Brazil, officially the Federative Republic of Brazil, is the largest country in South America. It is the world's fifth largest country, both by geographical area and by population. It is the only Portuguese-speaking country in the America and the largest lusophone (means someone who speaks the Portuguese language) country in the world.
Bounded by the Atlantic Ocean on the east, Brazil has a coastline of over 7,491 kilometers. It is bordered on the north by Venezuela, Guyana, Suriname and the French overseas department of French Guiana; on the northwest by Colombia; on the west by Bolivia and Peru; on the southwest by Argentina and Paraguay and on the south by Uruguay. Numerous archipelagos form part of Brazilian territory, such as Fernando de Noronha, Rocas Atoll, Saint Peter and Paul Rocks, and Trindade and Martim Vaz. It has borders with all other South American countries apart from Ecuador and Chile.
Brazil was a colony of Portugal from the landing of Pedro Álvares Cabral in 1500 until 1815, when it was elevated to United Kingdom with Portugal and Algarves. The colonial bond was in fact broken in 1808, when the capital of the Portuguese Kingdom was transferred from Lisbon to Rio de Janeiro, after Napoleon invaded Portugal. The independence from Portugal was achieved in 1822. Initially independent as the Brazilian Empire, the country has been a republic since 1889, although the bicameral legislature, now called Congress, dates back to 1824, when the first constitution was ratified. Its current Constitution defines Brazil as a Federal Republic. The Federation is formed by the union of the Federal District, the 26 States, and the 5,564 Municipalities.