RIO DE JANEIRO
Brazil is known for its samba, football but no so much for the long history.
It is thought that the original Indian of Brazil descended from Asian Indian who crossed the Bering Strait to Alaska 50,000 years ago. The Mongoloids tribe moved south into today's Brazil about 30,000 years ago.
The Portuguese arrived in 1520 when Admiral Pedro Alavarez Cabral accidentally stumbled across.
In 1807 King V of Portugal fled from Napoleon, set up court in Rio de Janeiro and it became the capitol. When he moved back to Portugal, his son stayed behind as Regent of Brazil. He declared the country independent from Portugal and himself Emperor of Brazil. Portugal accepted it and bloodshed was avoided
EMPEROR DOM PEDRO
In 1831 he abdicated and his fife-year-old son became Emperor with a Regency Council to rule until he was 15. Apparently he ruled wisely and united the country which led to great prosperity.
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Unfortunately, when they brought in African slaves but were treated with appalling cruelty. In 1888 Don Pedro II abolished slavery and became unpopular with landowners. A year later the army moved into Rio de Janeiro and the emperor fled to Paris and died there in poverty.
BRAZILIAN COUPE IN D'ETAT IN 1930 -- GETULIO VARGAS IN THE MIDDLE IN UNIFORM AND WITHOUT HAT
The country was governed by dictators and backed by the military till 1960. This brought great wealth to a few but nationally great debts. The military grip started to weaken and in 1989 the first presidential election was held. President Collor de Mello was forced out of the office in 1992 because of corruption. Today, a democratic government is more and more established.
Brazil is the fifth-largest country in the world and nearly half the size of South America. It borders with every country in South American apart from Chile and Ecuador. It not only has an enormous Atlantic coastline of 7400km but has the world's largest tropical rainforest. A vast network of rivers which most of them are fed from the melting sow of the Andes and are 20% of the Earth fresh water
AMAZON RAINFOREST -- THE LARGEST IN THE WORLD
The land rises to a huge plateau in the south; including great savannah-like plains. Alongside the Atlantic coast are the mountain ranges and lowland marshes and swamps are in the south-west of the country.
On a whole the climate is moist and warm and in the Amazon basin high humidity. In the plains are prolonged periods of drought.
Brazil possesses an enormous wildlife, especially the Amazon rainforest which acts as an oases or storage room of unique species. There are jaguars, ocelots, sloths, tapirs, howler monkeys, parrots, hummingbirds and piranhas to be found amongst many more. The wildlife is so great that they even find new species.
The spectacular Iguacu Falls, near the border of Argentina, consists of 275 individual cascades. When the rivers are swollen 12.7 million litres of water per second plunge down an 80m drop.
Many unusual trees were introduced into Brazil. The imported rubber tree, for instant, brought great wealth to Brazil in the 19th century. Brazil monopolized the car industries which started to develop. Then the British stole thousands of seeds and set up plantations in Sri Lanka. Brazil also exports a wide variety of valuable hardwoods.
TROPICAL CLIMATE IN CAPELLU -- PARAIBA -- NORTH-EAST
The Brazilian population are descended from the indigenous Indians, European and Africans. From the original six million Indian only 200,000 remains. They died either from diseases brought in by the Europeans or were driven from their land and killed. The main group of European are Portuguese but quiet a number of Germans, Spaniards and Italians immigrated to Brazil.
In the 16th century they brought in 10 millions African's slave to work on the plantations. It was ten times the number taken to North American. A lot of inter-marriage had taken place and it has most properly laid the foundation to it vibrant national culture. Brazilians love to dance and love music. It is almost a religion. It is assumed that the music held a strong spiritual significance for the plantation slaves. An intricate drum rhythm is thought to summon up African divinities. There is still the popular Afro-Brazilian religion of Candomble. It also re-establishes a link with Africa. The Brazilian word samba derived from the African word 'semba' which means belly-thrust.
The world famous Brazilian carnival lasts five days but the preparation is right through the year.
In spite of Brazil's immense wealth; 30 million Brazilians live below subsistence level. It also doesn't help that the country has the fastest growing population in the world. 70% are under 30 years. The poor trying to survive in appalling conditions.
The government tried to move the poor away from the cities which are along the Atlantic coast. It built a new city Brasilia about 100km inland. However, the people would not move and still move westwards to the rich coastal towns.
45% of prime agricultural land of Brazil belongs to 1% of the population.
In recent years, Brazil started to mine its tremendous mineral recourse such as iron ore, gold, diamonds, manganese, nickel and bauxite. It developed its aircraft, shipbuilding, automobile and paper-making industries.
Their many fast-flowing rivers give the country 90% of electricity from hydro-electric station.
The produce and export of food makes Brazil second to the USA and equal to Canada. It exports sugar, coffee, cacao, soya beans and orange juice of which it is the world's largest producer. Other products are sisal, tobacco, tropical fruits, cattle and fish. The coffee plant came originally from Africa but Brazil is now one of the leading producers.
To reduce the import of oil; Brazil converted sugar-cane into alcohol and it is sold in many petrol station as an alternative.