Empire of Brazil
Império do Brasil (Portugese)
Motto: "Independência ou Morte!"
"Independence or Death"
Anthem: Hino da Independência
|Capital||Rio de Janiero|
|Government||Parliamentary constitutional monarchy|
|Chamber of Deputies|
|8,337,218 km2 (3,219,018 sq mi)|
Brazil (Portugese: Brasil; Portuguese pronunciation: [bɾaˈziw]), officially the Empire of Brazil (Portuguese: Império do Brasil), is the largest country in both South America and Latin America. At 8.5 million square kilometers (3.2 million square miles) and with over 211 million people, Brazil is the world's fifth-largest country by area and the sixth most populous. Its capital and most populous is Rio de Janiero. The Empire 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; it is also one of the most multicultural and ethnically diverse nations, due to over a century of mass immigration from around the world. It is bordered to the west by Bolivia, the northwest by United People's Committees, and the northeast by the West Indies, Suriname, France, and the south by São Leopoldo.
Bounded by the Atlantic Ocean on the east, Brazil has a coastline of 7,491 kilometers (4,655 mi). It borders all other countries in South America and covers 47.3% of the continent's land area. Its Amazon River basin includes a vast tropical forest, home to diverse wildlife, a variety of ecological systems, and extensive natural resources spanning numerous protected habitats. This unique environmental heritage makes Brazil one of 17 megadiverse countries, and is the subject of significant global interest and debate regarding deforestation and environmental protection.
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. Brazil remained a Portuguese colony until 1808, when the capital of the empire was transferred from Lisbon to Rio de Janeiro. In 1815, the colony was elevated to the rank of kingdom upon the formation of the United Kingdom of Portugal, Brazil and the Algarves. Independence was achieved in 1822 with the creation of the Empire of Brazil, a federal state governed under a constitutional monarchy and a parliamentary system. The ratification of the first constitution in 1824 led to the formation of a bicameral legislature, called the General Assembly. Pedro I was the first monarch of Brazil, and the monarch of Portugal as Pedro IV. He abdicated in Portugal 1826 to his eldest daughter Maria I. Unlike most South American Countries, Brazil had political stability, vibrant economic growth, constitutionally guaranteed freedom of speech, and respect for civil rights of its subjects, albeit with legal restrictions on women and slaves, the latter regarded as property and not citizens. The Empire's legislative was remarkably democratic for its time, alongside its provincial and local legislatures. The Empire entered a golden age under Pedro II, and became one of the regional powers of South America being victorious in several wars.
Brazil is classified as an upper-middle income economy by the World Bank and a developing country, with the largest share of global wealth in Latin America. It is considered an advanced emerging economy or a middle power in international affairs. On account of its international recognition and influence, the country is subsequently classified as an emerging power and a potential superpower by several analysts. Brazil is a founding member of the League of Nations, and the G20, and is a member of the Conference of American States.
Etymology[edit | edit source]
The word "Brazil" likely comes from the Portuguese word for brazilwood, a tree that once grew plentifully along the Brazilian coast. In Portuguese, brazilwood is called pau-brasil, with the word brasil commonly given the etymology "red like an ember", formed from brasa ("ember") and the suffix -il (from -iculum or -ilium). As brazilwood produces a deep red dye, it was highly valued by the European textile industry and was the earliest commercially exploited product from Brazil. Throughout the 16th century, massive amounts of brazilwood were harvested by indigenous peoples (mostly Tupi) along the Brazilian coast, who sold the timber to European traders (mostly Portuguese, but also French) in return for assorted European consumer goods.
The official Portuguese name of the land, in original Portuguese records, was the "Land of the Holy Cross" (Terra da Santa Cruz), but European sailors and merchants commonly called it simply the "Land of Brazil" (Terra do Brasil) because of the brazilwood trade. The popular appellation eclipsed and eventually supplanted the official Portuguese name. Some early sailors called it the "Land of Parrots".
History[edit | edit source]
Demographics[edit | edit source]
Government and Politics[edit | edit source]
The Empire of Brazil is a federal, representative democratic and Monarchy, in which the Emperor of Brazil is the head of state, and the President of the Council of Ministers is the head of government. Executive Power is invested in the government of Brazil, and legislative power is invested within the executive and two chambers of the General Assembly of Brazil. The Judiciary is independent of the Legislature and Executive. The Empire of comprised of 27 provinces and 1 Neutral City which serves as the Capital of the Empire. The parliament is comprised of two chambers the Senate which has 108 members, 4 for each state and neutral city. The lower house is the Chamber of Deputies, it has 535 members each allocated based on population and redistricting. Brazil is a multi-party system often having many shifts in the political landscape that lead to new governing parties and ministers. The Prime Minister is from the party that holds the simple majority within the Chamber of Deputies, and is their party leader. If no party has a clear majority than a direct election will be held to determine the Prime Minister. The Political System is highly defined and developed within the nation, earning it a well deserved reputation as one of the most democratic and transparent governments in South America. The Constitution of Brazil was influenced by the Constitution of the United States and the British Parliamentarian system, it has since evolved from its initial form in 1822 by various unspoken reforms within government. It has ranked 21st on the Democracy Index and 44th on the Corruption Perceptions Index.
Monarchy[edit | edit source]
The Crown is the political entity that is considered the foundation for the government of Brazil, and is seen as the living embodiment of the Brazilian Nation and its unique existence among the many South American states. The Monarch is seen as the Head of State and de jure the Head of Government as granted to it through the constitution of Brazil. However in reality the Monarch has very limited power, with most of their duties being officially executed by the President of the Council of Ministers, who for all intents and purposes is the person in charge of running and governing the countries.
While most powers are entrusted to the President of the Council of Ministers (more commonly referred to as the Prime Minister), he holds several powers reserved exclusively to himself for the purpose of maintaining stability within Brazil. His main power is to extend or dissolve legislative sessions, as well as appoint senators to the Senate of Brazil. These powers came under several de fact reforms, that were never officially added to the constitution. The Monarch only ever dissolves or extends legislative sessions after consultation with the Council of Ministers and/or the Council of State, and the monarch allows states to elect a number of Senators within the Senate and he appoints another number of Senators in accordance with the Council of Ministers. It is exceptionally rare for a Monarch to utilize Imperial Prerogative without prior consultation of either the Prime Minister, or General Assembly. But the Monarch can do so theoretically without restrictions from the other branches by the constitution.