How did Brazil become a country?
Brazil, officially the Federative Republic of Brazil, was a colony of Portugal from its discovery by Pedro Álvares Cabral in 1500 until its independence 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 Federative Republic, formed by the indissoluble association of the States, the Federal District, and the Municipalities. There are currently 26 States and 5,564 Municipalities. In 1808, the Portuguese court, fleeing from Napoleon’s troops which had invaded Portugal, established themselves in the city of Rio de Janeiro, which thus became the seat of government of Portugal and the entire Portuguese Empire until 1821, even though being located outside of Europe. After João VI returned to Portugal in 1821, his heir-apparent Pedro became regent of the Kingdom of Brazil, within the