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Brazil's Information

Flag of Brazil
Land Area 8,358,140 km2
Water Area 157,630 km2
Total Area 8,515,770km2 (#5)
Population 205,823,665 (#5)
Population Density 24.63/km2
Government Type Federal Presidential Republic
GDP (PPP) $3,080.00 Billion
GDP Per Capita $14,800
Currency Real (BRL)
More Information Brazil
Largest Cities

Native American peoples (by the millions) occupied this region of South America for eons.

Pedro Alvares CabralThen in 1500, the Portuguese navigator Pedro Alvares Cabral's fleet, en route to India, landed along the northeastern coastline (near Recife), and he quickly claimed this land for Portugal - and the 300-year Portuguese era in Brazil began.

Over the next few decades more adventurers, explorers and treasure-seekers arrived; small settlements were established along the coastal areas, and when Portugal took control in 1580, it was now becoming a lucrative new land based on the growing profits of (slave labor) sugar plantations.

In the late 16th century, the Portuguese crown and colonies were inherited by Spain. After 60 years of contentious Spanish rule, and a small prosperous area of sugar businesses controlled by the Dutch, this now very valuable land was completely reverted to Portuguese sovereignty.

In the early 1800s, Napoleon's aggressive push across Portugal and Spain, caused (forced) Portugal's King to flee to Brazil. When he arrived, King Dom Joao VI established this huge slice of South America as the capital of his new (somewhat mobile) empire.

In 1821, he returned to Portugal , leaving his son Pedro I in charge, but when King Dom Joao attempted (once again) to treat Brazil as his own personal, taxable colony, his son said "No," declared immediate independence from Portugal , and was appointed the new emperor of Brazil.

Soon coffee replaced sugar as the country's most valuable export, and the strong aromatic scent of Brazil's official drink, and the seductive lure of new lands and fresh starts brought a surge of immigrants from Europe - mostly Italian.

Coffee BeansBeginning in the early 1890s, the prosperous coffee businesses (seeking change) funded a military coup that forced the emperor to flee. In short, the coffee powers were now in charge, and the country would soon experience a half-century of instability.

In 1985, the ruling regime in Brazil ceded its power to civilian rule, and the country finally overcame a series of unpopular coups, corrupt leaders, and the military's constant intervention in the governance of this massive country.

Today Brazil is justifiably famous for the Amazon River; Carnival in Rio; the beaches of Copacabana and Ipanema and its many champion soccer teams.

This page was last updated on July 12, 2016.

Brazil Trivia

What is the Most Dangerous State in Brazil?

With a homicide rate of 64.6 per 100,000 as of 2012, the state of Alagoas in Northeastern Brazil has the highest murder rate in the country.

The Most Dangerous States In Brazil

What Kind of Reptiles Live in Brazil?

Some of the reptiles that live in Brazil include the Loggerhead sea turtle, the Brazilian galliwasp, and the Lutz tree iguana.

The Amazing Reptiles Of Brazil

Where are the Iguazu Falls?

Iguazu Falls is located in the Misiones Province in the Northeastern tip of Argentina, and borders the Brazilian state of Parana to the north. This semicircular waterfall is 1.7 miles (2.7 kilometers) in diameter with a height of 87.5 yards (80 meters), and is made up of 275 individual falls.

Where are the Iguazu Falls?

Where is the Purus River?

The Purus River runs 1,995 miles through the South American nations of Brazil and Peru.

Where is the Purus River?

About the Author

John Moen is a cartographer who along with his wife are the orignal founders of worldatlas.com. He and his wife, Chris Woolwine-Moen, produced thousands of award-winning maps that are used all over the world and content that aids students, teachers, travelers and parents with their geography and map questions. Today, it's one of the most popular educational sites on the web.

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Countries Of South America