Brazil Geography Essay
Abstract The continent of South America is located mostly below the equator and is occupied by only twelve countries. Of the twelve countries that occupy South America there is one country with a large land mass that take up over half of the South America continent. Not only is the country large in size, but it is also large in culture and history. This paper examines the land geography and culture of South America’s largest country in area size and population. Brazil’s Culture and Geography Brazil is the largest country is South America and it is the fifth largest country in the world, in terms of population and area.
With an estimated 183 million inhabitants, Brazil has the largest population in Latin America (2008). BRAZIL. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www. jewishvirtuallibrary. org. [Last Accessed 1 March 2013]. Brazil is known for hosting its annual Carnaval, in Rio de Janeiro, one of the most famous cities in Brazil. During the Carnaval Rio de Janeiro is flooded with tourists that flock to the city to enjoy the beaches, music, and sight-seeing, and also stimulating the economy with the much need finances. (www. famouswonders. om) The country of Brazil covers half of the South America continent and borders with Colombia, Venezuela, Suriname, Peru, French Guiana, Argentina, Bolivia, Paraguay, and Uruguay. With its large size the only country that does not border with Brazil is Chile and Ecuador. The characteristics of Brazil’s environment and climate are different from the tropical North to the seasonal changes in the South. The central parts of Brazil receive the most rain during the summer months, while the highlands of Brazil are dry, with snow in some of the southern states.
The landscape of Brazil is surrounded by a central highland region known as the Planalto Central and the Amazon Basin that occupies over one-third of the country. The Planalto Central plateau extends into the sea areas along Brazil’s 4,500-mile-long coast, and is parallel to the ocean, creating lush, fertile lowland grounds (Brazil. (2013). In Encyclopediabritannica. Retrieved. from. http://www. britannica. com/Ebchecked/topic/78101/Brazil). Brazil is rich in natural resources like iron ore, bauxite, manganese, nickel, uranium, gold, gemstones, oil, and timber.
Brazil exports raw sugar and refine sugar products to more than 25% of the world, as well as leading the industry in export and production of soybeans [ONLINE] Available at: http://www. mapsofworld. com/brazil/information/natural-resources. html. [Last Accessed 1 March 2013]. With export and investment Brazil’s economy has continue to increase, and has been doing better than many of the other countries around the world during the recession. Although Brazil’s economy has increased the majority of Brazilians still live in poverty and lack education (2010).
BRAZIL ECONOMY. [ONLINE]. Available at: http://www. celebratebrazil. com/brazil-economy. html. [Last Accessed 24 February 2013] The population of Brazil is diverse and is made up of many different races and ethnic groups. Four major ethnic groups are responsible for the population of the Brazilian people. Brazil population consists of Africans, Asians, Portuguese, and Europeans, all migrants from other counties. The Portuguese settlers colonized during the 16th century and were the first settlers in Brazil. During that time between 2. and 7 million Brazilian Indians inhabited Brazil when the Portuguese first arrived in the early sixteenth century. The Portuguese in Brazil were not focus on conquering, controlling, and developing the country, but later other Portuguese explores followed, searching for trade commodities and unoccupied land for development. Upon their search, the Portuguese explorers discovered the value in brazil wood to create red dye. Pedro Alvares Cabral claimed Brazil for Portugal in 1500. After constant trading of the red dye with Europe the brazil wood trees were quickly depleted and a new search begin for items to trade. 1998-2006). BRAZIL HISTORY. [ONLINE].
Available at:http://www. geographia. com/brazil/brazihistory. htm). The Portuguese settlers found that sugar cane was a successful growing crop in the climate of Brazil and became the top trade of Brazil. The Portuguese settlers brought Africans to Brazil as slaves to work in the sugar fields. With the arrival of Africans many of the Portuguese settlers would mate with the African and Indian people, as well as the Africans and Indians mating with each other. (2013). BRAZIL HISTORY. [ONLINE]. Available at:http//www. lonleyplanet. om/brazil/history). The discovery of coffee in Brazil, during the 19th century, lead to the migration of millions from Europe and Asia. The migration of different immigrant groups, as well as the mixture and mating of different ethnic groups, lead to a diverse population. The Brazilian population is divided into many different cultures with distinct institutions. Brazilian Indians spoke a large number of languages. The Portuguese settlers’ language was influenced by the different Indian and African dialects they encountered, but it remains the dominant language.
Brazil is the only Portuguese-speaking nation in South America. Currently Brazil’s population is mixed to a degree that is unseen elsewhere. Today the Indian population accounts for only about 2 percent of the country’s population. Afro-Brazilians and people of mixed racial heritage account for at least 45 percent of the Brazilian population at the end of the twentieth century. Brazil also has a large population of mixed Europeans, mainly Portuguese, descent. (2011). BRAZIL HISTORY. [ONLINE]. Available at: http//www. brazil. org. a/history [Last Accessed 27 February 2013] Due to the mixture of ethnic groups, Brazil does not have two discrete racial categories—black and white—and Brazilians recognize and have words for a wide variety of racial types. Brazilians view their land as a racial democracy, “without prejudice towards the darker skinned citizens. ” Gender roles in Brazil vary to some extent by social class, race, and place of residence. Like so many aspects of Brazilian life, educational opportunities are tied to social classes, rated on a level of A-E.
Brazil has never invested heavily in public education and most middle-class and wealthy families send their children to private school. The lack of education hinders Brazilian’s improvement from poverty and hinders Brazil in its ability to accelerate in the economy and establish itself as one of the world’s power players. In some regions of Brazil, girls are more likely than boys to be in school and women tend to be more literate than men. Two-thirds of all public monies spent on education in Brazil goes to universities for higher education, the other third to public primary and secondary schools. (2011)