Brazil was colonized by the Portuguese in the 1500s. In 1822, Brazil’s regent Dom Pedro (son of the Portuguese king) declared it an independent empire. It remained so until a bloodless coup occurred in 1889. Its first stamps, issued in 1843, are those of the empire. The first series shows only a large numeral. Many that follow honor Emperor Dom Pedro. Stamps of the United States of Brazil were issued beginning in 1890. Many interesting watermarks appear on the stamps of Brazil. A large imperforate airmail stamp was issued in 1949 honoring Franklin Roosevelt.