São Paulo, which dominates the vast hinterland of one of Brazil's wealthiest agricultural states, is Brazil's commercial, financial, and industrial center. Through its Atlantic Ocean port of Santos, it ships the farm produce of the interior. São Paulo is the center of Brazil's automobile industry; other important manufactures are textiles, processed foods, metal products, electrical equipment, pharmaceuticals, chemicals, furniture, and computers. Printing and publishing are also important. Abundant hydroelectric power has spurred industrial growth. The city is a major road, rail, and air transportation hub and has a modern subway system. Its rapid economic development and population growth since the 1960s have been accompanied by serious air and water pollution and overcrowding.
São Paulo was founded by Jesuit priests on Jan. 25, 1554, on the site of an old native village. In the 17th cent. it became a base for penetration into the Brazilian interior by expeditions (
The city has been a prominent cultural and intellectual center since the 19th cent. It has four universities, a medical school, a law school, and the noted Butantan institute, where snake serums are prepared. The art museum features a fine collection of old masters, and the museum of modern art is famed for its
See R. M. Morse,
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