Rio Grande do Norte

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Statistics
Capital:Natal
Area:53,015 km
Population:2,770,730 2000
Pop. density:52.61 inh./km²
Timezone:GMT -3
ISO 3166-2:BR-RN
Governor:Wilma Maria de Faria
Map
Missing image
Brazil_Rio_Grande_do_Norte.png
Map of Brazil highlighting the state

Rio Grande do Norte is one of the states of Brazil, located in the northeastern part of the country, on the edge of the South American continent.

Contents

Geography

Rio Grande do Norte is dominated by its coastline. The state is famed for its beaches and sand dunes, and the air is, according to NASA, the cleanest in South America.

Two climates predominate: humid tropical, in the oriental littoral, and semi-arid, in the remaining (most part) of the State (including the setentrional coast). It is worthy noticing that, unlike other States of the Brazilian northeast (namely: Paraba, Pernambuco, Alagoas, Sergipe and Bahia), there is not in Rio Grande do Norte the transition zone called agreste; the main reason for this is that those other States are cut across by a large mountain chain called Serra da Borborema (which goes parallel to the coast and physically separates the humid coast from the dry sertao), and this chain enters just a few dozen miles into Rio Grande do Norte.

The rainforest which once covered most of Brazils coast had its northern end in the south of Rio Grande do Norte; the north of Natal, the capital, is taken by dunes, a kind of formation associated with the semi-arid climate.

The semi-arid is characterized not only by low levels of pluviosity, but also by its irregularity; not rarely, years go by with no or very little rain; most of the interior of the State is included in the Polygon of Droughts (an area which receives special attention from the federal government).

There are also many mangroves in the state, and the interior is dominated by rainforest.

Rocas Atoll in the Atlantic Ocean, 260 km Northeast of Natal, also belongs to Rio Grande do Norte state.

History

Probably, the first European to reach the region was the Spaniard Alonso de Ojeda in 1499. In the 16th century (between 1535 and 1598), it was explored by French pirates in search for brazilwood. In 1598, the Portuguese built the Forte dos Reis Magos and, in the following year, founded the city of Natal. Rasing cattle and sugarcane plantation lifted the local development and economy. Template:Inote

In 1633, the area became a battleground between the expansionistic Portuguese, seeking to take more land for their Brazilian territories, and the Dutch, who gained a foothold in South America.

After a short period of peace and prosperity in Olinda and Recife, the sugar prices went down in the market of Amsterdam and the region entered into a serious economical crisis. The economical problems lead the Portuguese settlers and native Brazilians to revolt against the Dutch in what is known today as the massacres of Cunha and Uruau.

The religious confrontations (the Portuguese-Brazilian catholicism and the Dutch Calvinism), Portugal's restauration of the throne in 1640 and the reconquest of Maranho in 1643 lead the Portuguese-Brazilians to the 1645 uprising, leaded by Andr Vidal de Negreiros and Joo Fernandes Vieira. The governor of Bahia promised new Portuguese troops, but most of the rebels were Africans and Amerindians. In 1654, the Dutch were finnaly casted out.

During World War II, Rio Grande do Norte was used as an Allied airbase from which to launch air raids on German-occupied North Africa.

In 1964, Latin America's first space launch site was constructed in Rio Grande do Norte; Barreira do Inferno (Hell's Barrier), which is often referred to as the "Brazilian NASA".

Economy

Historically, Rio Grande do Norte has relied upon sugar and cattle for economic gain. However, since the 1980s, the state government has realised that tourism is a lucrative industry, and more money is being poured into the construction of tourist resorts, and restoring colonial buildings in major cities.

Fruit is also grown in Rio Grande do Norte, with the state supplying 70% of Brazil's melons, and the state is famed for its mango and cashew fields. The world's largest cashew tree is located in the state; it has a circumference of 500 metres and occupies an area of 7,300m, making it 70 times the size of average cashew trees.

Other cities include:

Flag

Flag of Rio Grande do Norte The flag was adopted on December 3 1957. It is based on a design by Luis de Camara Cascudo. In the middle of the flag is the coat of arms of the state, which was adopted on July 1 1909. It shows a sailing boat at the coast in the middle, representing the fishing and salt industries. Above it is a bar which shows two flowers on the sides and two cotton bolls in the center. To the sides of the shield are a coconut palm to the right and a carnauba palm to the left, connected by two branches of sugar cane. The star above represents the state as part of Brazil.

External links


da:Rio Grande do Norte

de:Rio Grande do Norte eo:Norda Rio-Grando es:Rio Grande do Norte ka:რიუ-გრანდი-დუ-ნორტი nl:Rio Grande do Norte ja:リオグランデドノルテ州 no:Rio Grande do Norte pt:Rio Grande do Norte

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