Portal:Brazil

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Brazil, officially the Federative Republic of Brazil (Portuguese: República Federativa do Brasil), is the largest and most populous country in South America, and the fifth largest in the world in both area and population. Its territory covers 8,514,876.599 km² between central South America and the Atlantic Ocean and it is the easternmost country of the Americas. It borders Venezuela, Suriname, Guyana and the département of French Guiana to the north, Uruguay to the south, Argentina and Paraguay to the southwest, Bolivia and Peru to the west, and Colombia to the northwest. The only South American countries not bordered by Brazil are Ecuador and Chile.

The Brazilian coastline covers 7,367km (4,655 mi) along the Atlantic ocean. Numerous archipelagos are part of the Brazilian territory, such as Penedos de São Pedro e São Paulo, Fernando de Noronha, Trindade e Martim Vaz and Atol das Rocas. Tropical climate is predominant. In the south of the country, subtropical climate prevails. Brazil is traversed by the Equator and Tropic of Capricorn lines. It is home to varied fauna and flora and extensive natural resources.

The Brazilian population tends to concentrate along the coastline in large urban centers. While Brazil has one of the largest populations in the world, population density is low and the inner continental land has large demographical empty spaces. It is a multiracial country composed of European, Amerindian, African and Asian elements, more often combined in the same individual than separated into different communities. The official language is Portuguese, and it is the only Portuguese-speaking country in all the Americas. Catholicism is the predominant religion, though Protestant communities have experienced significant growth in the last decades. Brazil has the largest Roman Catholic population in the world.

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Portuguese Empire
Credit: The Ogre
The Portuguese Empire was the earliest and longest lived of the modern European colonial empires, spanning almost six centuries, from the capture of Ceuta in 1415 to the handover of Macau in 1999. Portuguese explorers began exploring the coast of Africa in 1419, leveraging the latest developments in navigation, cartography and maritime technology such as the caravel, in order that they might find a sea route to the source of the lucrative spice trade. In 1488, Bartolomeu Dias rounded the Cape of Good Hope, and in 1498, Vasco da Gama reached India. In 1500, by an accidental landfall on the South American coast for some, by the crown's secret design for others, Pedro Álvares Cabral would find and lead to the establishment of the colony of Brazil.

Over the following decades, Portuguese sailors continued to explore the coasts and islands of East Asia, establishing forts and trading posts as they went. By 1571, a string of outposts connected Lisbon to Nagasaki: the empire had become truly global, and in the process brought great wealth to Portugal. Between 1580 and 1640 Portugal became the junior partner to Spain in the Iberian Union of the two countries' crowns. Though the empires continued to be administered separately, Portuguese colonies became the subject of attacks by three rival European powers hostile to Spain and envious of Iberian successes overseas: The Netherlands (which was engaged in a war of independence against Spain), England and France.

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Paraíba
Credit: Júnior Miranda

Paraíba is one of the states of Brazil, located in the northeastern part of the country, on the Atlantic coast, where lies the easternmost point of the Americas, a cape called Ponta do Seixas. Paraíba coast has clear, calm beaches, with a barrier of reefs and natural pools.

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Karen Allen
Credit: Corey Bond
Someone born in Brazil is an American. Anyone born on the western hemisphere is an American. American is not a nationality.

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Alberto Santos-Dumont (Portuguese pronunciation: [ˈsɐ̃tus duˈmõw̃]; July 20, 1873 – July 23, 1932) was an early pioneer of aviation. He was born and died in Brazil. He spent most of his adult life in France. His contributions to aviation took place while he was living in Paris, France.

Santos-Dumont designed, built, and flew the first practical dirigible balloons. In doing so he became the first person to demonstrate that routine, controlled flight was possible. This "conquest of the air", in particular winning the Deutsch de la Meurthe prize on October 19, 1901 on a flight that rounded the Eiffel Tower, made him one of the most famous people in the world during the early 20th century. In addition to his pioneering work in airships, Santos-Dumont made the first public European flight of an airplane in Paris on October 23, 1906. That aircraft, designated 14-bis or Oiseau de proie (French for "bird of prey"), was the first to take off, fly, and land without the use of catapults, high winds, launch rails, or other external assistance. For this achievement, Santos-Dumont is known in Brazil as "The Father of Aviation".

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Safra Square
Credit: Magister

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Beach of Noiva do Mar, in the city of Xangri-lá, Rio Grande Do Sul, Brazil.
Credit: Tetraktys

Rio Grande do Sul is the southernmost State of Brazil, and the State with the fourth highest Human Development Index (HDI). In the largest and most populous region of the state is the most southern city of the country, Chuí, on the border with Uruguay. The mountain region, where the winter can be rigorous, has cities with European characteristics, such as Gramado and Canela.

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