Brazil - Encyclopedia Information
Official name Federative Republic of Brazil
Formation 1822 / 1828
Population 195 million / 60 people per sq mile (23 people per sq km)
Total area 3,286,470 sq. miles (8,511,965 sq. km)
Languages Portuguese*, German, Italian, Spanish, Polish, Japanese, Amerindian languages
Religions Roman Catholic 74%, Protestant 15%, Atheist 7%, Other 3%, Afro-American Spiritist 1%
Ethnic mix White 54%, Mixed race 38%, Black 6%, Other 2%
Government Presidential system
Currency Real = 100 centavos
Literacy rate 90%
Calorie consumption 3099 kilocalories
Since Brazil was a Portuguese colony and Portugal our long-time ally, we have tended to steer clear of invading it too much. At least we’ve invaded it less than many other places. Some British expeditions did make it to Brazil in the early period. An expedition under William and Richard Hawkins, for example, explored the Brazilian coast in the 1580s. In the early nineteenth century, the Royal Navy headed for Brazilian waters, but on this occasion on the rather friendlier mission of escorting the Portuguese royal family here, after they escaped from Napoleon’s forces in Portugal itself.
However, things did become a little more tense at one point after Brazil became independent from Portugal. By this stage, despite Britain’s earlier major involvement with it, we had abolished slavery and were taking some measures to see that it was abolished elsewhere. In 1826, we pressured Brazil into agreeing to outlaw the transatlantic slave trade. Instead, the trade increased. In 1845, we passed the Aberdeen Act, which allowed the Royal Navy to chase suspected slaving vessels right into Brazilian ports. This they did on a number of occasions until finally, in 1850, Brazil outlawed the importation of slaves into Brazil.
Our efforts were rather less successful the next time we clashed with Brazil. In 1862, when a bunch of British sailors were arrested, British warships were ordered to blockade Rio de Janeiro for six days. Brazil stood firm, and when we refused to apologise and pay compensation, they decided to break off diplomatic links and we decided to become a lot more conciliatory.