Brazil: Presidente Prudente

Presidente Prudente is a city (município) in the state of São Paulo, Brazil. The city has a population of 220,599 inhabitants (IBGE/2014) and area of 562.8 km². The city is named after president Prudente de Morais. Prudente is located 558 km from the city of São Paulo.

Presidente Prudente is considered the sixth best city in the state of São Paulo to live in. Among 5,560 Brazilian cities, it occupies the 29th place for most promising cities to build a career.

In Presidente Prudente there are over 15 hospitals, a Teaching Hospital, Santa Casa (Sisters of Mercy), 20 establishments of health service, and more than 11 private clinics.

The Teaching Hospital (Hospital Universitário in Portuguese) (HU/HR) was once the largest university hospital in Latin America.

Early European colonisation of Brazil was very limited. Portugal was more interested in Africa and Asia. But with English and French raiding privateer ships just off the coast, the territory had to be protected. Unwilling to shoulder the burden of naval defence himself, the Portuguese ruler, King Joao III, divided the coast into "captaincies", or swathes of land, 50 leagues apart. He distributed them among well-connected Portuguese, hoping that each would be self-reliant. The early port and sugar-cultivating settlement of São Vicente was one rare success connected to this policy. In 1548, João III brought Brazil under direct royal control.

Fearing Indian attack, he discouraged development of the territory's vast interior. Some whites headed nonetheless for Piratininga, a plateau near São Vicente, drawn by its navigable rivers and agricultural potential. Borda do Campo, the plateau settlement, became an official town (Santo André da Borda do Campo) in 1553. The history of São Paulo city proper begins with the founding of a Jesuit mission of the Roman Catholic order of clergy on January 25, 1554—the anniversary of Saint Paul's conversion. The station, which is at the heart of the current city, was named São Paulo dos Campos de Piratininga (or just Pateo do Colégio). In 1560, the threat of Indian attack led many to flee from the exposed Santo André da Borda do Campo to the walled fortified Colegio. Two years later, the Colégio was besieged. Though the town survived, fighting took place sporadically for another three decades.

Between 1901 and 1910, coffee made up 51 percent of Brazil's total exports, far overshadowing rubber, sugar and cotton. But reliance on coffee made Brazil (and São Paulo in particular) vulnerable to poor harvests and the whims of world markets. The development of plantations in the 1890s, and widespread reliance on credit, took place against fluctuating prices and supply levels, culminating in saturation of the international market around the start of the 20th century. The government's policies of "valorisaton"—borrowing money to buy coffee and stockpiling it, in order to have a surplus during bad harvests, and meanwhile taxing coffee exports to pay off loans—seemed feasible in the short term (as did its manipulation of foreign-exchange rates to the advantage of coffee growers). But in the longer term, these actions contributed to oversupply and eventual collapse.

São Paulo's industrial development, from 1889 into the 1940s, was gradual and inward looking. Initially, industry was closely associated with agriculture: cotton plantations led to the growth of textile manufacturing. Coffee planters were among the early industrial investors.

According to the IBGE estimates for 2014, there were 44,035,304 people residing in the state. The population density was 177.4 inhabitants per square kilometre (459/sq mi). The last PNAD (National Research for Sample of Domiciles) research revealed the following numbers: 27,612,000 White people (63.1%), 12,842,000 Brown (Multiracial) people (29.3%), 2,810,000 Black people (6.4%), 451,000 Asian people (1%), and 54,000 Amerindian people (0.1%).

People of Italian descent predominate in many towns, including the capital city, where 65 percent of the population has at least one Italian ancestor. The Italians mostly came from Veneto and Campania.

Portuguese and Spanish descendants predominate in most towns. Most of the Portuguese immigrants and settlers came from the Entre-Douro-e-Minho Province in northern Portugal, the Spanish immigrants mostly came from Galicia and Andalusia.

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