Empire of Brazil

From Roach Busters

Alexsander da Rosa (April 14, 1972) Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio Grande do Sul (computer science)

Exército Imperial Brasileira (Brazilian Imperial Army)
Força Aérea Imperial Brasileira (Brazilian Imperial Air Force)
Armada Imperial Brasileira (Brazilian Imperial Armada)
Guarda Nacional (National Guard)

Império do Brasil
Empire of Brazil

FlagoftheEmpireofBrazil.png CoatofarmsoftheEmpireofBrazil.png
Flag Coat of arms

"Independência ou Morte!" (Portuguese)
"Independence or Death!"

Hino da Independência
(Independence Hymn)



Largest city
Rio de Janeiro
22°54′30″S, 43°14′37″W
São Paulo

Official languages Portuguese

Demonym Brazilian

 - Emperor
 - Prime Minister
Constitutional monarchy
Luís I
Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (PT)

 - Upper house
 - Lower house
General Assembly
Chamber of Deputies

State religion Roman Catholic Church

 - Declared
 - Recognized
from Portugal
September 7, 1822
August 29, 1825

 - Total

 - Water (%)

8,691,092 km²
3,355,634 sq mi

 - July 2008 estimate
 - Density

59.5/sq mi

 - Total
 - Per capita
2008 estimate

GDP (nominal)
 - Total
 - Per capita
2008 estimate

Gini (2008) n/a (n/a) (unranked)

HDI (2005) n/a (n/a) (unranked)

Currency Real (R$) (BRL)

Time zone
 - Summer (DST)
BRT (UTC -3 to -5)
BRST (UTC -2 to -5)

Internet TLD .br

Calling code +55

The Empire of Brazil (Portuguese: Império do Brasil) is the largest and most populous country in Latin America, and one of the largest — in size and population — in the world. Its territory covers 8,514,877 km² between central South America and the Atlantic Ocean, and it is the eastern-most country of the Americas.

It borders Venezuela, Suriname, Guyana and the department of French Guiana to the north, Colombia to the northwest, Bolivia and Peru to the west, and Argentina and Paraguay to the south. Numerous archipelagos are part of the Brazilian territory, such as Penedos de São Pedro e São Paulo, Fernando de Noronha, Trindade e Martim Vaz and Atol das Rocas.

A tropical climate is predominant. In the south of the country, subtropical climate prevails. Brazil is cut through by the Equator and Tropic of Capricorn. It is home to varied fauna and flora and extensive natural resources.

Brazil was colonized by Portugal from 1500 until its independence in 1822.

The Brazilian population tends to concentrate along the coastline in large urban centers. While Brazil has one of the largest populations in the world, population density is low and the inner continental land has large areas of low population. It is a multiracial country composed of European, Amerindian, African and Asian elements. The official language is Portuguese, and it is the only Portuguese-speaking country in the Americas. Catholicism is both the state religion and the most widely practiced religion; however, all faiths are tolerated, and the non-Catholic population, particularly the Protestant communities, has experienced fairly large growth in the last decades. Brazil has the largest Roman Catholic population in the world.

The Brazilian economy is among the largest, most robust, and most powerful in the world. The country is highly developed and industrialized, with a large and rapidly expanding middle class, high standards of living, and one of the highest rates of economic growth in the world.


[edit] Government

Brazil is a hereditary semi-constitutional monarchy ruled by the House of Orléans-Braganza.

[edit] Executive

[edit] The Emperor

The head of state of Brazil is the Emperor, who possesses Poder Moderador (Moderating Power), i.e. the power to temper the will of Brazil's representative government. He controls the executive by indicating the members of the State Council, influences the legislative by being allowed to propose motions and having the power to dissolve it, and influences the judiciary by appointing (for life) the members of the highest court.

The Emperor has power to: convene, prorogue, or dissolve the General Assembly; veto legislation; appoint bishops and provide ecclestiastical benefits; appoint Ministers, magistrates (judges), provincial governors, and commanders of the armed forces; conclude treaties with foreign nations; appoint and accredit, and receive and recognize, ambassadors, plenipotentiaries, diplomatic representatives and other diplomatic officers, consuls and consular officers; declare war and make peace; confer or revoke honors, titles, military orders, and decorations; grant letters of naturalization; reprieve or commute the sentences of offenders; and promulgate decrees appropriate for the proper implementation of laws. He also serves as commander-in-chief of the armed forces. Unlike many "monarchs" who relegate themselves to powerless figureheads performing only ceremonial duties, the Emperor of Brazil still wields a good deal of power, and he can and does invoke this power when the liberties of the people are imperiled or when the public safety warrants it. Generally, though, he is content to leave the affairs of the nation as localized as possible, and the people enjoy the right to do anything they wish except initiate violence or force against one another.

The Emperor is widely respected by Brazilians of all social levels as an enlightened monarch who rules in a principled, rational fashion.

[edit] The Council of Ministers

The Council of Ministers (Portuguese: Conselho de Ministros) is the cabinet of Brazil, consisting of the heads of the executive departments (Ministries) they are appointed to lead. They carry out policy rather than create it. In addition to administering his segment of the executive branch, a Minister is responsible for advising the Emperor on areas within his purview. They are appointed by the Emperor acting on the advice of the President of the Council of Ministers and serve during the Emperor's pleasure.

The current composition of the Council of Ministers is listed below:

Portfolio Minister Party
President of the Council of Ministers
(Presidente do Conselho de Ministros)
Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva PT
Minister of Agrarian Development
(Ministro do Desenvolvimento Agrário)
Guilherme Cassel PT
Minister of Agriculture
(Ministro da Agricultura)
Reinhold Stephanes PMDB
Minister of Cities
(Ministro de Cidades)
Márcio Fortes de Almeida PP
Minister of Communications
(Ministro de Comunicações)
Hélio Costa PMDB
Minister of Culture
(Ministro da Cultura)
Juca Ferreira PV
Minister of Defense
(Ministro da Defesa)
Nelson Jobim PMDB
Minister of Development, Industry, and Trade
(Ministro do Desenvolvimento, Indústria e Comércio)
Miguel Jorge none
Minister of Education
(Ministro da Educação)
Fernando Haddad PT
Minister of Environment
(Ministro do Meio Ambiente)
Carlos Minc PT
Minister of External Relations
(Ministro das Relações Exteriores)
Carlos Amorim none
Minister of Finance
(Ministro da Fazenda)
Guido Mantega PT
Minister of Health
(Ministro da Saúde do Brasil)
José Gomes Temporão PMDB
Minister of Justice
(Ministro da Justiça)
Tarso Genro PT
Minister of Labor and Employment
(Ministro do Trabalho e Emprego)
Carlos Lupi PDT
Minister of Mines and Energy
(Ministro de Minas e Energia)
Edison Lobão PMDB
Minister of National Integration
(Ministro da Integração Nacional)
Geddel Vieira Lima PMDB
Minister of Planning and Budget
(Ministro do Planejamento e Orçamento)
Paulo Bernardo Silva PT
Minister of Science and Technology
(Ministro da Ciência e Tecnologia)
Sérgio Machado Rezende PSB
Minister of Social Development and Hunger Alleviation
(Ministro do Desenvolvimento Social e Combate à Fome)
Patrus Ananias PT
Minister of Social Security
(Ministro da Previdência Social)
José Barroso Pimentel PT
Minister of Sports
(Ministro do Esporte)
Orlando Silva de Jesus Júnior PCdoB
Minister of Tourism
(Ministro do Turismo)
Luiz Barretto Filho none
Minister of Transportation
(Ministro dos Transportes)
Anderson Adauto PMDB

[edit] Prime Minister

The Prime Minister is the head of government of Brazil.

The political position of Prime Minister of Brazil was first created in 1847, during the reign of Dom Pedro II.

Officially, the title of the Prime Minister is "President of the Council of Ministers," but he is often referred to by the press and the people as "President of the Cabinet". He is responsible for chairing the sessions of the Council of Ministers, determining the basic guidelines of its policies, and systematically informing the Emperor of its activities.

The written Constitution of Brazil does not require the Emperor to appoint a prime minister, nor does it provide for a parliamentary system of government; instead, it vests the executive authority in the Emperor himself, and stipulates that the Emperor is to be aided by ministers that he is free to appoint and dismiss. However, Emperor Pedro II decided to appoint a president of the council among his ministers, to lead the workings of the government. He also chose to create a sort of parliamentary government, whereby the prime minister would be someone who could command a majority in the Chamber of Deputies, the lower house of the General Assembly. Therefore, even without being required by the Constitution, the Emperor started to exercise his authority in a manner compatible with parliamentary government, only appointing as prime minister someone who could retain parliamentary support, etc.

However, the Emperor did not become a figurehead monarch like other heads of state in a parliamentary system. The prime minister needed to retain the political confidence both of a majority of the Chamber of Deputies and of the Emperor, who actively scrutinized the workings of the government. Sometimes the Emperor would dissolve the Chamber of Deputies and summon new elections (a power he possessed under the Constitution), or dismiss the prime minister, due to his own political beliefs about the efficiency of the government. Thus, the Emperor would often dismiss a prime minister, and then appoint someone else from the same party. All this led to a succession of shortlived Cabinets. The emperor retained decision-making powers with regard to the signature or veto of bills passed by Parliament, and would not always abide by the advice of his ministers. And that was seen as normal given that the monarch was not required by the Constitution to reign in a parliamentary system, and the establishment of one was only a limited and voluntary decision of Pedro II.

Therefore, the parliamentary system voluntarily established by Emperor Pedro II was not - and is not - identical to the standard of a parliamentary government with a head of state that reigns but does not govern, given that the Emperor retained part of the control over the daily affairs of his government.

Thus, the parliamentary system that was put in place in the reign of Pedro II (and remains in place today) can be termed a "semi-imperial government," and can be compared to the political system of some republics, such as France, that are governed under a semi-presidential system, in which the head of state has more than just the customary reserve powers, but there is also a prime minister who needs to maintain the confidence of Parliament in order to retain his office.

This co-existence of a head of state with real powers and influence with a prime minister responsible before parliament is dubbed by many Brazilian political scientists as parlamentarismo as avessas (flopped parliamentarism), a criticism corresponding to their view that, in the parliamentary system of Brazil, the Chamber of Deputies is the weaker party, constantly being dissolved, and the survival of the Cabinet depends more on the confidence of the Emperor than in that of General Assembly.

[edit] The Council of State

The Council of State is an advisory body, appointed by the Emperor, which advises him on matters of public administration and foreign affairs. They can advise the Emperor at any time he decides to use the Moderator Power, except at times when he dismisses a minister of state. Members of the Council of State are referred to as "His/Her Excellency," and they are subject to penalties if they offer advice with a view of de-stabilizing the state or opposing the law. The Prince Imperial of Brazil becomes a member of the Council when he reaches majority age.

[edit] Legislature

The bicameral General Assembly (Assembléia Geral) serves as the national legislature of Brazil.

[edit] Chamber of Deputies

The Chamber of Deputies (Câmara dos Deputados), which has 513 seats, is the lower house of the General Assembly. Members are directly elected by party-list proportional representation to four-year terms. The Chamber of Deputies is presided over by the President of the Chamber of Deputies, chosen by the Chamber from among its own members; the current President of the Chamber of Deputies is Antônio da Costa Andrada.

[edit] Senate

The upper house of the General Assembly is the Senate (Senado), which acts as a consulting body to the Emperor. Membership is for life, and it is a place of great prestige.

In order to run for office in the Senate, one has to be 40 years of age or older a natural-born citizen of Brazil. Electors are required to be natural-born citizens, as well, although there is no age requirement. To be eligible to vote, one has to meet the same qualifications required to vote for members of the Chamber of Deputies (i.e., 21 years of age or older, must pass a literacy test, must be a property owner, and cannot be currently serving in the armed forces). Voters do not vote directly for the senators; rather, they vote for candidates to be senator electors. Once elected, these electors vote for senator. The election itself does not turn out a winner automatically. The three highest-voted candidates in each circumscription make up what is called a "triple list", from which the Emperor selects one individual, who is then considered to be "elected". The Emperor usually picks the highest-voted for individual, but it is within his discretion to select whichever of the three individuals listed he wants. The only exceptions to these rules are the Princes of the Brazilian Imperial House, who are senators by right and take seats in the Senate upon reaching 25 years of age. The number of senators per province is equal to half the number of deputies the province has in the Chamber of Deputies.

Currently, there are 255 senators: 246 appointed members, and 9 Princes of the Imperial House. Like the Chamber of Deputies, the Senate is also presided over by a President, chosen by its members. The current President of the Senate is Prince Eudes Maria, a brother of the Emperor.

General Assembly seats by party

Party name Party leader Platform/ideology Chamber of Deputies Senate
Libertarians Alexsander da Rosa Libertarianism 228 157
Conservative Party Rodrigo Maia Neoliberalism, social conservatism 90 49
Liberal Party Tasso Jereissati Classical liberalism 78 36
Christian Democratic Party Vítor Nósseis Christian democracy 39 2
National Democratic Union Ademar de Barros Filho Center-right 23 0
Brazilian Labor Party Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva Center-left, social democracy 19 0
Social Democratic Party Nélio Dias Centrism, populism 15 0
Republican Party Sergio Victor Tamer Republicanism 1 0
Independent/Non-partisan n/a n/a 30 11

[edit] Justice and law

Arguably the most important governing body in Brazil is the judicial system, which arbitrates all sorts of disputes.

The courts are generally socially stratified, compete with one another for patronage, and work by a complex contractual system between the courts, the government, private defense agencies, and other organizations. Being fully private, courts act as any other businesses in the marketplace, selling their services and trying to gain customers through competitive processes.

Brazilian law is mostly unwritten, informal, and based on tradition and natural law. Numerous legal codes exist, which vary significantly by court (for example, ecclestiastical courts depend on canon law, while secular courts are more concerned with contract law), although an underlying common law and precedent exists which ensures that the courts are generally the same in their provision of justice.

[edit] Supreme Court of Justice

The Supreme Court of Justice (Supremo Tribunal de Justiça, or STF) is the highest court of law of the Empire of Brazil. It functions as a court of final appeal. Magistrates are appointed by the Emperor and serve for life. All judicial and administrative meetings of the Supreme Court of Justice are broadcast live on TV since 2002. The Court is open for the public to watch the meetings.

[edit] Superior Military Court

The Superior Military Court (Superior Tribunal Militar, or STM), created in 1808 by João VI (king of Portugal, 1816-26), is the oldest superior court in Brazil. It is composed of fifteen judges. The STM has jurisdiction over crimes committed by members of the armed forces.

[edit] Superior Electoral Court

Emperor Pedro III created the Superior Electoral Court (Tribunal Superior Eleitoral, or TSE) in 1932 in an effort to end election fraud and manipulation. The TSE has jurisdiction over all aspects of elections and regulates the functioning of political parties. Its powers include supervising party conventions and internal elections; granting or canceling registration of parties; registering candidates and certifying those elected; regulating and supervising party access to free television and radio time during an election; and registering voters. The TSE has seven members.

[edit] Foreign relations

to be updated

[edit] Provinces of Brazil

Province Capital Area Population (2006) Density
Acre Rio Branco 152,581.4 km² 686,652 4.5/km²
Bahia Salvador 564,692.7 km² 13,950,146 24.7/km²
Cisplatina Montevidéu 176,215 km² 3,431,932 19.5/km²
Espírito Santo Vitória 46,077.5 km² 3,464,285 75.2/km²
Goiás Goiânia 623,509.5 km² 9,446,978 15.2/km²
Grão-Pará Belém do Pará 3,185,548.8 km² 11,440,550 3.6/km²
Maranhão São Luís 583,512.5 km² 9,220,828 15.8/km²
Mato Grosso Cuiabá 1,498,059.1 km² 6,717,397 4.5/km²
Minas Gerais Belo Horizonte 586,528.3 km² 2,856,999 33.2/km²
Paraná Curitiba 199,314.9 km² 10,387,378 51.2/km²
Pernambuco Recife 406,051.8 km² 28,438,053 70/km²
Rio de Janeiro Petrópolis 43,696.1 km² 15,561,720 356.1/km²
Rio Grande do Sul Porto Alegre 377,094.7 km² 16,921,485 44.8/km²
São Paulo São Paulo 248,209.4 km² 41,055,734 165.4/km²


[edit] Economy

The Empire of Brazil's economy has undergone profound and dynamic change since the early 1930s, when then-Emperor Pedro III made a very daring and risky gamble. While the rest of the world embraced various strains of statism as a "solution" to the Great Depression, Pedro decided to try something entirely different. He hired a team of economists and businesspersons versed in the teachings of the Austrian School, and gave them the task of drafting and implementing an economic plan. Their plan, which called for free trade, the repeal of all subsidies, privatization of state-run industries, a balanced budget, radical cuts in spending, the elimination of wage and price controls, repeal of antitrust laws, and the removal of regulations on business, was implemented shortly afterwards. It was indeed a gamble, but it paid off immensely. Within a few years, Brazil recovered from the Depression; by 1940, the economy had recovered to pre-Depression levels, unemployment was at its lowest rate in many years, the currency was stable (the country had adopted a 100% gold standard), prices were declining, and the standard of living rose. The number of people living below the poverty line fell as the country's middle-class — previously modest in size — grew dramatically. By 1960, Brazil had become a First World country. Its economy has continued to grow ever since; there has not been a single recession since the 1930s, when the country adopted full-reserve banking.

[edit] Money and banking

The currency of Brazil is called the real, but it is in fact simply copper, silver, or gold. Real refers not to the name of the currency but to a measure of weight. One copper real is four troy ounces of copper, one silver real is one troy ounce of silver, and one gold real is one twelvth of a troy ounce of gold. Reais are minted by private mints; Brazil has no central bank. Inflation of the money supply is only possible by mining more copper, silver, and gold and minting more coins. As such, Brazil has experienced a continuous slight deflationary trend, as opposed to the inflation of most countries.

Computerized exchange and debit cards are slowly replacing coins, although coins remain popular. Paper notes of redemption are also sometimes used, due to the ease of carrying them and to allow trade in more variety of denominations (once they are redeemed for copper, silver, or gold, the notes are burned).

Brazil has full-reserving banking, and fractional-reserve banking is illegal. This banking system has virtually eliminated the business cycle. Brazilian banks have a world-renowned reputation for their stability and secrecy, surpassing even Liechtensteiner banks. This has earned the country a good deal of criticism from other countries, due to the large number of people who deposit their money in Brazilian bank accounts to avoid taxation.

Credit is based entirely on voluntary systems such as bank savings bonds and term deposits. Interest rates are set by the market, rather than by the government.

[edit] Taxation

Brazilian taxation at the national level consists only of a uniform, small poll (head) tax (the Imperial Poll Tax) applicable to everyone except clergy and those in the care of the Holy Mother Church (the extreme destitute, orphans, disabled persons, the impoverished elderly, etc.). The current tax is 3.5 gold reais. Those who cannot afford the tax have their labor services sold to the highest bidder as indentured servants until the debt is paid off (in the case of minors, the parents/legal guardians are held responsible, instead). This provides extra revenue for the government (as the bidding always started at the amount owed) while also providing a permanent underclass that can almost never release itself from the cycle of servitude. No universal taxes, save the Imperial Poll Tax, are allowed to exist. The General Assembly is the only body which can increase the Imperial Poll Tax, in accordance with the tradition of "taxation by consent."

Local taxes vary, though no rate even approaching the Imperial Poll Tax exists. Furthermore, nobility and clergy are exempt from all local taxation. Most local taxes are collected in exchange for being able to sit on the local parliament and voice concerns, though some exist for electing representatives. Non-citizens, by law, cannot not be taxed.

Needless to say, this has earned the country a reputation as a tax haven. Brazil regularly tops the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development's "List of Unco-operative Tax Havens," a distinction Brazil takes great pride in. The OECD also routinely criticizes Brazil for its refusal to respect patent or copyright laws.

[edit] Foreign trade

Brazil has 100% free trade; there are no tariffs, quotas, customs, excises, or duties on imports or exports. Nor are there any subsidies. As such, the country enjoys a high and rapidly growing volume of trade and an extremely high level of foreign investment.

[edit] Labor

The government does not set or regulate wages or labor conditions; both are decided by mutual agreement between employers and employees.

[edit] Infrastructure and utilities

All infrastructure in Brazil, including roads, highways, bridges, railways, airports, harbors, and ports, is fully private. Most city roads permit free travel, while highways generally charge a small toll. Brazil's infrastructure is both well-maintained and of very high standard, due to the incentive private property owners have in keeping it in repair and to the fact that, unlike governments, private property owners can be, and are, held accountable by customers if injuries or death occur. Finally, because the free market does not have the "economic calculation problem" experienced by governments, it can allocate resources most efficiently to the mutual benefit of property owners and customers alike.

All utilities, such as electricity, water supply, postal services, telecommunications, the sewage system, etc. are 100% private, as well.

[edit] Social services

Services which are normally considered "rights" in most so-called free countries, such as healthcare, education, law enforcement, and even firefighting, are all left entirely to the private sector. Not only does the government not have a monopoly in these fields, but it does not even participate in them, in the first place.

Education is the responsibility of parents, families, churches, and local communities, not governments. Education is neither free nor compulsory, but competition keeps prices low and quality high. More than half of Brazilian parents choose to homeschool their children; they enjoy complete academic freedom, as the government does not regulate curricula. Most other parents send their children to for-profit private schools or to mission-run schools operated by the Roman Catholic Church, which often accept poor students for free (these schools are privately funded by both the Church, charities, and generous individuals).

Healthcare in Brazil is of uniformly high quality and extremely low-priced, due to free competition, the absence of bureaucratic red tape, and complete non-intervention by the government. Patients enjoy complete freedom in choosing the type, price, and quality of the healthcare they want. Numerous private charities and Church missions provide free healthcare - voluntarily paid for by charitable individuals of their own accord - for poor Brazilians.

Law enforcement is provided by private defense agencies, volunteer "neighborhood watch" organizations, etc. Brazilian private defense agencies provide much faster response times and much better service than publicly funded law enforcement, and abuses by PDA employees are far less frequent. PDAs ensure that rigorous standards of quality are met, lest they lose their customers to competing firms. Most of the customers' costs for PDAs are covered by private insurance plans. (Also of note: Because more than 98% of adult Brazilians own firearms, more than 50% belong to a militia, and most things considered "crimes" in other countries are legal in Brazil, crime is almost non-existent in the country.)

Even national defense is mostly private. The only exception is the military, which is partially taxpayer-funded (though even it is funded mostly through voluntary means), but it faces tough competition from other defense agencies in the private sector, many of which are better funded and more efficiently run.

[edit] Industries

The country's largest industries include motor vehicles, chemicals, lumber, aircraft, armaments, machinery, natural gas, hydropower, petroleum, tourism, and agriculture. Brazil is self-sufficient in energy production and does not rely on imports. Brazil is the largest producer of coffee in the world.

[edit] Society

Brazilian society is intensely conservative and traditional (cynics would say "parochial" or "reactionary"), hierarchical, and holds tenaciously to old-fashioned values and mores. Brazilian men are renowned for their chivalry and honor, and women for their modesty and purity. Good manners are of paramount importance to Brazilians, and nearly everyone dresses conservatively and observes proper etiquette almost to the point of prudishness. Frequent Church attendance and observance of religious holidays are de rigueur and those who are insufficiently pious or irreligious are viewed with a mixture of awe and distaste. Sex is a taboo topic, and premarital sex is almost completely unheard of. Very few Brazilians have sex before they are married, and married Brazilian couples seldom divorce (due to the fact that most Brazilians are devout Catholics).

Gender roles are important in Brazil. Feminism is widely seen as an anomaly, and most Brazilians of both sexes adhere faithfully to the school of thought that women belong at home, housekeeping, cooking, and raising families. Even so, mistreatment of women is strongly frowned upon by Brazilian men, who are generally very polite and gentlemanly, and often open doors, pull out chairs, etc. for women. Spousal and child abuse are extremely rare, though parents seldom hesitate to spank indignant children.

Abortion, widely viewed as murder by most Brazilians, is illegal except when the mother's life is endangered. Pro-life demonstrations, sometimes numbering in the millions, are common in Brazil. Euthanasia is similarly frowned upon by Brazilians, but is legal (albeit very uncommon).

Homosexuality is almost unheard of in Brazil. Rare is the Brazilian who would advocate toleration of homosexual "behavior," and virtually every Brazilian views homosexuality as the gravest of sins. Most believe homosexuality to be a chosen "lifestyle." Many business establishments will refuse to deal with homosexuals, bisexuals, or transsexuals, and those known to be sexual minorities face widespread ostracism. Even so, Brazilians abhor violence against homosexuals; they believe that the proper way to "deal" with homosexuals is by praying for their salvation. "Hate the sin, love the sinner" is a popular credo. Because the Brazilian government has no involvement in the institution of marriage, the decision of whether to allow/recognize gay marriages is left to individual religious institutions.

Prostitution and pornography are legal but rare. Most landlords will refuse to lease to prostitutes or porn stars, and most businesses will refuse to do business with them. Many sidewalks and roads even ban use by them. While the devout religiosity and conservatism of most Brazilians means that prostitution and pornography are rare to begin with, the few Brazilians who do pursue employment in either of these industries find widespread ostracism, as most private property owners will openly shun them. Adulterers and adulteresses face similar societal discrimination.

A similar situation exists with drugs. All drugs - even heroin - are legal in Brazil. However, private property owners have the right to bar drug dealers or users from their property, and a great majority do so.

Brazilian society is highly respected for its nearly complete absence of racism or religious intolerance. Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, and other religious minorities worship in peace alongside Christians, and while Christians do of course take great pains to try and convert non-Christians to their faith, they respect others for who they are. Exceptions to this are cults such as Scientology, which are de facto banned in Brazil, due to the fact that virtually every property owner blacklists adherents to this "religion," and most bookstores refuse to carry Scientologist literature. Racism is viewed as an "ugly form of collectivism," and Brazilians judge individuals as individuals, rather than as members of groups. Interracial dating and marriage are extremely common.

A common method of resolving disputes is duelling, which is fully legal in Brazil. It is even a fairly popular "pasttime" in rural areas. Most duelling is done with sabers or old-fashioned pistols; some is even done on horseback.

Brazilians as a whole tend to be a very conservative lot, but libertarian on social and economic issues. They believe the government has no place banning things, but that the acceptance (or lack thereof) of "social vices" should be left solely to the jurisdiction of private property owners. For the same reason, there is no censorship in Brazil, and individuals are allowed to choose their own entertainment; if a particular television program is viewed as distasteful, for example, the individual will simply choose not to watch it. Private property rights are held sacrosanct, and all strains of leftism are viewed with distrust, even hatred, by the majority of Brazilians. Socialists and communists are blacklisted from most of Brazil. Most Brazilians show a great deal of compassion for the poor and disadvantaged, due to their strong Christian ethics. More than 90% of Brazilians regularly or semi-regularly donate 15% or more of their earnings to charity.

[edit] Feudalism

Brazilian feudalism runs on a vast and complex system of contracts which exist mainly between nobility, although some petty nobles have contractual agreements with land-owning commoners. Brazil's system of feudalism makes government highly de-centralized and localist, with feudal lords exercising an extremely high level of autonomy. The general agreement is the lower-ranked noble pays the higher-ranked noble for protection. On paper, feudal contracts may only be made with the traditional lord of the area; however, in practice, overlapping claims allow competition. About one percent of the Brazilian population belongs to the nobility. The Emperor grants titles of nobility to deserving individuals and families, and revokes it from those who fall out of favor. Titles generally signify political power in some area, though some titles without power can be bought by upper-class individuals and families, who are usually the first ones considered for replacing deposed families (i.e., those whose titles have been revoked). Local policing and defense is usually provided by feudal contracts. All duchies, most marches, counties, and viscounties, and even a few baronies have their own private militaries (paid for by feudal dues owed by nobles' numerous vassals) independent of the national military. Most members of the Brazilian Imperial Family also have their own personal militaries.

The following noble ranks exist:

  • Imperador/Imperadora (Emperor/Empress)
  • Príncipe/Princesa (Prince/Princess)
  • Duque/Duquesa (Duke/Duchess)
  • Marquês/Marquesa (Marquis/Marquise)
  • Conde/Condessa (Count/Countess)
  • Visconde/Viscondessa (Viscount/Viscountess)
  • Barão/Baronesa (Baron/Baroness)

For a list of Brazilian nobility, please consult here. Note that viscounts/viscountesses and barons/baronesses are not listed.

[edit] Demographics

[edit] Age structure

0-14 years = 25.3%
15-64 years = 68.4%
65 years and over = 6.3%

[edit] Sex ratio

At birth = 1.05 male(s)/female
Under 15 years = 1.04 male(s)/female
15-64 years = 0.983 male(s)/female
65 years and over = 0.697 male(s)/female
Total population = 0.976 male(s)/female

[edit] Infant mortality rate

Total = 2.92 deaths/1,000 live births
Male = 3.38 deaths/1,000 live births
Female = 2.42 deaths/1,000 live births

[edit] Life expectancy at birth

Total population = 80.87 years
Male = 77.6 years
Female = 84.36 years

[edit] Total fertility rate

2.13 children born/woman

[edit] HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate


[edit] Nationality

Noun: Brazilian(s)
Adjective: Brazilian

[edit] Ethnic groups

White = 45.1%
Mulatto (mixed white and black) = 27.5%
Black = 12.2%
Asian = 5.4%
Arab = 2.9%
Amerindian = 1.13%
Mestizo = 0.55%
Other = 4.7%
Unspecified = 0.52%

[edit] Religions

Roman Catholic = 84.6%
Baptist = 2.6%
Buddhist = 2.11%
Seventh-day Adventist = 1.62%
Lutheran = 1.5%
Calvinist = 1.5%
Jewish = 1.04%
Muslim = 1.01%
Hindu = 0.72%
Shinto = 0.5%
Mormon = 0.41%
Pentecostal = 0.36%
Jehovah's Witness = 0.33%
Traditional African religion = 0.3%
Spiritist = 0.3%
Anglican = 0.05%
Agnostic = 0.545%
Atheist = 0.005%
Other = 0.5%

[edit] Languages

Portuguese (official, spoken by almost 100% of the population)
Spanish (spoken in Cisplatina and in regions bordering neighboring Spanish-speaking countries)
English (spoken by over 50% of the population, understood by more than 80%)
Almost 200 indigenous languages

[edit] Literacy rate

Definition: Age 15 and over can read and write
Total population: 99.2%
Male: 99.2%
Female: 99.2%

[edit] Culture

National symbols of the Empire of Brazil
Anthem Hino da Independência
Animal Jaguar
Bird Macaw
Flower Tabebuia alba flower
Tree Tabebuia alba
Inanimate objects Southern Cross, Christ the Redeemer, Sugarloaf Mountain
Patron saint Our Lady of Aparecida

A wide variety of elements influenced Brazilian culture. Its major early influence derived from Portuguese culture, because of strong colonial ties with the Portuguese empire. Among other inheritances, the Portuguese introduced the Portuguese language, the Roman-Germanic legal system, and the colonial architectural styles. Other aspects of Brazilian culture are contributions of European and Asian immigrants, Native South American people (such as the Tupi), and African slaves. Thus, Brazil is a multicultural and multiethnic society. Italian, German and other European immigrants came in large numbers and their influences are felt closer to the Southeast and South of Brazil. Amerindian peoples influenced Brazil's language and cuisine and the Africans, brought to Brazil as slaves, influenced Brazil's music, dance, cuisine, religion and language.

In the 1950s, Antônio Carlos Jobim, Vinícius de Moraes, Baden Powell de Aquino, and João Gilberto popularized the Bossa Nova style in music. Later Elis Regina, Milton Nascimento, Chico Buarque and Nara Leão had an important role in shaping Música Popular Brasileira (literally translated as "Brazilian Popular Music," often abbreviated to MPB). In the late 1960s, tropicalismo was popularized by Caetano Veloso and Gilberto Gil.

Brazilian Carnival (Portuguese: Carnaval) is an annual celebration held 40 days before Easter and marks the beginning of Lent. Brazilian Carnival has distinct regional characteristics. Other regional festivals include the Boi Bumbá and Festa Junina (June Festivals).

[edit] Religion

The most popular religion in Brazil is Roman Catholicism, which is also the state religion (however, all faiths are tolerated). The country has the largest Roman Catholic population in the world. Adepts of Protestantism are rising in number. Until 1970, the majority of Brazilian Protestants were members of "traditional churches", mostly Lutherans, Presbyterians and Baptists. Since then, numbers of Pentecostal and Neopentecostal members have increased significantly (although the number of Protestants is still dwarfed by the number of Catholics). Islam in Brazil was first practiced by African slaves. A recent trend has been the increase in conversions to Islam among non-Arab citizens. Around 1,950,000 Muslims live in Brazil as of 2007. The largest population of Buddhists in Latin America lives in Brazil, mostly because the country has the largest Japanese population outside Japan (around 2% of the population is of Japanese descent).

[edit] Sport

Football is the most popular sport in Brazil. The Brazilian national football team is currently ranked second in the world according to the FIFA World Rankings. They have been victorious in the World Cup tournament a record five times, in 1958, 1962, 1970, 1994 and 2002. Basketball, volleyball, auto racing, and martial arts also attract large audiences. Though not as regularly followed or practiced as the previously mentioned sports, tennis, team handball, swimming, and gymnastics have found a growing number of enthusiasts over the last decades. In auto racing, Brazilian drivers have won the Formula 1 world championship eight times: Emerson Fittipaldi (1972 and 1974), Nelson Piquet (1981, 1983 and 1987) and Ayrton Senna (1988, 1990 and 1991). The circuit located in São Paulo, Autódromo José Carlos Pace, hosts the annual Grand Prix of Brazil.

In basketball, Brazil’s men’s team has won the Basketball World Championship twice, in 1959 and 1963. The women’s team has won the FIBA World Championship for Women only once, in 1994. Currently though, both national teams have become less competitive; as of June, 2007, FIBA ranks the men's team 17th in the world and the women's team as 4th. volleyball, the country didn’t enjoy much success until the early 1990s, but as of 2006, Brazil’s men’s national team is on top of the FIVB rank, winning multiple titles. The women’s team also won several competitions and is currently ranked second in the world by FIVB. Some sport variations have their origins in Brazil. Beach football, futsal (official version of indoor football) and footvolley emerged in the country as variations of football. In martial arts, Brazilians have developed Capoeira, Vale tudo, and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

[edit] Cuisine

Brazilian cuisine is a mix of the cuisines of its inhabitants and immigrants: Native Americans, Portuguese, Africans, Italians, Spaniards, Germans, Syrians, Lebanese, and others. The country is divided into five main cuisine regions:

  1. North (Picadinho de Jacaré, Tacacá, and Açaí)
  2. Northeast (Vatapá, Moqueca, and Acarajé)
  3. Central-West (Pamonha and Pequi)
  4. Southeast (Feijoada)
  5. South (Churrasco)

Other popular dishes include:

  • Caipirinha
  • Pão de Queijo
  • Brigadeiro
  • Pastel
  • Tapioca

National holidays

Date Name Remarks
January 1 New Year's Day
moveable Carnival Tuesday before Ash Wednesday, although festivities begin on the preceding Friday.
moveable (44 days before Good Friday) Ash Wednesday Only the morning is considered a holiday.
moveable Good Friday
moveable Easter
April 22 Founding Day Commemorates the discovery of Brazil by Pedro Álvares Cabral in 1500.
moveable (62 days after Good Friday) Corpus Christi
Second Sunday in May Mother's Day
May 13 Emancipation Day Commemorates the passage of the Golden Law, which ended Brazilian slavery, in 1888.
June 6 Emperor's Birthday
Second Sunday of August Father's Day
August 25 Soldier's Day Commemorates Brazilian war hero Luís Alves de Lima e Silva.
September 7 Independence Day
October 12 Our Lady of Aparecida Also celebrated as Children's Day (Dia das Crianças) on the same date.
November 1 All Saints' Day
November 2 All Souls' Day
December 24 Christmas Eve
December 25 Christmas Day Commemorates the birth of Christ.
Flag of Brazil
Coat of arms of Brazil
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