Spo Paulo was founded in 1554, Rio de Janeiro in 1567. A gold rush in 1693 brought new European immigration and development of the lucrative coffee- and sugar-growing industries.
In 1807 Rio de Janeiro became the seat of the royal government of Portugal, which had been driven from Lisbon by French emperor Napoleon I. King John VI returned to Portugal in 1821, making his son, Dom Pedro, later Pedro I, the regent of Brazil. In 1891, and Brazil officially became the United States of Brazil (Brazil, 1998, CD ROM).
The 8,547,404 square kilometers that comprise Brazil occupy much of the South American continent. It is located inland from the East Coast of South America (Brazil, 1998, CD ROM).
Brazil's climate ranges from wet and tropical at the mouth of the Amazon to much drier and cooler in the southeast. Winter temperatures as low as -6? C (22? F) are occasionally recorded in the extreme south (Brazil, 1998, CD ROM).
The main topography of Brazil includes the Brazilian plateau, a vast highland region in the southeast; the Amazon River Basin of forested lowlands, swamps, and floodplains; and the Guiana Highlands in the extreme northwest. Much of the coast is fringed by a narrow plain. The Amazon River is navigable by oceangoing ships for about 3700 km (Brazil, 1998