Brazil (Modern World Nations) by Harry Greenbaum

By Harry Greenbaum

Those information-packed volumes supply complete overviews of every nation's humans, geography, historical past, govt, financial system, and tradition

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Geologically, much of the country’s upland region is composed of crystalline, pre-Cambrian rock of the Brazilian Shield that dates to more than half a billion years. Only a few other places on Earth are believed to be as old. The oldest archaeological evidence of early humans anywhere in the Americas has been discovered at Pedra Furada, in eastern Brazil. Some archaeologists question the site and doubt that humans lived in the Americas nearly 35,000 years ago. Others, however, believe that when human beings first set foot on American soil, they did so in what is now Brazil.

Additional gold discoveries were made in what are now the states of Goiás and Mato Grosso, and in a variety of other places as well. Much of the gold was found in mountainous and other hard-to-reach locations. Despite the fact that travel to many of the gold mines was difficult and dangerous, by 1760, the country was producing nearly one-half of the world’s gold. CHANGES IN THE ECONOMIC STRUCTURE Brazil’s cycle of growth has had many phases. Often, the country’s economy depended heavily on a single item, such as sugar, gold, rubber, or coffee.

As a result of his rise to power, Brazil became one of the few Latin American countries that gained freedom without violence or bloodshed. On September 7, 1822, the new leader claimed the title of Dom Pedro I and declared that Brazil was an independent country. The nation became a constitutional monarchy. Political participation by the people of Brazil was very limited. Brazil at this time can best be described as a plantation-based society that still relied heavily on slave labor. In 1831, because of the many political problems that existed in Brazil, Dom Pedro I was forced to step down.

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