and history:...

, Madeira
Madeira River
The Madeira River is a major waterway in South America, approximately 3,250 km miles long The Madeira is the biggest tributary of the Amazon...

 and Tapajós
Tapajós
The Tapajós, a Brazilian river running through a humid and hot valley, pours into the Amazon River 500 miles above Pará and is about 1200 miles long.It rises on the lofty Brazilian plateau near Diamantino in 14 degrees 25' south latitude...

 rivers.

Climate


The climate of Brazil comprises a wide range of weather conditions across a large area and varied topography, but most of the country is tropical. According to the Köppen system
Köppen climate classification
The Köppen climate classification is one of the most widely used climate classification systems. It was first published by Crimea German climatologist Wladimir Köppen in 1884, with several later modifications by Köppen himself, notably in 1918 and 1936...

, Brazil hosts five major climatic subtypes: equatorial
Tropical rainforest climate
A tropical rainforest climate, also known as an equatorial climate, is a tropical climate usually found along the equator...

, tropical
Tropical climate
A tropical climate is a climate of the tropics. In the Köppen climate classification it is a non-arid climate in which all twelve months have mean temperatures above...

, semiarid, highland tropical
Tropical climate
A tropical climate is a climate of the tropics. In the Köppen climate classification it is a non-arid climate in which all twelve months have mean temperatures above...

, temperate, and subtropical
Subtropics
The subtropics are the geographical and climatical zone of the Earth immediately north and south of the tropical zone, which is bounded by the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn, at latitudes 23.5°N and 23.5°S...

. The different climatic conditions produce environments ranging from equatorial rainforest
Tropical and subtropical moist broadleaf forests
Tropical and subtropical moist broadleaf forests , also known as tropical moist forests, are a tropical and subtropical forest biome....

s in the north and semiarid deserts in the northeast, to temperate coniferous forests in the south and tropical savannas
Tropical and subtropical grasslands, savannas, and shrublands
Tropical and subtropical grasslands, savannas, and shrublands are a grassland terrestrial biome located in semi-arid to semi-humid climate regions of subtropical and tropical latitudes. Grasslands are dominated by grass and other herbaceous plants. Savannas are grasslands with scattered trees...

 in central Brazil. Many regions have starkly different microclimate
Microclimate
A microclimate is a local atmospheric zone where the climate differs from the surrounding area. The term may refer to areas as small as a few square feet or as large as many square miles...

s.

An equatorial climate characterizes much of northern Brazil. There is no real dry season
Dry season
The dry season is a term commonly used when describing the weather in the tropics. The weather in the tropics is dominated by the tropical rain belt, which oscillates from the northern to the southern tropics over the course of the year...

, but there are some variations in the period of the year when most rain falls. Temperatures average 25 °C (77 °F), with more significant temperature variation between night and day than between seasons.

Over central Brazil rainfall is more seasonal, characteristic of a savanna climate. This region is as extensive as the Amazon basin but has a very different climate as it lies farther south at a higher altitude. In the interior northeast, seasonal rainfall is even more extreme. The semiarid climatic region generally receives less than 800 millimetres (31.5 in) of rain, most of which generally falls in a period of three to five months of the year and occasionally less than this, creating long periods of drought. Brazil's 1877–78 Grande Seca (Great Drought), the most severe ever recorded in Brazil, caused approximately half a million deaths. The one from 1915 was devastating too.

South of Bahia, near São Paulo, the distribution of rainfall changes, with rain falling throughout the year . The south enjoys temperate conditions, with cool winters and average annual temperatures not exceeding 18 °C (64.4 °F); winter frosts are quite common, with occasional snowfall in the higher areas
Snow in Brazil
Snow occurs in Brazil occasionally, but virtually every year in some cities of the high plains of the southern states of Rio Grande do Sul and Santa Catarina, that account for approximately , and where there are the coldest cities in the country, where snow can happen when polar air masses reach...

.

Biodiversity


Brazil's large territory comprises different ecosystems, such as the Amazon Rainforest
Amazon Rainforest
The Amazon Rainforest , also known in English as Amazonia or the Amazon Jungle, is a moist broadleaf forest that covers most of the Amazon Basin of South America...

, recognized as having the greatest biological diversity
Biodiversity
Biodiversity is the degree of variation of life forms within a given ecosystem, biome, or an entire planet. Biodiversity is a measure of the health of ecosystems. Biodiversity is in part a function of climate. In terrestrial habitats, tropical regions are typically rich whereas polar regions...

 in the world, with the Atlantic Forest and the Cerrado
Cerrado
The Cerrado, is a vast tropical savanna ecoregion of Brazil, particularly in the states of Gioas and Minas Gerais...

, sustaining the greatest biodiversity. In the south, the Araucaria
Araucaria
Araucaria is a genus of evergreen coniferous trees in the family Araucariaceae. There are 19 extant species in the genus, with a highly disjunct distribution in New Caledonia , Norfolk Island, eastern Australia, New Guinea, Argentina, Chile, and southern Brazil.-Description:Araucaria are mainly...

 pine forest grows under temperate conditions.

The rich wildlife of Brazil reflects the variety of natural habitats. Much of it, however, remains largely undocumented, and new species are regularly found. Scientists estimate that the total number of plant and animal species in Brazil could approach four million.

Larger mammals include pumas, jaguar
Jaguar
The jaguar is a big cat, a feline in the Panthera genus, and is the only Panthera species found in the Americas. The jaguar is the third-largest feline after the tiger and the lion, and the largest in the Western Hemisphere. The jaguar's present range extends from Southern United States and Mexico...

s, ocelot
Ocelot
The ocelot , pronounced /ˈɒsəˌlɒt/, also known as the dwarf leopard or McKenney's wildcat is a wild cat distributed over South and Central America and Mexico, but has been reported as far north as Texas and in Trinidad, in the Caribbean...

s, rare bush dog
Bush Dog
The bush dog is a canid found in Central and South America, including Panama, Colombia, Venezuela, Bolivia, Peru , Ecuador, the Guianas, Paraguay, northeast Argentina and Brazil...

s, and fox
Fox
Fox is a common name for many species of omnivorous mammals belonging to the Canidae family. Foxes are small to medium-sized canids , characterized by possessing a long narrow snout, and a bushy tail .Members of about 37 species are referred to as foxes, of which only 12 species actually belong to...

es; peccaries
Peccary
A peccary is a medium-sized mammal of the family Tayassuidae, or New World Pigs. Peccaries are members of the artiodactyl suborder Suina, as are the pig family and possibly the hippopotamus family...

, tapir
Tapir
A Tapir is a large browsing mammal, similar in shape to a pig, with a short, prehensile snout. Tapirs inhabit jungle and forest regions of South America, Central America, and Southeast Asia. There are four species of Tapirs: the Brazilian Tapir, the Malayan Tapir, Baird's Tapir and the Mountain...

s, anteater
Anteater
Anteaters, also known as antbear, are the four mammal species of the suborder Vermilingua commonly known for eating ants and termites. Together with the sloths, they compose the order Pilosa...

s, sloth
Sloth
Sloths are the six species of medium-sized mammals belonging to the families Megalonychidae and Bradypodidae , part of the order Pilosa and therefore related to armadillos and anteaters, which sport a similar set of specialized claws.They are arboreal residents of the jungles of Central and South...

s, opossums, and armadillo
Armadillo
Armadillos are New World placental mammals, known for having a leathery armor shell. Dasypodidae is the only surviving family in the order Cingulata, part of the superorder Xenarthra along with the anteaters and sloths. The word armadillo is Spanish for "little armored one"...

s are abundant. Deer
Deer
Deer are the ruminant mammals forming the family Cervidae. Species in the Cervidae family include white-tailed deer, elk, moose, red deer, reindeer, fallow deer, roe deer and chital. Male deer of all species and female reindeer grow and shed new antlers each year...

 are plentiful in the south, and many species of New World monkey
New World monkey
New World monkeys are the five families of primates that are found in Central and South America: Callitrichidae, Cebidae, Aotidae, Pitheciidae, and Atelidae. The five families are ranked together as the Platyrrhini parvorder and the Ceboidea superfamily, which are essentially synonymous since...

s are found in the northern rain forests
Rainforest
Rainforests are forests characterized by high rainfall, with definitions based on a minimum normal annual rainfall of 1750-2000 mm...

. Concern for the environment has grown in response to global interest in environmental issues.

Environment



The natural heritage of Brazil is severely threatened by cattle ranching and agriculture, logging, mining, resettlement, oil and gas extraction, over-fishing, wildlife trade, dams and infrastructure, water contamination
Water pollution
Water pollution is the contamination of water bodies . Water pollution occurs when pollutants are discharged directly or indirectly into water bodies without adequate treatment to remove harmful compounds....

, climate change
Climate change
Climate change is a significant and lasting change in the statistical distribution of weather patterns over periods ranging from decades to millions of years. It may be a change in average weather conditions or the distribution of events around that average...

, fire, and invasive species
Invasive species
"Invasive species", or invasive exotics, is a nomenclature term and categorization phrase used for flora and fauna, and for specific restoration-preservation processes in native habitats, with several definitions....

. In many areas of the country, the natural environment is threatened by development. Construction of highways has opened up previously remote areas for agriculture and settlement; dams have flooded valleys and inundated wildlife habitats; and mines have scarred and polluted the landscape. At least 70 dams are said to be planned for the Amazon region, including controversial Belo Monte
Belo Monte Dam
The Belo Monte Dam is a proposed hydroelectric dam complex on the Xingu River in the state of Pará, Brazil...

 hydroelectric dam.

Politics


The Brazilian Federation is the "indissoluble union" of three distinct political entities: the States, the Municipalities and the Federal District. The Union, the states and the Federal District, and the municipalities, are the "spheres of government." The Federation is set on five fundamental principles: sovereignty
Sovereignty
Sovereignty is the quality of having supreme, independent authority over a geographic area, such as a territory. It can be found in a power to rule and make law that rests on a political fact for which no purely legal explanation can be provided...

, citizenship
Citizenship
Citizenship is the state of being a citizen of a particular social, political, national, or human resource community. Citizenship status, under social contract theory, carries with it both rights and responsibilities...

, dignity
Dignity
Dignity is a term used in moral, ethical, and political discussions to signify that a being has an innate right to respect and ethical treatment. It is an extension of the Enlightenment-era concepts of inherent, inalienable rights...

 of human beings, the social values of labour and freedom of enterprise, and political pluralism. The classic tripartite branches of government (executive
Executive (government)
Executive branch of Government is the part of government that has sole authority and responsibility for the daily administration of the state bureaucracy. The division of power into separate branches of government is central to the idea of the separation of powers.In many countries, the term...

, legislative
Legislature
A legislature is a kind of deliberative assembly with the power to pass, amend, and repeal laws. The law created by a legislature is called legislation or statutory law. In addition to enacting laws, legislatures usually have exclusive authority to raise or lower taxes and adopt the budget and...

, and judicial
Judiciary
The judiciary is the system of courts that interprets and applies the law in the name of the state. The judiciary also provides a mechanism for the resolution of disputes...

 under the checks and balances
Separation of powers
The separation of powers, often imprecisely used interchangeably with the trias politica principle, is a model for the governance of a state. The model was first developed in ancient Greece and came into widespread use by the Roman Republic as part of the unmodified Constitution of the Roman Republic...

 system), is formally established by the Constitution. The executive and legislative are organized independently in all three spheres of government, while the judiciary is organized only at the federal and state/Federal District spheres.

All members of the executive and legislative branches are directly elected. Judges and other judicial officials are appointed after passing entry exams. Brazil has a multi-party system
Multi-party system
A multi-party system is a system in which multiple political parties have the capacity to gain control of government separately or in coalition, e.g.The Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition in the United Kingdom formed in 2010. The effective number of parties in a multi-party system is normally...

 for most of its history. Voting is compulsory for the literate between 18 and 70 years old and optional for illiterates and those between 16 and 18 or beyond 70. Together with several smaller parties, four political parties stand out: Workers' Party
Workers' Party (Brazil)
The Workers' Party is a democratic socialist political party in Brazil. Launched in 1980, it is recognized as one of the largest and most important left-wing movements of Latin America. It governs at the federal level in a coalition government with several other parties since January 1, 2003...

 (PT), Brazilian Social Democracy Party (PSDB), Brazilian Democratic Movement Party (PMDB), and Democrats
Democrats (Brazil)
The Democrats is a centre-right political party in Brazil, considered the main in the right-wing spectrum. Despite its former name , the party affiliates itself to the Centrist Democrat International, and the International Democrat Union. The name comes from its support to free market policies...

 (DEM). Almost all governmental and administrative functions are exercised by authorities and agencies affiliated to the Executive.

The form of government is that of a democratic
Democracy
Democracy is generally defined as a form of government in which all adult citizens have an equal say in the decisions that affect their lives. Ideally, this includes equal participation in the proposal, development and passage of legislation into law...

 republic, with a presidential system
Presidential system
A presidential system is a system of government where an executive branch exists and presides separately from the legislature, to which it is not responsible and which cannot, in normal circumstances, dismiss it....

. The president is both head of state
Head of State
A head of state is the individual that serves as the chief public representative of a monarchy, republic, federation, commonwealth or other kind of state. His or her role generally includes legitimizing the state and exercising the political powers, functions, and duties granted to the head of...

 and head of government
Head of government
Head of government is the chief officer of the executive branch of a government, often presiding over a cabinet. In a parliamentary system, the head of government is often styled prime minister, chief minister, premier, etc...

 of the Union and is elected
Elected
Elected is the latest EP by Dutch Progressive metal project Ayreon. It was released on April 25, 2008 in Germany, Austria and Switzerland, and on April 28 in the rest of Europe...

 for a four-year term, with the possibility of re-election for a second successive term. The current president is Dilma Rousseff
Dilma Rousseff
Dilma Vana Rousseff is the 36th and current President of Brazil. She is the first woman to hold the office. Prior to that, in 2005, she was also the first woman to become Chief of Staff of Brazil, appointed by then President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva....

 who was inaugurated on January 1, 2011. The President appoints the Ministers of State
Minister of State
Minister of State is a title borne by politicians or officials in certain countries governed under a parliamentary system. In some countries a "minister of state" is a junior minister, who is assigned to assist a specific cabinet minister...

, who assist in government. Legislative houses in each political entity are the main source of law in Brazil. The National Congress
National Congress of Brazil
The National Congress of Brazil is the legislative body of Brazil's federal government.Unlike regional legislative bodies – Legislative Assemblies and City Councils -, the Congress is bicameral, composed of the Federal Senate and the Chamber of Deputies .The Senate represents the 26 states and...

 is the Federation's bicameral legislature, consisting of the Chamber of Deputies
Chamber of Deputies of Brazil
The Chamber of Deputies of Brazil is a federal legislative body and the lower house of the National Congress of Brazil. As of 2006, the chamber comprises 513 deputies, who are elected by proportional representation to serve four-year terms...

 and the Federal Senate
Senate of Brazil
The Federal Senate of Brazil is the upper house of the National Congress of Brazil. Created by the first Constitution of the Brazilian Empire in 1824, it was inspired by the United Kingdom's House of Lords, but with the Proclamation of the Republic in 1889 it became closer to the United States...

. Judiciary authorities exercise jurisdictional duties almost exclusively.

Fifteen political parties are represented in Congress. It is common for politicians to switch parties, and thus the proportion of congressional seats held by particular parties changes regularly. The largest political parties are the Workers' Party
Workers' Party (Brazil)
The Workers' Party is a democratic socialist political party in Brazil. Launched in 1980, it is recognized as one of the largest and most important left-wing movements of Latin America. It governs at the federal level in a coalition government with several other parties since January 1, 2003...

 (PT), Democrats (DEM), Brazilian Democratic Movement Party (PMDB-center), Brazilian Social Democratic Party (PSDB), Progressive Party (PP), Brazilian Labor Party (PTB), Liberal Party (PL), Brazilian Socialist Party (PSB), Popular Socialist Party (PPS), Democratic Labor Party (PDT), and the Communist Party of Brazil (PCdoB).

Law


Brazilian law is based on Roman
Roman law
Roman law is the legal system of ancient Rome, and the legal developments which occurred before the 7th century AD — when the Roman–Byzantine state adopted Greek as the language of government. The development of Roman law comprises more than a thousand years of jurisprudence — from the Twelve...

-Germanic
Germania
Germania was the Greek and Roman geographical term for the geographical regions inhabited by mainly by peoples considered to be Germani. It was most often used to refer especially to the east of the Rhine and north of the Danube...

 traditions and civil law
Civil law (legal system)
Civil law is a legal system inspired by Roman law and whose primary feature is that laws are codified into collections, as compared to common law systems that gives great precedential weight to common law on the principle that it is unfair to treat similar facts differently on different...

 concepts prevail over common law practice. Most of Brazilian law is codified, although non-codified statutes also represent a substantial part, playing a complementary role. Court decisions set out interpretive guidelines; however, they are seldom binding on other specific cases. Doctrinal works and the works of academic jurists have strong influence in law creation and in law cases.

The legal system is based on the Federal Constitution, which was promulgated on 5 October 1988, and is the fundamental law of Brazil. All other legislation and court decisions must conform to its rules. , there have been 53 amendments. States have their own constitutions, which must not contradict the Federal Constitution. Municipalities and the Federal District have "organic laws" , which act in a similar way to constitutions. Legislative entities are the main source of statute
Statute
A statute is a formal written enactment of a legislative authority that governs a state, city, or county. Typically, statutes command or prohibit something, or declare policy. The word is often used to distinguish law made by legislative bodies from case law, decided by courts, and regulations...

s, although in certain matters judiciary and executive bodies may enact legal norms. Jurisdiction is administered by the judiciary entities, although in rare situations the Federal Constitution
Constitution of Brazil
During its independent political history, Brazil has had seven constitutions. The most recent was ratified on October 5, 1988.-Imperial Constitution :Background...

 allows the Federal Senate to pass on legal judgments. There are also specialized military, labor, and electoral courts. The highest court is the Supreme Federal Court.

This system has been criticised over the last few decades for the slow pace of decision making. Lawsuits on appeal may take several years to resolve, and in some cases more than a decade elapses before definitive rulings. Nevertheless, the Supreme Federal Tribunal was the first court
Court
A court is a form of tribunal, often a governmental institution, with the authority to adjudicate legal disputes between parties and carry out the administration of justice in civil, criminal, and administrative matters in accordance with the rule of law...

 in the world to transmit its sessions on television
Television
Television is a telecommunication medium for transmitting and receiving moving images that can be monochrome or colored, with accompanying sound...

, and also via YouTube
YouTube
YouTube is a video-sharing website, created by three former PayPal employees in February 2005, on which users can upload, view and share videos....

. More recently, in December 2009, the Supreme Court adopted Twitter
Twitter
Twitter is an online social networking and microblogging service that enables its users to send and read text-based posts of up to 140 characters, informally known as "tweets".Twitter was created in March 2006 by Jack Dorsey and launched that July...

 to display items on the day planner
Personal organizer
A personal organizer, day planner, personal analog assistant, or personal planner is a small book/binder, designed to be portable, usually containing a diary, calendar, address book, and other sections usually including blank paper. It may also include pages with useful information, such as maps,...

 of the ministers, to inform the daily actions of the Court and the most important decisions made by them.

Brazil continues to have high crime rates in a number of statistics, despite recent improvements. More than 500,000 people have been killed by firearms in Brazil between 1979 and 2003, according to a new report by the United Nations
United Nations
The United Nations is an international organization whose stated aims are facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace...

. In 2010, there were 473,600 people incarcerated in Brazilian prisons and jails.

Foreign relations


Brazil is a political and economic leader in Latin America. However, social and economic problems have prevented it from becoming an effective global power. Between 1945 and 1990, both democratic and military government
Military government
Military government can refer to conditions under either Military occupation, or Military dictatorship.-Military Government:Military government is the form of administration by which an occupying power exercises governmental authority over occupied territory.The Hague Conventions of 1907 specify...

s sought to expand Brazil's influence in the world by pursuing a state-led industrial policy and an independent foreign policy
Foreign policy
A country's foreign policy, also called the foreign relations policy, consists of self-interest strategies chosen by the state to safeguard its national interests and to achieve its goals within international relations milieu. The approaches are strategically employed to interact with other countries...

. More recently, the country has aimed to strengthen ties with other South America
South America
South America is a continent situated in the Western Hemisphere, mostly in the Southern Hemisphere, with a relatively small portion in the Northern Hemisphere. The continent is also considered a subcontinent of the Americas. It is bordered on the west by the Pacific Ocean and on the north and east...

n countries, and engage in multilateral diplomacy through the United Nations
United Nations
The United Nations is an international organization whose stated aims are facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace...

 and the Organization of American States
Organization of American States
The Organization of American States is a regional international organization, headquartered in Washington, D.C., United States...

.

Brazil's current foreign policy is based on the country's position as a regional power
Regional power
In international relations, a regional power is a state that has power within a geographic region. States which wield unrivaled power and influence within a region of the world possess regional hegemony.-Characteristics:...

 in Latin America
Latin America
Latin America is a region of the Americas where Romance languages  – particularly Spanish and Portuguese, and variably French – are primarily spoken. Latin America has an area of approximately 21,069,500 km² , almost 3.9% of the Earth's surface or 14.1% of its land surface area...

, a leader among developing countries
Developing country
A developing country, also known as a less-developed country, is a nation with a low level of material well-being. Since no single definition of the term developing country is recognized internationally, the levels of development may vary widely within so-called developing countries...

, and an emerging world power
Great power
A great power is a nation or state that has the ability to exert its influence on a global scale. Great powers characteristically possess military and economic strength and diplomatic and cultural influence which may cause small powers to consider the opinions of great powers before taking actions...

. In general, current Brazilian foreign policy reflects multilateralism
Multilateralism
Multilateralism is a term in international relations that refers to multiple countries working in concert on a given issue.International organizations, such as the United Nations and the World Trade Organization are multilateral in nature...

, peaceful dispute settlement, and nonintervention in the affairs of other countries. The Brazilian Constitution also determines that the country shall seek the economic
Economy
An economy consists of the economic system of a country or other area; the labor, capital and land resources; and the manufacturing, trade, distribution, and consumption of goods and services of that area...

, political
Politics
Politics is a process by which groups of people make collective decisions. The term is generally applied to the art or science of running governmental or state affairs, including behavior within civil governments, but also applies to institutions, fields, and special interest groups such as the...

, social
Social
The term social refers to a characteristic of living organisms...

 and cultural
Culture
Culture is a term that has many different inter-related meanings. For example, in 1952, Alfred Kroeber and Clyde Kluckhohn compiled a list of 164 definitions of "culture" in Culture: A Critical Review of Concepts and Definitions...

 integration
Economic integration
Economic integration refers to trade unification between different states by the partial or full abolishing of customs tariffs on trade taking place within the borders of each state...

 of the nations of Latin America.

An increasingly well-developed tool of Brazil's foreign policy is providing aid
Aid
In international relations, aid is a voluntary transfer of resources from one country to another, given at least partly with the objective of benefiting the recipient country....

 as a donor to other developing countries. Brazil does not just use its growing economic strength to provide financial aid, but it also provides high levels of expertise and most importantly of all, a quiet non-confrontational diplomacy to improve governance levels. Total aid is estimated to be around $1 billion per year that includes:
  • technical cooperation of around $480 million ($30 million in 2010 provided directly by the Brazilian Cooperation Agency (ABC))
  • an estimated $450 million for in-kind expertise provided by Brazilian institutions specialising in technical cooperation

In addition, Brazil manages a peacekeeping mission in Haiti ($350 million) and makes in-kind contributions to the World Food Programme
World Food Programme
The World Food Programme is the food aid branch of the United Nations, and the world's largest humanitarian organization addressing hunger worldwide. WFP provides food, on average, to 90 million people per year, 58 million of whom are children...

 ($300 million). This is in addition to humanitarian assistance and contributions to multilateral development agencies. The scale of this aid places it on par with China and India and ahead of many western donors. The Brazilian South-South aid has been described as a "global model in waiting."

Military



The armed forces of Brazil consist of the Brazilian Army
Brazilian Army
The Brazilian Army is the land arm of the Brazilian Military. The Brazilian Army has fought in several international conflicts, mostly in South America and during the 19th century, such as the Brazilian War of Independence , Argentina-Brazil War , War of the Farrapos , Platine War , Uruguayan War ...

, the Brazilian Navy
Brazilian Navy
The Brazilian Navy is a branch of the Brazilian Armed Forces responsible for conducting naval operations. It is the largest navy in Latin America...

, and the Brazilian Air Force
Brazilian Air Force
The Brazilian Air Force is the air branch of the Brazilian Armed Forces and one of the three national uniformed services. The FAB was formed when the Army and Navy air branch were merged into a single military force initially called "National Air Forces"...

. With a total of 371,199 active personnel, they comprise the largest armed force in Latin America. The Army is responsible for land-based military operations and has 235,978 active personnel.

The Military Police (States' Military Police) is described as an ancillary force of the Army by the constitution, but is under the control of each state's governor. The Navy is responsible for naval operations and for guarding Brazilian territorial waters. It is the oldest of the Brazilian armed forces and the only navy in Latin America to operate an aircraft carrier, the NAe São Paulo (formerly FS Foch of the French Navy
French Navy
The French Navy, officially the Marine nationale and often called La Royale is the maritime arm of the French military. It includes a full range of fighting vessels, from patrol boats to a nuclear powered aircraft carrier and 10 nuclear-powered submarines, four of which are capable of launching...

). The Air Force is the aerial warfare branch of the Brazilian armed forces, and the largest air force in Latin America, with about 700 manned aircraft in service.

Administrative divisions


Brazil is a federation composed of 26 States, one federal district
Brazilian Federal District
The Federal District is set apart for Brasília, the capital of Brazil. Located in a region called Planalto Central, or Central Plateau, the Federal District is divided in 29 administrative regions. Brasilia - place where the three branches of the Federal Government are located - is the main...

 (which contains the capital city, Brasília
Brasília
Brasília is the capital city of Brazil. The name is commonly spelled Brasilia in English. The city and its District are located in the Central-West region of the country, along a plateau known as Planalto Central. It has a population of about 2,557,000 as of the 2008 IBGE estimate, making it the...

) and municipalities. States have autonomous administrations, collect their own taxes and receive a share of taxes collected by the Federal government. They have a governor and a unicameral legislative body elected directly by their voters. They also have independent Courts of Law for common justice. Despite this, states have much less autonomy to create their own laws than in the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

. For example, criminal and civil laws can only be voted by the federal bicameral Congress and are uniform throughout the country.

The states and the federal district may be grouped into regions: Northern, Northeast
Northeast Region, Brazil
The Northeast Region of Brazil is composed of the following states: Maranhão, Piauí, Ceará, Rio Grande do Norte, Paraíba, Pernambuco, Alagoas, Sergipe and Bahia, and it represents 18.26% of the Brazilian territory....

, Central-West, Southeast
Southeast Region, Brazil
The Southeast Region of Brazil is composed by the states of Espírito Santo, Minas Gerais, Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo. It is the richest region of the country, responsible for approximately 60% of the Brazilian GDP. São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Minas Gerais are three richest states of Brazil,...

 and Southern
Southern Region, Brazil
The South Region of Brazil is one of the five regions of Brazil. It includes the states of Paraná, Santa Catarina and Rio Grande do Sul and covers 576,409.6 km ², being the smallest portion of the country...

. The Brazilian regions are merely geographical, not political or administrative divisions, and they do not have any specific form of government. Although defined by law, Brazilian regions are useful mainly for statistical purposes, and also to define the application of federal funds in development projects.

Municipalities, as the states, have autonomous administrations, collect their own taxes and receive a share of taxes collected by the Union and state government. Each has a mayor and an elected legislative body, but no separate Court of Law. Indeed, a Court of Law organized by the state can encompass many municipalities in a single justice administrative division called comarca
Comarca
A comarca is a traditional region or local administrative division found in parts of Spain, Portugal, Panama, Nicaragua, and Brazil. The term is derived from the term marca, meaning a "march, mark", plus the prefix co- meaning "together, jointly".The comarca is known in Aragonese as redolada and...

(county).

Economy




Brazil is the largest national economy in Latin America
Latin America
Latin America is a region of the Americas where Romance languages  – particularly Spanish and Portuguese, and variably French – are primarily spoken. Latin America has an area of approximately 21,069,500 km² , almost 3.9% of the Earth's surface or 14.1% of its land surface area...

, the world's seventh largest economy at market exchange rates and the eighth largest in purchasing power parity
Purchasing power parity
In economics, purchasing power parity is a condition between countries where an amount of money has the same purchasing power in different countries. The prices of the goods between the countries would only reflect the exchange rates...

 (PPP), according to the International Monetary Fund
International Monetary Fund
The International Monetary Fund is an organization of 187 countries, working to foster global monetary cooperation, secure financial stability, facilitate international trade, promote high employment and sustainable economic growth, and reduce poverty around the world...

 and the World Bank
World Bank
The World Bank is an international financial institution that provides loans to developing countries for capital programmes.The World Bank's official goal is the reduction of poverty...

. Brazil has a mixed economy
Mixed economy
Mixed economy is an economic system in which both the state and private sector direct the economy, reflecting characteristics of both market economies and planned economies. Most mixed economies can be described as market economies with strong regulatory oversight, in addition to having a variety...

 with abundant natural resources. The Brazilian economy has been predicted to become one of the five largest in the world in the decades to come, the GDP per capita following and growing. Its current GDP (PPP) per capita is $10,200, putting Brazil in the 64th position according to World Bank
World Bank
The World Bank is an international financial institution that provides loans to developing countries for capital programmes.The World Bank's official goal is the reduction of poverty...

 data. It has large and developed agricultural
Agriculture
Agriculture is the cultivation of animals, plants, fungi and other life forms for food, fiber, and other products used to sustain life. Agriculture was the key implement in the rise of sedentary human civilization, whereby farming of domesticated species created food surpluses that nurtured the...

, mining
Mining
Mining is the extraction of valuable minerals or other geological materials from the earth, from an ore body, vein or seam. The term also includes the removal of soil. Materials recovered by mining include base metals, precious metals, iron, uranium, coal, diamonds, limestone, oil shale, rock...

, manufacturing
Manufacturing
Manufacturing is the use of machines, tools and labor to produce goods for use or sale. The term may refer to a range of human activity, from handicraft to high tech, but is most commonly applied to industrial production, in which raw materials are transformed into finished goods on a large scale...

 and service sectors, as well as a large labor pool.

Brazilian exports are booming, creating a new generation of tycoons. Major export products include aircraft
Fixed-wing aircraft
A fixed-wing aircraft is an aircraft capable of flight using wings that generate lift due to the vehicle's forward airspeed. Fixed-wing aircraft are distinct from rotary-wing aircraft in which wings rotate about a fixed mast and ornithopters in which lift is generated by flapping wings.A powered...

, electrical equipment
Electrical equipment
Electrical equipment includes any machine powered by electricity. They usually consists of an enclosure, a variety of electrical components, and often a power switch...

, automobile
Automobile
An automobile, autocar, motor car or car is a wheeled motor vehicle used for transporting passengers, which also carries its own engine or motor...

s, ethanol
Ethanol fuel
Ethanol fuel is ethanol , the same type of alcohol found in alcoholic beverages. It is most often used as a motor fuel, mainly as a biofuel additive for gasoline. World ethanol production for transport fuel tripled between 2000 and 2007 from 17 billion to more than 52 billion litres...

, textile
Textile
A textile or cloth is a flexible woven material consisting of a network of natural or artificial fibres often referred to as thread or yarn. Yarn is produced by spinning raw fibres of wool, flax, cotton, or other material to produce long strands...

s, footwear
Footwear
Footwear consists of garments worn on the feet, for fashion, protection against the environment, and adornment. Being barefoot is commonly associated with poverty, but some cultures chose not to wear footwear at least in some situations....

, iron ore, steel
Steel
Steel is an alloy that consists mostly of iron and has a carbon content between 0.2% and 2.1% by weight, depending on the grade. Carbon is the most common alloying material for iron, but various other alloying elements are used, such as manganese, chromium, vanadium, and tungsten...

, coffee
Coffee
Coffee is a brewed beverage with a dark,init brooo acidic flavor prepared from the roasted seeds of the coffee plant, colloquially called coffee beans. The beans are found in coffee cherries, which grow on trees cultivated in over 70 countries, primarily in equatorial Latin America, Southeast Asia,...

, orange juice
Orange juice
Orange juice is a popular beverage made from oranges. It is made by extraction from the fresh fruit, by desiccation and subsequent reconstitution of dried juice, or by concentration of the juice and the subsequent addition of water to the concentrate...

, soybean
Soybean
The soybean or soya bean is a species of legume native to East Asia, widely grown for its edible bean which has numerous uses...

s and corned beef
Corned beef
Corned beef is a type of salt-cured beef products present in many beef-eating cultures. The English term is used interchangeably in modernity to refer to three distinct types of cured beef:...

. The country has been expanding its presence in international financial and commodities markets, and is one of a group of four emerging economies called the BRIC countries
BRIC
In economics, BRIC is a grouping acronym that refers to the countries of Brazil, Russia, India and China, which are all deemed to be at a similar stage of newly advanced economic development...

.

Brazil pegged its currency, the real
Brazilian real
The real is the present-day currency of Brazil. Its sign is R$ and its ISO code is BRL. It is subdivided into 100 centavos ....

, to the U.S. dollar in 1994. However, after the East Asian financial crisis, the Russian default in 1998 and the series of adverse financial events that followed it, the Central Bank of Brazil
Central Bank of Brazil
The Central Bank of Brazil is Brazil's monetary authority. It was established on December 31, 1964.The Central Bank is linked with the Ministry of Finance. Like other central banks, the Brazilian central bank is the principal monetary authority of the country...

 temporarily changed its monetary policy
Monetary policy
Monetary policy is the process by which the monetary authority of a country controls the supply of money, often targeting a rate of interest for the purpose of promoting economic growth and stability. The official goals usually include relatively stable prices and low unemployment...

 to a managed-float scheme while undergoing a currency crisis
Currency crisis
A currency crisis, which is also called a balance-of-payments crisis, is a sudden devaluation of a currency caused by chronic balance-of-payments deficits which usually ends in a speculative attack in the foreign exchange market. It occurs when the value of a currency changes quickly, undermining...

, until definitively changing the exchange regime to free-float in January 1999.

Brazil received an International Monetary Fund rescue package in mid-2002 of $30.4 billion, then a record sum. Brazil's central bank paid back the IMF loan in 2005, although it was not due to be repaid until 2006. One of the issues the Central Bank of Brazil recently dealt with was an excess of speculative short-term capital inflows to the country, which may have contributed to a fall in the value of the U.S. dollar against the real during that period. Nonetheless, foreign direct investment
Foreign direct investment
Foreign direct investment or foreign investment refers to the net inflows of investment to acquire a lasting management interest in an enterprise operating in an economy other than that of the investor.. It is the sum of equity capital,other long-term capital, and short-term capital as shown in...

 (FDI), related to long-term, less speculative investment in production, is estimated to be $193.8 billion for 2007. Inflation monitoring and control currently plays a major part in the Central bank's role of setting out short-term interest rate
Interest rate
An interest rate is the rate at which interest is paid by a borrower for the use of money that they borrow from a lender. For example, a small company borrows capital from a bank to buy new assets for their business, and in return the lender receives interest at a predetermined interest rate for...

s as a monetary policy measure.

Between 1993 and 2010, 7'012 mergers & acquisitions
Mergers and acquisitions
Mergers and acquisitions refers to the aspect of corporate strategy, corporate finance and management dealing with the buying, selling, dividing and combining of different companies and similar entities that can help an enterprise grow rapidly in its sector or location of origin, or a new field or...

 with a total known value of $707 billion with the involvement of Brazlian firms have been announced. The year 2010 was a new record in terms of value with 115 bil. USD of transactions. The largest transaction with involvement of Brazilian companies has been: Cia Vale do Rio Doce acquired Inco in a tender offer valued at $18.9 billion USD.

The purchasing power
Purchasing power
Purchasing power is the number of goods/services that can be purchased with a unit of currency. For example, if you had taken one dollar to a store in the 1950s, you would have been able to buy a greater number of items than you would today, indicating that you would have had a greater purchasing...

 in Brazil is eroded by the so-called Brazil cost.

Components and energy


Brazil's economy is diverse, encompassing agriculture
Agriculture
Agriculture is the cultivation of animals, plants, fungi and other life forms for food, fiber, and other products used to sustain life. Agriculture was the key implement in the rise of sedentary human civilization, whereby farming of domesticated species created food surpluses that nurtured the...

, industry
Industry
Industry refers to the production of an economic good or service within an economy.-Industrial sectors:There are four key industrial economic sectors: the primary sector, largely raw material extraction industries such as mining and farming; the secondary sector, involving refining, construction,...

, and many services. The recent economic strength has been due in part to a global boom in commodities
Commodity
In economics, a commodity is the generic term for any marketable item produced to satisfy wants or needs. Economic commodities comprise goods and services....

 prices with exports from beef
Beef
Beef is the culinary name for meat from bovines, especially domestic cattle. Beef can be harvested from cows, bulls, heifers or steers. It is one of the principal meats used in the cuisine of the Middle East , Australia, Argentina, Brazil, Europe and the United States, and is also important in...

 to soybean
Soybean
The soybean or soya bean is a species of legume native to East Asia, widely grown for its edible bean which has numerous uses...

s soaring. Agriculture
Agriculture in Brazil
Brazil is endowed with vast agricultural resources. There are two distinct agricultural areas. The first, composed of the southern one-half to two-thirds of the country, has a semitemperate climate and higher rainfall, the better soils, higher technology and input use, adequate infrastructure, and...

 and allied sectors like forestry
Forestry
Forestry is the interdisciplinary profession embracing the science, art, and craft of creating, managing, using, and conserving forests and associated resources in a sustainable manner to meet desired goals, needs, and values for human benefit. Forestry is practiced in plantations and natural stands...

, logging
Logging
Logging is the cutting, skidding, on-site processing, and loading of trees or logs onto trucks.In forestry, the term logging is sometimes used in a narrow sense concerning the logistics of moving wood from the stump to somewhere outside the forest, usually a sawmill or a lumber yard...

 and fishing
Fishing
Fishing is the activity of trying to catch wild fish. Fish are normally caught in the wild. Techniques for catching fish include hand gathering, spearing, netting, angling and trapping....

 accounted for 5.1% of the gross domestic product
Gross domestic product
Gross domestic product refers to the market value of all final goods and services produced within a country in a given period. GDP per capita is often considered an indicator of a country's standard of living....

 in 2007, a performance that puts agribusiness
Agribusiness
In agriculture, agribusiness is a generic term for the various businesses involved in food production, including farming and contract farming, seed supply, agrichemicals, farm machinery, wholesale and distribution, processing, marketing, and retail sales....

 in a position of distinction in terms of Brazil's trade balance
Balance of trade
The balance of trade is the difference between the monetary value of exports and imports of output in an economy over a certain period. It is the relationship between a nation's imports and exports...

, in spite of trade barrier
Trade barrier
Trade barriers are government-induced restrictions on international trade. The barriers can take many forms, including the following:* Tariffs* Non-tariff barriers to trade** Import licenses** Export licenses** Import quotas** Subsidies...

s and subsidizing policies adopted by the developed countries
Developed country
A developed country is a country that has a high level of development according to some criteria. Which criteria, and which countries are classified as being developed, is a contentious issue...

.

The industry
Industry in Brazil
-Origins, 1800s-1840s:Brazilian industry has its earliest origin in workshops dating from the beginning of the 19th century. Most of the country's industrial establishments appeared in the Brazilian southeast , and, according to the Commerce, Agriculture, Factories and Navigation Joint, 77...

 — from automobile
Automobile
An automobile, autocar, motor car or car is a wheeled motor vehicle used for transporting passengers, which also carries its own engine or motor...

s, steel
Steel
Steel is an alloy that consists mostly of iron and has a carbon content between 0.2% and 2.1% by weight, depending on the grade. Carbon is the most common alloying material for iron, but various other alloying elements are used, such as manganese, chromium, vanadium, and tungsten...

 and petrochemical
Petrochemical
Petrochemicals are chemical products derived from petroleum. Some chemical compounds made from petroleum are also obtained from other fossil fuels, such as coal or natural gas, or renewable sources such as corn or sugar cane....

s to computer
Computer
A computer is a programmable machine designed to sequentially and automatically carry out a sequence of arithmetic or logical operations. The particular sequence of operations can be changed readily, allowing the computer to solve more than one kind of problem...

s, aircraft
Aircraft
An aircraft is a vehicle that is able to fly by gaining support from the air, or, in general, the atmosphere of a planet. An aircraft counters the force of gravity by using either static lift or by using the dynamic lift of an airfoil, or in a few cases the downward thrust from jet engines.Although...

, and consumer durables
Durable good
In economics, a durable good or a hard good is a good that does not quickly wear out, or more specifically, one that yields utility over time rather than being completely consumed in one use. Items like bricks or jewellery could be considered perfectly durable goods, because they should...

— accounted for 30.8% of the gross domestic product. Industry, which is often technologically advanced, is highly concentrated in metropolitan São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Campinas
Campinas
Campinas is a city and municipality located in the coastal interior of the state of São Paulo, Brazil. is the administrative center of the meso-region of the same name, with 3,783,597 inhabitants as of the 2010 Census, consisting of 49 cities....

, Porto Alegre
Porto Alegre
Porto Alegre is the tenth most populous municipality in Brazil, with 1,409,939 inhabitants, and the centre of Brazil's fourth largest metropolitan area . It is also the capital city of the southernmost Brazilian state of Rio Grande do Sul. The city is the southernmost capital city of a Brazilian...

, and Belo Horizonte
Belo Horizonte
Belo Horizonte is the capital of and largest city in the state of Minas Gerais, located in the southeastern region of Brazil. It is the third largest metropolitan area in the country...

.

Brazil is the world's tenth largest energy consumer with much of its energy coming from renewable source
Renewable energy
Renewable energy is energy which comes from natural resources such as sunlight, wind, rain, tides, and geothermal heat, which are renewable . About 16% of global final energy consumption comes from renewables, with 10% coming from traditional biomass, which is mainly used for heating, and 3.4% from...

s, particularly hydroelectricity
Hydroelectricity
Hydroelectricity is the term referring to electricity generated by hydropower; the production of electrical power through the use of the gravitational force of falling or flowing water. It is the most widely used form of renewable energy...

 and ethanol
Ethanol
Ethanol, also called ethyl alcohol, pure alcohol, grain alcohol, or drinking alcohol, is a volatile, flammable, colorless liquid. It is a psychoactive drug and one of the oldest recreational drugs. Best known as the type of alcohol found in alcoholic beverages, it is also used in thermometers, as a...

; nonrenewable energy is mainly produced from oil and natural gas
Natural gas
Natural gas is a naturally occurring gas mixture consisting primarily of methane, typically with 0–20% higher hydrocarbons . It is found associated with other hydrocarbon fuel, in coal beds, as methane clathrates, and is an important fuel source and a major feedstock for fertilizers.Most natural...

. A global power in agriculture and natural resources, Brazil experienced tremendous economic growth over the past three decades. It is expected to become a major oil producer and exporter, having recently made huge oil discoveries. The governmental agencies responsible for the energy policy are the Ministry of Mines and Energy, the National Council for Energy Policy, the National Agency of Petroleum, Natural Gas and Biofuels
National Agency of Petroleum, Natural Gas and Biofuels (Brazil)
The Brazilian National Agency of Petroleum, Natural Gas and Biofuels is the federal government agency linked to the Ministry of Mines and Energy responsible for the regulation of the oil sector.-External links:*...

, and the National Agency of Electricity
Brazilian Electricity Regulatory Agency
The Brazilian Electricity Regulatory Agency is an autarchy of the government of Brazil linked to the Ministry of Mines and Energy. Its stated goal is to "provide favorable conditions for the electricity market to develop in a balanced environment amongst agents, for the benefit of society."...

.

Science and technology


Technological research in Brazil is largely carried out in public universities and research institutes. But more than 73% of funding for basic research still comes from government sources. Some of Brazil's most notable technological hubs are the Oswaldo Cruz Institute, the Butantan Institute
Instituto Butantan
Instituto Butantan is a Brazilian biomedical research center affiliated to the São Paulo State Secretary of Health. It is located near the campus of the University of São Paulo, in the city of the same name.-History:...

, the Air Force's Aerospace Technical Center, the Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation
Empresa Brasileira de Pesquisa Agropecuária
The Empresa Brasileira de Pesquisa Agropecuária is a state-owned company affiliated with the Brazilian Ministry of Agriculture, which is devoted to pure and applied research on agriculture. EMBRAPA conducts agricultural research on many topics including animal agriculture and crops...

 and the INPE
National Institute for Space Research
The National Institute for Space Research is a research unit of the Brazilian Ministry of Science and Technology, whose main goals are fostering scientific research and technological applications and qualifying personnel in the fields of space and atmospheric sciences, space engineering, and space...

. The Brazilian Space Agency
Brazilian Space Agency
The Brazilian Space Agency is the civilian authority in Brazil responsible for the country's burgeoning space program. It operates a spaceport at Alcântara and a rocket launch site at Barreira do Inferno...

 has the most advanced space program in Latin America, with significant capabilities in launch vehicles, launch sites and satellite manufacturing.

Uranium
Uranium
Uranium is a silvery-white metallic chemical element in the actinide series of the periodic table, with atomic number 92. It is assigned the chemical symbol U. A uranium atom has 92 protons and 92 electrons, of which 6 are valence electrons...

 is enriched at the Resende Nuclear Fuel Factory
Resende Nuclear Fuel Factory
The Nuclear Fuel Factory is located near Resende, state of Rio de Janeiro, comprising three units, and has a production capacity of 280 tons of uranium per year. At present, FCN was modernized and produces at the Components and Assembly Unit the fuel rods and fuel elements needed for Brazilian...

 to fuel the country's energy demands and plans are underway to build the country's first nuclear submarine. Brazil is one of the three countries in Latin America with an operational Synchrotron
Synchrotron
A synchrotron is a particular type of cyclic particle accelerator in which the magnetic field and the electric field are carefully synchronised with the travelling particle beam. The proton synchrotron was originally conceived by Sir Marcus Oliphant...

 Laboratory, a research facility on physics, chemistry, material science and life sciences. And Brazil is the first and only Latin American country to have a semiconductor
Semiconductor
A semiconductor is a material with electrical conductivity due to electron flow intermediate in magnitude between that of a conductor and an insulator. This means a conductivity roughly in the range of 103 to 10−8 siemens per centimeter...

 company with its own fab, the CEITEC
CEITEC
The Centro Nacional de Tecnologia Eletrônica Avançada S.A is a Brazilian technology center specialized in project development and fabrication in microelectronics, i.e. integrated circuits, or "chips"...

.

Transport




Brazil has a large and diverse transport network. Road
Road
A road is a thoroughfare, route, or way on land between two places, which typically has been paved or otherwise improved to allow travel by some conveyance, including a horse, cart, or motor vehicle. Roads consist of one, or sometimes two, roadways each with one or more lanes and also any...

s are the primary carriers of freight and passenger traffic. The road system totaled 1.98 million km (1.23 million mi) in 2002. The total of paved roads increased from 35,496 km (22,056 mi) in 1967 to 184,140 km (114,425 mi) in 2002.


Brazil's railway
Rail transport
Rail transport is a means of conveyance of passengers and goods by way of wheeled vehicles running on rail tracks. In contrast to road transport, where vehicles merely run on a prepared surface, rail vehicles are also directionally guided by the tracks they run on...

 system
System
System is a set of interacting or interdependent components forming an integrated whole....

 has been declining since 1945, when emphasis shifted to highway
Highway
A highway is any public road. In American English, the term is common and almost always designates major roads. In British English, the term designates any road open to the public. Any interconnected set of highways can be variously referred to as a "highway system", a "highway network", or a...

 construction
Construction
In the fields of architecture and civil engineering, construction is a process that consists of the building or assembling of infrastructure. Far from being a single activity, large scale construction is a feat of human multitasking...

. The total length of railway track was 30,875 km (19,186 mi) in 2002, as compared with 31,848 km (19,789 mi) in 1970. Most of the railway system belongs to the Federal Railroad Corp., with a majority government interest. The government also privatized seven lines in 1997. The São Paulo Metro
São Paulo Metro
The São Paulo Metro is the principal rapid-transit system in the city of São Paulo and the largest in Brazil. It is also the second largest system in South America and the third largest in Latin America, behind Mexico City and Santiago....

 was the first underground transit system in Brazil. The other metro systems are in Rio de Janeiro
Rio de Janeiro
Rio de Janeiro , commonly referred to simply as Rio, is the capital city of the State of Rio de Janeiro, the second largest city of Brazil, and the third largest metropolitan area and agglomeration in South America, boasting approximately 6.3 million people within the city proper, making it the 6th...

, Porto Alegre
Porto Alegre
Porto Alegre is the tenth most populous municipality in Brazil, with 1,409,939 inhabitants, and the centre of Brazil's fourth largest metropolitan area . It is also the capital city of the southernmost Brazilian state of Rio Grande do Sul. The city is the southernmost capital city of a Brazilian...

, Recife
Recife
Recife is the fifth-largest metropolitan area in Brazil with 4,136,506 inhabitants, the largest metropolitan area of the North/Northeast Regions, the 5th-largest metropolitan influence area in Brazil, and the capital and largest city of the state of Pernambuco. The population of the city proper...

, Belo Horizonte
Belo Horizonte
Belo Horizonte is the capital of and largest city in the state of Minas Gerais, located in the southeastern region of Brazil. It is the third largest metropolitan area in the country...

, Brasília
Brasília
Brasília is the capital city of Brazil. The name is commonly spelled Brasilia in English. The city and its District are located in the Central-West region of the country, along a plateau known as Planalto Central. It has a population of about 2,557,000 as of the 2008 IBGE estimate, making it the...

, Teresina
Teresina
Teresina is the capital and most populous municipality in the Brazilian state of Piauí. It is located in North-central Piauí 366 km from the coast.It is therefore, the only capital in the Northeast that is not located on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean. With 814 439 inhabitants, it is the 19th...

, Fortaleza
Fortaleza
Fortaleza is the state capital of Ceará, located in Northeastern Brazil. With a population close to 2.5 million , Fortaleza is the 5th largest city in Brazil. It has an area of and one of the highest demographic densities in the country...

, and Salvador
Salvador, Bahia
Salvador is the largest city on the northeast coast of Brazil and the capital of the Northeastern Brazilian state of Bahia. Salvador is also known as Brazil's capital of happiness due to its easygoing population and countless popular outdoor parties, including its street carnival. The first...

.

There are about 2,500 airport
Airport
An airport is a location where aircraft such as fixed-wing aircraft, helicopters, and blimps take off and land. Aircraft may be stored or maintained at an airport...

s in Brazil, including landing fields: the second largest number in the world, after the United States. São Paulo-Guarulhos International Airport, near São Paulo, is the largest and busiest airport, handling the vast majority of popular and commercial traffic of the country and connecting the city with virtually all major cities across the world.

Coastal shipping links widely separated parts of the country. Bolivia and Paraguay have been given free port
Port
A port is a location on a coast or shore containing one or more harbors where ships can dock and transfer people or cargo to or from land....

s at Santos. Of the 36 deep-water ports, Santos, Itajaí, Rio Grande, Paranaguá, Rio de Janeiro, Sepetiba, Vitória, Suape, Manaus and São Francisco do Sul are some of the most important.

Demographics


The population of Brazil, as recorded by the 2008 PNAD, was approximately 190 million (22.31 inhabitants per square kilometer), with a ratio of men to women of 0.95:1 and 83.75% of the population defined as urban. The population is heavily concentrated in the Southeastern (79.8 million inhabitants) and Northeastern (53.5 million inhabitants) regions, while the two most extensive regions, the Center-West and the North, which together make up 64.12% of the Brazilian territory, have a total of only 29.1 million inhabitants.

Brazil's population increased significantly between 1940 and 1970, due to a decline in the mortality rate
Mortality rate
Mortality rate is a measure of the number of deaths in a population, scaled to the size of that population, per unit time...

, even though the birth rate
Birth rate
Crude birth rate is the nativity or childbirths per 1,000 people per year . Another word used interchangeably with "birth rate" is "natality". When the crude birth rate is subtracted from the crude death rate, it reveals the rate of natural increase...

 underwent a slight decline. In the 1940s the annual population growth rate
Population growth
Population growth is the change in a population over time, and can be quantified as the change in the number of individuals of any species in a population using "per unit time" for measurement....

 was 2.4%, rising to 3.0% in the 1950s and remaining at 2.9% in the 1960s, as life expectancy rose from 44 to 54 years and to 72.6 years in 2007.
It has been steadily falling since the 1960s, from 3.04% per year between 1950–1960 to 1.05% in 2008 and is expected to fall to a negative value of –0.29% by 2050 thus completing the demographic transition
Demographic transition
The demographic transition model is the transition from high birth and death rates to low birth and death rates as a country develops from a pre-industrial to an industrialized economic system. The theory is based on an interpretation of demographic history developed in 1929 by the American...

.

According to the National Research by Household Sample (PNAD) of 2008, 48.43% of the population (about 92 million) described themselves as White
White Brazilian
White Brazilians make up 48.4% of Brazil's population, or around 92 million people, according to the IBGE's 2008 PNAD . Whites are present in the entire territory of Brazil, although the main concentrations are found in the South and Southeastern parts of the country...

; 43.80% (about 83 million) as Brown (Multiracial), 6.84% (about 13 million) as Black; 0.58% (about 1.1 million) as Asian
Asian Brazilian
An Asian Brazilian is is a Brazilian citizen of full or partial Asian ancestry, who remains culturally connected to Asia, or an Asian-born person permanently residing in Brazil. Brazil received many immigrants from Asia, both from Middle East and East Asia...

; and 0.28% (about 536 thousand) as Amerindian
Indigenous peoples in Brazil
The Indigenous peoples in Brazil comprise a large number of distinct ethnic groups who inhabited the country prior to the European invasion around 1500...

, while 0.07% (about 130 thousand) did not declare their race.

In 2007, the National Indian Foundation
Fundação Nacional do Índio
Fundação Nacional do Índio or FUNAI is a Brazilian governmental protection agency for Indian interests and their culture.It was originally called the SPI and was founded by the Brazilian Marshal Cândido Rondon in 1910, who also created the agency's motto, "Die if necessary, but never kill." The...

 reported the existence of 67 different uncontacted tribes, up from 40 in 2005. Brazil is believed to have the largest number of uncontacted peoples in the world.

About 85% to 95% of Brazilians descend from the country's indigenous peoples
Indigenous peoples in Brazil
The Indigenous peoples in Brazil comprise a large number of distinct ethnic groups who inhabited the country prior to the European invasion around 1500...

, Portuguese
Portuguese people
The Portuguese are a nation and ethnic group native to the country of Portugal, in the west of the Iberian peninsula of south-west Europe. Their language is Portuguese, and Roman Catholicism is the predominant religion....

 settlers, and African slaves
Slavery in Brazil
Slavery in Brazil shaped the country's social structure and ethnic landscape. During the colonial epoch and for over six decades after the 1822 independence, slavery was a mainstay of the Brazilian economy, especially in mining, cotton, and sugar cane production.Brazil obtained an estimated 35% of...

. Since the arrival of the Portuguese in 1500, considerable intermarriage between these three groups has taken place. The brown population (as multiracial Brazilians are officially called; pardo
Pardo
In Brazil, Pardo is a race/colour category used by the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics in Brazilian censuses. It is a Portuguese word that encompasses various shades of brown, but is usually translated as "grayish-brown"...

in Portuguese, also colloquially moreno
Moreno
-Places:*Moreno, Pernambuco, city in the Brazilian state of Pernambuco*Perito Moreno Glacier, glacier in Patagonia, Argentina*Perito Moreno National Park, on the northwest of the Santa Cruz Province, Argentina...

, or swarthy
Olive skin
Olive skin describes a skin color range of some indigenous individuals who are from the Mediterranean and some other parts of Europe, Middle East and regions of South Asia, Southeast Asia and Central Asia. It may often be skin type 3 and 4 on the Fitzpatrick scale. However, this scale measures...

) is a broad category that includes Caboclo
Caboclo
A caboclo or caboco is a person of a mixed Brazilian Indian and European ancestry. In Brazil, a caboclo is a specific type of mestiço as is the mulato, a person of a mixed Afro-Brazilian and European ancestry....

s (descendants of Whites and Indians), Mulatto
Mulatto
Mulatto denotes a person with one white parent and one black parent, or more broadly, a person of mixed black and white ancestry. Contemporary usage of the term varies greatly, and the broader sense of the term makes its application rather subjective, as not all people of mixed white and black...

es (descendants of Whites and Blacks) and Cafuzo
Zambo
Zambo or Cafuzo are racial terms used in the Spanish and Portuguese Empires and occasionally today to identify individuals in the Americas who are of mixed African and Amerindian ancestry...

s (descendants of Blacks and Indians). Caboclos form the majority of the population in the Northern, Northeastern and Central-Western regions. A large Mulatto population can be found in the eastern coast of the northeastern region from Bahia to Paraíba and also in northern Maranhão, southern Minas Gerais and in eastern Rio de Janeiro. From the 19th century, Brazil opened its borders to immigration
Immigration to Brazil
Immigration to Brazil is the movement to Brazil of foreign persons to reside permanently. It should not be confused with the colonisation of the country by the Portuguese, or with the forcible bringing of people from Africa as slaves....

. About five million people from over 60 countries migrated to Brazil between 1808 and 1972, most of them from Portugal
Portugal
Portugal , officially the Portuguese Republic is a country situated in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula. Portugal is the westernmost country of Europe, and is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the West and South and by Spain to the North and East. The Atlantic archipelagos of the...

, Italy
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

, Spain
Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

, Germany
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

, Japan
Japan
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

 and the Middle-East
Middle East
The Middle East is a region that encompasses Western Asia and Northern Africa. It is often used as a synonym for Near East, in opposition to Far East...

.

In 2008, the illiteracy rate was 11.48% and among the youth (ages 15–19) 1.74%. It was highest (20.30%) in the Northeast, which had a large proportion of rural poor. Illiteracy was high (24.18%) among the rural population and lower (9.05%) among the urban population.

Religion


Roman Catholicism is the country's predominant faith. Brazil has the world's largest Catholic population. According to the 2000 Demographic Census (the PNAD survey does not inquire about religion), 73.57% of the population followed Roman Catholicism
Roman Catholicism in Brazil
The Roman Catholic Church in Brazil is part of the worldwide Roman Catholic Church, under the spiritual leadership of the Pope, curia in Rome, and the very influential Brazilian Conference of Bishops , composed by over four hundred primary and auxiliary bishops and archbishops. There are over 250...

; 15.41% Protestantism
Protestantism in Brazil
Protestantism in Brazil was first practiced by Huguenot travelers in attempts to colonize the country while it was under the Portuguese colonial rule. These attempts, however, would not persist. A French mission sent by John Calvin was established in 1557, in one of the islands of Guanabara Bay,...

; 1.33% Kardecist spiritism
Spiritism
Spiritism is a loose corpus of religious faiths having in common the general belief in the survival of a spirit after death. In a stricter sense, it is the religion, beliefs and practices of the people affiliated to the International Spiritist Union, based on the works of Allan Kardec and others...

; 1.22% other Christian denominations; 0.31% Afro-Brazilian religions; 0.13% Buddhism
Buddhism
Buddhism is a religion and philosophy encompassing a variety of traditions, beliefs and practices, largely based on teachings attributed to Siddhartha Gautama, commonly known as the Buddha . The Buddha lived and taught in the northeastern Indian subcontinent some time between the 6th and 4th...

; 0.05% Judaism
Judaism
Judaism ) is the "religion, philosophy, and way of life" of the Jewish people...

; 0.02% Islam
Islam in Brazil
Islam in Brazil was first practiced by African slaves. The early Brazilian Muslims led the largest slave revolt in Brazil, which then had the largest slave population of the world. The next significant migration of Muslims was by Arabs from Syria and Lebanon...

; 0.01% Amerindian religions; 0.59% other religions, undeclared or undetermined; while 7.35% have no religion.

However, in the last ten years Protestantism
Protestantism in Brazil
Protestantism in Brazil was first practiced by Huguenot travelers in attempts to colonize the country while it was under the Portuguese colonial rule. These attempts, however, would not persist. A French mission sent by John Calvin was established in 1557, in one of the islands of Guanabara Bay,...

, particularly Pentecostal Protestantism, has risen, while the proportion of Catholics
Roman Catholicism in Brazil
The Roman Catholic Church in Brazil is part of the worldwide Roman Catholic Church, under the spiritual leadership of the Pope, curia in Rome, and the very influential Brazilian Conference of Bishops , composed by over four hundred primary and auxiliary bishops and archbishops. There are over 250...

 has dropped sharply. Soon after Protestantism, Irreligion
Irreligion
Irreligion is defined as an absence of religion or an indifference towards religion. Sometimes it may also be defined more narrowly as hostility towards religion. When characterized as hostility to religion, it includes antitheism, anticlericalism and antireligion. When characterized as...

 also have had a rise in Brazil, almost approximating itself to the 10% (which will means circa 19 million people) in the census. Boa Vista
Boa Vista, Roraima
Boa Vista is the capital of the Brazilian state of Roraima. Situated on the western bank of the River Branco, the city lies 220 km away from Brazil's border with Venezuela. It is the only Brazilian capital located entirely above the Equator...

 and Rio de Janeiro
Rio de Janeiro (state)
Rio de Janeiro is one of the 27 states of Brazil.Rio de Janeiro has the second largest economy of Brazil behind only São Paulo state.The state of Rio de Janeiro is located within the Brazilian geopolitical region classified as the Southeast...

 counts with the greatest proportional numbers of irreligiosity in Brazil as the state capital and federative unit, respectively.

Urbanization


According to IBGE (Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics) urban areas already concentrate 84.35% of the population, while the Southeast region remains the most populated one, with over 80 million inhabitants .
The largest metropolitan areas in Brazil are São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, and Belo Horizonte — all in the Southeastern Region — with 19.5, 11.5, and 5.1 million inhabitants respectively. Almost all of the state capitals are the largest cities in their states, except for Vitória, the capital of Espírito Santo
Espírito Santo
Espírito Santo is one of the states of southeastern Brazil, often referred to by the abbreviation "ES". Its capital is Vitória and the largest city is Vila Velha. The name of the state means literally "holy spirit" after the Holy Ghost of Christianity...

, and Florianópolis
Florianópolis
-Climate:Florianópolis experiences a warm humid subtropical climate, falling just short of a true tropical climate. The seasons of the year are distinct, with a well-defined summer and winter, and characteristic weather for autumn and spring. Frost is infrequent, but occurs occasionally in the winter...

, the capital of Santa Catarina. There are also non-capital metropolitan areas in the states of São Paulo (Campinas
Campinas
Campinas is a city and municipality located in the coastal interior of the state of São Paulo, Brazil. is the administrative center of the meso-region of the same name, with 3,783,597 inhabitants as of the 2010 Census, consisting of 49 cities....

, Santos and the Paraíba Valley
Paraíba Valley
The Paraíba Valley is located in the eastern part of the state of São Paulo along the rodovia Presidente Dutra , between Rio De Janeiro and São Paulo....

), Minas Gerais
Minas Gerais
Minas Gerais is one of the 26 states of Brazil, of which it is the second most populous, the third richest, and the fourth largest in area. Minas Gerais is the Brazilian state with the largest number of Presidents of Brazil, the current one, Dilma Rousseff, being one of them. The capital is the...

 (Steel Valley
Vale do Aço metropolitan area
The Vale do Aço Metropolitan Region is a metropolitan area in Minas Gerais, Brazil, comprising only the four municipalities of Coronel Fabriciano, Ipatinga, Santana do Paraíso and Timóteo, but have an influence area of 22 other municipalities.-History:The name means Steel Valley in Portuguese...

), Rio Grande do Sul (Sinos Valley
Porto Alegre
Porto Alegre is the tenth most populous municipality in Brazil, with 1,409,939 inhabitants, and the centre of Brazil's fourth largest metropolitan area . It is also the capital city of the southernmost Brazilian state of Rio Grande do Sul. The city is the southernmost capital city of a Brazilian...

), and Santa Catarina (Itajaí Valley
Vale do Itajaí
Vale do Itajaí also known as Vale Europeu is a mesoregion located in the Northeastern part of the Brazilian state of Santa Catarina. It has about 1.3 million inhabitants and comprises four smaller regions: Blumenau, Itajaí, Ituporanga and Rio do Sul...

).

Language



The official language of Brazil is Portuguese, which almost all of the population speaks and is virtually the only language used in newspapers, radio, television, and for business and administrative purposes. The exception to this is in the municipality of São Gabriel da Cachoeira
São Gabriel da Cachoeira
São Gabriel da Cachoeira is a city and a Municipality located on the Northern shores of the Rio Negro River, in the region of Cabeça do Cachorro, Amazonas state, Brazil. Between 1952 and 1966, it was officially called Uaupés, after the nearby Vaupés River. Most of its inhabitants are indigenous...

 where Nheengatu
Nheengatu
The Nheengatu language , often spelled Nhengatu, is an Amerindian language of a Tupi–Guarani family. It is also known by the Portuguese names língua geral da Amazônia and língua geral amazônica, both meaning "Amazonian General Language," or even by the Latin lingua brasilica...

, a currently endangered South American creole language
Creole language
A creole language, or simply a creole, is a stable natural language developed from the mixing of parent languages; creoles differ from pidgins in that they have been nativized by children as their primary language, making them have features of natural languages that are normally missing from...

 with mostly Indigenous Brazilian languages lexicon and Portuguese-based grammar that once was a major lingua franca
Lingua franca
A lingua franca is a language systematically used to make communication possible between people not sharing a mother tongue, in particular when it is a third language, distinct from both mother tongues.-Characteristics:"Lingua franca" is a functionally defined term, independent of the linguistic...

 in Brazil, has been granted co-official status with Portuguese. Brazil is the only Portuguese-speaking nation in the Americas
Americas
The Americas, or America , are lands in the Western hemisphere, also known as the New World. In English, the plural form the Americas is often used to refer to the landmasses of North America and South America with their associated islands and regions, while the singular form America is primarily...

, making the language an important part of Brazilian national identity and giving it a national culture distinct from those of its Spanish-speaking neighbors.

Brazilian Portuguese
Brazilian Portuguese
Brazilian Portuguese is a group of Portuguese dialects written and spoken by most of the 190 million inhabitants of Brazil and by a few million Brazilian emigrants, mainly in the United States, United Kingdom, Portugal, Canada, Japan and Paraguay....

 has had its own development, influenced by the Amerindian
Indigenous languages of the Americas
Indigenous languages of the Americas are spoken by indigenous peoples from Alaska and Greenland to the southern tip of South America, encompassing the land masses which constitute the Americas. These indigenous languages consist of dozens of distinct language families as well as many language...

 and African languages
Languages of Africa
There are over 2100 and by some counts over 3000 languages spoken natively in Africa in several major language families:*Afro-Asiatic spread throughout the Middle East, North Africa, the Horn of Africa, and parts of the Sahel...

. As a result, the language is somewhat different, mostly in phonology, from the language of Portugal
Portugal
Portugal , officially the Portuguese Republic is a country situated in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula. Portugal is the westernmost country of Europe, and is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the West and South and by Spain to the North and East. The Atlantic archipelagos of the...

 and other Portuguese-speaking countries. These differences are comparable to those between American
American English
American English is a set of dialects of the English language used mostly in the United States. Approximately two-thirds of the world's native speakers of English live in the United States....

 and British English
British English
British English, or English , is the broad term used to distinguish the forms of the English language used in the United Kingdom from forms used elsewhere...

.

In 2008, the Community of Portuguese Language Countries (CPLP), which included representatives from all countries with Portuguese as the official language, reached an agreement on the reform of Portuguese into one international language, as opposed to two diverged dialects of the same language. All CPLP countries were given from 2009 until 2014 to adjust to the necessary changes.

Minority languages are spoken throughout the nation. One hundred and eighty Amerindian language
Indigenous languages of the Americas
Indigenous languages of the Americas are spoken by indigenous peoples from Alaska and Greenland to the southern tip of South America, encompassing the land masses which constitute the Americas. These indigenous languages consist of dozens of distinct language families as well as many language...

s are spoken in remote areas and a number of other languages are spoken by immigrants and their descendants. There are significant communities of German
German language
German is a West Germanic language, related to and classified alongside English and Dutch. With an estimated 90 – 98 million native speakers, German is one of the world's major languages and is the most widely-spoken first language in the European Union....

 (mostly the Hunsrückisch
Hunsrückisch
Hunsrückisch is a German dialect spoken in the Hunsrück region of Germany . This mountainous region of Germany has long been an exporter of immigrants to the United States, Canada, Brazil, Australia and other parts of the world....

, a High German language
German language
German is a West Germanic language, related to and classified alongside English and Dutch. With an estimated 90 – 98 million native speakers, German is one of the world's major languages and is the most widely-spoken first language in the European Union....

 dialect) and Italian
Italian language
Italian is a Romance language spoken mainly in Europe: Italy, Switzerland, San Marino, Vatican City, by minorities in Malta, Monaco, Croatia, Slovenia, France, Libya, Eritrea, and Somalia, and by immigrant communities in the Americas and Australia...

 (mostly the Talian dialect, of Venetian
Venetian language
Venetian or Venetan is a Romance language spoken as a native language by over two million people, mostly in the Veneto region of Italy, where of five million inhabitants almost all can understand it. It is sometimes spoken and often well understood outside Veneto, in Trentino, Friuli, Venezia...

 origin) speakers in the south of the country, both of which are influenced by the Portuguese language. Brazil is the first country in South America to offer Esperanto
Esperanto
is the most widely spoken constructed international auxiliary language. Its name derives from Doktoro Esperanto , the pseudonym under which L. L. Zamenhof published the first book detailing Esperanto, the Unua Libro, in 1887...

 to High School students.

Culture


The core culture of Brazil is derived from Portuguese culture
Culture of Portugal
The culture of Portugal is the result of a complex flow of different civilizations during the past Millennia. From prehistoric cultures, to its Pre-Roman civilizations , passing through its contacts with the Phoenician-Carthaginian world, the Roman period , the...

, because of its strong colonial ties with the Portuguese empire
Portuguese Empire
The Portuguese Empire , also known as the Portuguese Overseas Empire or the Portuguese Colonial Empire , was the first global empire in history...

. Among other influences, the Portuguese introduced the Portuguese language
Portuguese language
Portuguese is a Romance language that arose in the medieval Kingdom of Galicia, nowadays Galicia and Northern Portugal. The southern part of the Kingdom of Galicia became independent as the County of Portugal in 1095...

, Roman Catholicism and colonial architectural styles
Manueline
The Manueline, or Portuguese late Gothic, is the sumptuous, composite Portuguese style of architectural ornamentation of the first decades of the 16th century, incorporating maritime elements and representations of the discoveries brought from the voyages of Vasco da Gama and Pedro Álvares Cabral...

. The culture was, however, also strongly influenced by African
African people
African people refers to natives, inhabitants, or citizen of Africa and to people of African descent.-Etymology:Many etymological hypotheses that have been postulated for the ancient name "Africa":...

, indigenous
Indigenous peoples in Brazil
The Indigenous peoples in Brazil comprise a large number of distinct ethnic groups who inhabited the country prior to the European invasion around 1500...

 and non-Portuguese European cultures and traditions. Some aspects of Brazilian culture were influenced by the contributions of Italian
Italian Brazilian
-Italian immigration to Brazil:The Italian government claims there are 25 million Brazilians of Italian descent, which would be the largest population of Italian background outside of Italy itself. There are no actual surveys, or even verifiable calculations supporting such claims. According to...

, German
German Brazilian
A German Brazilian is a Brazilian person of ethnic German ancestry or origin...

 and other European immigrants who arrived in large numbers in the South and Southeast of Brazil. The indigenous Amerindians influenced Brazil's language and cuisine; and the Africans
African people
African people refers to natives, inhabitants, or citizen of Africa and to people of African descent.-Etymology:Many etymological hypotheses that have been postulated for the ancient name "Africa":...

 influenced language, cuisine, music
Music of Brazil
The music of Brazil encompasses various regional music styles influenced by African, European and Amerindian forms. After 500 years of history, Brazilian music developed some unique and original styles such as samba, zouk-lambada, lambada, choro, bossa nova, frevo, maracatu, MPB, sertanejo,...

, dance and religion.
Brazilian art
Brazilian art
Brazil was colonized by Portugal in the middle of the 16th century. In those early times, owing to the primitive state of Portuguese civilization there, not much could be done in regard to art expression. The original inhabitants of the land, pre-Columbian Indian peoples, most likely produced...

 has developed since the 16th century into different styles that range from Baroque
Baroque in Brazil
The baroque in Brazil was introduced at the beginning of the seventeenth century by Catholic missionaries, especially Jesuits, who brought the new style as an instrument of Christian indoctrination. The epic poem Prosopopéia , by Bento Teixeira, is one of its initial milestones...

 (the dominant style in Brazil until the early 19th century) to Romanticism, Modernism
Modern art
Modern art includes artistic works produced during the period extending roughly from the 1860s to the 1970s, and denotes the style and philosophy of the art produced during that era. The term is usually associated with art in which the traditions of the past have been thrown aside in a spirit of...

, Expressionism
Expressionism
Expressionism was a modernist movement, initially in poetry and painting, originating in Germany at the beginning of the 20th century. Its typical trait is to present the world solely from a subjective perspective, distorting it radically for emotional effect in order to evoke moods or ideas...

, Cubism
Cubism
Cubism was a 20th century avant-garde art movement, pioneered by Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque, that revolutionized European painting and sculpture, and inspired related movements in music, literature and architecture...

, Surrealism
Surrealism
Surrealism is a cultural movement that began in the early 1920s, and is best known for the visual artworks and writings of the group members....

 and Abstractionism
Abstract art
Abstract art uses a visual language of form, color and line to create a composition which may exist with a degree of independence from visual references in the world. Western art had been, from the Renaissance up to the middle of the 19th century, underpinned by the logic of perspective and an...

.

Brazilian cinema
Cinema of Brazil
Brazilian cinema was introduced early in the 20th century but took some time to consolidate itself as a popular form of entertainment. The film industry of Brazil has gone through periods of ups and downs, a reflection of its dependency on State funding and incentives.- Early days :A couple of...

 dates back to the birth of the medium in the late 19th century and has gained a new level of international acclaim in recent years.

Music


Brazilian music
Music of Brazil
The music of Brazil encompasses various regional music styles influenced by African, European and Amerindian forms. After 500 years of history, Brazilian music developed some unique and original styles such as samba, zouk-lambada, lambada, choro, bossa nova, frevo, maracatu, MPB, sertanejo,...

 encompasses various regional styles influenced by African, European and Amerindian forms. It developed distinctive styles, among them samba
Samba
Samba is a Brazilian dance and musical genre originating in Bahia and with its roots in Brazil and Africa via the West African slave trade and African religious traditions. It is recognized around the world as a symbol of Brazil and the Brazilian Carnival...

, MPB
Música Popular Brasileira
Música Popular Brasileira or MPB designates a trend in post-Bossa Nova urban popular music. It is not a discrete genre but rather a constellation that combines original songwriting and updated versions of traditional Brazilian urban music styles like samba and samba-canção with contemporary...

, choro
Choro
Choro , traditionally called chorinho , is a Brazilian popular music instrumental style. Its origins are in 19th century Rio de Janeiro. In spite of the name, the style often has a fast and happy rhythm, characterized by virtuosity, improvisation, subtile modulations and full of syncopation and...

, Sertanejo, brega
Brega (music)
Brega is a genre of Brazilian popular music. The name, originally pejorative and discriminatory in nature , has since somewhat lost this meaning. Historically, the greatest singers of the genre are from northeastern and northern Brazil; two of its biggest icons historically were Reginaldo Rossi...

, forró
Forró
Forró is a kind of Northeastern Brazilian dance as well as a word used to denote the different genres of music which accompanies the dance. Both are much in evidence during the annual Festa Junina , a part of Brazilian traditional culture which celebrates some Catholic saints...

, frevo
Frevo
Frevo is a wide range of musical styles originating from Recife, Pernambuco, Brazil, all of which are traditionally associated with Brazilian Carnival. The word frevo is said to come from frever, a misspeaking of the Portuguese word ferver . It is said that the sound of the frevo will make...

, maracatu
Maracatu
Maracatu is a term common to two distinct performance genres found in Pernambuco state in northeastern Brazil: maracatu de nação and maracatu rural . A third style, maracatu cearense , is found in Fortaleza, in the northeastern state of Ceará...

, bossa nova
Bossa nova
Bossa nova is a style of Brazilian music. Bossa nova acquired a large following in the 1960s, initially consisting of young musicians and college students...

, and axé
Axé music
Axé is a popular music genre originating in Salvador, Bahia, Brazil approximately in 1986, fusing different Afro-Caribbean genres, such as Marcha, Reggae, and Calypso. It also includes influences of Afro-Brazilian music such as Frevo, Forró and Carixada. The most important creator of this music...

.

Literature


Brazilian literature
Brazilian literature
Brazilian literature is written in the Portuguese language by Brazilians or in Brazil, even if prior to Brazil's independence from Portugal, in 1822...

 dates back to the 16th century, to the writings of the first Portuguese explorers in Brazil, such as Pêro Vaz de Caminha
Pêro Vaz de Caminha
Pêro Vaz de Caminha , was a Portuguese knight that accompanied Pedro Álvares Cabral to India in 1500, as a secretary to the royal factory. Caminha wrote the detailed official report of the April 1500 discovery of Brazil by Cabral's fleet...

, filled with descriptions of fauna
Fauna
Fauna or faunæ is all of the animal life of any particular region or time. The corresponding term for plants is flora.Zoologists and paleontologists use fauna to refer to a typical collection of animals found in a specific time or place, e.g. the "Sonoran Desert fauna" or the "Burgess shale fauna"...

, flora
Flora
Flora is the plant life occurring in a particular region or time, generally the naturally occurring or indigenous—native plant life. The corresponding term for animals is fauna.-Etymology:...

 and natives
Indigenous peoples
Indigenous peoples are ethnic groups that are defined as indigenous according to one of the various definitions of the term, there is no universally accepted definition but most of which carry connotations of being the "original inhabitants" of a territory....

 that amazed Europeans that arrived in Brazil. Brazil produced significant works in Romanticism
Romanticism
Romanticism was an artistic, literary and intellectual movement that originated in the second half of the 18th century in Europe, and gained strength in reaction to the Industrial Revolution...

 — novelists like Joaquim Manuel de Macedo
Joaquim Manuel de Macedo
Joaquim Manuel de Macedo was a Brazilian novelist, doctor, teacher, poet, playwright and journalist, famous for the romance A Moreninha.He is the patron of the 20th chair of the Brazilian Academy of Letters.-Life:...

 and José de Alencar
José de Alencar
José Martiniano de Alencar was a Brazilian lawyer, politician, orator, novelist and dramatist. He is one of the most famous writers of the first generation of Brazilian Romanticism, writing historical, regionalist and Indianist romances — being the most famous The Guarani...

 wrote novels about love and pain. Alencar, in his long career, also treated Indigenous people as heroes in the Indigenist novels O Guarany
O Guarany
The Guarani: Brazilian Novel is a 1857 Brazilian novel written by José de Alencar. It first came out as a feuilleton in the newspaper Diário do Rio de Janeiro, but due to its enormous success Alencar decided to compile his writing in a volume...

, Iracema
Iracema
Iracema is one of the three indigenous novels by José de Alencar. It was first published in 1865.-Plot introduction:The story revolves around the relationship between the Tabajara indigenous woman, Iracema; and the Portuguese colonist, Martim, who was allied with the Tabajara nation's enemies, the...

, Ubirajara
Ubirajara
Ubirajara is a municipality in the state of São Paulo in Brazil. The population in 2004 was 4,138 and the area is 284.86 km². The elevation is 499 m....

.

Cuisine




Brazilian cuisine varies greatly by region, reflecting the country's mix of native and immigrant populations. This has created a national cuisine marked by the preservation of regional differences. Examples are Feijoada
Feijoada
Feijoada is a stew of beans with beef and pork, which is a typical from Brazilian Cuisine, is also typical in Angola, Mozambique, Goa, India and other former Portuguese colonies. In Brazil, feijoada is considered by many as the national dish...

, considered the country's national dish; and regional foods such as vatapá
Vatapá
Vatapá is a Brazilian dish made from bread, shrimp, coconut milk, finely ground peanuts and palm oil mashed into a creamy paste. This food is very popular in the North and Northeast, but it is more typical in the northeastern state of Bahia where it is commonly eaten with acarajé, although Vatapá...

, moqueca
Moqueca
Moqueca is a traditional Brazilian seafood stew. Brazilians have been making Moquecas for 300 years.It basically consists of fish, onions, garlic, tomatoes, cilantro, and additional ingredients...

, polenta
Polenta
Polenta is a dish made from boiled cornmeal. The word "polenta" is borrowed from Italian.-Description:Polenta is made with ground yellow or white cornmeal , which can be ground coarsely or finely depending on the region and the texture desired.As it is known today, polenta derives from earlier...

 and acarajé
Acarajé
Acarajé is a dish made from peeled black-eyed peas formed into a ball and then deep-fried in dendê . It is found in Nigerian and Brazilian cuisine...

.

Brazil has a variety of candies such as brigadeiro
Brigadeiro
Brigadeiro is a simple Brazilian chocolate bonbon, created in the 1940s and named after Brigadier Eduardo Gomes, whose shape is reminiscent of that of some varieties of chocolate truffles...

s (chocolate fudge balls), cocada
Cocada
Cocada is a traditional Brazilian sweet made mainly from coconut. It originates from Bahia state. The recipes may vary, but usually use yolks, coconut milk, condensed milk, fruit syrup and sugar...

 (a coconut sweet), beijinho
Beijinho
Beijinho , also known as branquinho , is a typical Brazilian birthday party candy. It is prepared and served just like brigadeiro, but instead of cocoa powder it uses grated coconut. When rolled it can be covered with granulated sugar or grated coconut. Traditionally a single clove is stuck in the...

s (coconut truffles and clove) and romeu e julieta (cheese with a guava jam known as goiabada
Goiabada
Goiabada is a popular dessert throughout the Portuguese-speaking countries of the world, dating back to the colonial days in Brazil, where guavas were used as a substitute for the quinces used to make marmelada . Abundance of sugar and slave labour were crucial for its confection, in large...

). Peanut is used to make paçoca
Paçoca
Paçoca is the name of two different Brazilian dishes:In northeastern Brazil, especially in Fortaleza, Ceará, and in Rio Grande do Norte, it's a dish made of carne de sol , cassava flour and red onions, ground together in a mortar , for which reason it's also known as paçoca de pilão in the rest of...

, rapadura
Rapadura
Rapadura is the Portuguese name for a form of sugarcane juice, used as a sweetener or as a candy, common in Latin American countries such as Brazil, Argentina and Venezuela and the Caribbean. See also panela...

 and pé-de-moleque. Local common fruits like açaí, cupuaçu
Cupuaçu
Cupuaçu , also spelled Cupuassu, Cupuazú, and Copoasu, is a tropical rainforest tree related to cacao...

, mango
Mango
The mango is a fleshy stone fruit belonging to the genus Mangifera, consisting of numerous tropical fruiting trees in the flowering plant family Anacardiaceae. The mango is native to India from where it spread all over the world. It is also the most cultivated fruit of the tropical world. While...

, papaya
Papaya
The papaya , papaw, or pawpaw is the fruit of the plant Carica papaya, the sole species in the genus Carica of the plant family Caricaceae...

, cocoa, cashew
Cashew
The cashew is a tree in the family Anacardiaceae. Its English name derives from the Portuguese name for the fruit of the cashew tree, caju, which in turn derives from the indigenous Tupi name, acajú. It is now widely grown in tropical climates for its cashew nuts and cashew apples.-Etymology:The...

, guava
Guava
Guavas are plants in the myrtle family genus Psidium , which contains about 100 species of tropical shrubs and small trees. They are native to Mexico, Central America, and northern South America...

, orange
Orange (fruit)
An orange—specifically, the sweet orange—is the citrus Citrus × sinensis and its fruit. It is the most commonly grown tree fruit in the world....

, passionfruit, pineapple
Pineapple
Pineapple is the common name for a tropical plant and its edible fruit, which is actually a multiple fruit consisting of coalesced berries. It was given the name pineapple due to its resemblance to a pine cone. The pineapple is by far the most economically important plant in the Bromeliaceae...

, and hog plum are turned in juice
Juice
Juice is the liquid that is naturally contained in fruit or vegetable tissue.Juice is prepared by mechanically squeezing or macerating fruit or vegetable flesh without the application of heat or solvents. For example, orange juice is the liquid extract of the fruit of the orange tree...

s and used to make chocolate
Chocolate
Chocolate is a raw or processed food produced from the seed of the tropical Theobroma cacao tree. Cacao has been cultivated for at least three millennia in Mexico, Central and South America. Its earliest documented use is around 1100 BC...

s, popsicle
Popsicle
Popsicle is the most popular brand of ice pop in the United States and Canada. The first ice pop was created by accident in 1905 when 11-year-old Frank Epperson left a cup of soda on his porch in cold weather overnight. The next morning he went to go get the soda and it was frozen, so he put two...

s and ice cream
Ice cream
Ice cream is a frozen dessert usually made from dairy products, such as milk and cream, and often combined with fruits or other ingredients and flavours. Most varieties contain sugar, although some are made with other sweeteners...

.

Popular snacks are pastel
Pastel (food)
Pastel is the name given to different typical dishes of many countries of Hispanic or Portuguese origin.-Pastel in Brazil:In Brazil, pastel is a typical fast food Brazilian dish, consisting of thin pastry envelope wrapping with assorted fillings that is deep fried in vegetable oil. The result is a...

 (a pastry), coxinha
Coxinha
The Coxinha is a popular Brazilian snack, also popular in Portugal. It is made from shredded chicken and spices , enclosed in wheat flour—variants made from potato or manioc are also common--batter, and deep fried...

 (chicken croquete), pão de queijo (cheese bread and cassava flour / tapioca
Tapioca
Tapioca is a starch extracted Manihot esculenta. This species, native to the Amazon, Brazil, Colombia, Venezuela, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Honduras, and most of the West Indies, is now cultivated worldwide and has many names, including cassava, manioc, aipim,...

), pamonha
Pamonha
Pamonha is a traditional Brazilian food. It is a paste made from fresh corn and milk, boiled wrapped in corn husks. Variations may include coconut milk. Pamonhas can be savoury or sweet, the latter being the norm in north-east Brazil...

 (corn and milk paste), esfirra
Sfiha
Sfihah or lahm bi`ajin , also known as Arab or Chaldean Pizza, is a pizza-like dish originating from the Levant , and introduced in Brazil, Mexico and Argentina by Levantine immigrants ....

 (Lebanese pastry), kibbeh
Kibbeh
Kibbeh or kibbe is an Arab dish made of bulgur or rice and chopped meat. The best-known variety is a torpedo-shaped fried croquette stuffed with minced beef or lamb. Other types of kibbeh may be shaped into balls or patties, and baked or cooked in broth.Kibbeh is a popular dish in Levantine...

 (from Arabic cuisine), empanada
Empanada
An empanada is a stuffed bread or pastry baked or fried in many countries in Latin America, Southern Europe and parts of Southeast Asia. The name comes from the verb empanar, meaning to wrap or coat in bread. Empanada is made by folding a dough or bread patty around the stuffing...

 (pastry) and empada little salt pies filled with shrimps or hearth of palm.

But the everyday meal consist mosty of rice and beans
Rice and beans
Rice and beans is a very popular dish in Latin America, the Caribbean, and in communities of Latino, Caribbean or Sephardic...

 with beef
Beef
Beef is the culinary name for meat from bovines, especially domestic cattle. Beef can be harvested from cows, bulls, heifers or steers. It is one of the principal meats used in the cuisine of the Middle East , Australia, Argentina, Brazil, Europe and the United States, and is also important in...

 and salad
Salad
Salad is any of a wide variety of dishes, including vegetable salads; salads of pasta, legumes, eggs, or grains; mixed salads incorporating meat, poultry, or seafood; and fruit salads. They may include a mixture of cold and hot, often including raw vegetables or fruits.Green salads include leaf...

. Its common to mix it with cassava flour (farofa
Farofa
Farofa is a toasted manioc flour mixture, though variants are made with maize flour , and flavors can vary. It is eaten in South America and West Africa, especially in Brazil and Nigeria, where a variant is known as gari. It can be found commercially produced and packaged but is often prepared at...

). Fried potatoes, fried cassava, fried banana, fried meat and fried cheese are very often eaten in lunch and served in most typical restaurants.

The national beverage is coffee
Coffee
Coffee is a brewed beverage with a dark,init brooo acidic flavor prepared from the roasted seeds of the coffee plant, colloquially called coffee beans. The beans are found in coffee cherries, which grow on trees cultivated in over 70 countries, primarily in equatorial Latin America, Southeast Asia,...

 and cachaça
Cachaça
Cachaça is a liquor made from fermented sugarcane.It is the most popular distilled alcoholic beverage in Brazil. It is also known as aguardente, pinga, caninha and many other names...

 is Brazil's native liquor
Distilled beverage
A distilled beverage, liquor, or spirit is an alcoholic beverage containing ethanol that is produced by distilling ethanol produced by means of fermenting grain, fruit, or vegetables...

. Cachaça is distilled from sugar cane
Sugarcane
Sugarcane refers to any of six to 37 species of tall perennial grasses of the genus Saccharum . Native to the warm temperate to tropical regions of South Asia, they have stout, jointed, fibrous stalks that are rich in sugar, and measure two to six metres tall...

 and is the main ingredient in the national cocktail, Caipirinha
Caipirinha
Caipirinha is Brazil's national cocktail, made with cachaça , sugar and lime. Cachaça is Brazil's most common distilled alcoholic beverage . Both rum and cachaça are made from sugarcane-derived products...

.

Sports



The most popular sport in Brazil is football (soccer). The Brazilian national football team
Brazil national football team
The Brazil national football team represents Brazil in international men's football and is controlled by the Brazilian Football Confederation , the governing body for football in Brazil. They are a member of the International Federation of Association Football since 1923 and also a member of the...

 is ranked among the best in the world according to the FIFA World Rankings
FIFA World Rankings
The FIFA World Rankings is a ranking system for men's national teams in association football, currently led by Spain. The teams of the member nations of FIFA , football's world governing body, are ranked based on their game results with the most successful teams being ranked highest...

, and has won the World Cup
FIFA World Cup
The FIFA World Cup, often simply the World Cup, is an international association football competition contested by the senior men's national teams of the members of Fédération Internationale de Football Association , the sport's global governing body...

 tournament a record five times. Basketball
Basketball
Basketball is a team sport in which two teams of five players try to score points by throwing or "shooting" a ball through the top of a basketball hoop while following a set of rules...

, volleyball
Volleyball
Volleyball is a team sport in which two teams of six players are separated by a net. Each team tries to score points by grounding a ball on the other team's court under organized rules.The complete rules are extensive...

, auto racing
Auto racing
Auto racing is a motorsport involving the racing of cars for competition. It is one of the world's most watched televised sports.-The beginning of racing:...

, and martial arts
Martial arts
Martial arts are extensive systems of codified practices and traditions of combat, practiced for a variety of reasons, including self-defense, competition, physical health and fitness, as well as mental and spiritual development....

 also attract large audiences. Brazil men's national volleyball team
Brazil men's national volleyball team
The Brazil men's national volleyball team is the national team of Brazil. It is governed by the Confederação Brasileira de Voleibol and takes part in international volleyball competitions...

, for example, currently holds the titles of the World League, World Grand Champions Cup
Volleyball World Grand Champions Cup
The FIVB World Grand Champions Cup is a men's and women's volleyball competition. Created in 1993, it is an international tournament that is played the year after the Olympic Games.-Origins:...

, World Championship
Volleyball World Championship
The FIVB World Championship is an international men's and women's indoor volleyball competition. It is the oldest and most important of all the international events organized by the FIVB and must not be confused with the FIVB World Cup or the FIVB World League/FIVB World Grand Prix.-Origins:The...

 and the World Cup
Volleyball World Cup
The FIVB World Cup is a men's and women's volleyball competition. Created in 1965 and 1973 , it is an international qualification event for the Olympic Games...

. Others sports practiced in Brazil are tennis
Tennis
Tennis is a sport usually played between two players or between two teams of two players each . Each player uses a racket that is strung to strike a hollow rubber ball covered with felt over a net into the opponent's court. Tennis is an Olympic sport and is played at all levels of society at all...

, team handball
Team handball
Handball is a team sport in which two teams of seven players each pass a ball to throw it into the goal of the other team...

, swimming
Swimming (sport)
Swimming is a sport governed by the Fédération Internationale de Natation .-History: Competitive swimming in Europe began around 1800 BCE, mostly in the form of the freestyle. In 1873 Steve Bowyer introduced the trudgen to Western swimming competitions, after copying the front crawl used by Native...

, and gymnastics
Gymnastics
Gymnastics is a sport involving performance of exercises requiring physical strength, flexibility, agility, coordination, and balance. Internationally, all of the gymnastic sports are governed by the Fédération Internationale de Gymnastique with each country having its own national governing body...

 have found a growing number of enthusiasts over the last decades. Some sport variations have their origins in Brazil: beach football
Beach soccer
Beach soccer, also known as beach football or beasal, is a variant of association football played on a beach or some form of sand. The game emphasises skill, agility and shooting at goal....

, futsal
Futsal
Futsal is a variant of association football that is played on a smaller pitch and mainly played indoors. Its name is a portmanteau of the Portuguese futebol de salão and the Spanish fútbol de salón , which can be translated as "hall football" or "indoor football"...

 (indoor football) and footvolley
Footvolley
Footvolley is a sport which combines aspects of beach volleyball and football .-History:Footvolley was created in Brazil, by Octavio de Moraes, in 1965 in Rio de Janeiro's Copacabana Beach as a means for football players to be able to touch the ball without violating the formal football ban at the...

 emerged in Brazil as variations of football. In martial arts, Brazilians developed Capoeira
Capoeira
Capoeira is a Brazilian art form that combines elements of martial arts, sports, and music. It was created in Brazil mainly by descendants of African slaves with Brazilian native influences, probably beginning in the 16th century...

, Vale tudo
Vale tudo
Vale tudo are full-contact unarmed combat events, with a limited number of rules, that became popular in Brazil during the 20th century. Vale tudo has been considered a combat sport by some observers...

, and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is a martial art, combat sport, and a self defense system that focuses on grappling and especially ground fighting...

. In auto racing, three Brazilian drivers have won the Formula One
Formula One
Formula One, also known as Formula 1 or F1 and referred to officially as the FIA Formula One World Championship, is the highest class of single seater auto racing sanctioned by the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile . The "formula" designation in the name refers to a set of rules with which...

 world championship eight times.

Brazil has hosted several high-profile international sporting events, including UFC 134
UFC 134
UFC 134: Silva vs. Okami was a mixed martial arts event held by the Ultimate Fighting Championship on August 27, 2011 at the HSBC Arena in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil...

, the 1950 FIFA World Cup
1950 FIFA World Cup
The 1950 FIFA World Cup, held in Brazil from 24 June to 16 July, was the fourth FIFA World Cup. It was the first World Cup since 1938, the planned 1942 and 1946 competitions having been canceled owing to World War II...

 and has been chosen to host the 2014 FIFA World Cup
2014 FIFA World Cup
The 2014 FIFA World Cup will be the 20th FIFA World Cup, an international association football tournament that will take place in Brazil from 12 June to 13 July 2014....

. The São Paulo
São Paulo
São Paulo is the largest city in Brazil, the largest city in the southern hemisphere and South America, and the world's seventh largest city by population. The metropolis is anchor to the São Paulo metropolitan area, ranked as the second-most populous metropolitan area in the Americas and among...

 circuit, Autódromo José Carlos Pace
Autódromo José Carlos Pace
Autódromo José Carlos Pace, also known by its former name Interlagos, is a motor racing circuit located in the city of São Paulo, and named after Carlos Pace, a Brazilian Formula One driver, who had died prior to its naming...

, hosts the annual Grand Prix of Brazil
Brazilian Grand Prix
The Brazilian Grand Prix is a Formula One championship race which occurs at the Autódromo José Carlos Pace in Interlagos, a district in the city of São Paulo, Brazil.- History :...

. São Paulo organized the IV Pan American Games
1963 Pan American Games
The 4th Pan American Games were held from April 20 to May 5, 1963 in São Paulo, Brazil.- Medal count :To sort this table by nation, total medal count, or any other column, click on the icon next to the column title.Note...

 in 1963, and Rio de Janeiro hosted the XV Pan American Games
2007 Pan American Games
The 2007 Pan American Games, officially known as the XV Pan American Games, were a major continental multi-sport event that took place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, from July 13 to July 29, 2007. A total of 5,633 athletes from 42 National Olympic Committees competed in 332 events in 34 sports and in...

 in 2007. On 2 October 2009, Rio de Janeiro was selected to host the 2016 Olympic Games
2016 Summer Olympics
The 2016 Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of the XXXI Olympiad, are a major international multi-sport event to be celebrated in the tradition of the Olympic Games, as governed by the International Olympic Committee...

, the first to be held in South America and second in Latin America after Mexico.

In May 2010 Brazil launched TV Brasil Internacional
TV Brasil Internacional
TV Brasil Internacional is an international television station based in the city of Brasília in Brazil and also via Maputo in Mozambique. It broadcasts in the Portuguese language and was launched on 24 May 2010....

, an international television station
Television station
A television station is a business, organisation or other such as an amateur television operator that transmits content over terrestrial television. A television transmission can be by analog television signals or, more recently, by digital television. Broadcast television systems standards are...

, initially broadcasting to 49 countries. Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva
Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva
Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva , known popularly as Lula, served as the 35th President of Brazil from 2003 to 2010.A founding member of the Workers' Party , he ran for President three times unsuccessfully, first in the 1989 election. Lula achieved victory in the 2002 election, and was inaugurated as...

, former President of Brazil, described its aim as "presenting Brazil to the world."

See also


  • International rankings of Brazil
    International rankings of Brazil
    The following are international rankings of :-Economy:* The Wall Street Journal and the Heritage Foundation: Index of Economic Freedom 2006, ranked 81 out of 157 countries...

  • List of Brazilians
  • South America Life Quality Rankings


Bibliographic


  • Azevedo, Aroldo. O Brasil e suas regiões. São Paulo: Companhia Editora Nacional, 1971.
  • Barman, Roderick J. Citizen Emperor: Pedro II and the Making of Brazil, 1825–1891. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1999. ISBN 0-8047-3510-7
  • Boxer, Charles R.
    C. R. Boxer
    Charles Ralph Boxer FBA was a distinguished historian of Dutch and Portuguese maritime and colonial history.-Education and Military Career:...

    . O império marítimo português 1415–1825. São Paulo: Companhia das Letras, 2002. ISBN 8535902929
  • Bueno, Eduardo. Brasil: uma História. São Paulo: Ática, 2003. ISBN 8508082134
  • Calmon, Pedro. História da Civilização Brasileira. Brasília: Senado Federal, 2002.
  • Carvalho, José Murilo de. D. Pedro II. São Paulo: Companhia das Letras, 2007.
  • Coelho, Marcos Amorim. Geografia do Brasil. 4th ed. São Paulo: Moderna, 1996.
  • Diégues, Fernando. A revolução brasílica. Rio de Janeiro: Objetiva, 2004.
  • Enciclopédia Barsa. Volume 4: Batráquio – Camarão, Filipe. Rio de Janeiro: Encyclopædia Britannica do Brasil, 1987.
  • Fausto, Boris and Devoto, Fernando J. Brasil e Argentina: Um ensaio de história comparada (1850–2002), 2nd ed. São Paulo: Editoria 34, 2005. ISBN 8573263083
  • Gaspari, Elio
    Elio Gaspari
    Elio Gaspari is a Brazilian journalist and writer resident in São Paulo, Brazil. He came to Brazil while still an infant, and began his career in journalism not long thereafter...

    . A ditadura envergonhada. São Paulo: Companhia das Letras, 2002. ISBN 8535902775
  • Janotti, Aldo. O Marquês de Paraná: inícios de uma carreira política num momento crítico da história da nacionalidade. Belo Horizonte: Itatiaia, 1990.
  • Lyra, Heitor. História de Dom Pedro II (1825–1891): Ascenção (1825–1870). v.1. Belo Horizonte: Itatiaia, 1977.
  • Lyra, Heitor. História de Dom Pedro II (1825–1891): Declínio (1880–1891). v.3. Belo Horizonte: Itatiaia, 1977.
  • Lustosa, Isabel. D. Pedro I: um herói sem nenhum caráter. São Paulo: Companhia das letras, 2006. ISBN 8535908072
  • Moreira, Igor A. G. O Espaço Geográfico, geografia geral e do Brasil. 18. Ed. São Paulo: Ática, 1981.
  • Munro, Dana Gardner. The Latin American Republics; A History. New York: D. Appleton, 1942.
  • Schwarcz, Lilia Moritz. As barbas do Imperador: D. Pedro II, um monarca nos trópicos. 2nd ed. São Paulo: Companhia das Letras, 1998. ISBN 8571648379
  • Skidmore, Thomas E
    Thomas Skidmore
    Thomas Elliot Skidmore is a noted historian and scholar specialized in Brazilian history.-Biography:Skidmore graduated in political science and philosophy in 1954 from Denison University. He received a Fulbright Fellowship to study philosophy at Oxford University where he met his wife Felicity. He...

    . Uma História do Brasil. 4th ed. São Paulo: Paz e Terra, 2003. ISBN 8521903138
  • Souza, Adriana Barreto de. Duque de Caxias: o homem por trás do monumento. Rio de Janeiro: Civilização Brasileira, 2008. ISBN 9788520008645
  • Vainfas, Ronaldo. Dicionário do Brasil Imperial. Rio de Janeiro: Objetiva, 2002. ISBN 8573024410
  • Vesentini, José William. Brasil, sociedade e espaço – Geografia do Brasil. 7th Ed. São Paulo: Ática, 1988.
  • Vianna, Hélio. História do Brasil: período colonial, monarquia e república, 15th ed. São Paulo: Melhoramentos, 1994.


External links