Brazil’s Regional Contrasts
Brazil is one of the largest countries in the world in territorial extension, with approximately 8,547,403 km 2 . Only four countries are bigger than Brazil: Russia, Canada, China and the United States. Some Brazilian states have the same size as several European countries put together. This is one of the reasons that contribute to explain the great regional differences in Brazil.
Population distribution and surface size are examples of the many contrasts that exist between Brazilian regions.
In the physical or natural aspect, we find different types of climate, relief, soil and vegetation. There are also differences created by man and his different ways of relating to nature, modifying it and producing different environments.
In Brazil, hot and humid climates predominate. Exceptions are the northeastern hinterland , where there is little humidity, and the south of the country, where temperatures are lower in winter.
According to Vaultedwatches, the Brazilian population is the result of the miscegenation (mixture) of various ethnic groups and immigrant groups, being heterogeneous in their traits and features.
There are no rivalries between peoples in Brazil, as in other countries.
The regional diversities of a country are due to its historical formation. Some differences originate in nature itself, but the great contrasts are of a human order (economic, cultural and political) determined by the history of each country.
The fact that Brazil was a colony of Portugal, dedicated exclusively to the enrichment of the metropolis (Portugal), left marks that can be observed until today, such as the distribution of the Brazilian population in space: the largest demographic concentrations occur in the eastern portion. from the country.
In the colonial period, the population was concentrated on the coast, because the coast was the connection point with the metropolis (Portugal). Even today the coastal regions are highly valued, because the Brazilian economy remains dependent on the great capitalist powers
A colonial-type economy is especially geared towards the export of cheap goods produced by low-paid labor. The best products are destined for the foreign market. This leads to an appreciation of the ports and their neighboring areas.
The Brazilian Northeast is the region where the traces of colonization are most noticeable. It was the first area of European settlement and, for about three centuries, it was the main region of Brazil Colony.
The Northeast was colonized based on the sugarcane economy : sugarcane was cultivated in large monoculture properties and used slave labor. They also cultivated cotton, with less importance than sugarcane. Until today, the best soils are destined for sugarcane fields.
This colonial occupation left outstanding characteristics in the Northeast: little original vegetation, which has been cut down since the 16th century, and the presence of black ethnicity in the population, resulting from the use of slave labor until the end of the 19th century.
The Northeast and North regions still have the worst socioeconomic indicators in the country, evidencing an unequal territorial development in Brazil.
The Center-South developed economically after the Northeast. As the most industrialized area, slave labor was less used and the largest contingents of immigrants settled there, with a marked presence of white ethnic groups.
In the 13th century, Portugal began to occupy the Amazon, despite being a Spanish territory. During this period, the main economic activity was plant extraction (Drogas do sertão) in which Europeans were very interested in Amazonian spices.
The construction of forts and Jesuit missions along the course of the Amazon River served to populate the region and ensure economic activity in the region.
The Amazon is the least populated area in Brazil, although in recent years its population has been growing a lot.
Today the Amazon has been intensely occupied and its forests are being destroyed.