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History & Culture of Portugal - Part 12

HISTORY OF BRAZIL – A TIME-LINEPart 12. History of Brazil – a time-line. Brazil, officially the Federative Republic of Brazil is the largest country in both South America and Latin Brazil, officially the Federative Republic of Brazil is the largest country in both South America and Latin America.

At 8.5 million square kilometers and with over 211 million people, Brazil is the world's fifth-largest country by area and the sixth most populous. Its capital is Brasília, and its most populous city is São Paulo.

The federation is composed of the union of the 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 a word derived from the Brazilian timber tree commonly known as Pernambuco wood or brazilwood (Portuguese: pau-brasil) This planthas a dense, orange-red heartwood that takes a high shine, and it is the premier wood used for making bows for stringed instruments. The wood also yields a red dye called brazilin, which oxidizes to brazilein.

Brazil was inhabited by numerous tribal nations prior to the landing in 1500 of explorer Pedro Álvares Cabral,who claimed the area for the Portuguese Empire, initially calling it the Island of the True Cross. Manueal Ire named is the Holy Cross, before it became Brazil. Though the first settlement was founded in 1532, colonization effectively began in 1534, when King John III of Portugal divided the territory into the fifteen private and autonomous Captaincy Colonies of Brazil.

By the mid-16th century, cane sugar had become Brazil's most important export, and slaves purchased in Sub-Saharan Africa, in the slave market of WesternAfrica (not only those from Portuguese allies of their colonies in Angola and Mozambique), had become its largest import.

The Braganzas ruled Portugal and the Portuguese Empire from 1640, with Brazil as a colony. Brazil remained a Portuguese colony until 1808, when the capital of the empire was transferred from Lisbon to Rio de Janeiro during the Peninsula War. With the creation of the United Kingdom of Portugal, Brazil and the Algarves, in1815, the colony was elevated to the rank of kingdom, with the House of Braganza producing all 4 Brazilian monarchs. With the subsequent independence of the Empire of Brazil, in 1822, the Braganzas continued torule as the monarchs of Brazil.


Read other parts of this series HERE.

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