The first consists of an almost continuous range crossing the northern end of Rio Grande do Sul and following the coast northward to the vicinity of Cape Frio, and thence northward in broken ranges to the vicinity of Cape St Roque, and a second parallel range running from eastern Sao Paulo northeast and north to the eastern margin of the Sao Francisco basin in northern Bahia, where that river turns eastward to the Atlantic. The first of these is generally known as the Serra do Mar, or Coast Range, though it is locally known under many names.
Of the 700,211 immigrants located in the state of Sao Paulo from 1827 to the end of 1896, no less than 493,535 were Italians, and their aggregate throughout the republic was estimated in 1906 at more than 1,100,000.
When, therefore, the inhabitants of Sao Paulo saw themselves about to be transferred, as a dependency of Portugal, from one master to another, they conceived the idea of erecting their country into an independent state.
In the Parahyba valley, which extends across the state of Rio de Janeiro, the mean temperature is somewhat higher than it is in Sao Paulo and Minas Geraes, and the nights are warmer, but the higher valleys of the Serra do Mar enjoy a delightfully temperate climate.
The important part which the inhabitants of Sao Paulo have played in the history of Brazil has been already adverted to.
South and south-west of this arid plateau lie the inhabited tablelands of Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo and Minas Geraes, where the climate is greatly modified by a luxuriant vegetation and southerly winds, as well as by the elevation.
There are many private schools in all the large cities, from the primary schools maintained by the church and various corporations and religious associations to schools of secondary and collegiate grades, such as the Protestant mission schools of Petropolis, Piracicaba, Juiz de Fora, Sao Paulo and Parana, the Lyceu de Artes e Officios (night school) of Rio de Janeiro, and the Mackenzie College of Sao Paulo.
The principal trunk lines (the Sao Paulo and Paulista) have a broad gauge, while their extensions and feeders have a narrow gauge.
Most of the wooded district south of the Mantiqueira belongs to the states of Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, but east of the Espinhago it belongs to Minas Geraes and extends eastward to the Serra das Aymores, on the frontier of Espirito Santo.
Sao Paulo is partly covered by open cameos, and these also serve to augment the maximum temperature.