Brazil is a large enigmatic country with loads of potential. The main goal of anyone wishing to make Brazil a Great Power should focus on making a strong economy while trying to maintain continent wide military supremacy.
Beginning Years For about the first 10 years of the game your main goal should be to build up a level of currency to allow you to industrialize the first chance you get. To do this simply put all taxes at 50% and max out on tariffs. It is dually important to have full money on education and crime fighting to allow a smooth and efficient transition. Research Practical Steam Engine followed by Mechanical Production to build up your Machine Parts. Also place your 3 divisions in Vila Velha to quell a triggered uprising. These simple steps will set you up for expansion once you have built up enough money and technology to begin your industrialization
Early Industrialization After you have done the steps from above you should have enough money built up to begin your industrialization. Using Capitalists is one of the easiest ways to do this. Take a Pop (consisting of 5-15k) from the northern State of Para, convert them to a clerk then to Capitalist. Once you can slowly start repeating this process in every state! the capitalists will start to construct factories and railways in all your states allowing you to build up an economic base to try and draw in immigrants. During this time it is probably a good idea to keep peacefull as its not advantagious to you to fight wars while you should be spending your money on this continued economic expansion.
Capitalism (NB! The advice for making capitalists build is only valid in the Revolutions add-on) Once the Capitalists are converted they will start building factories and railways, once this happends make sure that they are fulled manned with enough craftsmen and clerks as this will encourage them to continue building more factories. Also at this time it is a good idea to lower taxes for the rich to encourage more growth. Keep the voting rights to the Landed to keep your conservative party in Power, you need there Limited Citizenship to draw in immigrants.
Politics Once you begin your industrialization you will start to gain alot more Liberal populations, around 1860 it is probably a good idea to enact political reforms to allow voting rights for Wealth, this will allow the working class to vote (which will be prodominately Liberal) This will allow you to abolish Slavery later on. in 1870 Brazil gets the perfect party to draw immigrants, (Party Carioca) do what you can to manipulate elections to get them in power. Maintain peacefull relationships with all your neighbours and major powers. You will not be a threat to anyone so you will have the advantage of being able to pick your enemies.
Booming Economy At this time you should have a strong economy and rapidly expanding, This is when you will start to gain loads of income which can and probably would be best spent on military expansion, I would recommend basing your military off your reserves and support them with a strong Navy as you can not really afford to mobilize your population for Military Service as they are needed to industrialize.
Slavery? During the 1880's you will get an event (provided there is no CSA and you dont have Conservative or Reactionary party in power) that will allow you to end slavery, take it! Immigrants do not like to move to nations with slavery.
Democracise You will also get an event around the same time which will allow you to end the Monarchy, Take that also, it will temporarily put you as Presidential Dictatorship. Simply go to political reforms and allow Free Parties and Universal Sufferage. At this point you will have a booming economy, no Slavery, Full Democracy, Liberals in power and You are in the america's.
The Brazilian Dream Once you have achieved Full Democracy with no Slavery, Immigrants will start to flock to your country and all your Capitalists will keep expanding that industry base, provided you can keep there factories full of workers. You will be in a position where you keep getting bigger and bigger with no natural enemies, at your peak you should be pulling in a million immigrants a year. This is the point where you can choose your own political path as all the groundwork has been made to allow military or further economic expansion.