Special Sub-Topic: Brazilian States
|I was an independent territory from 1899 to 1903. Before that I was claimed by Bolivia but my remote location prevented the claim from ever being settled in any conventional way.|
Acre. Though the territory of Rio Branco as the state of Acre was then called was Brazil's last territorial expansion there have been five other territories that attained statehood after Acre: Guanabara, Rondônia, Roraima, Amapá and Tocantins. Of these Guanabara is no longer a state having merged with Rio de Janeiro back in 1973. At that time when I had only three years of statehood and all the other afore mentioned were still territories or parts of other states.
|I'm famous as being the hub of Afro-Brazilian culture, religion and cuisine. My capital was the colonial capital of the whole of Brazil up to 1763 and its name in English is still often confused with that of the state.|
Bahia & Baía & Baia. My capital is Salvador, the largest metropolis in the northeast of Brazil and a magnet for tourists.
|I'm the youngest of Brazil's states and my territory was detached from that of the state of Goiás. I'm named after the main river crossing me from south to north and which is a tributary of the mighty Amazon.|
Tocantins. My capital city - Palmas - is still being installed. Although the northern half of me borders on the Amazonian rain forest, the rest of me, where most of the people live is a dry high plateau. So I'm a Centro-Oeste (MidWest) State rather than a Norte (Northern) one. My criminality rate is the second lowest in the country. But my HDI according to the UN is also in the bottom 5.
|I'm the most industrialized state in Brazil and the most populous. That's enough hints. |
Sao Paulo & São Paulo. Over 40 million is my resident population, about half of which in the SP Metro Area. Once famous for my coffee plantations (still the world's number one producer, though not exporter) I have now added cattle ranches and huge orange juice facilities to my primary sector. But what I produce and export mostly are motor vehicles; airplanes; and computer and telecommunications hardware.
|My capital is where "The Girl from Ipanema" hails from and it is still Brazil's cultural capital.|
Rio de Janeiro. It's not all about the beaches and the bossa nova music. Inland from the capital there's Petropolis, the summer retreat of Brazil's Emperors. Offshore the state produces 75% of Brazil's oil needs. Near the beautiful colonial town of Angra there are Brazil's two only(thus far in 2006) nuclear power stations.
|Waves of immigrants from Europe (Italy, Germany, Portugal, Poland, Ukraine and others) made my prosperity from the 1880s onwards. It has lasted. My citizens enjoy the highest quality of life in Brazil and the second highest income. My capital city is on an island.|
Santa Catarina. My capital is Florianopolis, but Blumenau and Joinville (both founded by German immigrants) have larger populations and are more industrialized.
I'm also the state that receives most foreign tourists from South American countries. I have wonderful beaches, but I'm famous in Brazil as the state where "it snows every year", though if truth were told the same also happens in Rio Grande do Sul, my southern neighbor.
|My capital shares a name with a province in South Africa (and for the same reason). I'm a favourite with European tourists trying to escape their cold winters and enjoy my not too hot summers, greatly tempered by the maritime influence of the Atlantic which makes up my northern and eastern shores. I'm the easternmost of all Brazilian states.|
Rio Grande do Norte. During WWII the Americans had an AFB near Natal, my capital - so named as it was first sighted by Portuguese explorers on Christmas Day (Dia de Natal).
|My north borders on the Amazon rain forest. My southern part contains parts of one of the world's most fascinating ecosystems - the Pantanal. Before 1977 my area was well over 1.2 million sq.km, but a new state was created from bits of me. The most prosperous ones, lying nearest to SP and Bolivias's oil and gas rich Santa Cruz province.|
Mato Grosso. My name literally means "Thick Bush". I have many mineral resources, but few human ones, being one of the most sparsely populated units of the federation. Eco-Tourism is starting to make a positive impact, but the slash-and-burn agriculture still practised in the rain forest have only come under (some) control in recent years.
|During the XVIII and XIX century I was so rich in gold and precious stones that I kept the Portuguese Empire afloat on the taxes successive Kings and Emperors could collect (in theory the Royal Quarter - 25%; in practice never more than 5 to 10%). My capital in those days was calledVilaRica (Rich Town). It is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site and its name is Ouro Preto (Black Gold) not because of oil riches but on account of the peculiar streaks of black found in the gold mined in these places. My new capital was purpose built in 1893 on someone's farm. It's now a bustling city of four million. I'm the only state to have a genuine form of architectural style (Brazilian Baroque) that can be called Afro-Amerindian-European. |
Minas Gerais. My name simply means "General Mines". My capital is Belo Horizonte ("Beautiful Horizon") and I am the second state in population (slightly over 18 million). I'm also the state in Brazil with more World Heritage Sites as classified by UNESCO, though tourism is not a major component of my economy... yet.
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