Brazil Map ( Click the map to enlarge it! )
Brazil, officially the Federative Republic of Brazil, is the largest country in South America. It is the world's fifth largest country, both by geographical area and by population with over 192 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 7,491 km (4,655 mi).It is bordered on the north by Venezuela, Guyana, Suriname and the French overseas region of French Guiana; on the northwest by Colombia; on the west by Bolivia and 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 all other South American countries except Ecuador and Chile.
Brazil was a colony of Portugal from the landing of Pedro ¨¢lvares Cabral in 1500 until 1815, when it was elevated to the rank of kingdom and the United Kingdom of Portugal, Brazil and the Algarves was formed. The colonial bond was in fact broken in 1808, when the capital of the Portuguese colonial empire was transferred from Lisbon to Rio de Janeiro, after Napoleon invaded Portugal. Independence was achieved in 1822 with the formation of the Empire of Brazil, a unitary state governed under a constitutional monarchy and a parliamentary system. The country became a presidential republic in 1889, when a military coup d'etat proclaimed the Republic, although the bicameral legislature, now called Congress, dates back to the ratification of the first constitution in 1824.Its current Constitution, formulated in 1988, defines Brazil 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 seventh largest by nominal GDP and the eighth 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, the Organization of American States, Mercosul and the Union of South American Nations, and is one of the BRIC countries. Brazil is also one of the 17 Megadiverse countries, home to diverse wildlife, natural environments, and extensive natural resources in a variety of protected habitats.