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01 - Brazil map
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History of the states of Brazil

History of the states of Brazil

The first administrative divisions in Brazil were the captaincies, which were parts of land rented to Portuguese nobles and merchants with the aim of colonizing them. These captaincies were hereditary, but the Crown retained the power to remove these titles from the deeds, which were of little nobility. Later, the Portuguese colonization of America was divided between the state of Brazil in the southern half and the state of Maranhão in the northern half.

After the Iberian Union between 1580 and 1640, Portugal's colonial territory in South America increased sharply and was divided among the captaincies, the royal captaincies and provinces. However, the entire region was united under a single viceroy, who was in Salvador and, after 1763, in Rio de Janeiro.

With independence in 1822, the colony became an empire and the captaincies were transformed into provinces. Since the colonial period, the interior borders between these provinces had changed little, most of them also followed natural borders. Small changes were made in internal politics, as well as additions after diplomatic treaties before the end of the 19th century (such as the annexation of Amapá or Roraima). When the regime change in the republic took effect in 1889, all provinces were immediately transformed into states.

In 1943, when Brazil entered World War II, the Getúlio Vargas regime created seven new territories on the country's borders to administer them directly: Amapá, Rio Branco, Acre, Guaporé, Ponta Porã, Iguaçu and the archipelago of Fernando de Noronha. After the war, these first three territories obtained state status, while the states of Rio Branco and Guaporé were renamed to Roraima and Rondônia, respectively.

In 1960, the Federal District was divided from the state of Goiás. The former federal district of Rio de Janeiro became the state of Guanabara between 1960 and 1975, before being merged with the state of Rio de Janeiro.

In 1977, Mato Gro

Political map of Brazil

This political map of Brazil displays the 26 states (as well as the Federal District) and the hydrographic network in all its extension. This map of South America gives us an idea of the extent of Brazil in relation to the continent.

Flags of the states of Brazil

Other map of the states of Brazil

Map of South America

Brazil within the continent

Brazil and its frontier neighbors

Topological map of Brazil

Topological map of Brazil

Political map of Brazil with states and rivers


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