• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Brazil (in Portuguese, Brasil), officially Federative Republic of Brazil, federal republic, the largest country in South America, occupying nearly one half of the entire area of the continent.

Extracts from this document...


Brazil (in Portuguese, Brasil), officially Federative Republic of Brazil, federal republic, the largest country in South America, occupying nearly one half of the entire area of the continent. It is bordered on the north by Venezuela, Guyana, Suriname, French Guiana, and the Atlantic Ocean; on the east by the Atlantic Ocean; on the south by Uruguay; on the west by Argentina, Paraguay, Bolivia, and Peru; and on the north-west by Colombia. The republic has a common frontier with every country of South America except Chile and Ecuador. Brazil is the fifth-largest country in the world (after Russia, China, Canada, and the United States). The total area of Brazil is 8,511,996 sq km (3,286,500 sq mi); its maximum north-south distance is about 4,345 km (2,700 mi), and its maximum east-west distance is about 4,330 km (2,690 mi). Most of the people of Brazil live near the Atlantic Ocean, notably in the great cities of S�o Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, but the capital is inland, at Bras�lia (1993 estimate 1,673,151). The country, which was once a Portuguese dependency, is the world's leading producer of coffee, and it also contains great mineral resources; exploitation of many of these resources intensified during the 1980s and 1990s. A vast region of highlands, known as the Brazilian highlands or Brazilian plateau, and the basin of the River Amazon are the dominant geographical features of Brazil. The plateau is an eroded tableland occupying most of the south-eastern half of the country. With a general elevation of about 305 to 915 m (1,000 to 3,000 ft), this tableland is irregularly divided by mountain ranges and numerous river valleys. Its south-eastern edge, which is generally parallel to the coast, rises abruptly from the ocean in various areas, particularly north of latitude 10� south and south of latitude 20� south. ...read more.


Many varieties of birds are indigenous to the country. The reptilian fauna includes several species of alligator and numerous species of snake, notably the bushmaster, fer-de-lance, and boa. Fish and turtle abound in the rivers, lakes, and coastal waters of Brazil. The issue of deforestation in the Amazon Basin is an international environmental issue. The country's rainforest is one of the most complex ecosystems in the world, containing much of the world's biodiversity. During the early 1990s the forest was being destroyed, to make way for agriculture, at a rate of 35,000 sq km (13,500 sq mi) a year. A rainforest protection programme, funded by the Brazilian government, the EU, and the G-7 group, was agreed in 1996. The soil is primarily tropical and subtropical terra rosa (red earth). Amazonia, the valley of the Amazon and its tributaries, is a vast alluvial plain in which flooding continually washes away and replenishes topsoil. A number of low alluvial plateaux, however, can be found above normal floor levels. Some inland regions of the north-east are semi-arid. In lowland areas, the soil supports dense rainforests. The state of S�o Paulo is marked by fertile, almost purple, terra rosa, because of basalt decomposition accelerated by heat and humidity. Approximately 22 per cent of the population of Brazil is composed of mulattoes. People of Portuguese descent are the second-largest group (15 per cent), followed by mestizos (people of mixed European and Native American stock, 12 per cent), Italian (11 per cent), black (11 per cent), and Spanish (10 per cent), with the remaining 19 per cent made up of other groups, including Germans, Japanese, and Native Americans. The population of Brazil (1996 estimate) is 157,872,000. The overall population density is about 19 per sq km (48 per sq mi). ...read more.


in 1995. Brazil's manufacturing industries produce a vast array of products and contributed almost 25 per cent of GDP in 1995. Large amounts of such goods as processed food (particularly orange juice), iron and steel, cement, textiles, clothing, motor vehicles, chemicals, and machinery. S�o Paulo is the leading industrial state, with factories producing about one third of the total amount of manufactures of Brazil; the cities of Rio de Janeiro, Belo Horizonte, Porto Alegre, and Fortaleza also are major manufacturing centres. Tourism in Brazil centres around the country's many beaches and the city of Rio de Janeiro. Ecotourism in the Amazon Basin is being encouraged by the government. In 1994 some 1,700,464 tourists visited Brazil (over one third of which were from Argentina), spending over US$1.9 million. The monetary unit of Brazil is the real, of 100 centavos (2.005 reals equal US$1; 1999), introduced in July 1994 to replace the cruzado. The Central Bank of Brazil (1965), which is based in Bras�lia, issues the country's currency. Other major banking institutions include the Bank of Brazil, a state-owned commercial bank with more than 3,044 branches; the National Bank of Economic and Social Development, based in Rio de Janeiro; and the Brazilian Discount Bank, with over 1,700 branches. Brazilians are also served by many other private and state banks. The Native Americans who were the original inhabitants of what is now Brazil included the Arawak and Carib groups in the north, the Tup�-Guaran� of the east coast and the Amazon river valley, the Ge of eastern and southern Brazil, and the Pano in the west. For the most part these groups were essentially semi-nomadic peoples, who subsisted by hunting and gathering and simple agriculture. Those groups in the more remote areas of the interior maintained their traditional way of life until the late 20th century, when their existence was threatened by the advancing frontier. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Physical Geography section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Physical Geography essays

  1. Geography- Whistable Coast Project

    In this section I will explore problems and limitations I faced during this test. This table will show all the limitations with several of the methods: Dog biscuits- LSD survey: The test was only very basic and quite simple. The test only lasted 10 sec and was only done twice.

  2. The Amazon Rainforest is a large tropical rainforest occupying the drainage basin of the ...

    At anytime of the year, several days of heavy rain can be succeeded by clear, sunny days and fresh cool nights with relatively low humidity. About half of the precipitation that falls in the Amazon originates from the Atlantic Ocean, the other half comes from evapotranspiration from the forest itself and associated convectional storms.

  1. An Investigation Into Kingston Area Shopping Centres and Their Patterns of Use

    This will let me construct a desire line map and then will be made into a sphere of influence which I will use to prove or disprove my hypothesis. I will also need to refer to the shopping survey, which will give me the number of shops in each shopping centre.

  2. Geography - Ivestigation of the River Colne, Buckinghamshire

    readings over a short section of river rather than the whole river, so the theory I drew my hypotheses from did not apply. The reason hypothesis 3 is not supported by the data is because the data is likely to be partially incorrect.

  1. Sydney to the southern highlands

    As you travel further from Sydney the building size continues to shrink, with greater amounts of rural communities and industrial buildings until you finally come to farmland. Figure 3. High rise building in the CBD Change in Transport Infrastructure The second area of changes the transport infrastructure dramatically changes the further you travel out of Sydney.

  2. Letter to the brazilian government regarding the amazonian rainforest

    It is because of the equatorial climate in your region of the world that these species exist, and the weather is perfect for them to survive and thrive. The plants, as you will know, oppose the potential in containing undiscovered medicines which can possibly cure fatal diseases; which could benefit the human civilization forever.

  1. Deforestation In The Amazon Rainforest.

    Multinational companies support deforestation because they are supplying for demand and a huge market, if people want mahogany furniture and rare gems/metals then they'll go and clear entire forests in order to give it to them and make a huge profit in the process.

  2. Everything About Brazil

    The states are subdivided into municipalities. States are based on historical, conventional borders and have developed throughout the centuries; though some boundaries are arbitrary. The national territory was divided in 1969 by the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE), for demographic and statistical purposes, into five main regions: North, Northeast, Central-West, Southeast and South.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work