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Federative Republic of Brazil
República Federativa do Brasil  (Portuguese)
Motto: "Ordem e Progresso"
(in Portuguese)
"Order and Progress"
Anthem: Hino Nacional Brasileiro
(in Portuguese)
"Brazilian National Anthem"
National seal
Selo Nacional do Brasil
15°47′S 47°52′W / 15.783°S 47.867°W / -15.783; -47.867
Largest citySão Paulo
Official language
and national language
Other important languages
  • Spanish
  • English
  • Brazilian Sign Language
  • French
  • Arabic
  • Italian
  • German
  • Chinese
  • Dutch
  • Uruguayan Sign Language
Ethnic groups
47.73% White
43.13% Brown (Multiracial)
7.61% Black
1.09% Asian
0.43% Indigenous
GovernmentFederal presidential constitutional republic
• President
Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (PT)
Geraldo Alckmin
Arthur Lira
Rodrigo Pacheco
Luiz Fux
LegislatureNational Congress
Federal Senate
Chamber of Deputies
• Declared
7 September 1822
29 August 1825
• Republic
15 November 1889
5 October 1988
• Total
8,514,877 km2 (3,287,612 sq mi) (5th)
• Water (%)
• 2016 census
205,823,665 [2] (5th)
• Density
23.6/km2 (61.1/sq mi) (182nd)
GDP (PPP)2016 estimate
• Total
$3.081 trillion[3]
• Per capita
GDP (nominal)2016 estimate
• Total
$1.77 trillion[3]
• Per capita
Gini (2014)51.5[5]
HDI (2015)0.754[6]
high · 79th
CurrencyReal (R$) ([[ISO 4217|BRL]])
Time zoneUTC-2 to -5[7] (BRT[7])
• Summer (DST)
UTC-2 to -5 (BRST)
Date formatdd/mm/yyyy (CE)
Driving sideright
Calling code+55
ISO 3166 codeBR
Internet TLD.br
Brazilian National Congress

Brazil (officially called Federative Republic of Brazil; how to say: IPA: [bɾɐˈziw]) is a country in South America. It is the world's fifth largest country. The country has about 212 million people. The capital of Brazil is Brasília. Brazil was named after brazilwood, which is a tree that once grew very well along the Brazilian coast.[8]

History[change | change source]

The first people to come to Brazil came around 9,000 B.C.[9] That group of indigenous people is often called the South American Indians and probably came from North America. They practiced hunting, foraging, and farming.[10] Over thousands of years, many different indigenous people were living there.

Flag of Brazil, 1500.

Pedro Álvares Cabral was the first European to see Brazil. He saw it in 1500. He was from Portugal and the Portuguese kingdom claimed Brazil. Soon, Portugal colonized Brazil and created colonies all along the coastline. They began to import black slaves from Africa and force them to work.[11] Because of the violence of the slave masters, many of these slaves would run away into the forest and create their own communities called quilombos.

In the late 1500s and early 1600s, the Dutch and the French tried to take some land in Brazil. Dutch, French, and Portuguese started moving inland further than the Treaty of Tordesillas said they could. This caused some fights with the Spaniards (people from Spain) and indigenous people in the area.[10]

In 1822, Brazil claimed to be its own country and not a part of Portugal anymore. Soon there was civil war. Meanwhile, the quilombos survived and Brazil was bringing in more slaves than any other country in the Americas, even though many countries were beginning to legally abolish slavery. This led to an increase in slave revolts, especially in the 1860s and 1880s, which forced the government to change the system to keep the country stable.[12] Slavery was legally abolished in 1888.

In 1889, there was a military coup, and Pedro II had to leave the country.[10] In 1889, Brazil became a republic. The only people who could vote were people who owned land. There were some uprisings in the 1920s because some people thought the government was unfairly helping coffee growers. Brazil joined the Allies during World War II.[10]

During the 1960s, the military leader Castelo Branco overthrew the government and created a dictatorship that was supported by the United States.[13] It was very anti-communist and they imprisoned, tortured, or killed many people on the left.[13] Since then, the country has become more democratic, but some people feel that there are still big problems in health, education, crime, poverty and social inequality.

In August 2016, then-president Dilma Rousseff was removed from office because of impeachment.[14]

Languages[change | change source]

The official language of Brazil is Portuguese. Brazil is the only country in South America that speaks Portuguese but more people in South America speak Portuguese than Spanish because the population of Brazil is larger than the combined population of all the Spanish-speaking countries in South America.

Some people in Brazil speak German dialects. That came from German immigrants. 2% of Brazilians speak German as their first language. Yiddish is spoken by the elders of the Jewish community.

Other people in Brazil speak their ancestors' languages like Italian, Japanese, Polish, Ukrainian, French, Russian, Lithuanian, Chinese, Dutch and Korean. Spanish or "Portunhol", a mix of Portuguese and Castilian (Spanish) is spoken at some of the borders. Indigenous languages as Guarani and Aymará are the first languages of a small number of Brazilians.

Geography[change | change source]

Brazil has the world's largest rainforest, the Amazon Rainforest. It makes up 40% of the country's land area. Brazil also has other types of land, including a type of savanna, called cerrado, and a dry plant region named caatinga.

The most important cities are Brasília (the capital), Belém, Belo Horizonte, Curitiba, Florianópolis, Fortaleza, Goiânia, Manaus, Porto Alegre, Recife, Rio de Janeiro, Salvador, São Paulo (the biggest city) and Vitória. Other cities are at List of largest cities in Brazil.

Brazil is divided into 26 states plus the Federal District in five regions (north, south, northeast, southeast and centre-west):

  • North: Acre, Amazonas, Rondônia, Roraima, Pará, Amapá, Tocantins
  • Northeast: Maranhão, Pernambuco, Ceará, Piauí, Rio Grande do Norte, Paraíba, Alagoas, Sergipe, Bahia
  • Centre-West: Goiás, Mato Grosso, Mato Grosso do Sul, Distrito Federal/ Federal District
  • Southeast: São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Espírito Santo, Minas Gerais
  • South: Paraná, Santa Catarina and Rio Grande do Sul

The country is the fifth-largest in the world by area. It is known for its many rainforests and jungles. It is next to every country in South America except Chile and Ecuador. The name Brazil comes from a tree named brazilwood.

Culture[change | change source]

Brazil is the largest country in South America and the fifth-largest in the world.[15] Its people are called Brazilians or Brasileiros (In Portuguese). The people include citizens of Portuguese or other European descent who mainly live in the South and Southeast, Africans, Native Americans, Arabs, Gypsies, and people of mixed ancestry. Brazil also has the largest Japanese community outside Japan.[16] Other East Asians follow the Japanese group. The Amazon River flows through Brazil, it is the 2nd longest river in the world (after the Nile). The current President of Brazil is Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva. Two major sporting events were held in Brazil recently: the 2014 FIFA World Cup and the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

Related pages[change | change source]

References[change | change source]

  1. Caracteristicas da População e dos Domicílios do Censo Demográfico 2010 — Cor ou raça
  2. "The World Factbook". Archived from the original on 2015-12-22. Retrieved 2017-07-11.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 "Brazil". International Monetary Fund. Retrieved 2011-04-21.
  4. "Brazil - Economic Indicators". TRADING ECONOMICS. Retrieved 2017-07-11.
  5. Caracteristicas da População e dos Domicílios do Censo Demográfico 2010 — Rendimento
  6. "The Human Development Index 2016". Retrieved 2017-07-11.
  7. 7.0 7.1 "Hora Legal Brasileira". Observatório Nacional. Archived from the original on 2011-07-22. Retrieved 2009-02-21.
  8. Fausto, Boris (1999). A Concise History of Brazil. Cambridge University Press. p. 9. ISBN 978-0-521-56526-4.
  9. Fagan, Dr. Brian; Durrani, Nadia (2015). People of the Earth: An Introduction to World Prehistory. Routledge. p. 157. ISBN 978-1-317-34682-1.
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 "Brazil". Britannica School. Encyclopaedia Britannica. Retrieved 30 July 2014.
  11. Klein, Herbert S.; Luna, Francisco Vidal (2010). Slavery in Brazil. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-19398-6.
  12. "Isadora Moura Mota on Slavery and Anglo-American Abolitionism in the Age of Emancipation". Slavery and Its Legacies. Yale University. 2020-02-10. Retrieved 2020-11-25.
  13. 13.0 13.1 Napolitano, Marcos (2018-04-26). "The Brazilian Military Regime, 1964–1985". Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Latin American History. doi:10.1093/acrefore/9780199366439.013.413. ISBN 978-0-19-936643-9. Retrieved 2020-11-25.
  14. Catherine E. Shoichet; Euan McKirdy (September 1, 2016). "Brazil's Senate ousts Rousseff in impeachment vote". CNN. Retrieved July 16, 2020.
  15. "The 50 largest (area) countries in the world". GeoHive. Archived from the original on 19 November 2016. Retrieved 9 December 2016.
  16. Veselinovic, Milena (July 24, 2013). "Mixing sushi and samba - meet the Japanese Brazilians". CNN. Retrieved 10 December 2016.

Other websites[change | change source]

  • Media related to Brazil at Wikimedia Commons
  • Brazil travel guide from Wikivoyage
Rio de Janeiro.