Federative Republic of Brazil
República Federativa do Brasil(Portuguese)
Coat of arms
Motto: "Ordem e Progresso"
"Order and Progress"
Anthem: Hino Nacional Brasileiro
"Brazilian National Anthem"
Selo Nacional do Brasil
"National Seal of Brazil"
São PauloOfficial language(s)
officially the Federative Republic of Brazil. Portuguese: República Federativa do Brasil, is the largest country in South America. It is the world's fifth largest country, both by geographical area andby population with over 190 million people. It is the only Portuguese-speaking country in the Americas and the largest lusophone country in the world.Bounded by the Atlantic Ocean on the east, Brazil has a coastline of over 7,491 kilometers (4,655 mi). It is bordered on the north by Venezuela, Guyana, Suriname and the Frenchoverseas department of French Guiana; on the northwest by Colombia; on the west by Boliviaand Peru; on the southwest by Argentina and Paraguay and on the south by Uruguay. Numerous archipelagos form part of Brazilian territory,such as Fernando de Noronha, Rocas Atoll, Saint Peter and Paul Rocks, and Trindade and Martim Vaz. It borders with all other South American countries except Ecuador and Chile.
Brazil was a colony of Portugal from the landing of Pedro Álvares Cabral in 1500 until 1815, when it was elevated to United Kingdom with Portugal and Algarves. The colonial bond was in fact broken in 1808, when the capital ofthe Portuguese Kingdom was transferred from Lisbon to Rio de Janeiro, after Napoleon invaded Portugal. The independence from Portugal was achieved in 1822. Initially independent as the Empire of Brazil, the country has been a republicsince 1889, although the bicameral legislature, now called Congress, dates back to 1824, when the first constitution was ratified. Its current Constitution definesBrazil as a Federal Republic. The Federation is formed by the union of the Federal District, the 26 States, and the 5,564 Municipalities.
The Brazilian economy is the world's eighth largest economy by nominal GDP and theseventh largest by purchasing power parity. Brazil is one of the world's fastest growing major economies. Economic reforms have given the country new international recognition.Brazil is a founding member of the United Nations, the G20, CPLP, Latin Union, the Organization of Ibero-American States, Mercosul and the Union of South American Nations, and is one of theBRIC Countries. Brazil is also home to a diversity of wildlife, natural environments, and extensive natural resources in a variety of protected habitats.
The etymology of Brazil remains unclear.Traditionally, the word "Brazil" comes frombrazilwood, a timber tree that many sailors traded from Brazilian regions to Europe in the 16th century. In Portuguese brazilwood is called pau-brasil, with the word brasil commonly given the etymology "red like an ember," formed from Latin brasa ("ember") and the suffix -il (from -iculum or -ilium). This theory is taught as official in schools of Brazil andPortugal.
However, the Brazilian scholar José Adelino da Silva Azevedo has postulated that the word is much older, either of Celtic or Phoenician origin. The Phoenicians traded a red dye extracted from a mineral mined in Celtic lands, from Iberia to Ireland. In Irish mythology there is a Western island called Hy-Brazil, and this is seen by some, including Tolkien, as one of the most likelyetymological sources for the name "Brazil." The same theory was also advanced by 16th century scholars.
In the Guarani language, an official language of Paraguay, Brazil is called "Pindorama." This was the name the natives gave to the region, meaning "land of the palm trees."
See also: Indigenous peoples in Brazil and Slavery in Brazil
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