Brazil (Modern World Nations) by Harry Greenbaum

By Harry Greenbaum

Those information-packed volumes supply complete overviews of every nation's humans, geography, background, govt, financial system, and tradition

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These pioneer settlers differ from the present Jewish population that is comprised largely of people who have migrated to Brazil during the past 100 years. Brazil has long been home to huge populations of various ethnic groups. For example, it has more people of at least partial African background than any other country in the world, including African nations. In addition, more people of Italian descent live in São Paulo, Brazil, than in any city other than Rome. All of these different peoples have shared their cultures over time.

There, several important factors combined to create what was to become the country’s pattern of settlement for more than 300 years. On the positive side, sugarcane flourished on the narrow coastal plain and the sea was never far away. On or near the coast, Brazil’s early cities — Fortaleza, Recife, and Salvador, and farther south, Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo—were founded and grew. Throughout much of its history, only the lure of a “rush” could draw settlers away from the coast. Gold, gemstones, and other mineral wealth drew waves of people several hundred miles inland, to what is now the state of Minas Gerais and its capital city of Belo Horizonte.

Most people who can afford to do so send their children to private schools. Families often make great sacrifices to enable their children to get a good education. Higher education is often free, or very inexpensive, from government-supported universities. Many public universities, however, have extremely difficult entrance examinations. Only those students who have attended expensive private schools stand a good chance of passing the tests and being admitted to a low-cost public university. Unlike many American colleges, Brazilian universities heavily stress classical and theoretical subjects.

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