Brazil is the largest nation in South America and the 5th largest in the world by both population and geography. From 1500 until its independence in 1822 Brazil fell under the rule of Portugal. Brazil faced major changes as it outlawed slavery in 1888 and ended its history of monarchy in 1889. Dictatorship and democracy interchanged until 1965 as Brazil constantly faced domestic instability. In 1965 a military dictatorship took power. The brutal dictatorship ruled until 1985 and helped usher in new levels of prosperity. The restoration of democracy in 1985 brought stability and new economic plans. By 1994 the economy was rapidly growing and the middle class expanding. This expansion placed Brazil on the list of emerging global powers. Since 2010 the economy has faltered. Currently, Brazil is looking to stop this negative trend. Still, Brazil has expanded its global influence through aid and favorable international relations and looks to continue its global growth.