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Brazil was inhabited by indigenous people since at least 8,000 years ago. The Portuguese were the first Europeans to arrive in Brazil, discovered by Pedro Alvares Cabral in April of 1500, who claimed the territory for the Kingdom of Portugal.
During the Peninsular War in 1808, the Portuguese government fled Napoleon's invasion by moving its operations to its Brazil colony, setting up the capital in Rio de Janeiro, which lasted for thirteen years. When King Joao VI returned to Portugal after these years, he left his son Pedro I to govern Brazil.
Pedro I led Brazil in a war of independence from Portugal in 1821, declaring independence and becoming Emperor Pedro I in 1822. The monarchy was overthrown in 1889, and the government was reestablished as a federal republic, largely controlled by coffee interests. By 1902, Brazil produced 65% of the world's coffee. Throughout the following decades, Brazil was plagued by revolts and political instability, with a series of leaders, a period of military rule, and eventually elected presidents.
Brazil's economy suffered through many of these regimes, with high inflation. Notable leaders during this period include Getulio Vargas, who led first as a dictator and was later elected as a president, and President Juscelino Kubitschek in 1956, who helped improved the economy. The country began the process of redemocratization in the 1980s.
In 1989, Fernando Collor de Mello became the first directly elected president since 1960, attempting to reform the economic system, but failing. President Fernando Henrique Cardoso, elected in 1994, continued Collor's reforms, and introduced controversial reforms. More recently, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva was elected to confront the wealth disparity, and Brazil's political scene has been fairly stable in recent years.
Brazil is the largest country in South America, and the fifth largest country in the world. Located in eastern South America along the Atlantic Ocean, Brazil borders Argentina, Bolivia, Colombia, French Guiana, Guyana, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Uruguay, and Venezuela.
Because of its large size, Brazil has a wide variety of landscapes, though mostly flat, there are mountain ranges and highlands, as well as coastal regions . Many rivers traverse Brazil, which has mostly tropical climates, such as the Amazon, the second largest river in the world. About 60 percent of the Amazon Rainforest is within Brazil, which has suffered from deforestation and drought in recent years.
Brazil is a democratic republic, with the federal level of government, as well as the state and municipal levels. Brazil's president is both chief of state and head of government, who appoints the cabinet, Ministers of State to help. Brazil has a bicameral National Congress, and its two branches are the Federal Senate and the Chamber of Deputies.
Brazil is divided into twenty-six states and one federal district, the capital, Brasilia. Each state has a high level of autonomy, with their own governors, legislators, and courts. The municipalities of Brazil also have autonomy, with their own tax collection, a mayor, and legislators.
Brazil sprawls over half of South America and is considered one of South America's main travel destinations. The place is distinct, which is known for its white-sand beaches, tropical islands, and spectacular sites like Atlantic Ridge Forest,
Famous Christ the Redeemer, on Corcovado, is indeed a major symbol of Brazil and Rio de Janeiro. The beautiful statue is made up of Soap stone and reinforced concrete and it is allowed to visit the top of the place to have an excellent view from there. Inaugurated in 1960, Brazil is the only city of 20th century that was granted the status of World Heritage Site.
Major cities of Brazil include Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, and Brasilia, etc., offering a selection of activities and a wide range of cultural experience like its most celebrated festival of Carnival. From culinary delights to music and dancing, its big cities are unique and vibrant.
The federal government handles the education system in Brazil with the Ministry of Education. While the standards are set nationwide, the municipalities of Brazil are responsible for carrying out the regulations.
Brazil's education system is structured into a few different levels, roughly based on the age of the students. Preschool is available for children under six years of age, but attendance at preschool is optional. Elementary school is required for children ages six to fourteen, and is split into two sections: I and II. Elementary school covers the general education requirements, including Portuguese language, math, science, history and arts. The second half of elementary education in Brazil usually incorporates a second language, such as English or Spanish.
Once students have finished their elementary education, they can continue to a school for secondary education. There students focus on the core curriculum, which includes science courses like Chemistry and Biology. Secondary school lasts around three years, and are only mandatory for students who move on to higher education.
Higher education in Brazil is similar to many other countries, with undergraduate and graduate levels and about four years of coursework to complete a bachelor's degree. Professional degrees, such as engineering and medicine take longer, with five or six years of classes, and often requires an internship or fieldwork.
- Brazil is the only Portuguese-speaking country in the Americas.
- Brazil borders every South American country except Chile and Ecuador.
- Brazil is one of three modern nations in the Americas (along with Mexico and Haiti) to have had an indigenous monarchy, which it had for almost 90 years.
- The Amazon Rainforest in Brazil has the most diverse ecosystem in the world - there are an estimated ten to fifteen million species of insects in the country.
- Brazil has won the FIFA World Cup five times (1958, 1962, 1970, 1994, 2002).
|Last Update On : November 20, 2013|
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