September 7, 2011 - Brazil's Independence Day

Brazil is the largest country in South America. It used to be a Portuguese colony. As a matter of fact, during the time that Napoleon was taking over European countries right and left, the Portuguese king (Dom Joao VI) came to Brazil to live for several decades – and so Brazil was the seat of the entire Portuguese Empire. When King Joao VI left Portugal in 1821, to return to Europe, he left his oldest son Prince Pedro de Alcantara as the leader of Brazil.

The problem was, now that the king had Portugal back, he wanted Brazil to become an obedient little colony again.

Well, Brazilians were used to being the hub of the empire! They couldn't go back to being just a lowly colony! They said no, and Pedro backed them and declared Brazil independent on this day in 1822.

A mighty river...

The largest river in the world, the Amazon, flows through much of Brazil.

You're probably thinking, wait, I thought the Nile was the biggest river in the world!

The Nile is the longest river, for sure. In length, the Amazon is only second in the world. But the “largest” river is the river with the largest waterflow. Not only is Amazon tops there, it is larger than the NEXT SEVEN RIVERS COMBINED!


The area through which the Amazon flows, the Amazon Rainforest, is considered to have the most diversity of living things in the world. (That means the most different species of plants and animals and fungi and stuff.)

Can you figure out...?

Brazil borders on every nation in South America except two. Which ones? Make your guess and then check a map or globe.

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