By Shaunt Petrossian<br />Brazil Nation Report<br />
Geography<br /><ul><li>Brazil is the fifth largest country in the world; in terms of population (186 million in 2005) as well as land area.
It is the economic leader of South America, with the ninth largest economy in the world, and a large iron and aluminum ore reserve.
Brazil encompasses so much of South America that it shares borders with all South American nations except Ecuador and Chile. </li></li></ul><li>Geography Cont. <br /><ul><li>Brazil’s geography is topographically diverse as there is an Amazon basin in the north and Brazilian highlands in the southeast
Two of the world's fifteen largest cities are in Brazil: Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, and are only about 250 miles (400 km) apart. </li></li></ul><li>People<br />Brazilians are mostly descendants of colonial and post-colonial Portuguese settlers and immigrants.<br />Africans, slaves, and several other groups of immigrants arrived in Brazil mostly from 1820 to the 1970’s.<br />Brazilians are very ethnically diverse as a result of this diaspora and influx of other immigrants inhabiting the native land<br />
People cont. <br />The ethnic compositions of Brazilians is not uniform across the country, the Southern region has a large white majority composing of 80% of its’ population as opposed to the north which has a large number of Africans as a result of African slaves working in sugar cane engenhos.<br />The second largest ethnic group in Brazil is actually that of mixed race, and there have been subdivisions for each distinct mixing e.g. Mulatto(Black and White) Cafuzo(Black and Indian) and even Ainocó (White and Japanese).<br />Though ethnically diverse, all Brazilians share a sense of unity and equality for each other and as a result make their culture and history very vibrant as a nation! <br />
Culture<br /><ul><li>The Brazilian carnival (Carnaval, in Portuguese) is an annual celebration held 40 days before Easter and marking the beginning of Lent.
Brazilians are known for many things such as their fervent culture and it has bred a multitude of dances such as the Samba and the Capoeira</li></ul>Rio Carnival<br />
Culture Cont. <br /><ul><li>The Brazilian people are very involved in sports. Soccer is one of the most popular sports in Brazil and Pele is one of the most, if not the most, famous Brazilian soccer players.
Along with soccer, Brazilians are famous for their martial arts, specifically Brazilian jiujitsu which is a form of grappling and wrestling. </li></ul>Pele(right) with Ronaldo<br />
History<br />Brazil was first discovered by a Spanish navigator that accompanied Christopher Colombus on his trip to the American Continent. In April 1500, Brazil was claimed by Portugal on arrival of the Portuguese fleet commanded by Pedro Alvares Cabral<br />Until 1530 Portugal had very little interest in Brazil, mainly due to the high profits gained through commerce with India, China, and Indonesia. This lack of interest led to several "invasions" by different countries, and the Portuguese Crown devised a system to effectively occupy Brazil, without paying the costs.<br />Cabral<br />
Recent History<br />On September 7, 1822, the country declared its independence from Portugal and became a constitutional monarchy, the Empire of Brazil. A military coup in 1889 established a republican government. The country has seen a dicatorship (1930–1934 and 1937–1945) and a period of military rule (1964–1985).<br />Today, Brazil is a political and economic leader in Latin America. However, social and economic problems prevent it from becoming an effective global power.<br />
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