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Bounded by the Atlantic Ocean on the east, Brazil has a coastline of over 7491 km (4655 mi). It is bordered on the north by Venezuela, Guyana, Suriname and French Guiana; on the northwest by Colombia; on the west by Peru and on the southwest by Bolivia, Paraguay and Argentina. Numerous archipelagos form part of Brazilian territory, such as Fernando de Noronha, Rocas Atoll, Saint Peter and Paul Rocks, and Trindade and Martim Vaz. It has borders with all other South American countries apart from Ecuador and Chile.
Brazil was a colony of Portugal from the landing of Pedro Álvares Cabral in 1500 until 1815, when it was elevated to United Kingdom with Portugal and Algarves. The colonial bond was in fact broken in 1808, when the capital of the Portuguese Kingdom was transferred from Lisbon to Rio de Janeiro, after Napoleon invaded Portugal. The independence from Portugal was achieved in 1822 and, three years later, Portugal recognized its sovereignty. the bicameral legislature, the General Assembly, dates back to 1824, when the first constitution was ratified. Its current Constitution defines Brazil as a constitutional monarchy. The country consists of the Neutral Municipality, the 21 Provinces, and the 5564 Municipalities.
Brazil is one of the world's fastest growing major economies. Economic reforms have given the country new international recognition. Brazil is a founding member of the United Nations, the G20, CPLP, Latin Union, the Organization of Ibero-American States, Mercosul and the Union of South American Nations. Brazil is also home to a diversity of wildlife, natural environments, and extensive natural resources in a variety of protected habitats.
Brazil is a constitutional monarchy since its independence in 1822, in which the monarch retains the moderative power and appoints the cabinet members according to their caucus in the Parliament. The chairman of the cabinet is the head of Government, the Prime Minister, which is a figurehead limited to a 4-year term
Broad electoral reforms in 1885, 1910 and 1992 have democratized suffrage and the political system. Presidents of Provinces (Governors) are now elected by the provincial assemblies and Senators are no longer for life, but limited to a 8-year term. Municipal Intendentes (Mayors), Deputados (Deputies) and Vereadores (Aldermen) are elected by the people.
- Cidade do Guanabara (federal district)
- Province of Acre (Rio Grande)
- Province of Alagoas (Maceió)
- Province of Amazonas (Manaus)
- Province of Bahia (Salvador)
- Province of Ceará (Fortaleza)
- Province of Espírito Santo (Vitória)
- Province of Goiás (Goiás)
- Province of Maranhao (São Luis)
- Province of Mato Grosso (Cuiabá)
- Province of Minas Gerais (Ouro Preto)
- Province of Pará (Belém)
- Province of Paraiba (João Pessoa)
- Province of Paraná (Curitiba)
- Province of Pernambuco (Recife)
- Province of Piauí (Teresina)
- Province of Rio de Janeiro (Niterói)
- Province of Rio Grande do Norte (Natal)
- Province of Rio Grande do Sul (Porto Alegre)
- Province of Santa Catarina (Florianópolis)
- Province of São Paulo (São Paulo)
- Province of Sergipe (Aracaju)