Brazil

Brazil, the largest South American State, almost equal to Europe, occupies the eastern angle of the continent, and comprises the Amazon basin, the tablelands of Matto Grosso, the upper basin of the Paraguay, and the maritime highlands, with the valleys of the Paraná and San Francisco. Great stretches of the interior are uninhabitable swamp and forest lands; forests tenanted by an endless variety of brilliant-plumed birds and insects; the coasts are often humid and unhealthy, but the upper levels have a fine climate. Almost all the country is within the tropics. The population at the seaports is mostly white; inland it is negro, mulatto, and Indian. Vegetable products are indescribably rich and varied; timber of all kinds, rubber, cotton, and fruit are exported; coffee and sugar are the chief crops. The vast mineral wealth includes diamonds, gold, mercury, and copper. Most of the trade is with Britain and America. The language is Portuguese; the religion, Roman Catholic; education is very backward, and government unsettled. Discovered in 1500, and annexed by Portugal; the Portuguese king, expelled by the French in 1808, fled to his colony, which was made a kingdom 1815, and an empire in 1822. The emperor, Pedro II., was driven out in 1889, and a republic established on the federal system, which has been harassed ever since by desultory civil war. The capital is Rio Janeiro; Bahia and Pernambuco, the other seaports.

Population (circa 1900) given as 14,000,000.

Definition taken from The Nuttall Encyclopædia, edited by the Reverend James Wood (1907)

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