Stratfor - short for Strategic Forecasting, Inc. - is a private global intelligence company that offers geopolitical insight into the interplay of nations. Stratfor has developed an excellent series of short (~2-4 minute) videos which provide the viewer with a specific nation, along with its basic history, geography, culture, and geopolitical allies and adversaries. In the following video, they present the geographic challenges facing Brazil.
With 128 million Catholics (63% of the overall population), Brazil is the world's largest Catholic nation. The Iberian colonial empires of Portugal and Spain also left us with the other two largest Catholic nations: Mexico (98 million) and the Philippines (81 million). Brazil stands apart from the rest of South America not only for its size but also for its Portuguese language. The Treaty of Tordesillas, signed in 1494 - only two years after Christopher Columbus crossed the Atlantic - created a boundary between Portuguese and Spanish colonial expansion, Despite the Portuguese inheriting a seemingly small piece of South America, Brazil's expansion eventually made it the largest nation on the continent. On September 7, 1822, Brazil declared its independence from Portugal and waged a two-year war to secure it. Portugal officially recognized Brazilian independence on August 29, 1825.