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Example research essay topic: Rio De Janeiro Sao Paulo - 1,284 words

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Stretching over 2, 500 miles form east to west and 2, 700 miles from north to south, Brazil is the world's largest tropical country. The only nations that are larger are the lands of Russia, Canada, China and the United States. Brazil has more then 150 million people spread unevenly over its huge land area, making it the fifth most populated country in the world. (Encyclopedia. com) More then two thirds of Brazil's people live in the cities and towns and more then 29 percent of them are in the ten cities with more then a million people. These include the metropolitan area of Sao Paulo with more then 15 million people and Rio de Janeiro with more then 9 million people. The rural population is mostly concentrated on the East Coast or in the highlands of the more southern states.

Settlement however among the other states is sporadic through the other sectors of the country, but no matter where the majority may reside or continue to move, one unitary government still shelters them under the flag of Brazil. The Spanish navigator Vicente Yanez Pinion was the first known European in the region now constituting Brazil and with this discovery placed the newly discovered land in the hands of Portugal. In April 1500, the Portuguese navigator Pedro Alvarez Cabral also reached the coast of present-day Brazil and formally claimed the surrounding region in the name of Portugal. The territory was named Terra da Vera Cruz, Portuguese for "Land of the True Cross"). An expedition under the command of the Italian navigator America Vespucci was sent to Terra da Vera Cruz by the Portuguese government in 1501.

In the course of his explorations Vespucci named many capes and bays, including a bay which he called Rio de Janeiro. He returned to Portugal with a cargo of brazil wood, and from that time forward Terra da Vera Cruz bore the name of the valuable wood Brazil. (Encyclopedia. com) Later through the passing years Brazil has undergone a series of political rulers from the autocratic rule of Pedro I and II to the militaristic regime of Manuel Deodoro da Fonseca. In November of 1889, A republic was proclaimed, with Fonseca as head of the provisional government. Separation of church and state and other republican reforms were swiftly decreed. The drafting of a constitution was completed in June 1890.

Similar to the Constitution of the United States, it was adopted in February 1891, and Brazil became a federal republic, officially styled the United States of Brazil. Fonseca was elected its first president. Brazil is now a federal republic with 26 states and a federal distract. In the 1988 constitution granted broad powers to the federal government, consisting of executive, legislative and judicial branches, similar to our form of government. The president holds office for four years, with the right to re-election for an additional four-year term, and appoints his own cabinet.

On October third, 1994 elections were held and won by popular vote by Fernando Henrique Cardoso who later took office for two terms on January first, 1995 to the present after wining a second term in 1998. (each. gov) Federal deputies and senators who belong to the parties compromising the government coalitions do not always vote with the government. As a result, President Cardoso has had difficulty, at times, gaining sufficient support for some of his legislative priorities, despite the fact that his coalition parties hold an overwhelming majority of congressional seats. Cardoso as president of Brazil, hold two titles while he remains in office: Chief of State and Head of the Government. These presidential powers are balanced by a bicameral legislature. There are 81 senators, three for each state and also for the federal district, and 513 deputies.

A deputy being a member of the lower house of the legislative assemblies who has the power to take charge when their superior is absent. The Senate terms are assigned for eight years, with elections staggered so that two - thirds of the upper house is up for election at one time and the other one-third, four years later. Chamber terms are for four years, with elections based on representational elections by states. Each state is then eligible for a minimum of 8 seats; the largest state however, Sao Paulo is stopped at 70 seats since its size is the largest of the country. The result of this is a system weighted in favor of the physically larger, but lesser populated states. (each. gov) With such a large country, the amount of representative seats is almost excessively large.

Fifteen political parries are represented in Congress and since it is common for politicians to switch parties, the proportion of congressional seats filled by parties' changes regularly. The following are the major parties in order of largest to smallest in the congressional delegations: Liberal Front Party (PFL), Brazilian Democratic Movement Party (DMDB), Brazilian Social Democratic Party (PSDB), Brazilian Labor Party (PTB), Brazilian Progressive Party (PPB), Workers Party (PT), Democratic Labor Party (PDT), Brazilian Labor Party (PTB), Brazilian Socialist Party (PSB), Communist Party of Brazil (PCdoB) and Liberal Party (PL). (each. gov) Since 1960 when Brasilia, the new national capitol was established, great changes have taken place in Brazilian society and its economy. Schools and medical care have come to villages; a network of highways has been built across the interior land and new industries have grown up.

But the price of modernization as also introduced its less desirable by-products such as pollution and an increasing crime rate. One other striking problem that has been plaguing the country of Brazil has been the decline in the stability of their economy. Since World War II, Brazil has seen tremendous growth and modernization. Today, Brazils economy is the tenth largest in the word.

It's called a developing country. The military dictators had visions of Brazil joining the ranks of the advanced, industrialized nations by the year 2000. No one believes that goal to be possible now, but no one denies that tremendous development has occurred. Brazil is almost a country of contradiction when talking about its economy. Traveling through the country it's possible to witness incredibly uneven development from booming cities touching the sky, to small native villages planted on the ground. Production techniques that have barley changed from the colonial era dominate many parts of the Northeast and Amazonia, while Sao Paulo's massive, high-tech automobile, steel, arms and chemical industries successfully profit in world trade.

Brazil's rulers, atleast since President Kubitschek established Brasilia, have had a penchant for building things big and they have, of course, been encouraged to do so by the World Bank. The government borrowed heavily to finance Brasilia's construction and resulted in the country's external debt beginning to take off exponentially and a couple of years later inflation followed. Economic development in Brazil began to slow, but there always seemed to be some highly visible larger projects under way, which have been instigated by President Cardoso. One such example of this was the construction of a hydroelectric dam in Sao Paulo in order to sustain the country's growing energy needs.

In response though environmentalist deemed the project an ecological disaster since hundreds of acres of rainforest would have been covered in water. Cardoso though in response continued with the operation with hopes in correcting the energy needs brought about their fading economy. (cnn. com) Many of the projects brought about to Brazil have been economically ill advised and some never get completed. Whatever the reason may be doe the incomplete projects, huge amounts of money are wasted.

The large projects do get finished, like the dam, create many jobs, atleast once they are built. Utilizing the latest techn...


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