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Around the Globe:Brazil

Shira Yehudit Djalilmand

Brazil is the only country inSouth America where Portuguese is the national language. That’s because, from when Portuguese explorer Pedro Álvares Cabral landed there in 1500, until 1822,Brazil was a colony ofPortugal. There were many native tribes inBrazil, but it was then thatBrazilgot its name. The European sailors traded brazilwood — used to dye cloth red — from the brazilwood tree that once grew in abundance along the coast. And so the region became known as Terra do Brasil (LandofBrazil).

Wednesday, June 05, 2013

parrotSugar and Slaves

By the mid-16th century,Brazil’s biggest trade was in sugar, and the Portuguese brought thousands of slaves fromAfrica to work the sugar plantations. (Slavery was abolished in 1888). Precious stones were found too — diamonds and amethysts — in fact,Brazil’s the world’s main source of amethysts.

When Napoleon invadedPortugalin 1808, the Portuguese royal family fled toRio de Janeiro,Brazil, making it the new capital of the Portuguese Empire. In 1822,Brazildeclared its independence fromPortugal.

Today,Brazilis a rich and powerful country, a founding member of the UN, and bursting with natural riches. Let’s go see it!

 

From Amazon to Atlantic

As you’ll see while we’re flying over it, Brazilis huge — the fifth-largest country in the world and also the longest. It’s bordered by ten countries — every country in South America exceptEcuador andChile.

 

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