The history of Brazil begins with the arrival of the first indigenous peoples, thousands of years ago by crossing the Bering land bridge into Alaska and then entering the rest of North and Central America.
It is widely accepted that the European first to discover Brazil was Portuguese Pedro Alvares Cabral on April 22, 1500. From the 16th to the 19th centuries, Brazil was a colony of Portugal. On September 7, 1822, the country declared its independence from Portugal and became a constitutional monarchy, the Empire of Brazil. A military coup in 1889 established a republican government. The country has seen a dicatorship (1930-1934 and 1937-1945) and a period of military rule (1964-1985).