The Federative Republic of Brazil (Portuguese: República Federativa do Brasil) is the largest country in South America. It was established as a colony by Portugal. It became the effective seat of the Portuguese Empire when the monarchy fled their home to escape the French invasion in 1804. Two decades later, the ruling monarch returned to Portugal, which in turn set a series of events in motion whereby Brazil itself became an independent empire (ruled by a member of the same royal family) in 1822. The empire fell in 1889, and a republic was proclaimed.
The 20th century saw two military juntas, the second of which fell in 1985. Democracy returned shortly after, and has remained more or less functional since.
Brazil had abolished its monarchy in 1889, but after Imperial Germany became the world's dominant power, the monarchy was restored. Into the 21st Century, Brazil was ruled by a puppet emperor under the control of the German Empire.
In 2011, Brazil's football team prepared to play the Germans. Susanna Weiss noticed that an advertisement for the upcoming game did not portray the Brazilians (many of whom were certainly descended from blacks and Indians) as "mongrels" to be vanquished. Indeed, the ad noted how formidable the Brazilian team was. Brazil was considered the early favorite to win the 2014 World Cup.
By the late 19th century, the Empire of Brazil was one of the last slave-holding nations. Although the Confederacy manumitted their slaves shortly after the Second Mexican War, Brazil did not manumit theirs until 1889, making them the last slave holding nation in the world. Although the monarchy of the empire had been weak, the United States, weakened by two lostwars, was unable to interfere, and European intervention helped prop up the Brazilian Royal Family, allowing them to keep their throne.
When the Great War began in 1914, the empire remained neutral as it tried to ascertain which alliance system seemed likelier to win. This frustrated many naval personnel in the Atlantic Ocean, as a declaration by Brazil one way or the other would result in a major shift in the balance of power in that theater. Some in the Entente also complained that it was hypocritical to refuse to ally with the Confederate States. Brazil ultimately declared for the Central Powers in 1917 and extended diplomatic recognition to the Republics of Quebec and Ireland and the Kingdom of Poland, although by then, the Central Powers were all but assured of victory and indeed had already forced the capitulation of France and Russia. Nevertheless, the Brazilian intervention would have a major effect on the war by allowing Brazilian ports to be used as a base for a joint American, Brazilian, and Chilean fleet which severed the supply lines between the United Kingdom and Argentina, thus finally forcing the whole British Empire to seek an armistice.
During the interbellum, in the late 1930s, Brazil nearly went to war with Venezuela over a border dispute, but a peaceable agreement was reached before that happened.
When the Second Great War began in 1941, the empire remained neutral throughout the duration of the conflict, although it did trade with the Entente.
Brazil had maintained a position of neutrality, trading with both the Allied Forces and the Axis Powers, when World War II began in 1939, but by early 1942, was beginning to lean closer towards the Allies by offering limited aide and support.