Brazil is officially known as the Federative Republic of Brazil. It currently stands as the largest nation in both South America and Latin America. The country consists of 8.5 million square kilometers (3.2 million square miles) and is populated by an excess of 208 million people, making it the fifth largest country in the world by area, the third largest country in the Americas, and the sixth most populated country in the world. The nation spans four time zones and is the only country worldwide that has the equator and the Tropic of Capricorn crossing through it.

brazil beach mountains

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More About Brazil

The capital of Brazil is Brasilia and the most populated city in the nation is Sao Paulo. Portuguese is the official language of Brazil. The Atlantic Ocean borders Brazil to its east and the coastline measures approximately 7,491 kilometers (4,655 miles). Brazil also borders all other South American countries, except for Chile and Ecuador.

The Amazon River basin in Brazil is home to an expansive tropical forest with diverse wildlife, many different ecosystems, and a wide array of natural resources with a number of protected habitats. These environmental characteristics make Brazil one of 17 mega-diverse countries, as named by Conservation International, and this has brought much attention to Brazil in relation to the topics of deforestation and protection of the environment. The topography of the nation is very diverse. It includes mountains, plains, hills, scrublands, and highlands. It is also home to a very intricate system of rivers, including the Amazon, the Parana, the Iguacu, the Negro, Xingu, Madeira, Tapajos, and Sao Francisco.

The biodiversity of Brazil could potentially greatly contribute to agriculture, forestry, fisheries, and livestock, but many species of plants and animals are imported from other countries. Brazil’s natural heritage is at risk due to agriculture, logging, mining, gas extraction, water pollution, climate change, infrastructure and other harmful activities, which have resulted in harm to wildlife habitats and pollution of its landscapes.

The climate in Brazil varies greatly from one topographical area to the next, but the vast majority of the nation experiences a tropical climate. Per the Koppen system, areas in Brazil also experience the climatic subtypes of semiarid, oceanic, subtropical, desert and equatorial, in addition to tropical.

brazil beach mountains

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History of Brazil

Prior to the year 1500 when an explorer named Pedro Alvarez Cabral landed in Brazil, the nation was primarily inhabited by a number of tribal nations. Cabral then claimed the area for what was referred to as the Portuguese Empire and the nation remained a Portuguese colony until the year 1808 when the capital of the empire was moved from Lisbon to Rio de Janeiro. In the year 1858, the colony rank was changed to “kingdom” and the United Kingdom of Portugal, Brazil, and the Algarves was formed. In 1822 the Empire of Brazil was created and independence was then achieved. The constitution was later ratified and many other changes took place prior to the arrival of today’s form of rule – the constitution, which was put into effect in 1988 and defines the nation as a democratic federal republic comprised of the Federal District, 26 states, and 5,570 municipalities.

The Brazilian Economy

The economy of Brazil is the eighth largest in the world when referring to both GDP and GDP (PPP). Brazil is a member of the BRICS group, comprised of Brazil, Russia, India and South Africa, and had one of the world’s most rapidly growing economies until approximately 2010. Brazil is also a founding member of the United Nations, Union of South American Nations, G20, Mercosul, and the Organization of American States, among others.

The government is overseen by a presidential system and the president acts as both head of state and head of government of the Union. The president is elected for a four-year term with the ability to run for a second term. The current President is Michel Temer. A number of political parties exist, with the most well known being the Democrats, the Brazilian Democratic Movement Party, the Workers’ Party, and the Brazilian Social Democratic Party. Brazilian law is premised on the civil law legal system.

The military in Brazil is the largest of Latin America in terms of active personnel and military equipment, with close to 236,000 active personnel.

Brazil is a significant power in relation to international affairs, with international affairs based on Article 4 of the nation’s Federal Constitution, supporting non-intervention, international cooperation, peaceful settlement of conflicts and self-determination when it comes to relationships with other countries and organizations from other countries.

With prominence in agriculture, mining, manufacturing, and service sectors, Brazil has the sixth largest labor force worldwide. Brazil is also known for its car market, as well as the export of aircrafts, textiles, steel, coffee, soybeans, and orange juice, among other export items. Corruption has cost Brazil billions of dollars, but the nation’s diversified economy and natural areas have kept Brazil competitive in the world market.