Prior to the arrival of European settlers, the area in present day Brazil was inhabited by indigenous populations that are still there to this day. They settled along some of the biggest waterways in Brazil to make sure they had a source of fresh water for their crops and farms. They also used fresh water to drink. This source of water was also an important part of commerce in the area. They would place goods on the waterways and sail them down the river to other tribes to form trade routes. While it is difficult to date these indigenous peoples, it is widely believed that people have lived in the area known as Brazil for several thousand years.
Indigenous populations arrived in Brazil, displacing indigenous people, at the end of the Middle Ages and starting with the early periods of the Renaissance. The first Europeans to arrive in Brazil did so at the end of the 15th century. Columbus sailed under the flag of Portugal to the Caribbean in 1492, and explorers began to arrive in Brazil shortly after that. Indeed, Portugal was the country to claim sovereign over Brazil, and it did so in 1500. Portugal claimed Brazil, calling it the Federated Republic of Brazil, and is was claimed by Pedro Alvarez Cabral.
Starting in the 16th and continuing to the early 19th century, Brazil was considered to be a colony of and an important piece of the Portuguese Empire. While Portugal certainly did not have the largest empire of the other European countries, Brazil was a big one. During the time of Portuguese rule, Brazil would expand significantly, becoming one of the largest colonies in the New World. Portugal also relied on Brazil heavily to generate revenue for the central government, as its territory could not compare to the empires that had been established by England, France, and Spain. Portugal also expanded its colonies northeast along the Tordesillas Line, which was at the 46th meridian west, and became one of the dominant powers in the area. Brazil also changed hands to Spain briefly.
In 1822, Brazil would declare its independence from Portugal. At the time, the power of Portugal had declined significantly, and it was unable to put up much resistance against the rebellion. In 1889, Brazil itself became an empire. It was already one of the largest countries in the region. Brazil has gone through several governments during that time. It has had a few periods of military dictatorship, and it has established itself as one of the largest powers in South America. Brazil itself has tried to establish some overseas possessions, but its economy struggles to grow in the wake of numerous corruption issues throughout the central government. It remains to be seen whether Brazil is going to go through another regime change in the near future.
The country of Brazil is 201 years old, founded in the year 1822.