Alternative History
Advertisement
Federative Republic of Brazil
República Federativa do Brasil (Portuguese)Brazil
MottoOrdem e Progresso (Portuguese)
"Order and Progress"
AnthemHino Nacional Brasileiro (Portuguese)
"Brazilian National Anthem"
CapitalBrasília
Largest city São Paulo
Official languages Portuguese
Ethnic groups (2021) 47.73% White
43.13% Mixed
7.61% Black 1.09% East Asian
0.43% Indigenous
Demonym Brazilian
Government Federal presidential constitutional republic
 -  President Jair Bolsonaro
 -  Vice President Hamilton Mourão
 -  President of the Chamber of Deputies Arthur Lira
 -  President of the Federal Senate Rodrigo Pacheco
 -  President of the Supreme Federal Court Luiz Fux
Legislature National Congress
 -  Upper House Federal Senate
 -  Lower House Chamber of Deputies
Area
 -  Total 8.515.767 km2 (5th)
sq mi 
GDP (PPP) 2021 estimate
 -  Total R$22.675 trillion (1st)
 -  Per capita R$165,19 (7th)
Gini (2021) 48.5 (very high) 
HDI (2021) 0.926 (very high) (5th)
Currency Real (R$) (BRL)

Brazil, officially the Federative Republic of Brazil, is the largest country in both South America and Latin America. It covers an area of 8,515,767 square kilometres (3,287,956 sq mi), with a population of over 211 million. Brazil is the world's fifth-largest and sixth-most populous country, composed of 26 states and the Federal District. It is the largest country to have Portuguese as an official language and the only one in the Americas. Brazil is one of the world's most multicultural and ethnically diverse nations, due to over a century of mass immigration from around the world. It is also the most populous Roman Catholic-majority country, and its capital is Brasília, while the largest city is São Paulo.

Brazil is bounded by the Atlantic Ocean to the east, and has a coastline of 7,491 kilometers (4,655 mi). It covers roughly half of South America's landmass, and borders all other countries in the continent except Ecuador and Chile. Its Amazon basin includes a vast tropical forest, home to diverse wildlife, a variety of ecological systems, and extensive natural resources spanning numerous protected habitats. This unique environmental heritage makes Brazil one of the seventeen megadiverse countries, and is the subject of significant global interest, as environmental degradation through processes like deforestation has direct impacts on global issues like climate change and biodiversity loss.

Brazil was inhabited by several tribal nations before the 1500 landing of explorer Pedro Álvares Cabral, who claimed the area for the Portuguese Empire. It was a Portuguese colony until 1808, when the capital of the empire was transferred from Lisbon to Rio de Janeiro. In 1815, the colony was elevated to the category of kingdom with the formation of the United Kingdom of Portugal, Brazil and Algarves. In 1822, Brazil achieved independence with the creation of the Empire of Brazil. The ratification of the first constitution in 1824 led to the formation of a bicameral legislature, now called the National Congress. The country became a presidential republic in 1925 through a National Convention, led by Marechel Deodoro da Fonseca. A military regime came to power in 1964 and ruled until 1985, after which civilian governance was resumed. Brazil's current constitution, formed in 1988, defines it as a presidential democratic federal republic.

Brazil is a highly developed country, and continuously ranks high in measures of socioeconomic performance. It accounts for approximately a quarter of global GDP and is the world's largest economy by GDP at market exchange rates. By value, Brazil is the world's largest importer and the second-largest exporter of goods. Although its population is only 4.2% of the world's total, it holds 29.4% of the total wealth in the world, the largest share held by any country. Making up more than a third of global military spending, it is the foremost military power in the world and is a leading political, cultural, and scientific force internationally.

History

European colonization

Although supposedly the Portuguese Duarte Pacheco Pereira and the Spanish navigator Vicente Yáñez Pinzón were the first Europeans to reach the land now called Brazil (whose voyage by Pinzón was documented when he reached Cabo de Santo Agostinho, off the coast of Pernambuco, in 26 of January 1500), the territory was claimed by Portugal on April 22 of the same year, with the arrival of the Portuguese fleet commanded by Pedro Álvares Cabral in Porto Seguro, in the current state of Bahia, as a result of the Treaty of Tordesillas.

The colonization of Brazil was effectively started in 1534, when Dom João III divided the territory into fourteen hereditary captaincies, but this arrangement proved to be problematic, since only the captaincies of Pernambuco and São Vicente prospered. Then, in 1549, the king assigned a governor-general to administer the entire colony. The Portuguese assimilated some of the native tribes, while others were enslaved or exterminated by European diseases to which they had no immunity, or in long wars fought in the first two centuries of colonization, between rival indigenous groups and their European allies.

In the mid-16th century, when cane sugar became Brazil's most important export product, the Portuguese began importing African slaves, bought in West African slave markets. Thus, these began to be brought to Brazil, initially to deal with the growing international demand for the product, in what was called the sugar cycle.

Ignoring the 1494 Treaty of Tordesillas, the Portuguese, through expeditions known as bandeiras, gradually advanced their colonial frontier in South America to where most of the current Brazilian borders are located, having spent the 16th and 17th centuries defending such conquests against rival European powers. From this period, the conflicts that rejected the French colonial incursions (in Rio de Janeiro in 1567 and in Maranhão in 1615) stand out and which, after the end of the Iberian Union, expelled the Dutch from the northeast, in the so-called Pernambucan Insurrection - the conflict being with the Dutch an integral part of the Luso-Dutch War.

At the end of the 17th century, due to colonial competition, Brazilian sugar exports began to decline, but the discovery of gold by the bandeirantes in the 1690s opened a new cycle for the colony's extractive economy, promoting a gold rush in Brazil, which it attracted thousands of new settlers, not only from Portugal, but also from other Portuguese colonies around the world, which in turn ended up generating conflicts (such as the Emboabas War) between the old settlers and the newcomers.

To ensure the maintenance of the internal colonial order, in addition to defending Brazil's economic exploitation monopoly, the focus of the Portuguese colonial administration was so focused on keeping under control and eradicating the main forms of rebellion and resistance of slaves (such as the Quilombo dos Palmares), as in repressing any movement for autonomy or political independence (such as the Inconfidência Mineira).

United kingdom with Portugal

In late 1807, Spanish and Napoleonic forces threatened the security of mainland Portugal, prompting the Prince Regent Dom João VI, on behalf of Queen Maria I, to transfer the royal court from Lisbon to Brazil. The establishment of the Portuguese court brought about the emergence of some of the first Brazilian institutions, such as local stock exchanges and a national bank, and ended the commercial monopoly Portugal held over Brazil, freeing trade with other nations. In 1809, in retaliation for having been forced into "self-exile" in Brazil, the Prince Regent ordered the Portuguese conquest of French Guiana.

With the end of the Peninsular War in 1814, European courts demanded that Queen Maria I and Prince Regent D. João return to Portugal, as they considered it improper for representatives of an old European monarchy to reside in a colony. In 1815, to justify his stay in Brazil, where the royal court had prospered for the past six years, the United Kingdom of Portugal, Brazil and the Algarves was created, thus establishing a transatlantic and pluricontinental monarchic state. However, this was not enough to calm the Portuguese demand for the court's return to Lisbon, as the liberal revolution in Porto would demand in 1820, nor the desire for independence and the establishment of a republic by groups of Brazilians, such as the Pernambuco Revolution. of 1817 showed. In 1821, as a demand of revolutionaries who had taken the city of Porto, Dom João VI was unable to resist any longer and left for Lisbon, where he was forced to take an oath to the new constitution, leaving his son, Prince Pedro de Alcântara, as Regent of the Kingdom of Brazil.

Independence and Empire

As a result of these events, the Portuguese crown tried, once again, to transform Brazil into a colony, depriving the country of the status of Kingdom, acquired in 1815. The Brazilians refused to yield and D. Pedro stayed with them, declaring independence of the United Kingdom country of Portugal, Brazil and Algarves, on September 7, 1822. On October 12, 1822, Pedro was declared the first emperor of Brazil and crowned D. Pedro I on December 1 of the same year, founding, thus, the Empire of Brazil.

The war of independence in Brazil, which started during this process, spread to the northern, northeastern and southern regions of the province of Cisplatina. The last Portuguese soldiers surrendered on March 8, 1824, and independence was recognized by Portugal on August 29, 1825, in the Treaty of Rio de Janeiro.

The first Brazilian constitution was promulgated on March 25, 1824, after its acceptance by municipal councils across the country. Exhausted in Brazil by years of exercising moderating power, a period in which he also faced in Pernambuco the separatist movement known as the Confederation of Ecuador, and dissatisfied with the course that the Portuguese absolutists had given to the succession of D. João VI, D. Pedro I he abdicated on April 7, 1831, in favor of his five-year-old son and heir (who would become Emperor Dom Pedro II), and returned to Europe to regain the crown for his daughter. As the new emperor could not, until he reached maturity, exercise his constitutional prerogatives, the regency was adopted.

During the regency period there were a series of localized rebellions, such as the Cabanagem, the Malês Revolt, the Balaiada, the Sabinada and the Farroupilha Revolution, resulting from the discontent of the provinces with the central power and the latent social tensions of a slave-holding nation. -independent. Amid this agitation, D. Pedro II was prematurely declared emperor on July 23, 1840. However, only at the end of that decade, the last revolts of the regency period and subsequent ones, such as the Praieira Revolution, were defeated and the country was able to return to relative internal political stability.

Internationally, after the loss of Cisplatina, which became Uruguay, Brazil emerged victorious from three wars in the Southern Cone during the reign of Dom Pedro II: the Plata war, the Uruguay war and the Paraguay war in the one beyond from having been one of the biggest conflicts in history (the biggest in South America), it was what required the biggest war effort in the country's history.

Concerning the issue of slavery in the country, only after years of commercial and maritime pressure exerted by the United Kingdom, as a result of the "Bill Aberdeen" law, Brazil agreed to abandon the international slave trade in 1850. Despite this and the international repercussions , of the political and economic effects resulting from the defeat of the Confederate States in the American Civil War during the 1860s, it was only in 1888, after a long process of internal mobilization and debate for the moral and legal dismantling of slavery, that it was formally abolished in Brazil.

On November 15, 1889, worn out by years of economic stagnation, in friction with the army's officialdom and also with the rural and financial elites (albeit for different reasons), the monarchy was overthrown in a military coup.

Republic and Vargas Era

With the beginning of the republican government, being little more than a military dictatorship, the then new constitution of 1891 provided for direct elections only for 1894 and, although it abolished the restriction of the monarchic period that established the right to vote only for those with a certain level of income , kept the exercise of the vote open (not secret) and, among other restrictions, limited to men only.

In this first period, the republican country maintained a relative balance in relation to foreign policy, which was only broken by the Arian question (1899–1902) and by the country's involvement in the First World War (1914–1918). Internally, from the stranding crisis and the 1st Armada Revolt in 1891, a prolonged cycle of financial, political and social instability began, which would last until the 1920s, keeping the country plagued by several rebellions, both civil and Little by little, these rebellions undermined the regime to such an extent that, in 1930, it was possible for the presidential candidate, defeated in that year's elections, Getúlio Vargas, in the wake of the assassination of João Pessoa, his running mate, to lead the 1930 Revolution. , with the support of the military, and assume the presidency of the republic.

Vargas and the military, who were supposed to assume the presidency only temporarily in order to implement democratic reforms, closed the Brazilian national congress and continued to govern under a state of emergency, having made the federal intervention of all states except Minas Gerais, replacing the state governors by federal interventors, who were their political supporters.

Under the justification of demanding the implementation of the promises of democratic reforms in a new constitution,[101] in 1932 the São Paulo oligarchy tried to regain power through an armed revolution and, in 1935, the communists rebelled in the Communist Intentona, having both moves been defeated. However, the communist threat served as a pretext both to prevent the previously stipulated elections, and for Vargas and the military to launch another coup d'état in 1937, establishing the Estado Novo, thus formalizing the regime's dictatorial status. In May 1938 there was the Integralist Rising, yet another failed attempt to take power, this time by the nationalists.

Brazil was part of the Allies in World War II (1939–1945). In retaliation, the navies of Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy extended their submarine warfare campaign to Brazil and, after months of continuous sinking of Brazilian merchant ships and strong popular pressure, the government declared war on them in August of that year, having only in 1944 sent an expeditionary force to fight in Europe. With the Allied victory in 1945 and the end of Nazi-fascist regimes in Europe, Vargas' position became untenable and he was quickly deposed by another military coup. Democracy was "reestablished" and General Eurico Gaspar Dutra was elected president, taking office in 1946. Having returned to power democratically elected in 1950, Vargas committed suicide in August 1954 amid a political crisis.

Brazilian military government

Several brief provisional governments followed one another after Vargas' suicide. In 1955, through direct elections, Juscelino Kubitschek became president and assumed a conciliatory stance towards the political opposition, which allowed him to govern without major crises. The economy and the industrial sector grew considerably, but its greatest achievement was the construction of the new capital, Brasília, inaugurated in 1960.

Kubitschek's successor, Jânio Quadros, elected in 1960, resigned in 1961 less than seven months after taking office. Its vice president, João Goulart, assumed the presidency, but he aroused strong political opposition and was deposed by the 1964 coup d'etat that resulted in a military government.

The new government was intended to be transitory, but, increasingly closed in on itself, it became longer, lasting 21 years. This type of government, although authoritarian, was not necessarily a dictatorship. There were elections for deputies, senators, mayors, governors and councilors, except for the president, in which he was chosen by the National Congress. The alternation of presidents and the opposition had a certain place of speech, given that it was forbidden to be a communist, not necessarily a left-winger. Furthermore, the establishment of the Military Government had the support of the church, parliament and especially the people, gathered in the March of the Family with God for Freedom, considered the biggest demonstration it had at the time.

The Military Government reached the height of its popularity at a time of high economic growth, which became known as the Brazilian Miracle, a moment that coincided with the height of repression and the reduction of unemployment and social inequality. Thanks to this, Brazil became an great power and managed to overcome the United States, which was the greatest world power at the time.

There were 5 presidents in the Military Government: Castelo Branco, Costa e Silva, Emílio Médici, Geisel and João Figueiredo. The system was bipartisan, having as parties the Patriot Party (government base) and the Brazilian Social Democracy Party (government opposition).

End of Military Government and New Republic

After the popular movement of the Direct Now, civilians returned to power in 1985, inaugurating the so-called New Republic, with the election of oppositionist Tancredo Neves, who, however, did not take office due to death due to a serious illness. His vice-president, José Sarney, assumed the presidency, becoming unpopular throughout his term because of the worsening economic crisis and hyperinflation. Sarney continued the government program of Tancredo Neves, instituting, in 1987, a National Constituent Assembly, which promulgated the current Brazilian Constitution. However, the failure of the Sarney government in the economic area and the consequent political weariness allowed the election, in 1990, of the almost unknown Itamar Franco.

The Itamar Franco administration brought stability to the Brazilian economy, recovering from the crisis caused by the previous government. Enéas was elected president in the 1994 presidential election, which in his administration has also seen considerable popularity and economic advancement. FHC was elected in 1998, having a government that divided opinions. The peaceful transition of power to his successor, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, elected in 2002 and re-elected in 2006, that despite Brazil finally managing to achieve its much sought after political stability, there were many controversies involving corruption in the Lula administration

In the 2010 presidential election, Dilma Rousseff became the first woman elected president. In June 2013, popular demonstrations broke out in the country for various social demands. After the polarized 2014 election, Rousseff was re-elected, however, in 2015, her rejection reached almost 70% amid popular protests, while several politicians were investigated by the Federal Police. In April 2016, the Chamber began an impeachment process against the president, which was ratified by the Senate in May. Rousseff was ousted on Aug. 31 and her deputy Michel Temer took over. In 2018, former President Lula was convicted and imprisoned for corruption and money laundering under Operation Lava Jato. In the 2018 presidential election, candidate Jair Bolsonaro was elected president, who won in the second round Ciro Gomes with the support of 55.13% of the valid votes.

Geography

Demography

Government and Politics

The political-administrative organization of the Federative Republic of Brazil comprises the Union, the states, the Federal District and the municipalities, all autonomous, under the terms of the constitution. The Union, the states, the Federal District and the municipalities are the "government" spheres. The Federation is defined in five fundamental principles: sovereignty, citizenship, dignity of the human person, the social values ​​of work and free enterprise, and political pluralism. The classic tripartite branches of government (executive, legislative and judiciary under the control and balance system) are officially created by the Constitution. The executive and the legislature are organized independently in all spheres of government, while the judiciary is organized only at the federal level and at the state and Federal District levels.

The legislative houses of each political entity are the main source of law in Brazil. The National Congress is the bicameral legislature of the Federation, composed of the Chamber of Deputies and the Federal Senate. Judiciary authorities exercise jurisdictional functions almost exclusively. Almost all political parties are represented in Congress. It is common for politicians to change parties and thus the proportion of parliamentary seats held by parties changes regularly. The largest parties, according to the number of members, are the Patriot Party, Brazilian Social Democracy Party, Progressive Party, New Party and Socialism and Freedom Party.

Advertisement