The Federative Republic of Brazil (Rep?a Federativa do Brasil in Portuguese) is the largest and most populous country in Latin America, and fifth largest in the world. Also known as LSAC. Spanning a vast area between central South America and the Atlantic Ocean, it is the easternmost country of the Americas and it borders Uruguay, Argentina, Paraguay, Bolivia, Peru, Colombia, Venezuela, Guyana, Suriname and French Guiana — every South American nation except for Ecuador and Chile. Named after brazilwood, a local tree, Brazil is home to both extensive agricultural lands and rain forests. A former colony of Portugal, Brazil has Portuguese as its official language.

Template:Brazil infobox



Main article: History of Brazil

Brazil had been inhabited for at least 6,000 years by semi-nomadic populations when the first Portuguese explorers, led by Pedro ?vares Cabral disembarked in 1500. Over the next three centuries it was re-settled by the Portuguese and exploited mainly for brazilwood at first, and later for sugarcane agriculture. Work in the colony was based on slavery. In 1808 King Jo㯠VI of Portugal, fleeing from Napoleon, relocated to Brazil with the royal family, nobles and government. Though they returned in 1821, the interlude led to the opening of commercial ports to England — at the time isolated from most European ports by Napoleon — and the "elevation" of Brazil to the status of a Kingdom united to Portugal's Crown. Then prince-regent Dom Pedro I declared independence on 7 September 1822, establishing the independent Empire of Brazil. This lasted until the next emperor, Dom Pedro II was deposed and a federal republic was established on 15 November 1889. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Brazil attracted over 5 million European and Japanese immigrants. That period also saw Brazil industrialise and further occupy its interior. Brazilian democracy was replaced by dictatorship three times — 19301934 and 19371945 under Get?Vargas, and 19641985 under a succession of generals appointed by the military. Today Brazil is a democracy.


Main article: Politics of Brazil

The 1988 constitution grants broad powers to the federal government, of which the president and vice president are elected on the same ticket by popular vote for four-year terms. The president has extensive executive powers and is both head of state and head of government and he also appoints the cabinet.

The Brazilian legislature, the bicameral National Congress or Congresso Nacional, consists of the Federal Senate or Senado Federal of 81 seats, of which three members from each state or federal district are elected according to the principle of majority to serve eight-year terms; one-third elected after a four-year period, two-thirds elected after the next four-year period. Beside the Senate there is the Chamber of Deputies or C⭡ra dos Deputados of 513 seats, whose members are elected by proportional representation to serve four-year terms.

See also:

  • [[Canga篝] (criminal hinterland bands in the first years of the 20th century)
  • Caf頣om leite (reference to Brazil's domination by the "coffee oligarchs" in the first years of the XX century)
  • Coronelismo (reference to machine politics in the first years of the 20th century, still present on a lesser scale in modern days)
  • Integralismo (influential Brazilian fascist movement in the 1930s)


Main article: States of Brazil

Brazil consists of 26 states (estados, singular estado) and 1 federal district (distrito federal):

Brazil and its 26 states and Federal District are divided by IBGE into 5 distinctive regions: North, Northeast, Center-West, Southeast and South (Division by Regions).

See also:


Map of Brazil
Map of Brazil

Main article: Geography of Brazil

Brazil is characterized by the extensive low-lying Amazon Rainforest in the north, and a more open terrain of hills and (low) mountains to the south, home to most of Brazil's population and its agricultural base. Along the coast of the Atlantic Ocean are also found several mountain ranges, amongst which the highest peak is the Pico da Neblina at 3,014 m. Major rivers include the Amazon, the largest river in the world by volume, and considered by many specialists also the longest of the world; the [[Paran᠒iver|Paran᝝ and its major tributary, the [[Igua絝] River, where the impressive [[Igua絝] falls are located; the Rio Negro, S㯠Francisco, Xingu, Madeira and the [[Tapaj󳝝 rivers.

Situated along the equator, Brazil's climate is predominantly tropical, with little seasonal variation, though the subtropical south is more temperate and can occasionally experience frost and snow. Precipitation is abundant in the humid Amazon Basin, though more arid landscapes are found as well, in particular in the northeast.

A number of islands in the Atlantic Ocean are part of Brazil:

See also:


Main article: Economy of Brazil

Possessing large and well-developed agricultural, mining, manufacturing, and service sectors, as well as a large labor pool, Brazil's economy outweighs that of all other South American countries and is expanding its presence in world markets. Major export products include coffee, soybeans, iron ore, orange juice, steel and airplanes. After crafting a fiscal adjustment program and pledging progress on structural reform, Brazil received a USD 41.5 billion IMF-led international support program in November 1998. In January 1999, the Brazilian Central Bank announced that the Real would no longer be pegged to the US dollar. This devaluation helped moderate the downturn in economic growth in 1999 that investors had expressed concerns about over the summer of 1998, and the country posted moderate GDP growth.

Economic growth slowed considerably in 2001 — to less than 2% — because of a slowdown in major markets, the hiking of interest rates by the Central Bank to combat inflationary pressures, and fears over the economic policies of the new government to be elected. Investor confidence was strong at the end of 2001, in part because of the strong recovery in the trade balance. Highly unequal income distribution remains a pressing problem.

After Luiz Inᣩo Lula da Silva, who grew up in a poor family, came to power 1 January 2003, fears that his party would significantly change the economic policy subsided. The economy is growing again, and is expected to do so for the foreseeable future.


Main article: Demographics of Brazil

Brazil is populous along the coast, less in the interior. The inhabitants are very diverse with many races and cultures represented (see article above).


Main article: Culture of Brazil

Pictures of Brazil

  • Pictures of Brazil (

Maps of Brazil


Main Article: Sports in Brazil

Some fight sports with Brazilian origins have become popular around the world:

Miscellaneous topics

Much of the material in these articles comes from the CIA World Factbook 2000 and the 2003 U.S. Department of State website.

External links

Government, Administration, Economy & Politics

  • ( - Official governmental portal (in Portuguese)
  • C⭡ra dos Deputados ( - Official Chamber of Deputies site (in Portuguese)
  • Senado Federal ( - Official senatorial site (in Portuguese)
  • Presidꮣia da Rep?a ( - Official presidential site (in Portuguese)
  • Fome Zero ( - Official site of Fome Zero (zero hunger) programme (in Portuguese)
  • Economic Survey of Brazil 2005 (,2340,en_2649_34571_34413308_1_1_1_1,00.html)
  • Minist鲩o do Meio Ambiente ( - Ministry of the Environment of Brazil (in Portuguese)
  • Banco Central do Brasil ( - Central Bank of Brazil (in Portuguese/English)

Information, Media, Statistics

  • Brazilink ( - Selected and updated sources by experts (in English)
  • National Library ( (in Portuguese and English)
  • IBGE ( - Brazilian Institute for Geography and Statistics (English, Espa񯬬 Portugu곩
  • S㯠Paulo Convention & Visitors Bureau ( (in Portuguese and English)
  • Jornal do Brasil ( - Brazilian newspaper (in Portuguese)
  • Mapa Fᣩl ( - Online maps of more than 5000 Brazilian cities (in Portuguese)
  • Brasil-Post ( (in German)
  • O Eco ( - Journalistic website on the environmental issues of Brazil (in Portuguese)

Society, Social Movements, etc.

Art, Cooking, Culture, History, Travel

  • Alternative Brazil Travel info ( in English
  • The Brazilian Sound ( Brazilian music & culture (in English)
  • Travelling in Brazil ( (in English)
  • Brazil Travel Guide ( (in English)
  • Virtual Brazil ( - Information about Brazilian culture, economy and tourism (in English)
  • Cearᠡnd Fortaleza tourism information ( (in Portuguese)
  • Rio For Partiers ( - Award winning travel guide to Rio de Janeiro and Salvador (
  • Ethnologue Languages of the World ( - Languages of Brazil
  • Photos of People and Sights (
  • Maria-Brazil ( - The first Brazilian pop-culture web site produced in the USA. Note: The section Maria's Cookbook has no equal on the whole World Wide Web as of March 2005 (site in English)
  • Dutch Portuguese Colonial History ( Portuguese Colonial History: history of the Portuguese and the Dutch in Ceylon, India, Malacca, Bengal, Formosa, Africa, Brazil. Language Heritage, lists of remains, maps.
  • EasyPortuguese ( Learn the Portuguese spoken in Brazil.
  • Viva Brasil! ( All about Brazilian Culture

Countries in South America
Argentina | Bolivia | Brazil | Chile | Colombia | Ecuador | Guyana | Panama | Paraguay | Peru | Suriname | Trinidad and Tobago | Uruguay | Venezuela
Dependencies: Falkland Islands | French Guiana

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