Rio Grande do Sul

Rio Grande do Sul

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Rio Grande do Sul is the southernmost state in Brazil
Brazil
Brazil , officially the Federative Republic of Brazil , is the largest country in South America. It is the world's fifth largest country, both by geographical area and by population with over 192 million people...

, and the state with the fifth highest Human Development Index
Human Development Index
The Human Development Index is a composite statistic used to rank countries by level of "human development" and separate "very high human development", "high human development", "medium human development", and "low human development" countries...

 (HDI) in the country. In this state is located the southernmost city in the country, Chuí
Chui
-Places:In Kyrgyzstan:*Chui Province*Chui RiverIn South America:*Chuí, Rio Grande do Sul*Chui Stream, on the Brazil-Uruguay borderIn SwahiliChui means Leopard...

, on the border 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...

. In the region of Bento Gonçalves
Bento Gonçalves, Rio Grande do Sul
Bento Gonçalves is a town located in the state of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. Created in 1875, it is one of the centres of the Italian immigration in Brazil. It is also known as the 'wine capital of Brazil', due to its vineyards and wine production...

 and Caxias do Sul
Caxias do Sul
Caxias do Sul is a city in Rio Grande do Sul, Southern Brazil, situated in the state's mountainous Serra Gaúcha region. Coordinates: 29°10′0″ S, 51°11′0″ W....

, the largest wine
Wine
Wine is an alcoholic beverage, made of fermented fruit juice, usually from grapes. The natural chemical balance of grapes lets them ferment without the addition of sugars, acids, enzymes, or other nutrients. Grape wine is produced by fermenting crushed grapes using various types of yeast. Yeast...

 producing center in Brazil
Brazil
Brazil , officially the Federative Republic of Brazil , is the largest country in South America. It is the world's fifth largest country, both by geographical area and by population with over 192 million people...

, the attraction is Italian
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...

 gastronomy
Gastronomy
Gastronomy is the art or science of food eating. Also, it can be defined as the study of food and culture, with a particular focus on gourmet cuisine...

. Besides the 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...

an influence, the gaúchos
Gaucho
Gaucho is a term commonly used to describe residents of the South American pampas, chacos, or Patagonian grasslands, found principally in parts of Argentina, Uruguay, Southern Chile, and Southern Brazil...

, or inhabitants of Rio Grande do Sul, strongly cultivate the traditions of the Pampas — region of the border 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...

 and 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...

 — such as drinking mate (known as chimarrão drunk in special gourd cups), eating the typical barbecue, known as churrasco
Churrasco
Churrasco is a Portuguese and Spanish term referring to beef or grilled meat more generally, differing across Latin America and Europe, but a prominent feature in the cuisines of Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Nicaragua, Uruguay, and other Latin American countries...

, and the traditional clothes are the bombachas (baggy trousers), boots and large hats. Although the majority of the population dresses non-traditionally, there is a widespread value for tradition and culture, which renders the image of "cultural zealots" sometimes attributed to the gauchos.

Geography


Rio Grande do Sul is bordered to the north by the Brazilian State of Santa Catarina, to the east 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 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...

, and to the west 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...

.

The northern part of the state lies on the southern slopes of the elevated plateau extending southward from São Paulo across the states of Paraná and Santa Catarina, and is much broken by low mountain ranges whose general direction across the trend of the slope gives them the appearance of escarpments. A range of low mountains extends southward from 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...

 of Santa Catarina and crosses the state into Uruguay. West of this range is a vast grassy plain devoted principally to stock-raising — the northern and most elevated part being suitable in pasturage and climate for sheep, and the southern for cattle. East of it is a wide coastal zone only slightly elevated above the sea; within it are two great estuarine
Estuary
An estuary is a partly enclosed coastal body of water with one or more rivers or streams flowing into it, and with a free connection to the open sea....

 lagoons, the Lagoa dos Patos
Lagoa dos Patos
Lagoa dos Patos is the second largest lagoon in Latin America and the biggest in Brazil. It is located in the state of Rio Grande do Sul, southern Brazil. It is 174 miles long, has a maximum width of 44 miles , and a total area of 3,803 sq. mi....

 and Lagoa Mirim
Lagoa Mirim
Lagoa Mirim or Laguna Merín is a large estuarine lagoon which extends from southern Rio Grande do Sul state in Brazil into eastern Uruguay. Lagoa Mirim is separated from the Atlantic Ocean by a sandy, partially barren isthmus....

, which are separated from the ocean by two sandy, partially barren peninsulas. The coast is one great sand beach, broken only by the outlet of the two lakes, called the Rio Grande, which affords an entrance to navigable inland waters and several ports. There are two distinct river systems in Rio Grande do Sul - that of the eastern slope draining to the lagoons, and that of the Río de la Plata basin draining westward to the Uruguay River
Uruguay River
The Uruguay River is a river in South America. It flows from north to south and makes boundary with Brazil, Argentina, and Uruguay, separating some of the Argentine provinces of the Mesopotamia from the other two countries...

.



The larger rivers of the eastern group are the Jacuí
Jacuí River
The Jacuí River is a river in Rio Grande do Sul state of southern Brazil. The Jacuí empties into the Guaíba River, an estuarine arm of the Lagoa dos Patos, a large coastal lagoon connected to the Atlantic Ocean....

, Sinos
Sinos River
Sinos River, Portuguese Rio dos Sinos, is a river in Rio Grande do Sul estado , southern Brazil. It rises in the hills east of Caraá at altitudes above 600 meters and covers a distance of about 190 km, flowing into the delta Jacuí in Canoas, at an altitude of only 5 meters....

, Caí
Caí River
-References:*...

, Gravataí
Gravataí River
Gravataí River is a river that runs along Gravataí .The river was considered the 2nd most polluted of Brazil!...

 and Camaquã
Camaquã River
-References:*...

, which flow into the Lagoa dos Patos, and the Jaguarão
Jaguarão River
The Jaguarão or Yaguarón River is a Brazilian and Uruguayan river.- Location :It forms the border between Uruguay and Rio Grande do Sul state in southernmost Brazil....

 which flows into the Lagoa Mirim. All of the first named, except the Camaquã, discharge into one of the two arms or estuaries opening into the northern end of Lagoa dos Patos, which is called the Guaíba River
Guaíba River
The Guaíba River is a waterway in Rio Grande do Sul, a state of southern Brazil. It is famous for its beautiful reflection at sunset. The Guaíba is an extension of the Lagoa dos Patos, a huge coastal lagoon to the south, and although commonly referred to as a river, the Guaíba is a brackish water...

, though technically it is not a river but a lake.
The Guaíba River is broad, comparatively deep and about 56 kilometres (34.8 mi) long, and with the rivers discharging into it affords upwards of 320 kilometres (198.8 mi) of fluvial navigation. The Jacuí is one of the most important rivers of the state, rising in the ranges of the Coxilha Grande of the north and flowing south and southeast to the Guaíba estuary, with a course of nearly 480 kilometres (298.3 mi) It has two large tributaries, the Vacacaí
Vacacaí River
-References:*...

 from the south and the Taquari from the north, and many small streams. The Jaguarão, which forms part of the boundary line with Uruguay, is navigable 42 km up to and beyond the town of Jaguarão
Jaguarão
Jaguarão is a town in the southern Brazilian state of Rio Grande do Sul located on the shores of the Jaguarão River bordering Uruguay.Is there a place of Battle of Jaguarão-External links:*...

.

In addition to the Lagoa dos Patos and Lagoa Mirim there are a number of small lakes on the sandy, swampy peninsulas that lie between the coast and these two, and there are others of a similar character along the northern coast. The largest lake is the Lagoa dos Patos (Lake of the Patos - an Indian tribe inhabiting its shores at the time of European discovery), which lies parallel with the coastline, northeast and southwest, and is about 214 kilometres (133 mi) long exclusive of the two arms at its northern end, 40 58 km long respectively, and of its outlet, the Rio Grande, about 39 km long. Its width varies from 35 to 58 km. The lake is comparatively shallow and filled with sand banks, making its navigable channels tortuous and difficult. The Lagoa Mirim occupies a similar position farther south, on the Uruguayan border, and is about 175 kilometres (108.7 mi) long by 10 to 35 km wide. It is more irregular in outline and discharges into Lagoa dos Patos through a navigable channel known as the São Gonçalo Channel
São Gonçalo Channel
The São Gonçalo Channel is a navigable channel connecting two large coastal lagoons, Lagoa Mirim and Lagoa dos Patos, in the state of Rio Grande do Sul in southern Brazil. At its eastern end, it separates the municipalities of Rio Grande to the south from Pelotas to the north....

. A part of the lake lies in Uruguayan territory, but its navigation, as determined by treaty, belongs exclusively to Brazil. Both of these lakes are evidently the remains of an ancient depression in the coastline shut in by sand beaches built up by the combined action of wind and current. They are of the same level as the ocean, but their waters are affected by the tides and are brackish only a short distance above the Rio Grande outlet.

Fully one-third of the state belongs to the Río de la Plata drainage basin. Of the many streams flowing northward and westward to the Uruguay, the largest are the Ijuí
Ijuí River
The Ijuí River is a river of Rio Grande do Sul state in southern Brazil. It is a tributary of the Uruguay River.-See also:*List of rivers of Rio Grande do Sul-References:*...

 of the plateau region, the Ibicuí
Ibicuí River
The Ibicuí River is a river in Rio Grande do Sul state of southern Brazil. The Ibicuí is 290 km in length, and is the main tributary of the Uruguay River. It is formed by the confluence of the Ibicuí-Mirim River and Santa Maria River at the city of Cacequi...

, which has its source near Santa Maria in the central part of the state and flows westward to the Uruguay a short distance above Uruguaiana
Uruguaiana
Uruguaiana is a municipality in the Brazilian state of Rio Grande do Sul. It is located on the left-hand shore of the Uruguay River that forms the border with Argentina. Opposite Uruguaiana, and joined to it by a road/railway bridge, lies the Argentine city of Paso de los Libres, Corrientes...

, and the Quaraí River
Quaraí River
The Quaraí or Cuareim River is a tributary of the Uruguay River.-Location:The river originates in the Coxilha de Santana , an area of low-lying hills, and runs westward to join the Uruguay River...

 which forms part of the boundary line with Uruguay. The Uruguay River itself is formed by the confluence of the Canoas
Canoas River
-Brazil:* Canoas River * Canoas River * Canoas River...

 and Pelotas
Pelotas River
The Pelotas River is a river in southern Brazil, and a tributary of the Uruguay River.The river originates in the Serra Geral at Alto do Bispo and flows northeast for before meeting the Canoas River, forming the Uruguay River...

 rivers. The Pelotas, which has its source in 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...

 on the Atlantic coast, and the Uruguay River forms the northern and western boundary line of the state down to the mouth of the Quaraí, on the Uruguayan frontier.

Climate


Rio Grande do Sul lies within the south temperate zone and is predominantly humid subtropical
Humid subtropical climate
A humid subtropical climate is a climate zone characterized by hot, humid summers and mild to cool winters...

 (Cfa, according to the Köppen climate classification
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...

). The climate is subtropical highland
Oceanic climate
An oceanic climate, also called marine west coast climate, maritime climate, Cascadian climate and British climate for Köppen climate classification Cfb and subtropical highland for Köppen Cfb or Cwb, is a type of climate typically found along the west coasts at the middle latitudes of some of the...

 (Cfb) in the highest areas. There are four relatively well-marked seasons and rainfall is well distributed throughout the year, but occasional droughts can occur. The winter months, June to September, are characterized by heavy rains and by a cold southwesterly wind, called minuano
Minuano
The Minuano is a cold wind that blows in the South of Brazil and in Uruguay. It is widely mentioned in the Gaúcho folklore of the region. This wind originates from cold polar fronts that come from the South west of South America during periods of high atmospheric pressure, usually following rains...

, which sometimes lower the temperature to below freezing, especially in the mountainous municipalities
Serra Gaúcha
The Serra Gaúcha, The Gaucho Highlands, is the mountainous region in the northeastern portion of Rio Grande do Sul state in southern Brazil. This mountainous region is home to many Brazilians of German and Italian descent...

, where snowfalls can occur. The lowest registered temperature in the state was -9.8 °C in Bom Jesus
Bom Jesus, Rio Grande do Sul
Bom Jesus is a municipality in the state Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. Its population was approximately 11550 in 2010.The city is one of the coldest in Brazil and sometimes there is chance of snow.-References:...

, on August 1, 1955. In summer, the temperature rises to 30 °C (86 °F), and heat related injuries are not uncommon.


Ecoregions


Several ecoregion
Ecoregion
An ecoregion , sometimes called a bioregion, is an ecologically and geographically defined area that is smaller than an ecozone and larger than an ecosystem. Ecoregions cover relatively large areas of land or water, and contain characteristic, geographically distinct assemblages of natural...

s cover portions of the state. In the northeastern corner of the state, between 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...

/Serra Geral and the Atlantic, lies the southern extension of the Serra do Mar coastal forests
Serra do Mar coastal forests
Biome: Tropical and subtropical moist broadleaf forestsRealm: NeotropicalWWF ID: NT0160Size: 104,800 square kilometers...

, a belt of evergreen tropical moist forests that extend north along the coastal strip as far as Rio de Janeiro state. The high plateau behind the Serra do Mar is occupied by the Araucaria moist forests
Araucaria moist forests
The Araucaria moist forests are a subtropical moist forest ecoregion of southern Brazil and northeastern Argentina.-Setting:The Araucaria moist forests cover an area of , encompassing a region of mountains and plateaus in the Brazilian states of São Paulo, Paraná, Santa Catarina, and Rio Grande do...

, a subtropical forests characterized by evergreen, laurel-leaved forests interspersed with emergent Brazilian Pines (Araucaria angustifolia). The Paraná-Paraíba interior forests
Paraná-Paraíba interior forests
The Alto Paraná Atlantic forests, also known as the Paraná-Paraíba interior forests, is a tropical moist forest ecoregion of southern Brazil, northeastern Argentina, and eastern Paraguay.-Setting:...

 lie on the lower slopes of the plateau south and east of the Araucaria forests, including much of the lower basin of the Jacuí and its tributaries. These forests are semi-deciduous, with many trees losing their leaves in the winter dry season. The Atlantic Coast restingas
Atlantic Coast restingas
Atlantic Coast restingas are an ecoregion of Brazil, part of the Atlantic Forest region. Restingas are coastal forests which form on sandy, acidic, and nutrient-poor soils, and are characterized by medium sized trees and shrubs adapted to the dry and nutrient-poor conditions found...

, distinctive forests which grow on nutrient-poor coastal dunes, extend along the coast, as far as the Uruguayan border.

The southeastern portion of the state is covered by the Uruguayan savanna
Uruguayan savanna
The Uruguayan savanna, also known as the Brazilian-Uruguayan savanna, is a subtropical grassland and savanna ecoregion which includes all of Uruguay, some areas of northeastern Argentina and southernmost Brazil.-Flora:...

 or Pampa, which extends south into 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...

, in a plateau
Plateau
In geology and earth science, a plateau , also called a high plain or tableland, is an area of highland, usually consisting of relatively flat terrain. A highly eroded plateau is called a dissected plateau...

 named Serras de Sudeste
Serras de Sudeste
The Serras de Sudeste Microregion is a micro-region in the southern part of the state of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. It is named after a hill range named Serras de Sudeste, which means Southeastern Mountain Ranges...

 (Southeastern Mountain Ranges).

History


During the Brazilian Colonial period, the province of Rio Grande do Sul was the scene of bloody wars: the dispute between Portugal and Spain for the Sacramento Colony and the Guarani Missions War. It was also a focal point for internal rebellion from the 19th to the early 20th century.

Guarani Wars



Originally, the region was part of the Spanish possessions in South America. However, the Spaniards were much more interested in their achievements in the Pacific Coast, where gold, silver, and gems, were quickly found. Even in the Atlantic coast, their attention was caught by the Plata estuary, where they built the seaport of Buenos Aires, in its right bank.

The Spanish occupation of the Southeastern region of the continent, consequently, followed the course of the Plata and its tributaries, especially the Paraná and Uruguay rivers.

The first Spaniards to reach the region that is nowadays 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...

, Northwestern Argentina (Corrientes
Corrientes
Corrientes is the capital city of the province of Corrientes, Argentina, located on the eastern shore of the Paraná River, about from Buenos Aires and from Posadas, on National Route 12...

, Misiones), and Rio Grande do Sul, however, were not merchants or military conquerors; it was the Jesuit priests who established there, with the idea of converting the indigenous population to Catholicism. To that end, they founded villages known in Castilian as misiones or reducciones, and in Portuguese as missões or reduções, populated by Guarani Indians.

In the early 17th century, the Jesuits founded missions to the East of the Uruguay river, in the Northwest of modern Rio Grande do Sul.

The Missões were destroyed by slave-preying bandeirantes
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...

, between 1636 and 1638; however, in 1687, the Jesuits were back to the region, having (re)founded seven reductions - the Sete Povos das Missões. The region remained under Spanish sovereignty, though in practice the Jesuits operated quite independently, up to the late 17th century. But in 1680, the Portuguese founded Colônia do Sacramento on the Northern bank of the Plata River, in nowadays 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...

. War ensued, and was intermittent until the independence of Uruguay in 1828.

The logistics of defending Colônia against the Spaniards led to the population of Rio Grande do Sul's coastal region. In 1737, a fortified village (today the city of Rio Grande) was built at the entrance of Lagoa dos Patos. In 1752, a group of Azorean
Azores
The Archipelago of the Azores is composed of nine volcanic islands situated in the middle of the North Atlantic Ocean, and is located about west from Lisbon and about east from the east coast of North America. The islands, and their economic exclusion zone, form the Autonomous Region of the...

 settlers founded Porto Alegre; to the west, Rio Pardo was also founded. Towards the middle of the century, Portuguese and Brazilians arrived to the west of the region, clashing against the Jesuits and the Guaranis. Up to 1756, the Guaranis fought back, under the leadership of Sepé Tiaraju
Sepé Tiaraju
Sepé Tiaraju was an indigenous Guarani leader born in the Jesuit reduction mission of São Luiz Gonzaga and who died on February 7, 1756, in the municipality of São Gabriel, in the present-day state of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil....

, who was popularly canonised into São Sepé (Saint Sepé). However, the Portuguese and Brazilians eventually quelled the resistance, again destroyed the Missões, and the region turned definitely into Portuguese hegemony.

In 1738 the territory (which included the present state of Santa Catarina) became the Capitania d'el Rei and was made a dependency of Rio de Janeiro. Territorial disputes between Spain and Portugal led to the occupation by the Spaniards of the town of Rio Grande
Rio Grande, Rio Grande do Sul
Rio Grande is the oldest city in the Brazilian state of Rio Grande do Sul and also the former state capital from 1835 to 1845...

 (then the capital of the capitania) and neighbouring districts from 1763 to 1776, when they reverted to the Portuguese. The capture of Rio Grande in 1763 caused the removal of the seat of government to Viamão
Viamão
Viamão is a city in Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. In size it is the largest municipality in the metropolitan region of Porto Alegre and the seventh most populous in the state.The origin of the name Viamão is controversial...

 at the head of Lagoa dos Patos; in 1773 Porto dos Cazaes, renamed 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...

, became the capital. In 1801 news of war between Spain and Portugal led to the capture of the Sete Povos and some frontier posts.

In 1777, the Santo Ildefonso Treaty granted the coastal region to Portugal, and the Missões to Spain; but, in practice, both regions were populated by Portuguese and Brazilian settlers. In 1801, the Badajoz treaty handed the Missões to the Portuguese; only the borders between nowadays Uruguay and Rio Grande do Sul remained in dispute.

Guerra da Cisplatina


The districts of Santa Catarina and Rio Grande had been separated in 1760 for military convenience, and in 1807 the latter was elevated to the category of a "capitania-geral," with the designation of "Sao Pedro do Rio Grande", independent of Rio de Janeiro, and with Santa Catarina as a dependency. In 1812 Rio Grande and Santa Catarina were organized into two distinct 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...

s, the latter becoming an independent province in 1822 when the Empire of Brazil was organized.

In 1816, the Portuguese captured Uruguay, which became a Province of Brazil (Província Cisplatina). This situation outlasted Brazil's independence from Portugal in 1822; in 1825, however, Juan Antonio Lavalleja
Juan Antonio Lavalleja
Juan Antonio Lavalleja was an Uruguayan revolutionary and political figure. Today's Lavalleja Department is named after him.-Pre-Independence role:...

 proclaimed the independence of Uruguay; war followed, until in 1828 Brazil recognized Uruguayan independence.

Guerra dos Farrapos


Populating Rio Grande do Sul was a constant concern of the Portuguese. To that end, the metropolitan Crown distributed land in the form of enormous latifundia
Latifundia
Latifundia are pieces of property covering very large land areas. The latifundia of Roman history were great landed estates, specializing in agriculture destined for export: grain, olive oil, or wine...

.

In those large latifundia, cattle raising was the predominant economic activity. The Guaranis, under Jesuit rule, had started raising cattle in the Missões. The destruction of the Missões left astray immense herds, which went feral. Thus the newcomers from São Paulo and Santa Catarina settled by re-domesticating these "gado xucro" herds.

The Azorean settlers, on the other hand, mainly introduced wheat crops in much smaller properties. Up to the beginning of the 19th century, wheat was the main export product of Rio Grande do Sul.

However, the introduction of charqueadas in the Southern coast, following the 1777 drought in Ceará
Ceará
Ceará is one of the 27 states of Brazil, located in the northeastern part of the country, on the Atlantic coast. It is currently the 8th largest Brazilian State by population and the 17th by area. It is also one of the main touristic destinations in Brazil. The state capital is the city of...

, opened new opportunities to husbandry, as from them on, instead of moving herds by land to São Paulo, cattle could be sold in the relatively nearby region of Pelotas, to be slaughtered and processed there, and further transported by sea to Santos, Rio de Janeiro, and other Brazilian harbours. The cheap jerky was commonly used as food for the enslaved laborers in other parts of Brazil.

Up to 1830, political unrest in Argentina and Uruguay favoured the jerky producers of Pelotas. But with order restored in these countries, competition by Argentinian and Uruguayan jerky producers become a concern. The jerky industry of the Plata was favoured by the superior quality of Argentinian and Uruguayan pastures, by their better seaports, and by their use of free labour, instead of slavery. Consequently, the regional elites soon started to demand customs protection for the gaúcho jerky against the product of the Rio da la Plata; on the failure of the Imperial government to address those concerns, political demands of greater autonomy, and ideas of a federal relationship towards the rest of Brazil were put forth.

These escalated into full rebellion in 1835. In 1834, the Imperial government issued an "Ato Adicional
Ato Adicional
The Ato Adicional was an amendment to the Brazilian Constitution of 1824, passed on August 12, 1834. The amendment moderated certain authoritarian aspects of the original constitution and enhanced the autonomy of the provinces....

", allowing for elected Provincial legislative assemblies. The first gaúcha Legislative Assembly, inaugurated in April 1835, quickly confronted the Emperor-designated provincial governor. Rebellion broke out in the province; giving up hope upon Imperial redress of the situation, the gaúchos proclaimed independence on September 20, 1835.

The ensuing Guerra dos Farrapos lasted ten years. The rebels stormed Porto Alegre, but were driven out from there in June 1836. From then on, the Empire was able to control most of the coastal region, achieving decisive strategic advantage from this fact. However, in 1839, the rebels were still able to invade Santa Catarina, where they proclaimed a Juliana Republic
Juliana Republic
The Juliana Republic was declared in the imperial Brazilian province of Santa Catarina on July 24, 1839, and lasted only until November 15, 1839...

, in a federal relationship with Rio Grande do Sul (during the Santa Catarina campaign, Giuseppe Garibaldi
Giuseppe Garibaldi
Giuseppe Garibaldi was an Italian military and political figure. In his twenties, he joined the Carbonari Italian patriot revolutionaries, and fled Italy after a failed insurrection. Garibaldi took part in the War of the Farrapos and the Uruguayan Civil War leading the Italian Legion, and...

 joined the rebels for a while before he returned to Europe and eventually became a hero in his native 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...

). The Empire soon retook initiative, though, and from them on the rebels fought in the defensive.

In 1842, the Empire assigned a new Provincial governor and military commander, the Baron, later Duke of Caxias. The inability of the rebels to secure contact with the world through a seaport, the dwindling economy of the Province, combined with Caxias' superior capabilities as military commander, led to the fall, in 1843, of important rebel strongholds, Caçapava
Caçapava
Caçapava is a municipality in the state of São Paulo in Brazil. The population in 2004 was 81,298 and the area was 370.87 km². The elevation is 560 m. The city lies between Taubaté and São José dos Campos....

, Bagé
Bagé
Bagé is a city and a municipality in the south of the state of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. In 2007 its population was 112,550 in a total area of 4,096 km2. It was the tenth largest city in the state in 2007 -Location:...

, and Alegrete
Alegrete
Alegrete is a town and a municipality in Rio Grande do Sul located in southern Brazil. Its medium altitude is 102 m. Its estimated population in 2008 was 78,984 inhabitants and the total area is 7,803.967 km² . Its inhabitants are called Alegretenses.Alegrete was settled in 1816 and became a...

. Economically exhausted and militarily defeated, the rebels accepted Caxias' rather generous terms of surrender. A general amnesty was declared, the rebellious officials were incorporated into the Imperial Army, slaves enrolled in the rebel Army were freed. Additionally, the Empire imposed a 25% tax on foreign jerky imports.

The province suffered greatly in the struggle, but recovered quickly, not only due to the import tax protection, but mainly due to renewed instability in Argentina and Uruguay: Rosas' government in Argentina continually interfered in Uruguayan affairs until 1851, and Buenos Aires was blockaded by the French and the English from 1845 to 1848.

Conflicts with neighbouring countries


At mid 19th century, Rio Grande do Sul was repeatedly involved in war between Brazil and its neighbours. Those included war against Argentina and Uruguay (deposal of Juan Manuel Rosas, Argentinian dictator, and Manuel Ceferino Oribe y Viana, Uruguayan president, 1852) and intervention in Uruguay (deposal of Atanasio Cruz Aguirre, 1864). This, in turn, led to Paraguayan intervention, 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...

, known in Portuguese as Guerra do Paraguai.

In the war against Rosas, 75% of the Brazilian troops were gaúchos. As the only Brazilian boundaries actually facing foreign armies able to project the Empire's power, Rio Grande do Sul and its gaúchos quickly developed a reputation as soldiers.

Paraguay War


(Main article: Triple Alliance War)

During this long and bloody war against Paraguay, Rio Grande do Sul remained usually a secondary front. But in 1865 a 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...

an division invaded the state, occupying Uruguaiana
Uruguaiana
Uruguaiana is a municipality in the Brazilian state of Rio Grande do Sul. It is located on the left-hand shore of the Uruguay River that forms the border with Argentina. Opposite Uruguaiana, and joined to it by a road/railway bridge, lies the Argentine city of Paso de los Libres, Corrientes...

 by August 5. By August 16, troops of the Triple Alliance put siege to Uruguaiana, and by September 17, an ultimatum was delivered to General Estigarribia, commander of the Paraguayan division. Having no possibility of breaking the siege or defending the position, the Paraguayans surrendered, under conditions, the following day.

But if the territory of Rio Grande do Sul was spared most action, its dwellers provided a very significant part of the Brazilian troops: about 34,000 soldiers, more than 25% of the Brazilian army. This military characteristic of Rio Grande do Sul lasted long after the Triple Alliance War: in 1879, of a standing army of less than 15,000, more than 5,000 were in Rio Grande do Sul. On the other hand, during the late Empire, more Brazilian generals were from Rio Grande do Sul than from any other province. In 1889, of 25 generals born in Brazil, four were from Rio Grande do Sul; and of the three born abroad, two were born in Uruguay but made their careers in Rio Grande do Sul.

Late Empire


Political agitation was frequent in Rio Grande do Sul, but no important revolution occurred after the Ponche Verde Treaty in 1845 until the presidency at Rio de Janeiro of General Floriano Peixoto
Floriano Peixoto
Floriano Vieira de Araújo Peixoto , April 30, 1839, Maceió, Brazil — July 29, 1895, Rio de Janeiro; born in Ipioca , was a Brazilian soldier and politician, a veteran of the War of the Triple Alliance, and the second President of Brazil.-Election and Succession as President:Floriano Peixoto...

, whose ill-considered interference with state governments led to the revolt of 1892-94, under Gumercindo Saraiva.

After 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...

, Rio Grande do Sul underwent important changes in its economy. Railways connected the countryside to Porto Alegre and Rio Grande. Together with the introduction of steam ships, this reduced the costs and duration of transportation, facilitating the province's exports. New cattle brands were introduced, and barbed wire was used to demarcate properties.

As a consequence, the population of the province doubled between 1872 and 1890, from 434,813 inhabitants to 897,455. This was partly due to immigration: about 60,000 immigrants, mostly from Italy, and, in lesser numbers, from Germany, came to Rio Grande do Sul during this period. Most of the Italians settled in the Serra Gaúcha, and most of the Germans in the valleys of the Jacuí, Sinos, and Caí, as small landed proprietors, and agricultural producers. In the area of German settlements, a messianic movement, the Muckers
Revolt of the Muckers
The Revolt of the Muckers was a notable event that happened during the Empire of Brazil in the region of Sapiranga, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. It was a religious conflict led by Jacobina Mentz Maurer, that happened in the years of 1873 and 1874, between two groups in a German community in Southern...

 (German for false Saints) erupted in 1874, and was smashed by the Brazilian Army.

Also during this period, the Liberal Party established its hegemony over the province, meaning control of the provincial legislature, the National Guard in Rio Grande do Sul, and most of the municipal governments. Before the War of the Triple Alliance, the Conservative and Liberal parties had alternated in local power, following the national tendency. But, from 1872 on, the Liberals, under the leadership of Gaspar Silveira Martins, were able to retain provincial power, even when the Conservatives won at national level.

1893 Revolution


In this struggle the revolutionaries occupied Santa Catarina and Paraná, capturing Curitiba
Curitiba
Curitiba is the capital of the Brazilian state of Paraná. It is the largest city with the biggest economy of both Paraná and southern Brazil. The population of Curitiba numbers approximately 1.75 million people and the latest GDP figures for the city surpass US$61 billion according to...

, but were eventually overthrown through their inability to obtain munitions of war. An incident in this struggle was the death of Admiral Saldanha da Gama, one of the most brilliant officers of the Brazilian navy and one of the chiefs of the naval revolt of 1893-94, who was killed in a skirmish on the Uruguayan border towards the end of the conflict.

1923 Revolution


In 1923, civil war again exploded between supporters of State President Borges de Medeiros and opposition linked to the Partido Libertador and Assis Brasil
Assis Brasil
Assis Brasil is a municipality located in the south of the Brazilian state of Acre. Its population is 5351 and its area is 2,876 km².-Towns and villages:*Abismo*Assis Brasil - capital*Maloca*Reserva Extrema*São Francisco, Acre...

.

1930 Revolution


In 1930, State President Getulio 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...

, after unsuccessfully running in the presidential elections against the candidate of São Paulo, Júlio Prestes, led a revolt against the Federal government, and succeeded in overthrowing it. This eventually led to the Vargas dictatorship in 1937 and the period known as the Estado Novo
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....

.

Demographics



According to the IBGE
IBGE
The Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics or IBGE , is the agency responsible for statistical, geographic, cartographic, geodetic and environmental information in Brazil...

 of 2008, there were 10,860,000 people residing in the state. The population density was 38.53 PD/km2.

Urbanization
Urbanization
Urbanization, urbanisation or urban drift is the physical growth of urban areas as a result of global change. The United Nations projected that half of the world's population would live in urban areas at the end of 2008....

: 80.8% (2004); Population growth
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....

: 1.2% (1991–2000); House
House
A house is a building or structure that has the ability to be occupied for dwelling by human beings or other creatures. The term house includes many kinds of different dwellings ranging from rudimentary huts of nomadic tribes to free standing individual structures...

s: 3,464,544 (2005).

The last PNAD (National Research for Sample of Domiciles) counted 8,776,000 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...

 people (80.80%), 1,495,000 Brown (Multiracial) people (13.77%), 529,000 Black
Afro-Brazilian
In Brazil, the term "preto" is one of the five categories used by the Brazilian Census, along with "branco" , "pardo" , "amarelo" and "indígena"...

 people (4.87%), 43,000 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...

 people (0.40%), 11,000 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...

 people (0.10%).

People of Portuguese - mostly Azorean - background predominate in the coastal region. The Southwest, on the other hand, was originally populated by Pampeano Indians. Like the other Gaucho
Gaucho
Gaucho is a term commonly used to describe residents of the South American pampas, chacos, or Patagonian grasslands, found principally in parts of Argentina, Uruguay, Southern Chile, and Southern Brazil...

s from the La Plata Basin
La Plata Basin
The Río de la Plata Basin , sometimes called the Platine basin or Platine region, is the name given to the hydrographical area that covers parts of Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Paraguay and Uruguay...

 the population there was a result from the mixture of Spanish
Spanish people
The Spanish are citizens of the Kingdom of Spain. Within Spain, there are also a number of vigorous nationalisms and regionalisms, reflecting the country's complex history....

 and Portuguese men with Amerindian women with a possible predominant Spanish ancestry and also a significant African contribution, resulting in a population that is 81.20% White.

These speculations about a supposed Spanish predominance among the population of Southwestern Rio Grande do Sul are widely spread, but they contradict the historic knowledge about the region. In fact, there was always very smallish Spanish colonial presence there, in practice restricted to Jesuit initiatives towards the Amerindian populations, which, of course, had no genetic impact in the demographic composition. On the other hand, it is well established that it is Northern Uruguay that has always had an important Luso-Brazilian presence, which in fact impacts until nowadays its language, not the other way round.

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

 descent predominate in the Sinos Valley (Novo Hamburgo
Novo Hamburgo
Novo Hamburgo is a city in the southernmost Brazilian state of Rio Grande do Sul.Its population is 237,044 . The city covers an area of 217 square kilometers, and the average temperature is 19°C, a mild one for the region...

, São Leopoldo
São Leopoldo
São Leopoldo is an important Brazilian industrial city located in the south state of Rio Grande do Sul. It occupies a total area of 103.9 km² at circa 30 km from the State Capital, Porto Alegre. Climate is sub-tropical, with temperatures varying from 2°C minimum at Winter to more than...

, etc.) and in the center-eastern part of the State (Santa Cruz do Sul
Santa Cruz do Sul
Santa Cruz do Sul is a city in central Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. The city has approximately 130,000 inhabitants and sits about 150 km from the capital city of the state, Porto Alegre...

). People of Italian descent predominate in the mountains (Serra Gaúcha
Serra Gaúcha
The Serra Gaúcha, The Gaucho Highlands, is the mountainous region in the northeastern portion of Rio Grande do Sul state in southern Brazil. This mountainous region is home to many Brazilians of German and Italian descent...

, Caxias do Sul
Caxias do Sul
Caxias do Sul is a city in Rio Grande do Sul, Southern Brazil, situated in the state's mountainous Serra Gaúcha region. Coordinates: 29°10′0″ S, 51°11′0″ W....

, Bento Gonçalves
Bento Gonçalves, Rio Grande do Sul
Bento Gonçalves is a town located in the state of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. Created in 1875, it is one of the centres of the Italian immigration in Brazil. It is also known as the 'wine capital of Brazil', due to its vineyards and wine production...

, etc.). The Northern and Northwestern parts of the State also have significant numbers of people of both Italian and German descent. There are sizeable communities of Poles
Polish Brazilian
A Polish Brazilian is a Brazilian person of full or partial Polish ancestry, who is aware of such ancestry and remains connected, in some degree, to Polish culture, or a Polish-born person permanently residing in Brazil. The number of Polish descendants in Brazil is estimated at 1.8 million...

 and Ukrainians
Ukrainians
Ukrainians are an East Slavic ethnic group native to Ukraine, which is the sixth-largest nation in Europe. The Constitution of Ukraine applies the term 'Ukrainians' to all its citizens...

 across the state. People of African
Afro-Brazilian
In Brazil, the term "preto" is one of the five categories used by the Brazilian Census, along with "branco" , "pardo" , "amarelo" and "indígena"...

 ancestry are concentrated in the capital city and in some cities in the litoral, such as Pelotas
Pelotas
Pelotas is a Brazilian city and municipality , the third most populous in the southern state of Rio Grande do Sul. Pelotas is located 270 km from Porto Alegre, the capital city of the state, and 130 km from the Uruguayan border...

 and Rio Grande
Rio Grande, Rio Grande do Sul
Rio Grande is the oldest city in the Brazilian state of Rio Grande do Sul and also the former state capital from 1835 to 1845...

.

According to Argentine demographer Miguel Ángel García, Italian immigrants were 60% of the total immigration to Rio Grande do Sul and according to French historian Jean Roche as of 1950 people of German descent made up 21.6% of the state's population.


The region that is now Rio Grande do Sul was originally settled by 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...

 peoples, mostly Guaraní and Kaingang
Kaingang
The Kaingang people are a Native American ethnic group spread out over the four southern Brazilian states of São Paulo, Paraná, Santa Catarina and Rio Grande do Sul. They are also called Caingang and Aweikoma, though some sources list Kaingang and Aweikoma as separate groups...

s. 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...

an presence in the region started in 1627 with Spanish Jesuits. The Jesuits established Indian Reductions
Indian Reductions
Reductions were settlements founded by the Spanish colonizers of the New World with the purpose of assimilating indigenous populations into European culture and religion.Already since the beginning of the Spanish presence in the Americas, the Crown had been concerned...

 in the region; those reductions where populated exclusively by Amerindians, mainly Guarani, and certainly not by Europeans, either Spanish or Portuguese. Portuguese Jesuits established Indian Reductions
Indian Reductions
Reductions were settlements founded by the Spanish colonizers of the New World with the purpose of assimilating indigenous populations into European culture and religion.Already since the beginning of the Spanish presence in the Americas, the Crown had been concerned...

 in 1687 and dominated the region. Most of the Indians of the region became Catholic
Catholic
The word catholic comes from the Greek phrase , meaning "on the whole," "according to the whole" or "in general", and is a combination of the Greek words meaning "about" and meaning "whole"...

s and went to live among the Jesuits. These reductions were destroyed by the Bandeirantes from 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...

 in the 18th century, who wanted to enslave the Indians. The Portuguese settlement in Rio Grande do Sul was largely increased between 1748 and 1756, with the arrival of two thousand immigrants from the Azores Islands, 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...

. They settled many parts of the state, including the nowadays capital, 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...

. Black
Afro-Brazilian
In Brazil, the term "preto" is one of the five categories used by the Brazilian Census, along with "branco" , "pardo" , "amarelo" and "indígena"...

s were 50 percent of Rio Grande do Sul's population in 1822. This proportion decreased to 25 percent in 1858 and to only 5.2 percent in 2005. Most of them were brought from Angola
Angola
Angola, officially the Republic of Angola , is a country in south-central Africa bordered by Namibia on the south, the Democratic Republic of the Congo on the north, and Zambia on the east; its west coast is on the Atlantic Ocean with Luanda as its capital city...

 to work as slaves in the charqueadas.

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

 first arrived to Southern Brazil in 1824. They were attracted to Brazil to protect the country from invasions of the neighboring countries and to populate the empty interior of the southern region. The first city to be settled by them was São Leopoldo
São Leopoldo
São Leopoldo is an important Brazilian industrial city located in the south state of Rio Grande do Sul. It occupies a total area of 103.9 km² at circa 30 km from the State Capital, Porto Alegre. Climate is sub-tropical, with temperatures varying from 2°C minimum at Winter to more than...

. In the next five decades, around 28 thousand Germans were brought to the region to work as small farmers in the countryside.

Italian immigrants started arriving in Rio Grande do Sul in 1875. They were mostly poor peasants from Trentino and Veneto
Veneto
Veneto is one of the 20 regions of Italy. Its population is about 5 million, ranking 5th in Italy.Veneto had been for more than a millennium an independent state, the Republic of Venice, until it was eventually annexed by Italy in 1866 after brief Austrian and French rule...

, Northern Italy
Northern Italy
Northern Italy is a wide cultural, historical and geographical definition, without any administrative usage, used to indicate the northern part of the Italian state, also referred as Settentrione or Alta Italia...

, who were attracted to Southern Brazil to get their own farms. Italian immigration to the region lasted until 1914, with a total of 100,000 Italians settling there in this period. Most of the immigrants worked as small farmers, mainly cultivating grape
Grape
A grape is a non-climacteric fruit, specifically a berry, that grows on the perennial and deciduous woody vines of the genus Vitis. Grapes can be eaten raw or they can be used for making jam, juice, jelly, vinegar, wine, grape seed extracts, raisins, molasses and grape seed oil. Grapes are also...

s in the Serra Gaúcha
Serra Gaúcha
The Serra Gaúcha, The Gaucho Highlands, is the mountainous region in the northeastern portion of Rio Grande do Sul state in southern Brazil. This mountainous region is home to many Brazilians of German and Italian descent...

 part of the state.

Other 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...

an immigrants also migrated to Rio Grande do Sul, mostly coming from Eastern Europe
Eastern Europe
Eastern Europe is the eastern part of Europe. The term has widely disparate geopolitical, geographical, cultural and socioeconomic readings, which makes it highly context-dependent and even volatile, and there are "almost as many definitions of Eastern Europe as there are scholars of the region"...

 (Poland
Poland
Poland , officially the Republic of Poland , is a country in Central Europe bordered by Germany to the west; the Czech Republic and Slovakia to the south; Ukraine, Belarus and Lithuania to the east; and the Baltic Sea and Kaliningrad Oblast, a Russian exclave, to the north...

, Ukraine
Ukraine
Ukraine is a country in Eastern Europe. It has an area of 603,628 km², making it the second largest contiguous country on the European continent, after Russia...

).

European genomic ancestry predominates throughout Brazil at 80%, except for the Southern Region
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...

 (which includes Rio Grande do Sul), where it reaches 90%. "A new portrayal of each ethnicity contribution to the DNA of Brazilians, obtained with samples from the five regions of the country, has indicated that, on average, European ancestors are responsible for nearly 80% of the genetic heritage of the population. The variation between the regions is small, with the possible exception of the South, where the European contribution reaches nearly 90%. The results, published by the scientific magazine 'American Journal of Human Biology' by a team of the Catholic University of Brasília, show that, in Brazil, physical indicators such as skin colour, colour of the eyes and colour of the hair have little to do with the genetic ancestry of each person, which has been shown in previous studies".


Main towns


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...

 (the state's capital city), Caxias do Sul
Caxias do Sul
Caxias do Sul is a city in Rio Grande do Sul, Southern Brazil, situated in the state's mountainous Serra Gaúcha region. Coordinates: 29°10′0″ S, 51°11′0″ W....

, Pelotas
Pelotas
Pelotas is a Brazilian city and municipality , the third most populous in the southern state of Rio Grande do Sul. Pelotas is located 270 km from Porto Alegre, the capital city of the state, and 130 km from the Uruguayan border...

, Canoas
Canoas
Canoas , which won city status in 1939, is the fourth largest city in the state of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. Its population is over 300,000 people. The city is adjacent to the capital of the gaúcho state: Porto Alegre...

, Gravataí
Gravataí
Gravataí is a Brazilian city near Porto Alegre at the Rio Grande do Sul State...

, Santa Maria, Viamão
Viamão
Viamão is a city in Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. In size it is the largest municipality in the metropolitan region of Porto Alegre and the seventh most populous in the state.The origin of the name Viamão is controversial...

, Novo Hamburgo
Novo Hamburgo
Novo Hamburgo is a city in the southernmost Brazilian state of Rio Grande do Sul.Its population is 237,044 . The city covers an area of 217 square kilometers, and the average temperature is 19°C, a mild one for the region...

, Alvorada
Alvorada
Alvorada is a city in Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil, adjacent to the city of Porto Alegre. The city is also known as "The Capital of Solidarity." Alvorada is primarily a bedroom community with most workers commuting to adjacent cities such as Porto Alegre to work. Alvorada is built around its main...

, São Leopoldo
São Leopoldo
São Leopoldo is an important Brazilian industrial city located in the south state of Rio Grande do Sul. It occupies a total area of 103.9 km² at circa 30 km from the State Capital, Porto Alegre. Climate is sub-tropical, with temperatures varying from 2°C minimum at Winter to more than...

, Rio Grande
Rio Grande, Rio Grande do Sul
Rio Grande is the oldest city in the Brazilian state of Rio Grande do Sul and also the former state capital from 1835 to 1845...

, Passo Fundo
Passo Fundo
Passo Fundo - RS is a city in the north of the southern Brazilian state of Rio Grande do Sul. It is named after its river. It's the twelfth largest city in the state with an estimated population of 188,302 inhabitants living in a total municipal area of 780 km2.-Communications:The following...

, Uruguaiana
Uruguaiana
Uruguaiana is a municipality in the Brazilian state of Rio Grande do Sul. It is located on the left-hand shore of the Uruguay River that forms the border with Argentina. Opposite Uruguaiana, and joined to it by a road/railway bridge, lies the Argentine city of Paso de los Libres, Corrientes...

, Sapucaia do Sul
Sapucaia do Sul
Sapucaia do Sul is a municipality in the state of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil.Sapucaida do Sul is a commercial city, and some industries have been there since the 1960s. The city is crossed by BR-116, one of the most important roads in Brazil....

, Bagé
Bagé
Bagé is a city and a municipality in the south of the state of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. In 2007 its population was 112,550 in a total area of 4,096 km2. It was the tenth largest city in the state in 2007 -Location:...

, Cachoeirinha
Cachoeirinha
Cachoeirinha is a city situated in the Brazilian state of Rio Grande do Sul. Cachoeirinha is an alternative for the people who want to be near Porto Alegre . The city is situated at a strategic point in Rio Grande do Sul state. The city shares borders with Porto Alegre, Canoas, Esteio, Sapucaia do...

, Santa Cruz do Sul
Santa Cruz do Sul
Santa Cruz do Sul is a city in central Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. The city has approximately 130,000 inhabitants and sits about 150 km from the capital city of the state, Porto Alegre...

, Guaíba
Guaíba
Guaíba is a Brazilian city that lies on the opposite side of the Guaíba River from Porto Alegre in Rio Grande do Sul state. It is a small and calm industrial town with a large cellulose and elevator factory....

, Bento Gonçalves
Bento Gonçalves, Rio Grande do Sul
Bento Gonçalves is a town located in the state of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. Created in 1875, it is one of the centres of the Italian immigration in Brazil. It is also known as the 'wine capital of Brazil', due to its vineyards and wine production...

, Erechim
Erechim
Erechim is a Brazilian city located in the southern state of Rio Grande do Sul. A regional center in the northern portion of the state, it is the second most populous city in the region with 97,916 inhabitants, second only to the city of Passo Fundo...

, all of them having more than 100,000 inhabitants.

Economy



The industrial sector is the largest component of GDP at 42.6%, followed by the service sector at 41.1%. 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...

 represents 16.3% of GDP (2004). Rio Grande do Sul exports: 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....

 18.1%, soybeans 14.2%, tobacco
Tobacco
Tobacco is an agricultural product processed from the leaves of plants in the genus Nicotiana. It can be consumed, used as a pesticide and, in the form of nicotine tartrate, used in some medicines...

 13.6%, vehicles 8.1%, frozen meat
Meat
Meat is animal flesh that is used as food. Most often, this means the skeletal muscle and associated fat and other tissues, but it may also describe other edible tissues such as organs and offal...

 7.2%, chemicals 6.8%, and leather
Leather
Leather is a durable and flexible material created via the tanning of putrescible animal rawhide and skin, primarily cattlehide. It can be produced through different manufacturing processes, ranging from cottage industry to heavy industry.-Forms:...

 5.3% (2002).

Share of the Brazilian economy: 6.7% (2005).

One of the most prosperous Brazilian states, Rio Grande do Sul is known especially for its grain
GRAIN
GRAIN is a small international non-profit organisation that works to support small farmers and social movements in their struggles for community-controlled and biodiversity-based food systems. Our support takes the form of independent research and analysis, networking at local, regional and...

 production, viticulture
Viticulture
Viticulture is the science, production and study of grapes which deals with the series of events that occur in the vineyard. When the grapes are used for winemaking, it is also known as viniculture...

, ranching, and for its considerable industrial
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,...

 output.

Interesting facts

  • Vehicles: 4.367.980 (March/2008);
  • Mobile phone
    Mobile phone
    A mobile phone is a device which can make and receive telephone calls over a radio link whilst moving around a wide geographic area. It does so by connecting to a cellular network provided by a mobile network operator...

    s: 12.3 million (June/2008)
  • Telephone
    Telephone
    The telephone , colloquially referred to as a phone, is a telecommunications device that transmits and receives sounds, usually the human voice. Telephones are a point-to-point communication system whose most basic function is to allow two people separated by large distances to talk to each other...

    s: 3.0 million (April/2008)
  • Cities: 496 (2007).

Education




Educational institutions


There are more than 100 universities in whole state of Rio Grande do Sul.

Colleges

  • Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS) (Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul), in Porto Alegre;
  • Universidade Federal de Santa Maria
    Universidade Federal de Santa Maria
    The Federal University of Santa Maria is a Brazilian public university located in Santa Maria, in the state of Rio Grande do Sul, funded by the federal government of Brazil...

     (UFSM) (Federal University of Santa Maria);
  • Universidade Federal de Pelotas
    Universidade Federal de Pelotas
    The Universidade Federal de Pelotas is a higher-learning facility with campuses in Pelotas and Capão do Leão in Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil.- Distinguished faculty members :...

     (UFPel) (Federal University of Pelotas);
  • Universidade Feevale
    Universidade Feevale
    The Universidade Feevale is a Brazilian university, located in the city of Novo Hamburgo in the metropolitan region of Porto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul...

     (Feevale University);
  • Universidade Estadual do Rio Grande do Sul (UERGS) (State University of Rio Grande do Sul);
  • Fundação Universidade Federal do Rio Grande
    Fundação Universidade Federal do Rio Grande
    Fundação Universidade Federal do Rio Grande is a public Brazilian university funded by the Brazilian federal government, located in the city of Rio Grande, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil....

     (FURG) (Foundation Federal University of Rio Grande);
  • Universidade de Caxias do Sul (UCS) (University of Caxias do Sul);
  • Universidade de Passo Fundo (UPF) (University of Passo Fundo);
  • Universidade Federal de Ciências da Saúde de Porto Alegre
    Universidade Federal de Ciências da Saúde de Porto Alegre
    Universidade Federal de Ciências da Saúde de Porto Alegre is a federal institution of higher education and research on health sciences located in Porto Alegre, Brazil.Founded in 1961, UFCSPA has today ten faculties: Biomedicine, Medicine, Nursing, Nutrition, Physiotherapy, Psychology,...

     (UFCSPA);
  • Universidade Católica de Pelotas
    Universidade Católica de Pelotas
    The Universidade Católica de Pelotas is a private and non-profit Catholic university, located in Pelotas, one of the more southern cities of the country. It is one of the largest and most prestigious Brazilian universities...

     (UCPel) (Catholic University of Pelotas);
  • Universidade Federal do Pampa
    Universidade Federal do Pampa
    The Universidade Federal do Pampa is a public university established in 2006 with the objective of strengthen the South Region of the state of Rio Grande do Sul....

     (UNIPAMPA) (Federal University of Pampa);
  • Universidade da Região da Campanha (Urcamp) (University of Campanha Region);
  • Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio Grande do Sul
    Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio Grande do Sul
    The Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio Grande do Sul is a private non-profit Catholic university, with three campuses, in the Brazilian cities of Porto Alegre, Uruguaiana, and Viamão...

     (PUC-RS);
  • Universidade do Vale do Rio dos Sinos
    Universidade do Vale do Rio dos Sinos
    The Universidade do Vale do Rio dos Sinos is a private and non-profit Jesuit university, located in São Leopoldo, in Greater Porto Alegre. It is one of the largest and most prestigious Brazilian universities...

     (UNISINOS) (University of Rio dos Sinos Valley);
  • Universidade Luterana do Brasil
    Universidade Luterana do Brasil
    The Universidade Luterana do Brasil is a university located in the city of Canoas, in the State of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil...

     (ULBRA) (Lutheran University of Brazil), in Canoas;
  • Universidade de Santa Cruz do Sul (UNISC) (University of Santa Cruz do Sul);
  • Faculdade Cenecista Nossa Senhora dos Anjos (FACENSA) (College of Gravataí)
  • UNIVATES
  • Faculdades Rio-grandenses (fargs.br);

and many others.

International airports

  • 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...




With 37.6 thousand square meters of constructed area and four levels, the passenger terminal at Salgado Filho International Airport
Salgado Filho International Airport
Salgado Filho International Airport is the airport serving Porto Alegre, Brazil. It is named after the Senator and first Minister of the Brazilian Air Force Joaquim Pedro Salgado Filho , killed on June 20, 1950 in an accident with an aircraft which departed from Porto Alegre.In 2010 the airport...

can receive 28 large airplanes simultaneously.
The terminal has 32 check-in counters, ten boarding bridges, nine elevator
Elevator
An elevator is a type of vertical transport equipment that efficiently moves people or goods between floors of a building, vessel or other structures...

s and ten escalator
Escalator
An escalator is a moving staircase – a conveyor transport device for carrying people between floors of a building. The device consists of a motor-driven chain of individual, linked steps that move up or down on tracks, allowing the step treads to remain horizontal.Escalators are used around the...

s. It has a totally automated aircraft movement control center and the main spaces are air conditioned.
The apron, surfaced with prestressed concrete, can serve jumbo jets like the Boeing
Boeing
The Boeing Company is an American multinational aerospace and defense corporation, founded in 1916 by William E. Boeing in Seattle, Washington. Boeing has expanded over the years, merging with McDonnell Douglas in 1997. Boeing Corporate headquarters has been in Chicago, Illinois since 2001...

 747-400. The garage structure has eight levels, 44 thousand square meters and 1,440 parking spaces.
Another terminal, with 15 thousand square meters and capacity for 1.5 million passenger
Passenger
A passenger is a term broadly used to describe any person who travels in a vehicle, but bears little or no responsibility for the tasks required for that vehicle to arrive at its destination....

s a year, serves general, executive and third-tier aviation (conventional piston-engine and turboprop planes).
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...

 Airport was the first one administered by Infraero
Infraero
Empresa Brasileira de Infraestrutura Aeroportuária, Infraero in short, is a Brazilian government corporation created in 1972 and responsible for operating the main Brazilian commercial airports. In 2009, Infraero's airports carried 128,135,616 passengers and 1,114,754 tons of cargo and operated...

 to have integrated check-in. This service offers flexibility in use of terminal facilities and installations, enabling carriers to access their own data centers via shared-use 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 from any check-in
Check-in
Check-in is the process of announcing your arrival at a hotel, airport, sea port or social network service.-Airlines and airports :Check-in desks are found in the majority of commercial airports. Their main function is to take in luggage that passengers wish to, or are required to, place within the...

 counter position. This makes it much easier to allocate counter space according to demand fluctuations, making for less idle space.
The Aeroshopping area – a center for commerce and leisure – operates 24 hours a day with shops
Retailing
Retail consists of the sale of physical goods or merchandise from a fixed location, such as a department store, boutique or kiosk, or by mail, in small or individual lots for direct consumption by the purchaser. Retailing may include subordinated services, such as delivery. Purchasers may be...

, services, a food
Food
Food is any substance consumed to provide nutritional support for the body. It is usually of plant or animal origin, and contains essential nutrients, such as carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins, or minerals...

 court, along with a triplex cinema, the first to be established at a Brazilian airport.
Salgado Filho International Airport also has an air cargo terminal, built in 1974, with 9,500 thousand square meters of area and capacity to handle 1,500 tons of export cargo and 900 tons of imports each month.
The average daily movement (arrivals and departures) is 174 aircraft, flying scheduled routes connecting Porto Alegre directly or indirectly to all the country's other major cities, as well as smaller cities in the interior of the states of the South Region and 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...

. There are also international flights with direct connections to cities of the Southern Cone
Southern Cone
Southern Cone is a geographic region composed of the southernmost areas of South America, south of the Tropic of Capricorn. Although geographically this includes part of Southern and Southeast of Brazil, in terms of political geography the Southern cone has traditionally comprised Argentina,...

.
  • Bagé
    Bagé
    Bagé is a city and a municipality in the south of the state of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. In 2007 its population was 112,550 in a total area of 4,096 km2. It was the tenth largest city in the state in 2007 -Location:...


Kraemer International Airport opened on July 5, 1946, this airport came under Infraero
Infraero
Empresa Brasileira de Infraestrutura Aeroportuária, Infraero in short, is a Brazilian government corporation created in 1972 and responsible for operating the main Brazilian commercial airports. In 2009, Infraero's airports carried 128,135,616 passengers and 1,114,754 tons of cargo and operated...

 administration on October 27, 1980. It is located in the rural zone of Bagé, 60 km (37 mi) from the 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...

an border and 380 km (236 mi) from 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...

. Comandante Gustavo Kraemer International Airport does not operate with scheduled commercial flights. There are two daily flights carrying bank
Bank
A bank is a financial institution that serves as a financial intermediary. The term "bank" may refer to one of several related types of entities:...

 pouches, as well as air taxi
Air taxi
An air taxi is an air charter passenger or cargo aircraft which operates on an on-demand basis.-Regulation:In the United States, air taxi and air charter operations are governed by Part 135 of the Federal Aviation Regulations , unlike the larger scheduled air carriers which are governed by more...

 services and executive jets. Most of the 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 users are businesspeople from the central part of Brazil
Brazil
Brazil , officially the Federative Republic of Brazil , is the largest country in South America. It is the world's fifth largest country, both by geographical area and by population with over 192 million people...

 who have interests in the region in breeding thoroughbred English
England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

 and Arabian horse
Horse
The horse is one of two extant subspecies of Equus ferus, or the wild horse. It is a single-hooved mammal belonging to the taxonomic family Equidae. The horse has evolved over the past 45 to 55 million years from a small multi-toed creature into the large, single-toed animal of today...

s, cattle ranching, fruit
Fruit
In broad terms, a fruit is a structure of a plant that contains its seeds.The term has different meanings dependent on context. In non-technical usage, such as food preparation, fruit normally means the fleshy seed-associated structures of certain plants that are sweet and edible in the raw state,...

 growing, wine making, wood pulp and power generation.
  • Uruguaiana
    Uruguaiana
    Uruguaiana is a municipality in the Brazilian state of Rio Grande do Sul. It is located on the left-hand shore of the Uruguay River that forms the border with Argentina. Opposite Uruguaiana, and joined to it by a road/railway bridge, lies the Argentine city of Paso de los Libres, Corrientes...


Located on the border with 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...

 (at Paso de los Libres), Uruguaiana is considered the major inland port 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...

, thanks to its strategic position with the countries of Mercosur
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,...

. Rubem Berta International Airport, however, does not operate any scheduled regional flights – a situation Infraero
Infraero
Empresa Brasileira de Infraestrutura Aeroportuária, Infraero in short, is a Brazilian government corporation created in 1972 and responsible for operating the main Brazilian commercial airports. In 2009, Infraero's airports carried 128,135,616 passengers and 1,114,754 tons of cargo and operated...

 intends to change, as was confirmed in an official visit to the airport in December 2004.
With more than 700 thousand square meters of constructed area, it is the largest airport in the interior of the state of Rio Grande do Sul.
There are two highways, BR-290 and BR-472, running near the 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...

, besides a railroad line about 2,500 meters from the terminal. Located 9 km (6 mi) from the city center, this airport is at an elevation of 78 meters and the average annual temperature is 20C, with a good deal of variation from summer to winter.
Located 630 km (391 mi) from the state capital (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...

), Uruguaiana
Uruguaiana
Uruguaiana is a municipality in the Brazilian state of Rio Grande do Sul. It is located on the left-hand shore of the Uruguay River that forms the border with Argentina. Opposite Uruguaiana, and joined to it by a road/railway bridge, lies the Argentine city of Paso de los Libres, Corrientes...

 was founded on May 29, 1746, and has a current population of 126,936. Farming and ranching are the main economic activities of the region, which has 1,509 rural properties.

Culture


The state of Rio Grande do Sul is renowned as one of the most culturally rich states of Brazil
Brazil
Brazil , officially the Federative Republic of Brazil , is the largest country in South America. It is the world's fifth largest country, both by geographical area and by population with over 192 million people...

. Rio Grande's music is a blend of many styles (most a continuum of rhythms found in neighboring countries), including the Chamamé
Chamamé
Chamamé is a folk music genre from the Argentine Northeast, Mesopotamia and in the south of Brazil. Paraná, Santa Catarina, Rio Grande do Sul and Mato Grosso do Sul....

, Milonga
Milonga
Milonga can refer to an Argentine, Uruguayan, and Southern Brazilian form of music which preceded the tango and the dance form which accompanies it, or to the term for places or events where the tango or Milonga are danced...

, Polca and Chacarera
Chacarera
The Chacarera is a dance of Argentine origin. It is a genre of folk music that, for many Argentines, serves as a rural counterpart to the cosmopolitan imagery of the Tango...

. The inhabitants of the state are known in the country for drinking chimarrão, a local version of the mate
Mate (beverage)
Mate , also known as chimarrão or cimarrón, is a traditional South American infused drink, particularly in Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, southern states of Brazil, south of Chile, the Bolivian Chaco, and to some extent, Syria and Lebanon...

 drunk in neighbouring 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...

 and 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 for consuming churrasco
Churrasco
Churrasco is a Portuguese and Spanish term referring to beef or grilled meat more generally, differing across Latin America and Europe, but a prominent feature in the cuisines of Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Nicaragua, Uruguay, and other Latin American countries...

 very regularly (a practice common due to the abundant sources of high quality meat), even going so far as considering this one of the most important elements of everyday life. 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...

 is home to Sport Club Internacional
Sport Club Internacional
Sport Club Internacional is a Brazilian football team and multi-sport club from Porto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul, founded on April 4, 1909, and are one of the only five clubs to have never been relegated, along with Santos, São Paulo, Flamengo and Cruzeiro. They play in red shirts, white shorts and...

, and also to Gremio Foot-Ball Porto Alegrense
Grêmio Foot-Ball Porto Alegrense
Grêmio Foot-Ball Porto Alegrense, commonly known as just Grêmio , is a Brazilian professional association football team based in Porto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul founded by English and German immigrants on September 15, 1903. Major titles captured by Grêmio include one Intercontinental Cup, two Copa...

. They are arch-rivals, one of the biggest rivalries in Brazil.

Each region of the state has its own cultural background. In the pampa
Pampa
The Pampas are the fertile South American lowlands, covering more than , that include the Argentine provinces of Buenos Aires, La Pampa, Santa Fe, Entre Ríos and Córdoba, most of Uruguay, and the southernmost Brazilian State, Rio Grande do Sul...

s (Southwest), the culture is still largely influenced by the old Gaúcho
Gaucho
Gaucho is a term commonly used to describe residents of the South American pampas, chacos, or Patagonian grasslands, found principally in parts of Argentina, Uruguay, Southern Chile, and Southern Brazil...

s. Gaúcho is a term that can describe anyone born in the state of Rio Grande do Sul. However, it is also used to describe the 19th century rural workers of the region.

Other parts of the state have a slightly different culture, influenced mainly by German
German Brazilian
A German Brazilian is a Brazilian person of ethnic German ancestry or origin...

 or 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...

 immigrants. After some generations, the descendants of immigrants were integrated in the local society, even though their cultural influences are still strong, mostly in the countryside. Albeit these differences, the Gaúcho people maintain a particular zeal for their culture and it's variations.

Language


As in all Brazil, Portuguese
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...

 is the main spoken language. A few expressions of Spanish
Spanish language
Spanish , also known as Castilian , is a Romance language in the Ibero-Romance group that evolved from several languages and dialects in central-northern Iberia around the 9th century and gradually spread with the expansion of the Kingdom of Castile into central and southern Iberia during the...

 origin are common (such as "gracias" instead of "obrigado", or the expletive "tchê") etc., due to the proximity with 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 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...

 and their common Gaucho
Gaucho
Gaucho is a term commonly used to describe residents of the South American pampas, chacos, or Patagonian grasslands, found principally in parts of Argentina, Uruguay, Southern Chile, and Southern Brazil...

 past. Also a few words of German origin, particularly referring to culinary, have entered the vocabulary, such as "chimia" (from "schmier") and "cuca" (from "kuecher"). Words of Indian 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...

 origin also make up the vocabulary. Example is the largely used word "guri", meaning "boy".

The gaúchos are also famous by their use of the pronoun "tu", instead of "você". In the traditional gaúcho dialect of the Pampas, the verb is conjugated correctly in the second person singular, just like the European Portuguese
European Portuguese
European Portuguese refers to the variety of Portuguese spoken in continental Portugal, as well as the Azores and Madeira islands...

 (tu cantas, tu bates, tu partes, tu pões). In the colloquial Portuguese of Porto Alegre, however, the verb is conjugated in the second person as in the third person (tu canta, tu bate, tu parte, tu põe).

Consonant phonemes of Porto-alegrense Portuguese


A considerable difference between the Gaúcho Portuguese and the Southeastern dialects is that in Gaúcho Portuguese the "rr" digraph is articulated with the glottis
Glottis
The glottis is defined as the combination of the vocal folds and the space in between the folds .-Function:...

, just like the English "h", instead of being uvular
Uvular consonant
Uvulars are consonants articulated with the back of the tongue against or near the uvula, that is, further back in the mouth than velar consonants. Uvulars may be plosives, fricatives, nasal stops, trills, or approximants, though the IPA does not provide a separate symbol for the approximant, and...

 or velar
Velar consonant
Velars are consonants articulated with the back part of the tongue against the soft palate, the back part of the roof of the mouth, known also as the velum)....

. Also, in Gaúcho Portuguese the letters "s" and "z" are never pronounced as Palato-alveolar consonants
Palato-alveolar consonant
In phonetics, palato-alveolar consonants are postalveolar consonants, nearly always sibilants, that are weakly palatalized with a domed tongue...

, reason why the gaúchos usually say that the Southeastern dialects are "squeaky".

In Rio Grande do Sul, as in most of Brazil, the letters "t" and "d" are pronounced "squeaky", as palato-alveolar affricate consonants, when immediately succeeded by the vowel "i". Besides that, in Porto Alegre, the final "e" and "o" are "reduced", like in most of Brazil, into /i/ and /u/, resulting that final "te" syllables are pronounced /tʃi/, while in the Southwest of the state they are pronounced /te/:

Porto Alegre: antigamente - /ãtʃiga'meȷ̃tʃi/

Southwest: antigamente - /ãtʃiga'mɛ̃te/

(compare Spanish: antigamente - /antigamente/)

Example


Pai Nosso paj 'nɔsu (Lord's Prayer)

Pai Nosso, que estais no Céu, [paj 'nɔsu, kis'tajz nu sɛw]

Santificado seja o vosso Nome, [sãtʃifi'kadu 'seʒaw 'vɔsu 'nomi]

Venha a nós o vosso Reino, ['veȷ̃a nɔz u 'vɔsu 'heinu]

Seja feita a vossa vontade ['seʒa 'fejta 'vɔsa võ'tadʒi]

Assim na terra como no Céu. [a'siȷ̃ na 'tɛha 'komu nu sɛw]

O pão nosso de cada dia nos dai hoje, [u pãw̃ 'nɔsu dʒi 'kada 'dʒia nuz daj oʒi]

Perdoai as nossas ofensas [peɾdu'aj as 'nɔsaz o'feȷ̃nsas]

Assim como nós perdoamos [a'siȷ̃ 'komu nɔs peɾdu'ãmuz]

A quem nos tem ofendido, [a keȷ̃ nus teȷ̃ ofeȷ̃'dʒidu]

E não nos deixeis cair em tentação, [i nãw̃ nuz dej'ʃejs ka'iɾ iȷ̃ teȷ̃ta'sãw̃]

Mas livrai-nos do Mal. [maz li'vɾajnuz du maw]

Amém. [ameȷ̃]

Minority languages


Minority language
Minority language
A minority language is a language spoken by a minority of the population of a territory. Such people are termed linguistic minorities or language minorities.-International politics:...

s spoken in Rio Grande do Sul include Indigenous languages (Guarani
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...

, Kaingang
Kaingang
The Kaingang people are a Native American ethnic group spread out over the four southern Brazilian states of São Paulo, Paraná, Santa Catarina and Rio Grande do Sul. They are also called Caingang and Aweikoma, though some sources list Kaingang and Aweikoma as separate groups...

, etc.), and European derived Languages (Talian
Talian
Talian is a dialect spoken mainly in the wine-producing area of the state of Rio Grande do Sul in Brazil. Talian is sometimes called Vêneto ...

, Riograndenser Hunsrückisch
Riograndenser Hunsrückisch
Riograndenser Hunsrückisch , spoken in parts of Brazil, is a Brazilian West Germanic language derived primarily from the Hunsrückisch dialect of the German Language....

, Pomeranian Low German (Low Saxon), and Polish
Polish language
Polish is a language of the Lechitic subgroup of West Slavic languages, used throughout Poland and by Polish minorities in other countries...

).

Most of the German dialects
German dialects
German dialect is dominated by the geographical spread of the High German consonant shift, and the dialect continuum that connects the German with the Dutch language.-German dialects in relation to varieties of standard German:...

 speakers in southern Brazil spoke or eventually adopted 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....

 so that it became the most commonly used German dialect in this part of the world and is still spoken by many people today (also referred to as Riograndenser Hunsrückisch
Riograndenser Hunsrückisch
Riograndenser Hunsrückisch , spoken in parts of Brazil, is a Brazilian West Germanic language derived primarily from the Hunsrückisch dialect of the German Language....

 to differentiate it from the Hunsrückisch spoken in Germany).

In its 180 years of history Riograndenser Hunsrückisch
Riograndenser Hunsrückisch
Riograndenser Hunsrückisch , spoken in parts of Brazil, is a Brazilian West Germanic language derived primarily from the Hunsrückisch dialect of the German Language....

 has been influenced by Portuguese and by other German dialects (such as Pomeranian
Pomeranian language
The Pomeranian language is a group of dialects from the Lechitic cluster of the West Slavic languages. In medieval contexts, it refers to the dialects spoken by the Slavic Pomeranians...

, Pfälzisch).

Talian
Talian
Talian is a dialect spoken mainly in the wine-producing area of the state of Rio Grande do Sul in Brazil. Talian is sometimes called Vêneto ...

 is a Brazilian variety of the Venetian language, also often called Vêneto for that reason.

All minority languages in southern Brazil have experienced a significant degree of decline in the last few decades.

Tourism and recreation





Rio Grande do Sul has a great potential for palaeontological
Paleontology
Paleontology "old, ancient", ὄν, ὀντ- "being, creature", and λόγος "speech, thought") is the study of prehistoric life. It includes the study of fossils to determine organisms' evolution and interactions with each other and their environments...

 tourism, with many palaeontological sites and museums in the geopark
Geopark
A Geopark is defined by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization in its UNESCO Geoparks International Network of Geoparks programme as follows:...

 of paleorrota
Paleorrota
Paleorrota , is a geopark located in the center of the Brazilian state of Rio Grande do Sul. The rocks and fossils found along the route date back to the times when there was only one supercontinent Pangaea....

. There is a large area in the center of the state that belongs to the triassic
Triassic
The Triassic is a geologic period and system that extends from about 250 to 200 Mya . As the first period of the Mesozoic Era, the Triassic follows the Permian and is followed by the Jurassic. Both the start and end of the Triassic are marked by major extinction events...

. Here lived Rhynchosaur
Rhynchosaur
Rhynchosaurs were a group of Triassic diapsid reptiles related to the archosaurs.-Description:Rhynchosaurs were herbivores, and at times abundant , with stocky bodies and a powerful beak...

, thecodont
Thecodont
Thecodont , now considered an obsolete term, was formerly used to describe a diverse range of early archosaurs that first appeared in the Latest Permian and flourished until the end of the Triassic period...

s, exaeretodon
Exaeretodon
Exaeretodon is a genus of traversodontid cynodont; several species are known, from various formations. E. argentinus, E. frenguelli, and E. vincei are from the Carnian-age Ischigualasto Formation of Argentina. E. major and E. riograndensis are from the Ladinian-age portion of the Santa Maria...

s, Staurikosaurus
Staurikosaurus
Staurikosaurus is a genus of herrerasaurid dinosaur from the Late Triassic of Brazil.-Discovery:The first known specimen of Staurikosaurus was recovered from the Paleontological Site Jazigo Cinco of the Santa Maria Formation in the geopark of paleorrota , Rio Grande do Sul, southern Brazil...

, Guaibasaurus
Guaibasaurus
Guaibasaurus is an extinct genus of basal dinosaur known from the Triassic of Rio Grande do Sul, southern Brazil.-Discovery:Guaibasaurus was originally named on the basis of the holotype, MCN PV2355, a well-preserved partial postcranial skeleton and the paratype, MCN PV2356, an...

, Saturnalia tupiniquim, Sacisaurus
Sacisaurus
Sacisaurus is a dinosauriform from the Late Triassic Caturrita Formation of southern Brazil...

, Unaysaurus
Unaysaurus
Unaysaurus is a genus of sauropodomorph dinosaur, and is one of the oldest dinosaurs known. It was discovered in southern Brazil,in the geopark of paleorrota, in 1998, and announced in a press conference on Thursday, December 3, 2004...

 and many others. Paleorrota
Paleorrota
Paleorrota , is a geopark located in the center of the Brazilian state of Rio Grande do Sul. The rocks and fossils found along the route date back to the times when there was only one supercontinent Pangaea....

 is in Santa Maria Formation
Santa Maria Formation
The Santa Maria Formation is a sedimentary rock formation found in Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. It has a late Ladinian – early Carnian age , and is notable for its fossils of early dinosaurs, including the herrerasaur Staurikosaurus, the basal saurischian Teyuwasu, and the basal sauropodomorph...

 and Caturrita Formation
Caturrita Formation
The Caturrita Formation is a rock formation found in Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. Its sediments were deposited in the Paraná Basin. The formation has a late Carnian to early Norian age and forms part of the Santa Maria Supersequence in the upper section of the Rosário do Sul Group.-Etymology:The...

.

On 21 and 22 May 2011, was held the first day of Paleorrota
Paleorrota
Paleorrota , is a geopark located in the center of the Brazilian state of Rio Grande do Sul. The rocks and fossils found along the route date back to the times when there was only one supercontinent Pangaea....

, where the museums of palaeontology at 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...

, Candelária
Candelária, Rio Grande do Sul
- Paleontology :This city belongs to the geopark of Paleorrota.Museum of the city that have fossils:#Museum Aristides Carlos Rodrigues.-Day of Paleorrota:...

, Santa Maria, São Pedro do Sul
São Pedro do Sul, Rio Grande do Sul
- Paleontology :This city belongs to the geopark of Paleorrota.Museum of the city that have fossils:#Museum Paleontologic and Archaeological Walter Ilha.-Day of Paleorrota:...

 and Mata
Mata, Rio Grande do Sul
- Paleontology :This city belongs to the geopark of Paleorrota.The city of Mata has large deposits of petrified trees.Museum of the city that have fossils:#Museum Daniel Cargnin.-Day of Paleorrota:...

, opened their doors to visits from tourists. The day of Paleorrota should occur every year in May during the week's national museum. Earlier this week, on May 17 is the anniversary of the city of Santa Maria.

Ecotourism
Ecotourism
Ecotourism is a form of tourism visiting fragile, pristine, and usually protected areas, intended as a low impact and often small scale alternative to standard commercial tourism...

 is very popular in the Germanesque cities of Gramado
Gramado
Gramado is a municipality and small touristic town, southeast of Caxias do Sul and east of Nova Petrópolis in the southern Brazilian state of Rio Grande do Sul, in the Serra Gaúcha region. Most of the population of Gramado is of German or Italian descent...

 and Canela
Canela
Canela, meaning Cinnamon in Portuguese, Spanish, and Italian, is a town located in the Serra Gaúcha of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. Both Canela and neighboring Gramado are important tourist resorts and they both draw many visitors each year. Ecotourism is very popular in the area and there are many...

; their cold weather is among their attractions for internal tourism. Tourism is also high in the wine
Wine
Wine is an alcoholic beverage, made of fermented fruit juice, usually from grapes. The natural chemical balance of grapes lets them ferment without the addition of sugars, acids, enzymes, or other nutrients. Grape wine is produced by fermenting crushed grapes using various types of yeast. Yeast...

 regions of the state, principally Caxias do Sul
Caxias do Sul
Caxias do Sul is a city in Rio Grande do Sul, Southern Brazil, situated in the state's mountainous Serra Gaúcha region. Coordinates: 29°10′0″ S, 51°11′0″ W....

 and Bento Gonçalves
Bento Gonçalves, Rio Grande do Sul
Bento Gonçalves is a town located in the state of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. Created in 1875, it is one of the centres of the Italian immigration in Brazil. It is also known as the 'wine capital of Brazil', due to its vineyards and wine production...

. The pampas of the native Brazilian gaúcho
Gaucho
Gaucho is a term commonly used to describe residents of the South American pampas, chacos, or Patagonian grasslands, found principally in parts of Argentina, Uruguay, Southern Chile, and Southern Brazil...

 are both a national and international curiosity to tourists and their customs are alive in the capital city of 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...

 as well as in the cities of the "interior" or western Rio Grande do Sul such as Santa Maria
Santa Maria, Rio Grande do Sul
Santa Maria is a municipality in the central region of Rio Grande do Sul, the southernmost state of Brazil. In 2007, its population was 263,403 inhabitants in a total area of 1,823 km2.-Importance:...

 and Passo Fundo
Passo Fundo
Passo Fundo - RS is a city in the north of the southern Brazilian state of Rio Grande do Sul. It is named after its river. It's the twelfth largest city in the state with an estimated population of 188,302 inhabitants living in a total municipal area of 780 km2.-Communications:The following...

. The state is also home to the historic São Miguel das Missões
São Miguel das Missões
São Miguel das Missões is a Unesco World Heritage site located in the small town of São Miguel das Missões in the northwestern region of Rio Grande do Sul, a state in southern Brazil. It is also known as São Miguel Arcanjo and by its Spanish language name San Miguel...

, the ruins of an 18th century Jesuit Mission.
The state of Rio Grande do Sul and its cities have developed a series scenic routes to appeal to tourists. The Rota Romântica
Rota Romântica
The Rota Romântica is a scenic tourist route that runs through 13 municipalities located in the mountainous Serra Gaúcha region of the southernmost Brazilian state of Rio Grande do Sul. The area was first colonized by German immigrants in the first half of the 19th century...

 is a popular scenic drive that exhibits the diverse Germanic culture of the mountainous regions of the state referred to as the Serra Gaúcha
Serra Gaúcha
The Serra Gaúcha, The Gaucho Highlands, is the mountainous region in the northeastern portion of Rio Grande do Sul state in southern Brazil. This mountainous region is home to many Brazilians of German and Italian descent...

. One can visit the state's Italian settlements through Caminhos da Colônia
Caminhos da Colônia
Caminhos da Colônia, Portuguese for "Pathways of the Colony", is a scenic tourist route of four settlements in the Serra Gaúcha in the state of Rio Grande do Sul in southern Brazil...

, tour the wine country through the Rota da Uva e do Vinho and visit a subsection of the Rota Romântica called the Região das Hortênsias
Região das Hortênsias
The Região das Hortênsias, in English "Hydrangea Flower Region", is a tourist destination in the Serra Gaúcha region of the state of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil...

, the region filled with beautiful blue hydrangea
Hydrangea
Hydrangea is a genus of about 70 to 75 species of flowering plants native to southern and eastern Asia and North and South America. By far the greatest species diversity is in eastern Asia, notably China, Japan, and Korea...

 flowers each spring.

In the far western area of the state are the remnants of Brazil's 17th century Jesuit missions or reductions (aldeias) to the Guaraní Indians.

Of all the ruins left behind by the vanished Guarani Missions, the most significant one is São Miguel
São Miguel das Missões
São Miguel das Missões is a Unesco World Heritage site located in the small town of São Miguel das Missões in the northwestern region of Rio Grande do Sul, a state in southern Brazil. It is also known as São Miguel Arcanjo and by its Spanish language name San Miguel...

 or São Miguel Arcanjo
São Miguel das Missões
São Miguel das Missões is a Unesco World Heritage site located in the small town of São Miguel das Missões in the northwestern region of Rio Grande do Sul, a state in southern Brazil. It is also known as São Miguel Arcanjo and by its Spanish language name San Miguel...

, located nearby the present city of Santo Ângelo
Santo Ângelo
Santo Ângelo is a city located in northwestern Rio Grande do Sul state, Brazil. City population is about 76,304 inhabitants and the total area of the municipality is about 677 km²...

. There is an ongoing Light and Sound (or Som e Luz in Portuguese) show presented at the ruins of the São Miguel church.

See also


Brazil
Brazil
Brazil , officially the Federative Republic of Brazil , is the largest country in South America. It is the world's fifth largest country, both by geographical area and by population with over 192 million people...