The earliest inhabitants of Brazil were the Indians. However, the country’s recorded history begins with the arrival of the Portuguese in 1500. The Portuguese sailor Pedro Alvares Cabral visited the continent we call South America, eight years after Columbus arrived in America. Portuguese settlers followed, calling the new colony Brazil, after the brazilwood tree that they extracted red dye from. The Portuguese did not bring prosperity and progress to the Indians. Instead, they unintentionally infected and killed thousands of Indians with diseases such as measles and smallpox.
The growing number of settlers spurred the exploration of Brazil. Frontiersmen called bandeirantes established Brazil’s claim to lands in the west. Their main purpose was to search for slaves and gold. They found gold in Minas Gerais in 1693, setting off a gold rush that drew thousands of settlers to Brazil’s center.
During the 1500s and 1600s, five million African slaves were brought to Brazil to work on the sugarcane plantations. The slaves did not submit willingly to their fate. Many escaped and formed independent colonies called quilombos. After Brazil gained independence, a movement to end slavery slowly grew. Slavery was abolished in 1888. Brazil was the last country in the Western Hemisphere to abolish slavery.
Brazil was declared independent of Portugal in 1822 and became republic in 1889. Since then the country has been run by democratic governments and by military governments. Brazil today is a democratic republic with a president.
In the 1950’s, extensive amounts of money were spent on building hydroelectric plants, highways and other economic projects. This set the stage for future growth, but also brought economic problems by putting the nation into debt. In the 1970s industry grew and provided thousand of jobs under military rule. The economy stopped growing in the 1980s and Brazil was unable to pay back its loans again. Frustrated by the debt and growing public discontent, the military handed power back to the civilian government in 1985.
Brazil has a huge range of music and dance styles. Brazil’s music, dances and instruments are developed from the blending of European, African, and indigenous Indian roots. The most famous dance is the samba, which is their national beat. An...
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...stry and keep up with the changing technology, the best way to optimize economy for their country is through competition.
Brazil Country Facts
Buttelli, Synara. Privatization.
Novaes, Ana. The Privatization of the Brazilian Telecommunications Sector.
4 “Inter-American Trade” Published by the National Law Center for Inter-American Free Trade, Vol 5, N11, P1, May 29, 1998.
5 Werner, HM “Latin American Telecom Bursts Out of the Gate” Buyouts Vol 21 Issue 21, p26, 10/25/99.
The Privatization of Telecommunications in Brazil.
6 http://www.led.ufsc.br/~leslie/privatization/sec1.htm (1994)
7 “Sector Outlook – Telecommunications” Latin American Monitor: Brazil Monitor, Vol 21 Issue 10, Oct. 2004.
8 Costain, Meredith & Collins, Paul. Welcome to Brazil. South Yarra, Australia: Macmillan Education Australia Pty Ltd, 2000
9 Meade, Teresa. A Brief History of Brazil. New York, NY: Checkmark Books, 2004
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