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Brazil - Acknowledgments

The book editor would like to thank the chapter authors for reviewing and commenting on various chapters. Their country expertise contributed greatly to the overall quality of the book. Frank D. McCann, in particular, volunteered his expertise in Brazilian military history in the form of five subsections for the National Security chapter. The book editor would also like to thank Professor Roberto Patricio Korzeniewicz of the Department of Sociology at the University of Maryland at College Park for contributing the discussion of gender in chapter 2, The Society and Its Environment.

The authors are grateful to individuals in various agencies of the United States government, international organizations, private institutions, including nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) in Brazil, and Brazilian diplomatic offices who offered their time, special knowledge, or research facilities and materials to provide information and perspective. None of these individuals, is, however, in any way responsible for the work or points of view of the authors.

The book editor would like to thank the Rio Office of the Library of Congress--particularly Carmen Muricy, Senior Acquisitions Specialist; Pamela Howard-Reguindin, Field Director; and James C. Armstrong, former Field Director--for their bibliographical and other assistance. Thanks also go to Robert J. Olson, Department of the Army, for his efforts on behalf of the Country Studies/Area Handbook Program.

In addition, the book editor would like to thank members of the Federal Research Division who contributed directly to the preparation of the manuscript. These include Sandra W. Meditz, who reviewed all textual and graphic materials, served as liaison with the sponsoring agency, and provided numerous substantive and technical contributions; Marilyn L. Majeska, who managed editing and production; Andrea T. Merrill, who edited the tables, figures, and bibliography; and Barbara Edgerton, Janie L. Gilchrist, and Izella Watson, who did the word processing and initial typesetting. Thanks also go to Mary Ann Saour, who performed the copyediting of the chapters; Cissie Coy, who performed the final prepublication editorial review; Stephen C. Cranton and Janie L. Gilchrist, who prepared the camera-ready copy; and Sandi Schroeder, who compiled the index.

Finally, the book editor acknowledges the generosity of the individuals and the public, private, diplomatic, and international agencies--particularly the Inter-American Development Bank and the Office of the Military Attaché of the Brazilian Embassy in Washington--who allowed their photographs to be used in this study.

Brazil - Preface

Like its predecessor, published in 1983, this study is an attempt to examine objectively and concisely the dominant historical, social, environmental, economic, governmental, political, and national security aspects of contemporary Brazil. Sources of information included books, journals, other periodicals and monographs, official reports of governments and international organizations, and numerous interviews by the authors with Brazilian government officials and experts in academia and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) in Brazil.

To the extent possible, place-names follow the system adopted by the United States Board on Geographic Names (BGN). Measurements are given in the metric system.

The body of the text reflects information available as of April 1997. Certain other portions of the text, however, have been updated. The Bibliography lists published sources thought to be particularly helpful to the reader.

Brazil - Historical Setting

EXPORTS, SLAVERY, AND PATRIARCHY have been the three constants of Brazilian history. The export orientation of the colonial economy shaped Brazil's society. Even the name "Brazil," like the country itself, is suggestive of commerce and the pursuit of wealth. Brazil's name derives from the brazilwood trees from which Europeans sought in the sixteenth century to make valuable red dyes. However, the central fact of the country's history was the exploitation of cheap labor, first as slaves, then as wage-earners. Indeed, Brazil's history is the story not only of conquest but also of the enslavement of its native peoples and of millions of imported African slaves.

Brazil's history can be divided into five economic periods, each characterized by a dominant export product. The first period, from 1500 to 1550, involved the logging of brazilwood along the coast of the Northeast (Nordeste). Brazilwood was the source of a red dye important to the expanding textile industry of sixteenth-century northern Europe, particularly Normandy and Flanders. The trees and the ready labor of the natives, who were eager to acquire metal products in return for cutting and hauling logs to the coast, attracted Portuguese and French ships. The French were quite successful because they sent young men to reside among the natives, to learn their languages, and to get them to bring the timber to the nearest bay or estuary. By contrast, the Portuguese, in the first few decades, traded from their ships or haphazard outposts. The Portuguese attempted to use the factory system that they were then employing along the African, South Asian, and Asian coasts. This system consisted of fortified trading posts that had minimal contact with the local population. The French, with deeper roots among the native peoples and more knowledge of their cultures, filled their waiting ships more quickly. France's activity convinced the Portuguese crown to undertake sustained settlement to protect its claim.

The Europeans struggled among themselves for control of the beachheads, anchorages, and bays. The Portuguese effort to gain effective control of the coast coincided with the onset of the sugar era, which extended from 1530 to 1650. Sugarcane cultivation was carried out in widely separated tidewater enclaves from São Vicente in the South (Sul--the present-day states of Paraná, Santa Catarina, and Rio Grande do Sul) to Pernambuco in the Northeast; it became most successful around the Bahian Recôncavo and in Pernambuco. Enslaved natives and increasingly, after the 1560s, imported African slaves provided the labor for the mills (engenhos ) and fields.

Sugar tied Brazil into the developing system of European capitalism, imposed a patriarchal social system on the country, and prompted Dutch attacks on Portugal's South Atlantic empire. The sugar economy's need for oxen and meat led to the accompanying growth of cattle raising in the dry interior hinterlands, known as the sertão . Cattle raising became so important to the economy and to the development of the interior as to almost constitute a phase in its own right. However, although cattle raising provided hides for export, it supplied principally local markets. The Dutch seizure of Recife in 1630 and their subsequent capture of Luanda on the Angolan coast, a principal source of slaves imported into Brazil, disrupted the Portuguese dominance over sugar. When the Hollanders (holandeses ) withdrew from Brazil in 1654, they stimulated cane growing on the Caribbean islands and used their control of distribution in Europe to reduce Portuguese access.

The third period--mining of gold and diamonds from the 1690s to the 1750s--carried Portugal's effective occupation of the land far into the interior of what are now the states of Minas Gerais, Goiás, and Mato Grosso. The discoveries of alluvial gold on the Rio das Velhas in about 1693, throughout central Minas Gerais in the next years, and out into Mato Grosso in 1718 and Goiás in 1725, and then the growth of diamond mining along the Rio Jequitinhonha in Minas Gerais after 1730, shifted the colonial center away from the Northeast coast into the interior. Minas Gerais became the new jewel in Portugal's crown, although one that was difficult to keep in place. As more people spread to the distant interior, many of them were living beyond the reach of royal officials. Indeed, one of Brazil's distinctive features has always been the existence of people who live within the boundaries of the country but outside the limits of the society and the controls of the state.

The Northeast and the South were tied to Minas Gerais via the livestock trade. The mineiro (Minas Gerais) towns needed beef, as well as a seemingly endless supply of mules. Without good roads, mule trains became characteristic of the region, which was soon tied together by an extensive web of trails. The cattle came south from ranches along the Rio São Francisco, thereby linking the mines to the Northeast. The mules came from the pampas of Rio Grande do Sul via the market at Sorocaba in São Paulo, tying the South to the mining region. Because Paulistas (residents of the state of São Paulo) made most of the initial gold strikes, São Paulo was connected to all the mining areas. The importance of Minas Gerais and the mines farther inland led the crown to transfer the viceregal capital from Salvador, Bahia, to Rio de Janeiro in 1763.

Gold production declined in the later decades of the eighteenth century, and from about 1820 coffee cultivation provided a fourth period that lasted to the end of the 1920s. It began in the mountains behind Rio de Janeiro, moved along the Rio Paraíba Valley to the west across São Paulo State and out into Paraná. Coffee powered the rise of São Paulo and its port of Santos, and although it gradually took a secondary position to industrialization after the late 1930s, Brazil remained the world's major coffee producer.

The Amazon had an important era of its own from the 1880s to 1919, when it was the world's major source of rubber. The rubber boom drew world attention to the region, prompted Brazil to secure its boundaries, and lured thousands of rubber tappers from the drought-plagued sertão of the Northeast to the forests of Acre. It turned into a bust when the helter-skelter collection of wild rubber lost out to the massive production methods of British, Dutch, and French plantations in Southeast Asia.

The fifth period began in the 1930s with import-substitution industrialization (see Glossary) and extended into the 1990s. Industry's initial and heaviest concentration was in the triangle of São Paulo-Rio de Janeiro-Belo Horizonte. The period was perhaps best symbolized by the steel mills of Volta Redonda, built in 1944, and São Paulo's integrated industrial zone. Industrialization and its parallel urbanization attracted rural migrants from throughout the country, but especially from the drought-plagued Northeast. In the space of a generation after 1940, Brazil leaped from the age of the bull-cart to that of the internal combustion engine, changing the national map in the process.

Before the 1930s, despite the earlier incursions into the interior, Brazil still consisted of a series of enclaves connected by sealanes rather than by railroads or paved highways. Pan American Airway's introduction of the DC-3 on its run from Belém to Rio de Janeiro in 1940 vaulted Brazil directly into the air age. By the 1970s, it had the world's third largest commercial air fleet after the United States and the Soviet Union. The 1950s push to develop an automotive industry was followed in later decades by large-scale construction of long-distance highways, which by the 1980s made it possible to travel to all regions of the country on paved roads. Symbolic of this era was the building of Brazil's third capital at Brasília (1955-60) on the plains of Goiás. The internal combustion engine and the coinciding growth of the petroleum industry also made possible the mechanization of agriculture, which changed rapidly the face of the Brazilian west and made Brazil the second largest exporter of food in the 1980s. The combination of highways and automotive transport opened up Amazônia for the first time. The construction of the highway corridors from Brasília to Belém and from Cuiabá to Porto Velho to Manaus triggered large-scale migration, mining and agricultural development, timbering, land disputes, displacement of native peoples, and massive deforestation. The latter made Brazil's Amazon policies the subject of world debate, which in turn made Brazilians worry about the security of their immense North region (Amazônia).

Brazil - The Indigenous Population

In 1500 Pedro Álvares Cabral's fleet, which was en route to India, landed at Porto Seguro in what is now the state of Bahia. The territory that comprises modern Brazil had a native population in the millions, divided among hundreds of tribes and language groups. Their ancestors had lived in this land for as long as 30,000 years. There is no way to be certain of the exact size of the population or its distribution. Many areas that were inhabited in 1500 were later stripped bare by epidemics or slave hunters. But scholars have attempted to make estimates based on contemporary reports and the supposed carrying capacity of the land. For Brazil's Amazon Basin alone, demographer William M. Denevan has suggested 3,625,000 people, with another 4,800,000 in other regions. Other estimates place 5 million inhabitants in Amazônia alone. More conservatively, British historian John Hemming estimated 2,431,000 people for Brazil as a whole. These figures are based on known tribes, although many unknown ones probably died out in the devastating epidemics of the colonial era.

Certainly, the indigenous population exceeded that of Portugal itself. The early European chroniclers wrote of multitudes along the coast and of dense populations in the Amazon Basin. Far from being awed by the newcomers, the indigenous inhabitants displayed curiosity and hospitality, a willingness to exchange goods, and a distinct ability at aggressive defense. However, they could not prevent the devastation caused by the diseases carried by the Europeans and Africans. Tens of thousands succumbed to smallpox, measles, tuberculosis, typhoid, dysentery, and influenza. Whole peoples were likely annihilated without having had direct contact with Europeans as disease was carried along the indigenous trade routes.

The Indians spoke languages that scholars have classified into four families: the Gê speakers, originally spread along the coast and into the central plateau and scrub lands; the Tupí speakers, who displaced the Gê on the coast and hence were the first met by the Portuguese; the Carib speakers in the north and in Amazônia, who were related distantly to the people who gave their name to the Caribbean; the Arawak (or Aruak) speakers in Amazônia, whose linguistic relatives ranged up through Central America to Florida; and, according to sociologist Donald Sawyer, the Nambicuara in northwestern Mato Grosso (see Language, ch. 2). These were not tribes but language families that comprised many language groups. Numerous tribes also spoke languages unrelated to any of the above. Warfare and migrations carried peoples from these linguistic families to various parts of Brazil. The Europeans took advantage of the cultural differences among the Indian peoples to pit one against the other and to form alliances that provided auxiliary troops in their colonial wars.

Portugal viewed the Indians as slave labor from the outset. When Portugal began its imperial ventures, it had a population of about 1 million. Indeed, in the mid-sixteenth century Portugal's population was so sparse that much of its territory was uncultivated and abandoned. African and native Brazilian slaves were common on the streets of Lisbon. Portugal's colonial economy in Brazil was based on slavery. Initially, the Portuguese bartered with the natives to bring brazilwood and other forest items to the coast. However, when the natives had accumulated all the tools and pots that they needed, they showed a lack of interest in continuing the arrangement. Consequently, the Portuguese turned to violent persuasion. The enslavement of the natives shaped much of the history that followed.

Just as Indian unrest had aided the Spanish conquerors of Mexico and Peru, so too did the Portuguese profit from arriving at a time of turmoil. The Tupí speakers had been shifting steadily from the south in a massive migration to coastal areas, displacing the resident Gê speakers, many of whom moved into the interior. This population shift had triggered continuous warfare against non-Tupí peoples and against Tupí subsets. It involved set battles that arrayed hundreds and, in some reports, thousands of warriors in fierce hand-to-hand combat. Some of the fighting went beyond struggles over control of land or resources to vendettas in which captives were sought and in some cases reportedly cannibalized. The Portuguese used these vendettas to keep the Indians from uniting against them and subsequently to obtain slaves. The conquest of Brazil was not a simple toppling of an organized empire as in Peru, but a drawn out, complicated process that spread over huge distances, different peoples, and centuries. Thus, it is not surprising that the Brazilian elites developed myths about racial harmony, peaceful change, and compromise that often have colored the interpretations of historians, thereby distorting understanding of Brazil's past.

Just as Portugal was different from the rest of Europe, so too would Brazil be different from the rest of the Americas. Portugal was both an agrarian and a maritime monarchy that used its control over land grants to discipline the nobility and its issuance of trading licenses to attract local and foreign investment in its overseas ventures. As merchant-king, the monarch supervised an economic system that imported timber, sugar, and wine from Madeira and the Azores, gold from the Guinea coast, spices from India, and dyewood and forest products, then sugar, gold, gems, and hides from Brazil. These products were then reexported to Europe.

The Portuguese established themselves on the Brazilian coast in their drive to control Europe's trade with India and East Asia. They secured "title" to what became eastern Brazil in their attempted division of the world with Spain in the Treaty of Tordesillas (see Glossary) of 1494. During the next centuries, the Portuguese, Spanish, French, English, and Dutch changed the South American continent's trade patterns, which previously had been focused internally. Seeking profits, the Portuguese marshaled Indian labor to provide exportable products. The commercial objective that initially had prompted overseas operations became the first principle of Portuguese colonization. Brazil was not to be a place where Europe's religious dissidents sought freedom of conscience. Rather, to paraphrase historian Caio Prado Júnior, the colonization of tropical Brazil would be "one vast commercial enterprise." Colonial Brazil's reason for being was to supply dyewood, sugar, tobacco, eventually gold and diamonds, cotton, coffee, and later rubber for the European and then world markets. The externally oriented colonial economy consisted of enclaves that faced seaward and that considered only their own commercial interests.

In his 1843 essay, "How the History of Brazil Should Be Written," Karl Friederich Philipp von Martius urged the study of the three basic racial groups--indigenous peoples, Europeans, and Africans--to obtain a clear understanding of the country's history. Yet when he discussed the interactions between the Indians and the Portuguese, he wrote that the former were only a few primitive tribes and that the "colonies developed and expanded almost without caring about these Indians." Although he could not have been more wrong, historians have echoed his attitude repeatedly. The natives, rather than being few, were in the millions, and the Portuguese determination to exploit their labor shaped frontier expansion and set Brazil's modern boundaries.

Source: U.S. Library of Congress

Brazil - The Colonial Era, 1500-1815

Frontier Expansion That Shaped Brazil

Under the Treaty of Tordesillas, everything to the east of the line that ran from pole to pole 370 leagues west of the Cape Verde Islands was to be Portugal's to exploit. The exact reason for Portugal's interest in having the line so far to the west is debatable, but the Portuguese may have been trying to keep the Castilians away from the sure route to the East. Very practically, the line's placement gave Portuguese vessels en route to India ample room to pick up winds and currents that took them around the southern end of Africa, a feat carried out by Vasco da Gama on his voyage of 1497-99. The Portuguese also may have known that western lands or islands lay on their side of the line. On the modern map of Brazil, in the north the line cuts across the eastern end of the Ilha de Marajó, and in the south it passes through Laguna on the coast of Santa Catarina. Because most of present-day Brazil lies to the west of the line, clearly the Portuguese expanded successfully on this initial division.

The territorial aggrandizement, which is one of the main themes of Brazilian history, was both accidental and a matter of state policy. Uncertainty as to the detailed geography of South America persisted into the twentieth century, so it is understandable that Portuguese officials professed to believe into the eighteenth century that the estuaries of both the Amazon and the Río de la Plata were on their side of the Tordesillas Line. The two river systems were, in the words of the Jesuit Father Simão de Vasconcellos, "two keys that lock the land of Brazil . . . two giants that defend it and demarcate between us [Portuguese] and Castille." Several centuries of penetration along these river systems gave Brazil its distinctive shape. It could be said that today's Brazil owes its vast territory to the native Indians who served as skilled trackers, warriors, porters, food suppliers, and paddlers for the Portuguese expeditions, and to the Indians whose potential as slaves lured the Portuguese inland.

The Portuguese empire at the outset was a commercial rather than a colonial one. Portugal lacked sufficient population to establish colonies of settlers throughout its maritime empire. The Portuguese practice was to conquer enough space for a trading fort and a surrounding enclave from which to draw on the wealth and resources of the adjacent country. A map of this maritime commercial domain would show a series of dots connected by sealanes rather than continuous stretches of territory. French competition forced the Portuguese shift to colonialism in Brazil. This shift involved the gradual move from trading for brazilwood to cultivating sugarcane, which required control of great expanses of land and increasing numbers of slaves. The first to burst past the Tordesillas Line were the slave hunters. The shift to colonialism was also facilitated by the union of the Spanish and Portuguese crowns between 1580 and 1640. Although the two governments on the Iberian Peninsula and in the Americas were kept separate, trade and travel controls became lax. An active contraband trade developed between Brazilian settlements and Buenos Aires, and Portuguese moving overland appeared in Asunción, Potosí, Lima, and even Quito.

Expansion along the Atlantic coast had been gradual. Using the model of the Atlantic islands, the crown in 1536 divided the Brazilian coast into fifteen donatory captaincies (donatários ). To induce settlement, the crown offered ten leagues of coastline as personal property, a percentage of the dyewood trade, control over trade of enslaved natives, as well as the exclusive right to build mills. In 1580 Brazil comprised the area from Pernambuco in the north to São Vicente in the south. With Spanish assistance thereafter, the Portuguese expanded north to Paraíba, then west through Ceará and Maranhão against the natives and the French, until they founded Belém in 1616. Beginning in 1621, these possessions were divided into the state of Maranhão (embracing the crown captaincies of Ceará, Maranhão, and Pará) and the state of Brazil, centering on Salvador, Bahia. The reassertion of Portuguese independence under the Braganças in 1640 led to sporadic conflict in frontier areas and to policies seeking to hold back Spanish advances. In the Amazon and Río de la Plata river basins, the Spanish rather than the Portuguese had been first on the scene. The Spaniards included Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca, who journeyed from the coast of Santa Catarina to Asunción in 1540, and Francisco de Orellana, who descended the Amazon in 1542.

The most important Spanish advances were the mission settlements, where the Jesuits Christianized native peoples. Two areas of particular importance lay adjacent to the river systems that delimit Brazil in the south and in the north: the Paraná-Paraguay Basin in the south and the Mamoré-Guaporé Basin in the north. From 1609 to 1628, the Jesuits founded eight missions among the Guaraní peoples between the Paraná and Paraguai rivers in what is now southern Paraguay. They pressed deep into what is today the state of Paraná, between the Ivaí and Paranapanema rivers, to establish fifteen more in what was called Guairá Province.

From 1629 to 1631, the Guairá missions were attacked by slave hunters, known as bandeirantes (see Glossary), from the Portuguese town of São Paulo. According to the governor of Buenos Aires, these attacks resulted in the enslavement of more than 70,000 Guaraní. Consequently, the Jesuits decided to evacuate some 10,000 survivors downriver and overland to sites between the Rio Uruguai and the Atlantic, in what became the state of Rio Grande do Sul. Other Jesuits fleeing the Guairá missions set up missions among the Itatín people on the eastern bank of the Rio Paraguai in what is now Mato Grosso do Sul, only to be destroyed brutally by bandeirantes in the 1630s and 1640s. By 1650 only twenty-two of forty-eight missions remained in the whole region. The Jesuits stopped the slave hunters in the south by arming and training the Guaraní, who dealt a significant blow to their oppressors in the Battle of Mbororé in 1641. This victory ensured the continued existence of the southern Spanish missions for another century, although they became a focal point of Portuguese-Spanish conflict in the 1750s. Broadly speaking, the Battle of Mbororé stabilized the general boundary lines between the Portuguese and the Spanish in the south.

In the north, the Spanish had established the town of Santa Cruz de la Sierra in 1561 and from there planted missions in the Mamoré-Guaporé Basin in about 1682. Called the Mojos and Chiquitos, these mission provinces were in what is now lowland Bolivia fronting on the states of Mato Grosso and Rondônia. By 1746 there were twenty-four mission towns in the Mojos and ten in Chiquitos. The bandeirantes again carried the flag of Portugal into the region, first attacking the Chiquitos missions for slaves and then discovering gold in Mato Grosso (1718-36). Unsure where these gold discoveries were in relation to the Spanish territories, the members of the Lisbon-based Overseas Council, which administered the colonies, ordered a comprehensive reconnaissance and the drawing of accurate maps. In 1723 Francisco de Melo Palhêta led an expedition from Belém to the Guaporé, reporting to Lisbon the startling news about the numerous prosperous Jesuit missions. Moreover, the question of fixing borders had become more urgent in 1722, when a respected French cartographer placed the mouths of the Amazon and the Río de la Plata on the Spanish side of the Tordesillas Line.

Because the Guaporé rises in Mato Grosso and flows into the Mamoré, which enters the Madeira, and then into the Amazon, these rivers formed a natural border. Moreover, the headwaters of the Paraguai were close and offered the possibility of linking the Amazonian and La Plata systems. In 1748 Lisbon created the Captaincy of Mato Grosso as its rampart on the Peruvian side and later in the century erected Fort Príncipe de Beira on the Guaporé. In northern Amazônia, in what were then the royal states of Maranhão and Pará, the Portuguese, worried about Dutch traders from Guiana (modern Suriname) and Spaniards from Venezuela, built fortifications at Óbidos, Manaus, Tabatinga, and on the Rio Branco and Rio Negro during the eighteenth century, thereby solidifying their claims. As it turned out, it was easier to secure the vast North region than it was the South.

In 1680 the Portuguese had built a fort at Colônia do Sacramento on the eastern La Plata shore opposite Buenos Aires to guard their claim and to capture a share of the contraband trade with silver-rich Potosí. According to the Overseas Council, Lisbon adopted the policy of fortifying and settling the coast below Santa Catarina, because "the continuation of these settlements will be the best means of deciding the question of limits . . . between the two crowns."

By the mid-eighteenth century, the Iberian powers were ready to admit the fiction of Tordesillas and to redraw their lines in South America on the basis of uti possidetis (that is, ownership by occupation rather than by claim). The Portuguese gave up Colônia do Sacramento, and in return received the lands of the Jesuit order's seven missions in western Rio Grande. This exchange led to the Guaraní War of 1756, which destroyed the missions and contributed to the Jesuit expulsion from Portuguese (1759) and Spanish (1763) possessions. With the Treaties of 1750, 1761, and 1777, Brazil took on its modern shape. The lines were drawn for the nineteenth-century struggles over the East Bank (Banda Oriental, or present-day Uruguay) of the Rio Uruguai and the Río de la Plata, the war with the United Provinces of the Río de la Plata (1825-28), and the Paraguayan War, also known as the War of the Triple Alliance (1864-70).

Thus, as a result of slave hunting, gold prospecting, and Portuguese royal policy, the Tordesillas Line became obsolete, and Portugal obtained more than half of South America. When Brazil became independent in 1822, its huge territory was comparable in size with the Russian and Chinese empires.

Brazil - Early Colonization

On April 22, 1500, the thirteen-ship fleet under Pedro Álvares Cabral anchored off the mouth of the Rio Buranhém (sweet bark in Tupí) on the Bahian coast. The chronicler of the discovery, Pêro Vaz de Caminha, wrote that immediately they saw men walking on the beach, and by the time a longboat reached the shore twenty or so had assembled. Entirely naked and dark skinned, they laid down their bows and arrows as a sign of peace, while responding to offers of Portuguese hats by giving over a parrot-feathered headdress and a long string of white seed pearls. Thus did the cultural exchange begin that would evolve over the next five centuries into the distinctive Brazilian culture.

In the nine days that the Portuguese stayed at the anchorage they called Porto Seguro, the natives were fascinated by the Catholic Mass, the iron tools, and alcoholic drink. Their seeming receptivity and lack of religious symbols that the Portuguese could understand caused Caminha to predict that these people quickly would turn Christian.

The natives helped fill a ship with fine-grained timber, dyewood, and presumably some of the buranhém wood or bark that gave the river its name. Cabral sent the ship back to Lisbon with Caminha's oft-quoted letter to the king, the first report on Brazil to reach Europe. As the rest of the fleet set sail from what Cabral called the Island of Vera Cruz for the Cape of Good Hope, two male convicts were left on the shore. Rather than execute such degredados (outcasts; see Glossary), the Portuguese were instinctively creating an advance guard that would learn the local language and via intermarriage would give them in another generation the means to penetrate both the indigenous societies and the Brazilian land mass.

After so many years of remarkable contacts with newly discovered lands, the Portuguese were a bit blasé about the news of this land of parrots, naked people, and brazilwood. At that time, peppers, spices, and silks were worth more than such exotica, and those products came from India and lands farther east.

With the exception of the New Christian (Jewish converts) investors, Brazil received little attention from Lisbon for three decades. The investors scouted and defended the coast and shared with the crown their monopoly contracts to harvest the brazilwood. The Portuguese monarchs followed the practice of holding legal title to lands and to certain commodities but issuing to others licenses to profit from these lands and commodities at their own expense, or with the backing of other investors. The custom was akin to the Castilian practice of adelantado (awarding of conquistador status--see Glossary) that developed during the reconquest of the Iberian Peninsula from the Moors, whereby the crown commissioned an agent to conquer a certain area at his own expense in return for rights to land, booty, and labor. The combination of royal licenses and private initiative that worked so well for Portugal along the African coast and in India was reshaped for Brazil.

But soon other Europeans were challenging Portugal's claims to exclusivity. Spanish captains edged their ships down the coast and up the Río de la Plata. From 1504 onward, French vessels from Brittany, Flanders, and Normandy were active in the dyewood trade. The reddish-purple dyes made from the wood brought good prices from tapestry and textile makers, and the French court ignored Portuguese protests. The Portuguese sent out naval expeditions to destroy French vessels and outposts, but by 1530 it was clear that mounting an effective coast guard along thousands of kilometers with countless coves, anchorages, and bays would be impossible; Portugal either had to take active possession or lose out to more interested rivals. Portugal took two steps, one immediate and the other long term. It dispatched a strong fleet under the command of Martim Afonso de Sousa, who was instructed to clear the coast of interlopers and to establish a permanent settlement. The result was Brazil's first European town, São Vicente, established in 1532.

The crown also may have wanted to follow up on the adventure in 1524 of Aleixo Garcia, a Portuguese shipwrecked on the southern coast who led about 2,000 Guaraní on a raid against Inca border towns in what is now Bolivia. Sousa sent a government-sponsored expedition (entrada ) back over Garcia's route, only to meet death at the hands of the Carijó tribe of Indians. Such feeble results did little to attract investors, so the crown turned to the hereditary donatory captaincy system that had succeeded on the islands of Madeira and the Azores. Under this system, each donee was responsible for colonizing his own captaincy at his own expense. To help the lord proprietor attract settlers, he was given permission to issue land grants (sesmarias ). This step was significant because it twisted a medieval Portuguese practice that placed conquered lands in the hands of peasants into one that gave some families holdings larger than Portugal's provinces. This practice in part led to the establishment of latifundia (see Glossary) in Brazil.

Nonetheless, the nobles were not interested in risking their lives or fortunes in a land of "naked savages," and most of those who received the grants were too ill-prepared, ill-financed, and ill-connected to succeed. The northern four captaincies never went beyond the planning stage, and the rest flourished or failed depending on the management skills and competence of the donatário in dealing with the native Brazilians. Sousa, who obtained the grant to São Vicente, prospered because he took advantage of João Ramalho, a castaway who had married the daughter of the chief of the Goiana Tupiniquin. Because of Ramalho, who lived until 1580, the Portuguese were able to obtain Indian labor, foodstuffs, and women. With his help, it was possible to establish a town at the village of Piratininga, which in time would grow into the metropolis of São Paulo. He was the key player in the Portuguese alliance with the Tupiniquin, who protected the colony from other Indians and who formed the basis for the future military power of the bandeirantes . The lack of European women facilitated assimilation and acculturation with the Indians. With the steady miscegenation, a substantial population of Tupí-speaking mestizos (mestiços or mamelucos --see Glossary) came into being.

Also important for São Vicente's success was Sousa's ability to attract investors for sugar mills, including an investor from Antwerp, which became the center of the European sugar market. Although Pernambuco in later years surpassed São Vicente in sugar production, its early success fixed Portuguese control on what centuries later would be the agricultural and industrial core of Brazil.

Similarly, the affluence of Pernambuco Province centering on Olinda resulted from successful interaction with the natives, the ability to draw investment capital (often from Italian merchants), and capable settlers. The donatário , Duarte Coelho Pereira, had married into the well-connected Albuquerque family, which helped him attract colonists and financial support to set up sugar mills. But he was especially fortunate because his brother-in-law, Jerônimo de Albuquerque, had married the daughter of chief Arcoverde (Green Bow) of the Tobajara, thereby sealing an alliance that gave the Portuguese supplies of food and workers. The alliance also gave Coelho Pereira the military superiority to eventually defeat the French and their Indian allies. As the brazilwood stands were cut down, they were replaced with sugarcane plantations, which by 1585 were served by more than sixty mills or engenhos . The captaincy was so successful that there was reputedly more luxury in Pernambuco than in Lisbon. This strong beginning would make it the northern focal point of Portuguese America.

Porto Seguro failed to prosper as a captaincy. The constant fighting with the local Aimoré people may have been related to the presence of many married Portuguese couples and, consequently, little intermarriage with the natives. Likewise, Bahia failed at this stage because its donatário lacked managerial skills. Many of the Portuguese there were veterans of India, where abuse of the natives was routine. The Tupinambá finally tired of the mistreatment, and many of the Portuguese at Bahia, including the donatário , were captured and ceremonially killed and eaten. Ilhéus, Espírito Santo, São Tomé, Santo Amaro, and Santa Anna also failed because of poor management and hostile relations with the natives. The coast was now exposed to French incursions.

Such an outcome was not what the crown had in mind, and it decided wisely to listen to warnings. Rather than replace inept donatários with others, the king established direct royal control, except over Pernambuco and São Vicente. The crown may have acted at this juncture for several reasons: the Spanish discovery of the famed silver mountain at Potosí (1545), the decline of the Asian spice trade, and the crown's practice of reclaiming royal control after some years of leasing its rights. The enhancement of royal power was part of the general Iberian pattern of establishing royal control over the sprawling colonial ventures. In a larger sense, renewed royal control appears to have been linked to a new conservatism in Catholic Europe. The Council of Trent (1545-63) defined church dogma and practice, religious tolerance faded, and the Inquisition was emplaced in Portugal in 1547.

The king named Tomé de Sousa the first governor general of Brazil (1549-53). He ordered Sousa to create a capital city, Salvador, on the Bahia de Todos os Santos (Bay of All Saints) and to spread the royal mantle over the captaincies, defending the weaker ones and reestablishing the failed ones. Because Indian attacks were blamed for the failures, Sousa's orders amounted to a declaration of war on the indigenous peoples of Brazil. If they could be defeated, the French would have no allies and so would be less of a threat. In addition, Sousa was to increase royal revenues. The twin objectives of control and revenue were characteristic of royal policy for the rest of the colonial era.

Bahia, as the city and province would be known, was selected for its central location and its fine bay, and because the crown had purchased it from the heirs of the donatário . Sousa built fortifications, a town, and sugar mills. His knottiest task was forming a policy on the Indians, whose status remained unclear. Although he had treasury and coast guard officials with him, their roles were oriented toward Portuguese colonists and European interlopers.

As early as 1511, the crown had placed the Indians under its "protection," and it ordered Sousa to treat them well, as long as they were peaceful, so that they could be converted. Conversion was essential because Portugal's legal claims to Brazil were based on papal bulls requiring Christianization of the Indians. However, those who resisted conversion were likened to Muslims and could be enslaved. In fact, as historian Sergio Buarque de Holanda showed, by identifying Brazil as a destination of the wandering Apostle St. Thomas the Portuguese settlers were able to argue that all natives had their chance to convert and had rejected it, so they could be conquered and taken captive legitimately. Thus, a distinction was made between peaceful, pliable natives who as wards deserved crown protection and those resisters who wanted to keep their independence and on whom "just war" could be made and slavery imposed.

The dual mission of the governors was contradictory; how could they stimulate the economy using slave labor while converting the natives? To carry out the pacification and conversion of the natives, the crown chose the new Jesuit order of the Society of Jesus, which was international in membership and military in structure and which had the task of defending and spreading the Catholic Counter-Reformation. The Jesuits had a major impact on Brazil, despite their small numbers--128 by 1598. The Indians responded to the Jesuits with initial acceptance, then regression, evasion, and enmity. The objective of the Jesuits was to Europeanize the Indians by resettling them in Indian villages (aldeias) . In a recurring pattern, the first aldeia near Bahia (1552) soon disintegrated as the Indians who survived the European-born diseases faded into the interior beyond the Jesuits' reach.

Europeanization was overcome by a sort of Brazilianization, as the Jesuits blended Indian songs, dances, and language into the liturgy and as the colonists adopted native foods, women, language, and customs. However, the first bishop of Brazil (1551), Dom Pêro Fernandes Sardinha, objected to the Jesuit accommodation with indigenous culture. He threw the weight of his authority behind subjugation and enslavement. At issue was the nature of the future of Brazilian society. The bishop, who had served in Goa and ironically had taught Ignatius Loyola, the Jesuit founder, insisted that Europeanization must precede baptism. He believed Brazil, like India, should have a dual society made up of heathen natives ruled by a small number of Portuguese.

The conflict between the Jesuits and the bishop had far-reaching significance for Brazil's future. To get away from his direct grasp, the Jesuits shifted their attention to the south, where they formed, in 1554, the aldeia of São Paulo de Piratininga on the plateau at the headwaters of the Rio Tietê high above São Vicente. Father José de Anchieta's mission village later became known as the city of São Paulo. The crown seemingly favored the Jesuit approach because it recalled Bishop Sardinha. En route back, Sardinha was shipwrecked and then killed and reportedly eaten by Caeté people.

In 1557 the crown sent out a new bishop and a new governor to consolidate royal control and to bring organization to the far-flung settlements on the verge of collapse. The new crown representatives supported Jesuit methods and returned the Jesuits to Bahia. By protecting the Indians who lived in aldeias from enslavement, the crown representatives made the Jesuit towns more attractive. The pool of slaves available to the colonists dwindled, causing such protests that Mem de Sá (governor, 1558-72) approved a "just war" against the Caeté to punish them for killing Brazil's first bishop. However, the "just war" soon got out of hand as the closer and undefended aldeias were raided for slaves. The conflict damaged native trust in the missions, and the epidemics of influenza, smallpox, and measles in 1562 and 1563 decimated the Indian population and increased colonist competition for laborers. The famine that followed the waves of disease prompted starving Indians to sell themselves or their relatives in order to survive.

This situation led to a policy under which the Indians were considered free but could be enslaved in a sanctioned "just war," or for cannibalism, or if rescued from being eaten or enslaved by other natives. Government-sponsored expeditions (entradas ) into the interior, sometimes ironically called rescues (resgates ), became slave hunts under the guise of "just war." The Paulista expeditions (bandeiras ), one of the major themes of Brazilian history in the 1600s and 1700s, would develop out of this practice. The eventual exploitation of the interior and the development of gold and gem mining in Minas Gerais, Goiás, and Mato Grosso have roots in the voracious appetite of coastal plantations for slave labor.

As Indian resistance, social disintegration, and flight into the interior increased in the last quarter of the sixteenth century, the Portuguese began to import more African slaves. In 1570 there were 2,000 to 3,000 such slaves in Brazil; by 1587 there were 14,000. Considering that the European population in 1570 was 20,760 and in 1585 was 29,400, the growth of African slaves from 14 percent of the number of whites to 47 percent is striking. Much of the commentary on native slavery holds that the Indians were unfit physically to be slaves, when actually it was their strong resistance to slavery and the colonial competition for their labor that led to the African slave trade. Also, the focus of many historians on Bahia and Pernambuco has left readers with the impression that Indian slavery gave way to African slavery throughout Brazil by 1600. This was not the case. Indians continued to be enslaved in Pará, which caused the depopulation of much of Amazônia by the mid-eighteenth century.

Source: U.S. Library of Congress

Brazil - French and Dutch Incursions

In addition to dealing with labor supply, Mem de Sá, who was the consolidator of Portuguese Brazil, dealt successfully with the French threat. The French had continued to attack Portuguese shipping and to maintain interest in a permanent colony. Noting that Rio de Janeiro's Guanabara Bay had not been occupied, Vice Admiral Nicolas Durand de Villegaignon, a French navigator, led a mix of Huguenots and Catholics there in 1555 to establish a colony, France Antarctique, on Ilha de Sergipe. After a decade, his utopian dream of finding a religious refuge for Protestants and Catholics failed. Despite their good relations with the Indians, the French could not withstand the Portuguese assaults that began in 1565. That year, to ensure future control of the bay, Mem de Sá founded the city of Rio de Janeiro, which became the second royal captaincy. Expelled from Guanabara Bay in 1567, the French turned their efforts to the northern coast. They made alliances with the Indians and settled themselves on Ilha São Luís do Maranhão in 1612, where fierce fighting led to their expulsion in 1615. They kept active north of the Amazon delta, maintaining claims to Amapá.

By 1580 the Portuguese had overcome French threats and most indigenous resistance to their command of key ports. At this point, a more profound Spanish threat appeared with the passing of the crown of Portugal to King Philip II of Spain. This event had immediate and long-range consequences. Now Europe's two greatest empires were united under a single ruler and could well have been joined permanently, save for the determination of the Portuguese to maintain their identity. The Iberian union gave the Portuguese easier access to the Spanish domains. For Brazil, however, the most important result was that it made enemies of Portugal's former business associates, the Dutch. Portugal's commerce was more open than Spain's and perhaps more practical. Portugal recognized its need for shipping and for access to markets, both of which the Dutch provided for Brazilian sugar. The spirit of cooperation faded with the union of the crowns as the Dutch, long struggling for independence from the Spanish Habsburgs, were shut out officially from the Portuguese domains. This exclusion led to the formation of the Dutch West India Company in 1621 and the seizure of Brazilian sugar lands. After being unsuccessful in holding Salvador in 1624-25, the Dutch captured Pernambuco in 1630 and eventually extended their sway from the Rio São Francisco to São Luís do Maranhão until finally being forced out in 1654.

The Dutch incursion was the longest and most serious challenge to Portuguese control by a major maritime power. The struggle to drive out the Dutch had devastating effects on the sugar plantations and sugar mills. The Dutch, particularly Governor Johan Maurits, Count of Nassau, had worked to build good relations with the Portuguese planters in the interior, supplying them with credit, slaves, merchandise, and European markets. Nassau encouraged religious tolerance, constructed buildings and canals in the style of Amsterdam, and brought in artists, engineers, and scientists to embellish, record, and study the local flora, fauna, and peoples.

Portugal and its Brazilian subjects had divergent interests in responding to the Dutch. When the Duke of Bragança took the throne as João IV in 1640, his government faced the determination of Philip IV to reconquer Portugal, and he therefore needed to maintain peace with the rest of Europe. As much as the Portuguese economy needed the revenues from the sugar trade, the court had to face the reality that in Europe the Dutch dominated a good portion of that trade. Thus, if Por-tugal attacked Dutch-held Pernambuco, it would earn an enemy in Europe and lose access to the market. At the same time, the king understood the importance of Brazil when he called it his milk cow (vaca de leite ). Indeed, historian Charles Boxer asserted that Portugal's independence depended chiefly on the Brazil trade, which centered on sugar and slavery.

The Dutch did not show the same hesitation. In 1641 they seized Luanda, an important source of African slaves, in violation of a truce with Portugal. Holland now held sugar and slave ports in the South Atlantic and the distribution system in Europe. Although Lisbon could not merely abandon its subjects in Brazil, it realized that it would be foolhardy to fight for the sugar area without also regaining the source of African slaves.

The colonists in the Dutch-occupied area played their own game of deception. They borrowed Dutch money to restore their war-torn plantations and engenhos and to buy slaves, but they realized that their long-term interests lay in expelling the Dutch and with them their indebtedness. After 1645, together with the governor general in Bahia, they conspired, rebelled, and fought against the Dutch. Their victories of 1648 and 1649 at the Battle of Guararapes in the Recife area of Pernambuco are commemorated today. However, after nine years of war the scorched-earth tactics had ravaged the region. Although sugar prices rose in Europe, Brazilian planters could not respond and permanently lost their leading market position. The Dutch and English set up plantations in Suriname and Barbados, taking advantage of the techniques developed in Brazil and their better access to capital, merchant fleets, and the northern European market. Although there were years of recovery (1665-80, 1698-1710), sugar was no longer the foundation of the Brazilian economy. Northeastern Brazil entered into a long stagnation, and Portugal, which now depended heavily on Brazil after its losses to the Dutch in the East Indies, watched its economy deteriorate.

Brazil - Gold Mining Displaces Cane Farming

The decline in the sugar economy cut off the smaller Northeastern cane farmers from the customary paths to higher socioeconomic status, producing a situation in which this potentially powerful segment of the population no longer had reasons to support the traditional colonial society. The cane farmers had the same social origins as the wealthier planter and mill-owner class but generally were less independent financially, and now their future was darkened. As sugar prices fell, the planters and mill owners' response was vertical integration; stages of production were consolidated under the control of fewer firms. Purchases from independent cane farmers were reduced and their lands acquired. The situation was potentially explosive. Historian Stuart Schwartz commented that "at no time in Brazilian history had the conditions for a profound social upheaval been more suitable." But it did not occur for two reasons: the cane farmers did not rebel against the sugar barons for fear of encouraging a slave rebellion, and in addition, newly discovered gold fields to the south soon beckoned to free and slave populations. The removal of pressures for change solidified the hold of the great landowners on the coastal plantations.

Small deposits of alluvial gold had been exploited quietly for decades in <"http://worldfacts.us/Brazil-Sao-Paulo.htm">Sao Paulo and to the south. The Paulistas likely found more than they revealed, fearing that the greed of the Portuguese authorities would soon strip them of their semi-independence. The discovery of gold by Paulistas in various parts of what is now Minas Gerais (General Mines), between the Serra de Mantiqueira and the headwaters of the Rio Sao Francisco, probably occurred between 1693 and 1695, but word filtered out slowly. The greatest concentration of deposits was along Brazil's oldest geological formation, the Serra do Espinhaço, lying in a north-south direction, throughout which it seemed that every river, stream, and brook glittered with gold. Mining camps that turned into the cities of Ouro Prêto, Mariana, and Sabará soon located in its southern end, and by 1730 diamonds were coming out of the northern reaches around Diamantina.

Word of the discoveries set off an unprecedented rush, the likes of which would not be seen again until the California gold rush of 1849. The Paulistas soon found themselves competing for control with adventurers from the Northeast who streamed down the Vale Sao Francisco, from Portugal, and from elsewhere. By 1709-10 the Vale Sao Francisco had become a lawless region filled with the dregs of the Portuguese world. Considerable violence broke out between the original Paulista bandeirantes , who considered the mines theirs, and the outsiders (emboabas ). This fighting gave the crown authorities a reason for asserting royal control and arranging a settlement of the War of the Outsiders (Guerra dos Emboabas, 1708-09). Many Paulistas moved on to new gold discoveries in Goiás and Mato Grosso.

The discoveries shifted Brazil's center of gravity away from the Northeastern coast and toward the South and West. The loser would be Bahia, which in 1763 lost the viceregal capital to <"http://worldfacts.us/Brazil-Rio-De-Janeiro.htm"> Rio de Janeiro, as power followed wealth. The population also shifted, as would-be miners and those who would profit from the mines arrived with their native or African slaves. The Jesuit Father André João Antonil (whose Italian name was Giovanni Antonio Andreoni) wrote the best contemporary study of Brazilian economic and social conditions. He said that by 1709 some 30,000 people were in Minas Gerais. In the next decades, the population swelled. The 1735 tax records showed a total of 100,141 slaves, among whom there were numerous natives. By 1782 Minas Gerais's population of 319,769 included 166,995 blacks, 82,110 mulattoes, and 70,664 whites. The state had the largest concentration of population in the viceroyalty of Brazil: 20.5 percent of Brazil's 1,555,200 people.

The early population consisted predominantly of unruly males, who knew no law but their own whims and who drove their slaves hard in an existence that historian Charles Boxer tagged as "nasty, brutish, and short." Many African slaves reacted by running away to form hiding places called quilombos and were pursued by roughneck "bushwhacking captains" (capitães do mato ). However, during the first decades life could not have been easy for anyone. Items such as meat, corn, flour, and rum were rare and costly. The first local supply of hogs and chickens appeared only in 1723, and a flask of salt could cost as much as half a pound of gold.

By the last decades of the eighteenth century, however, the cities of Minas Gerais were graced with impressive baroque and rococo churches, multistoried homes and shops, and grand public buildings. Poets and musicians enlivened the cultural scene. Some 3,000 musicians, mostly mulattoes, played fine baroque pieces, often in churches built by architect Antonio Francisco Lisboa (also known as "O Aleijadinho") and under ceilings painted by Manuel da Costa Ataíde.

The overland trails from Sao Paulo and from Paratí were superseded by ones connecting to Rio de Janeiro. The new viceregal capital sent African slaves and European merchandise to Minas Gerais and received the heavily laden chests of gold and diamonds en route to Lisbon. Rio de Janeiro also served as the supply base for the newly created captaincies of Santa Catarina and Rio Grande de Sao Pedro, passing their livestock products on to Portugal. Those captaincies were linked overland to Sao Paulo and Minas Gerais via the livestock trails that ran northeast from the pampas of what was later called Rio Grande do Sul to Sorocaba in Sao Paulo Province.

Ranching had developed in the Northeastern interior as an adjunct to the sugar economy and in the South as the legacy of the Jesuit missions. In the eighteenth century, ranching was an increasingly important part of the overall colonial economy. The moving frontiers that it created drew the interior into effective relationships with European-oriented Brazil. From the interior of Maranhão, southeast through Piauí, Ceará, Pernambuco, and Bahia, then west into Goiás, and on down to Rio Grande do Sul, a set of cowboy (vaqueiro ) subcultures evolved that still mark local traditions. It was an age of leather in which the horse was the center of life. Many, perhaps most, of the vaqueiros were native Indians, mestizos, African slaves, and mulattoes. In the northern and central areas, slaves and free men worked together unsupervised for months at a time. In the South, the gaucho culture, mixing native, Spanish, and Portuguese bloodlines and traditions, took hold throughout the pampas of the Río de la Plata up into Rio Grande do Sul. In the latter state, by the mid-1820s cattle had driven out wheat farming, and the mounted gaucho with his bolas, knife, maté tea, and open-fire barbecued beef became characteristic.

Although gold mining weakened the dominance of sugar and seemingly stimulated the cattle industry, it did not totally supersede export agriculture. It displaced sugar as the colony's leading economic activity, but during the eighteenth century the value of gold exports never surpassed the value of sugar-led agricultural exports. Even so, gold did have serious long-term effects on Portugal. The fall in the value of Portugal's colonial products in the seventeenth century had made it difficult to obtain sufficient currency to purchase merchandise from northern Europe. In response, Portugal had begun to develop industries to meet its local and colonial requirements. The discovery of gold provided needed currency.

In 1703 Portugal signed the Methuen Treaty with England, giving English woolens preference in Portuguese markets in return for a favorable tariff on Portuguese wines. This seemingly simple arrangement ended the move toward industrial development, drained Brazilian gold out of Portugal, and gave England its increasing dominance over Portugal and Brazil. The gold and diamond chests arriving at the royal treasury in Lisbon immediately were dispatched north to pay for imported cloth and manufactured goods. Local Portuguese producers could not compete with cheaper foreign prices. Furthermore, English vessels anchored in the Tagus River in the Iberian Peninsula snatched large quantities of gold from under the noses of Portuguese authorities. Instead of Brazil's wealth being used to develop Portugal and its colonies, it helped finance the English industrial revolution and Portugal's eighteenth-century struggles to secure Brazilian boundaries.

Even though an immense amount of wealth was sent abroad, much stayed in Brazil to build urban public works, such as fountains, bridges, buildings, and churches; to endow some charitable foundations, such as hospitals; and to finance the elaborate contraband trade with the Río de la Plata and Alto Perú (Upper Peru, or present-day Bolivia). However, it did not improve the condition of the poor; generate a prosperous middle class; improve agriculture, education, or industry; or produce lasting reform.

In 1732 António Rodrigues da Costa, a member of the Overseas Council, warned the crown that the heavy colonial taxes would one day lead the colonists to cast off their loyalty. It was obvious to Rodrigues da Costa that the "larger and richer" would not accept forever being ruled by the "smaller and poorer." In 1738 royal adviser Dom Luís da Cunha suggested secretly to King João V that he take the title "emperor of the west" and move his court to Rio de Janeiro, which he argued was better situated than Lisbon to control the Portuguese maritime and commercial empire. Rather than heed such advice, however, the monarchy tried at mid-century to gain more control, stop the massive outflow of gold, and contain the British. Beginning in 1755, Marquês de Pombal (Count Sebastião José de Carvalho e Melo), as secretary of state for overseas dominions, shaped a series of reforms that gave chartered companies a monopoly of the Brazil trade, encouraged national manufacturers, and worked to make commercial relations with Britain less dependent and more reciprocal. His goal was to revitalize the state and to break the stranglehold of British credit. He closed Brazilian ports to all foreign ships and hired foreign military experts to organize Brazil's defenses. To promote agricultural growth, Pombal distributed coffee and mulberry seedlings and also advocated production of indigo, flax, cotton, cocoa, and rice. Iron mining and smelting got underway in Sao Paulo, and shipbuilding and its attendant trades in Bahia and Rio de Janeiro increased. With the British seizure of Havana and Manila during the Seven Years' War (1756-63), the Portuguese wondered if Rio de Janeiro would be next. The crown responded with four goals: secure the borders, populate them for self-defense, defend the ports, and make the mines profitable.

Pombal distrusted the Jesuits, who controlled vast areas in the interior of South America. He suspected commercial links between their prosperous missions and the British, and in September 1759 expelled them from Brazil. The expulsion of the Jesuits caused the missions to fall to ruin and eliminated the strongest educational institutions in Brazil. Crown policy forbade any university or even a printing press in the colony, and modern Brazilian universities date only from the 1930s.

The crown's education policy was based on the idea that colonial and metropolitan elites would blend to shape an imperial elite united by ideology in support of the crown. During the colonial era, 3,000 Brazilians studied at Portugal's University of Coimbra, which in 1772 Pombal reformed with Enlightenment perspectives. Between 1772 and 1785, 300 Brazilians, many from Minas Gerais, were at Coimbra. Pombal placed these graduates and other members of the colonial plutocracy in judicial, administrative, and military posts. However, policy intention and outcome often clashed. Some of these students and officials would begin to think in terms of independence.

The production of gold began to decline about 1750 as the Minas Gerais society was solidifying and as the international situation was becoming more complicated. The more the Portuguese squeezed and tried to reduce the contraband in gold and diamonds, the more the divergence of interests grew. In the 1770s, as less gold reached royal coffers, the crown reacted by imposing a per capita tax (derrama ) to make up the difference between the amounts expected and those received. Meanwhile, competition from British, French, and Dutch colonies pushed the price of Brazilian sugar down lower on the Amsterdam market, reducing still more Portuguese revenues. Moreover, the decline in available gold affected the contraband trade that the Brazilians had carried on with the Río de la Plata area, where they exchanged their illicit gold for Andean silver. The Brazilians then used the silver to buy illegal British goods, which they smuggled back into the Spanish domains. The elimination of the Jesuit missions, Spain's creation of the Viceroyalty of the Río de la Plata (1776), and the opening of direct trade between Spain and Buenos Aires further reduced the profitable trade in smuggled goods (see fig. 2). The decline in smuggling reduced transshipments of British goods through Portugal, reducing that country's overall level of trade with Britain catastrophically. The ensuing recession made it difficult to pay for the military expeditions sent to the southern borders during the 1770s, and the crown was unable to adjust expenditures in the face of declining revenues.

In Minas Gerais, landowners had manufacturing establishments on their properties turning out cotton, linen, and woolen items, and most of the other captaincies had "workshops and manufactories" that lessened the need to import from Portugal. The basis for a more complex textile industry was being laid.

Then, in February 1777, José I (king of Portugal, 1750-77) died, and with him went Pombal's hold on power and his common sense approach of encouraging industrial development. Pombal's successor as secretary of state for overseas dominions, Martinho de Melo e Castro, was alarmed that the nascent Brazilian factories could make the colony independent and warned that "Portugal without Brazil is an insignificant power." In January 1785, he ordered that they all be "closed and abolished."

In the early 1780s, Brazilian students at Coimbra had pledged themselves to seek independence. They were influenced greatly by the success of the North American British colonies in forming the United States of America. In 1786 and 1787, José Joaquim Maia e Barbalho of Rio de Janeiro, a Coimbra graduate studying medicine at Montpelier and a critic of the colonial relationship, approached Ambassador Thomas Jefferson in France. He told Jefferson that the students intended to break with Portugal and requested the aid of the United States. One of the Coimbra graduates was José Bonifácio de Andrada e Silva, the patriarch of Brazilian independence.

The failed Minas Conspiracy (Inconfidência Mineira) of 1789 involved some of the leading figures of the captaincy: tax collectors, priests, military officers, judges, government officials, and mine owners and landowners. Some had been born in Portugal, several had their early education with the Jesuits and later studied at Coimbra, a number wrote poetry that is still read and studied. But what they had most in common were financial problems caused by crown policies that required them to pay their debts, or that cut them out of lucrative gold and diamond contraband trade. They argued that Brazil had all it needed to survive and prosper and that Portugal was a parasite. They pledged to lift restrictions on mining; exploit iron ore; set up factories; create a university, a citizens' militia, and a Parliament; pardon debts to the royal treasury; free slaves born in Brazil; and form a union with Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro similar to that of the United States.

The history of the Minas Conspiracy is full of heavy drama. Revelation of the conspiracy turned brothers, friends, clients, and patrons against each other in an unseemly scramble to escape punishment. In one sense, the affair foreshadowed the nature of future Brazilian revolutionary movements in that it was a conspiracy of oligarchs seeking their own advantage, while claiming to act for the people. In the end, Lisbon decided to make an example of only one person, a low-ranked second lieutenant (alferes ) of the Royal Mineiro Dragoons named Joaquim José da Silva Xavier ("Tiradentes"). His execution in 1792 in Rio de Janeiro might well have been forgotten if the nineteenth-century republicans had not embraced him as a symbolic counterpoise to Dom Pedro I, who declared Brazilian independence from Portugal in 1822. Later, with the establishment of the republic in 1889, every town and city in Brazil built a Tiradentes square, and the day of his execution, April 21, became a well-commemorated national holiday. Nonetheless, because the Minas Conspiracy was marked more by skulduggery than nobility and clarity, its value as a national symbol required selective interpretation and presentation.

Portugal resolved to watch Brazilians more carefully and reacted forcefully to a nonexistent but suspected plot in Rio de Janeiro in 1794, and to a real, mulatto-led one in Bahia in 1798. Meanwhile, the French Revolution, the resulting slave rebellion in Haiti, and the fear of similar revolts in Brazil convinced the Brazilian elites that the dream of a United States-style conservative revolution that would leave the slave-based socioeconomic structure intact and in their hands was impossible. The crown separated the residents of Minas Gerais from the revived coastal sugar producers through policies that set their interests at odds. Lisbon diverted Brazilian nationalism with greater imperial involvement.

Brazil - The Transition to Kingdom Status

With the onset of the Napoleonic Wars, some Portuguese officials again raised the idea of moving the crown to the safety of Brazil. Dom Luís da Cunha's prophetic suggestion in 1738 that Rio de Janeiro was "safer and more convenient" made great sense as the French army approached Lisbon in November 1807. The British in 1801 had recommended transfer to Brazil in the event of an invasion and had promised to provide protection for the voyage and assistance in extending and consolidating Portuguese territory in South America. In 1803 the Lisbon government, faced with the increasingly deadly struggle between France and Britain, had reconsidered the idea. The choice was between losing Portugal to the French and having the British seize Brazil, or moving the crown to Brazil, from which the struggle for Portugal could be resumed. In any case, the royal government did not move until Portugal was actually invaded in late 1807.

At the time, the monarch was Queen Maria I, but because of mental illness triggered by her horror at the regicide in Paris, her son Dom João ruled as regent. His wife was Dona Carlota Joaquina, a Spanish princess and mother to their nine children, among whom the most important for Brazilian history was Pedro de Alcântara de Bragança e Bourbon. Dom João opened Brazilian ports to world commerce, allowing British goods to stream in, and eliminating the Portuguese middlemen. Rio de Janeiro substituted for Lisbon in a centralized system that placed the various captaincies in subservient positions to the new center. For the Brazilian elites, the transfer of the court meant that they could have conservative political change without social disorder. And best of all, depending on their proximity to the court, they had the chance to obtain the titles and honors that they felt their wealth had earned them. However, the pleasure of the elites was mixed with some frustration because now the monarch was close enough to keep an attentive watch on how they conducted their affairs. And with the court in Rio de Janeiro, the demands of international politics were more keenly felt.

Portugal and the Bragança dynasty were obligated deeply to the British. The British not only saved the royal family and some 15,000 courtiers but also lent US$3 million in 1809 to keep the government functioning. The British also liberated Portugal from the French and reorganized the Portuguese army. In addition, one of their officers ruled as regent in Lisbon. The Portuguese therefore had little with which to bargain when negotiating treaties. In 1810 Dom João signed agreements not only giving the British trade preferences and allowing them privileges of extraterritoriality but also promising to abolish the African slave trade. The last cut directly at the interests of the propertied classes, on whom the crown depended.

The crown had to duplicate, mostly from scratch, the government institutions it had left behind in Lisbon. It set up a Supreme Military Council (Conselho Militar Superior); boards of treasury, trade, agriculture, and industry; a Court of Appeals; a royal printing press and official newspaper; and the Bank of Brazil (Banco do Brasil). It created medical schools in Bahia and Rio de Janeiro, a school of fine arts, a museum of natural history, a public library, and the Botanical Garden (Jardim Botânico) in Rio de Janeiro. It also set up specialized courses of study in the Minas Gerais towns of Ouro Prêto and Paracatu. Most of the fleet had been transferred, but a new army was organized, naval and military academies were established, and arsenals created. The crown built a powder factory and an ironworks. It dealt with public safety by forming the Royal Police Guard, which brutalized slaves, sailors, drunks, gamblers, and prostitutes into submission. The crown also opened Brazil to European travelers, naturalists, scientists, and artists, who left a detailed picture of its life and landscape.

Curiously, by staying in Brazil after the British liberated Portugal from the French in 1811, the crown was keeping British influence under some control, because here it was removed both from Britain and the British-commanded Portuguese army. In 1815 the crown, determined to set its own course, raised Brazil to a kingdom equal with Portugal and acclaimed João as king when his mother died in 1816. The crown gained further maneuverability by arranging marriages between the two princesses and the Spanish King Fernando VII and his brother, and more important, between Crown Prince Pedro and the daughter of Franz I of Austria, the Archduchess Leopoldina.

Brazil - The Kingdom of Portugal and Brazil, 1815-21

Portuguese businessmen who invested locally in Brazil, nobles and government officials who built expensive homes there, and those who married into provincial wealth shared a common interest in remaining. Indeed, what took shape was a new concept of a dual monarchy of Brazil and Portugal, which even under the best of circumstances would have been difficult to make work. It was an expedient idea that would founder because of resistance by those in Portugal who saw their status and that of the kingdom endangered; by the British, who wanted the king back in Lisbon, where he was more vulnerable; and by the unwillingness of Brazilians to suffer the indignity of being returned to colonial rank.

The centralization of power in <"http://worldfacts.us/Brazil-Rio-De-Janeiro.htm"> Rio de Janeiro met with violent resistance in the Northeast. When Pernambuco raised the banner of republican rebellion in 1817, it was followed by Paraíba do Norte, Rio Grande do Norte, and the south of Ceará, each of which acted to defend local interests without thought of federating. They resented their loss of autonomy to Rio de Janeiro and the Portuguese who had settled in the Northeast since 1808. Significantly, although they sent envoys to secure recognition from Britain and the United States and to spread the revolt to Bahia, they did not send agents to central or southern Brazil. The revolt was crushed brutally. Although unsuccessful, the 1817 "Pernambuccan revolution" shook the monarchy's foundations because it had pushed aside authority and tarnished the crown's aura of invincibility. In desperation, the monarchy responded by banning all secret societies and by garrisoning Rio de Janeiro, Salvador, and Recife with fresh troops from Portugal.

Meanwhile, the monarchy was waging war in the Río de la Plata. King João regarded the East Bank of the Río de la Plata (present-day Uruguay) as the proper and true boundary of Brazil. Over British objections, he brought veteran troops from Portugal to seize Montevideo and to wage a wearing campaign (1816-20) against the forces of independence-minded José Gervasio Artigas, the father of Uruguay. The region was incorporated into the United Kingdom as the Cisplatine Province in 1821. Nonetheless, even as it was expanding, the United Kingdom, as the Rio de Janeiro royalists termed it, was suffering from pressures in Portugal itself.

The Pernambuccan revolution in 1817 encouraged army officers in Portugal to conspire against the regency of British Marshal William Carr Beresford. Twelve of the conspirators, including a general officer, were tried secretly and hanged. Anti-British sentiment deepened. In 1820, when a military revolt in Spain forced the revived absolutist regime of Fer-nando VII (1784-1833) to restore the liberal constitution of 1812, the Portuguese military followed suit by expelling the British officers and forming revolutionary juntas. The military petitioned the king's return and summoned a Côrtes (the Portuguese Parliament), the first since 1697 when the crown had dispensed with such bodies.

Unable to do more, João pardoned the juntas' usurpation of his prerogative to summon a Côrtes and acknowledged that a Côrtes could be useful in making proposals to him on how best to govern the United Kingdom. Then, in January 1821, Portuguese officers and troops, as well as Brazilian liberals, took over provincial governments in Bahia and Belém, and in late February, troops in Rio de Janeiro threw in with the movement and forced the king to take an oath to accept any constitution the Côrtes might write. In effect, Brazil was again being ruled from Portugal. A few days later, a royal decree announced that the king would return to Lisbon, leaving his twenty-four-year-old son Dom Pedro as regent in Brazil.

On April 25, 1821, twelve ships carrying the king and queen, 4,000 officials, diplomats, and families, as well as purloined funds and jewels from the Bank of Brazil, set course for Lisbon. The city and country that they left behind no longer constituted the closed colony of thirteen years before. Thanks to the surveys, expeditions, and studies that João had encouraged, Brazil's resources would be exploited at a steadily increasing pace, but in a fashion that tied the country more closely to the rapidly expanding industrial capitalism of the North Atlantic. Nonetheless, João VI and Queen Carlota exemplified the fading absolutist regime; their son Pedro would seek to be more modern by embracing the new ideas of liberal constitutionalism.

During the thirteen years that João resided in Rio de Janeiro, international trade expanded as reflected by the growing number of foreign ships anchoring in the bay: from ninety in 1808 to 354 in 1820. By 1820 Rio de Janeiro had more than 3,000 foreigners among its 113,000 inhabitants.

Rio de Janeiro also had coffee houses serving the product that would become the backbone of the economy. Expanding from seedlings nurtured in the Jardim Botânico, coffee cultivation spread from the Rio de Janeiro area over the Serra do Mar into the fertile upland valley, through which the Rio Paraíba flows from São Paulo easterly to the sea, dividing the provinces of Minas Gerais and Rio de Janeiro. On both sides of the river, the tropical forests were cut to make way for the coffee groves. Mule trains that once brought gold from Minas Gerais to Rio de Janeiro now carried coffee in quantities that swelled from 2,304 kilos in 1792 to 7,761,600 kilos in 1820, and would reach 82,178,395 kilos in 1850.

São Paulo's entry into the coffee age lay in the future, but in 1821 it was providing herds of mules and horses for the coffee pack trains. The Cisplatine and Rio Grande do Sul were shipping abroad hides, tallow, and dried meat. In contrast, the Northeast and North were in decline because an 1815 treaty between Brazil and Britain forbade the African slave trade north of the equator, thereby reducing the demand for Bahian molasses-soaked rolled tobacco, and because Cuban competition slashed deeply into the Northeast's sugar market in the United States and Europe. Even cotton, which a few years before seemed a secure export for Maranhão, was overwhelmed by the post-War of 1812 expansion in the southern United States. The world demand for Amazonian nuts, cocoa, skins, herbs, spices, and rubber was still weak in 1821. Finally, in the Brazilian west (Mato Grosso and Goiás) gold mining had all but ended, and subsistence farming and livestock raising were predominant. Throughout the country, but more so from Bahia through Minas Gerais to Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, the labor force was made up of African or locally born black slaves. The native heritage lived on in the substantial number of Tupí-speaking races and mixtures that lived in the tropical forest region.

Brazil - The Empire, 1822-89

Emperor Pedro I, 1822-31

Dom Pedro meant to rule frugally and started by cutting his own salary, centralizing scattered government offices, and selling off most of the royal horses and mules. He issued decrees that eliminated the royal salt tax to spur output of hides and dried beef, forbade arbitrary seizure of private property, required a judge's warrant for arrests of freemen, and banned secret trials, torture, and other indignities. He also sent elected deputies to the Côrtes in Portugal. However, slaves continued to be bought and sold and disciplined with force, despite his assertion that their blood was the same color as his. In September 1821, the Côrtes, with only a portion of the Brazilian delegates present, voted to abolish the Kingdom of Brazil and the royal agencies in Rio de Janeiro and to make all the provinces subordinate directly to Lisbon. Portugal sent troops to Brazil and placed all Brazilian units under Portuguese command. In January 1822, tension between Portuguese troops and the Luso-Brazilians (Brazilians born in Portugal) turned violent when Pedro accepted petitions from Brazilian towns begging him to refuse the Côrtes's order to return to Lisbon. Responding to their pressure and to the argument that his departure and the dismantling of the central government would trigger separatist movements, he vowed to stay. The Portuguese "lead feet," as the Brazilians called the troops, rioted before concentrating their forces on Cerro Castello, which was soon surrounded by thousands of armed Brazilians. Dom Pedro "dismissed" the Portuguese commanding general and ordered him to remove his soldiers across the bay to Niteroi, where they awaited transport to Portugal. Pedro formed a new government headed by José Bonifácio de Andrada e Silva of São Paulo. This former royal official and professor of science at Coimbra was crucial to the subsequent direction of events and is regarded as one of the formative figures of Brazilian nationalism, indeed, as the patriarch of independence.

The atmosphere was so charged that Dom Pedro sought assurances of asylum on a British ship in case he lost the looming confrontation; he also sent his family to safety out of the city. In the following days, the Portuguese commander delayed embarcation, hoping that expected reinforcements would arrive. However, the reinforcements that arrived off Rio de Janeiro on March 5, 1822, were not allowed to land. Instead, they were given supplies for the voyage back to Portugal. This round had been won without bloodshed.

Blood had been shed in Recife in the Province of Pernambuco, when the Portuguese garrison there had been forced to depart in November 1821. In mid-February 1822, Bahians revolted against the Portuguese forces there but were driven into the countryside, where they began guerrilla operations, signaling that the struggle in the north would not be without loss of life and property. To secure Minas Gerais and São Paulo, where there were no Portuguese troops but where there were doubts about independence, Dom Pedro engaged in some royal populism.

Towns in Minas Gerais had expressed their loyalty at the time of Pedro's vow to remain, save for the junta in Ouro Prêto, the provincial capital. Pedro realized that unless Minas Gerais were solidly with him, he would be unable to broaden his authority to other provinces. With only a few companions and no ceremony or pomp, Pedro plunged into Minas Gerais on horseback in late March 1822, receiving enthusiastic welcomes and allegiances everywhere. Back in Rio de Janeiro on May 13, he proclaimed himself the "perpetual defender of Brazil" and shortly thereafter called a Constituent Assembly (Assembléia Constituinte) for the next year. To deepen his base of support, he joined the freemasons, who, led by José Bonifácio Andrada e Silva, were pressing for parliamentary government and independence. More confident, in early August he called on the Brazilian deputies in Lisbon to return, decreed that Portuguese forces in Brazil should be treated as enemies, and issued a manifesto to "friendly nations." The manifeso read like a declaration of independence.

Seeking to duplicate his triumph in Minas Gerais, Pedro rode to São Paulo in August to assure himself of support there and began a disastrous affair with Domitila de Castro that would later weaken his government. Returning from an excursion to Santos, Pedro received messages from his wife and from Andrada e Silva that the Côrtes considered his government traitorous and was dispatching more troops. In a famous scene at Ipiranga on September 7, 1822, he had to choose between returning to Portugal in disgrace or opting for independence. He tore the Portuguese blue and white insignia from his uniform, drew his sword, and swore: "By my blood, by my honor, and by God: I will make Brazil free." Their motto, he said, would be "Independence or Death!"

Pedro's government employed Admiral Thomas Alexander Cochrane, one of Britain's most successful naval commanders in the Napoleonic Wars and recently commander of the Chilean naval forces against Spain. Pedro's government also hired a number of Admiral Cochrane's officers and French General Pierre Labatut, who had fought in Colombia. These men were to lead the fight to drive the Portuguese out of Bahia, Maranhão, and Pará, and to force those areas to replace Lisbon's rule with that of Rio de Janeiro. Money from customs at Rio de Janeiro's port and local donations outfitted the army and the nine-vessel fleet. The use of foreign mercenaries brought needed military skills. The much-feared Cochrane secured Maranhão with a single warship, despite the Portuguese military's attempt to disrupt the economy and society with a scorched-earth campaign and with promises of freedom for the slaves. By mid-1823 the contending forces numbered between 10,000 and 20,000 Portuguese, some of whom were veterans of the Napoleonic Wars, versus 12,000 to 14,000 Brazilians, mostly in militia units from the Northeast.

Some historians have erred in supporting historian Manuel de Oliveira Lima's contention that independence came without bloodshed. In fact, although both sides avoided massive set battles, they did engage in guerrilla tactics, demonstrations, and countermoves. There is little information on casualties, but the fighting provided a female martyr in Mother Joana Angélica, who was bayoneted to death by Portuguese troops invading her convent in Bahia; and an example of female grit in Maria Quitéria de Jesus, who, masquerading as a man, joined the imperial army and achieved distinction in several battles.

Britain and Portugal recognized Brazilian independence by signing a treaty on August 29, 1825. Until then, the Brazilians feared that Portugal would resume its attack. Portuguese retribution, however, came in a financial form. Secret codicils of the treaty with Portugal required that Brazil assume payment of 1.4 million pounds sterling owed to Britain and indemnify Dom João VI and other Portuguese for losses totaling 600,000 pounds sterling. Brazil also renounced future annexation of Portuguese African colonies, and in a side treaty with Britain promised to end the slave trade. Neither of these measures pleased the slave-holding planters.

Organizing the new government quickly brought the differences between the emperor and his leading subjects to the fore. In 1824 Pedro closed the Constituent Assembly that he had convened because he believed that body was endangering liberty. As assembly members, his advisers, José Bonifácio de Andrada e Silva and Dom Pedro's brothers, had written a draft constitution that would have limited the monarch by making him equal to the legislature and judiciary, similar to the president of the United States. They wanted the emperor to push the draft through without discussion, which Pedro refused to do. Troops surrounded the assembly as he ordered it dissolved. He then produced a constitution modeled on that of Portugal (1822) and France (1814). It specified indirect elections and created the usual three branches of government but also added a fourth, the moderating power, to be held by the emperor. The moderating power would give the emperor authority to name senators and judges and to break deadlocks by summoning and dismissing parliaments and cabinets. He also had treaty-making and treaty-ratifying power. Pedro's constitution was more liberal than the assembly's in its religious toleration and definition of individual and property rights, but less so in its concentration of power in the emperor.

The constitution was more acceptable in the flourishing, coffee-driven Southeastern provinces than in the Northeastern sugar and cotton areas, where low export prices and the high cost of imported slaves were blamed on the coffee-oriented government. In mid-1824, with Pernambuco and Ceará leading, five Northeastern provinces declared independence as the Confederation of the Equator, but by year's end the short-lived separation had been crushed by Admiral Cochrane. With the Northeast pacified, violence now imperiled the South.

In 1825 war flared again over the Cisplatine Province, this time with Buenos Aires determined to annex the East Bank. The empire could little afford the troops, some of whom were recruited in Ireland and Germany, or the sixty warships needed to blockade the Río de la Plata. A loan from London bankers was expended by 1826, and Pedro had to call the General Assembly to finance the war. The blockade raised objections from the United States and Britain, and reverses on land in 1827 made it necessary to negotiate an end to the US$30 million Cisplatine War. The war at least left Uruguay independent instead of an Argentine province. In June 1828, harsh discipline and xenophobia provoked a mutiny of mercenary troops in Rio de Janeiro; the Irish were shipped home and the Germans sent to the South. The army was reduced to 15,000 members, and the antislavery Pedro, now without military muscle, faced a Parliament controlled by slaveowners and their allies.

As coffee exports rose steadily, so did the numbers of imported slaves; in Rio de Janeiro alone they soared from 26,254 in 1825 to 43,555 in 1828. In 1822 about 30 percent, or 1 million, of Brazil's population were African-born or -descended slaves. Slavery was so pervasive that beggars had slaves, and naval volunteers took theirs aboard ship.

Pedro had written that slavery was a "cancer that is gnawing away at Brazil" and that no one had the right to enslave another. He wanted to abolish slavery, but his own liberal constitution gave the law-making authority to the slavocrat-controlled Parliament. In Brazil liberal principles and political formulas were given special meaning. The language of social contract, popular sovereignty, supremacy of law, universal rights, division of powers, and representative government was stripped of its revolutionary content and applied only to a select, privileged minority.

After 1826 the slavocrat agenda was to control the court system; to provide harsh punishments for slave rebellion but mild ones for white revolt; to reduce the armed forces, cleansing them of foreigners unsympathetic to slavery; to keep tariffs low and eliminate the Bank of Brazil in order to deny the central government the ability to stimulate a rival, finance-based industrial capitalism; and to shape immigration policy in such a way as to encourage servile labor instead of independent farmers or craftsmen. Led by Bernardo Pereira de Vasconcelos of Minas Gerais in the assembly, slavocrats argued that slavery was not demoralizing, that foreign capital and technology would not help Brazil, and that railroads would only rust. Others, such as Nicolau de Campos Vergueiro of São Paulo, argued in favor of replacing slavery with free European immigrants. In the end, the Parliament established a contract system that was little better than slavery. There would be no liberal empire. Laws and decrees unacceptable to the slavocrats simply would not take effect, such as the order in 1829 forbidding slave ships to sail for Africa. These items of the slavocrat agenda were the roots of the regional rebellions of the nineteenth century.

After Dom João's death in 1826, despite Pedro's renunciation of his right to the Portuguese throne in favor of his daughter, Brazilian nativist radicals falsely accused the emperor of plotting to overthrow the constitution and to proclaim himself the ruler of a reunited Brazil and Portugal. They raised tensions by provoking street violence against the Portuguese of Rio de Janeiro and agitated for a federalist monarchy that would give the provinces self-government and administrative autonomy. Brazil's fate was in the hands of a few people concentrated in the capital who spread false stories and undermined discipline in the army and police. It would not be the last time that events in Rio de Janeiro would shape the future. When Pedro dismissed his cabinet in April 1831, street and military demonstrators demanded its reinstatement in violation of his constitutional prerogatives. He refused, saying: "I will do anything for the people but nothing [forced] by the people." With military units assembled on the Campo Santana, an assembly ground in Rio de Janeiro, and people in the streets shouting "death to the tyrant," he backed down. Failing to form a new cabinet, he abdicated in favor of his five-year-old son Pedro II, boarded a British warship, and left Brazil as he had arrived, under the Union Jack.

Brazil - The Regency Era, 1831-40

The three regents that ruled in the young emperor's name from 1831 to 1840 witnessed a period of turmoil as local factions struggled to gain control of their provinces and to keep the masses in line. Out of desperation to weaken the radical appeals for federalism, republicanism, and hostility toward the Portuguese, and to protect against contrary calls for Pedro I's restoration, the regency in Rio de Janeiro gave considerable power to the provinces in 1834. Brazil took on the appearance of a federation of local pátrias (autonomous centers of regional power) with loose allegiance to the Rio de Janeiro government, whose function was to defend them from external attack and to maintain order and balance among them. The government's ability to carry out that function was impaired, however, by the low budgets allowed the army and navy, and by the creation of a National Guard, whose officers were local notables determined to protect their private and regional interests. The rebellions, riots, and popular movements that marked the next years did not spring as much from economic misery as from attempts to share in the prosperity stemming from North Atlantic demand for Brazil's exports.

Many of the disturbances were so fleeting they were all but forgotten. For example, in Rio de Janeiro alone there were five uprisings in 1831 and 1832. Another eight of the more famous revolts in the 1834-49 period included the participation of lower-class people, Indians, free and runaway blacks, and slaves, which accounts for their often fierce suppression. Republican objectives were apparent in some of these revolts, such as the War of the Farrapos (ragamuffins), also known as the Farroupilha Rebellion (1835-45), in Santa Catarina and Rio Grande do Sul. Others, such as the Cabanagem in Pará in 1835-37, the Sabinada in Salvador in 1837-38, the Balaiada Rebellion in Maranhao in 1838-41, and the ones in Minas Gerais and São Paulo in 1842, were propelled simultaneously by antiregency and promonarchial sentiments. Such unrest dispels the notion that the history of state formation in Brazil was peaceful. Instead, it shows the confrontation between the national government and the splintering pátrias , which would continue in varying degrees for the next century.

Pedro I's death from tuberculosis in 1834 had sapped the restorationist impulse and removed the glue that held uneasy political allies together. With the regency attempting to suppress simultaneous revolts in the South and North, it could not easily reassert its supremacy over the remaining provinces. Brazil could well have split apart in those years. It did not for three reasons. First, the military was reorganized as an instrument of national unity under the leadership of Luís Alves de Lima e Silva, who was ennobled as the Duke of Caxias (Duque de Caxias) and who would later be proclaimed Patron of the Brazilian Army. Second, the specter of slave revolt and social disintegration had become all too real. And third, the "vision of Brazil as a union of autonomous pátrias ," in Roderick J. Barman's phrase, was replaced by the vision of Brazil as a nation-state. Rather than risk their fortunes and lives, the elites, longing for a focus of loyalty, identity, and authority, rallied around the boy-emperor, who ascended the throne on July 18, 1841, at age fifteen instead of the constitutionally specified age of eighteen. Thus, the second empire was born in the hope that it would be an instrument of national unity, peace, and prosperity.

Brazil - The Second Empire, 1840-89

In the 1840s, the Brazilian nation-state coalesced as authorities suppressed revolts and rewrote Brazilian law. These laws, however, did not bode well for democracy because they shaped an electoral system based on government-controlled fraud. In 1842, on the advice of conservative courtiers, Pedro II used his constitutional moderating power to dismiss the newly elected liberal Chamber of Deputies and called new elections, which the conservatives won by stuffing the ballot boxes. In so doing, he set a pattern of favoring conservatives over liberals.

The constitution of 1824 had created the usual three governmental powers--executive, legislative, and judicial--and a fourth, the moderating power. The emperor held this power, which gave him the right to name senators, to dismiss the legislature, and to shift control of the government from one party to the other. In theory, he was to act as the political balance wheel. It should be noted that the parties were more groupings of members of Parliament than ideologically based movements dependent on distinct electorates. Historian Richard Graham observed that "No particular political philosophy distinguished one group from another." Then, as now, the political system had an artificial aspect to it; it did not relate openly to the real power structure of the country--the "lords of the land" (senhores da terra ) who ran local affairs.

A good example of how the real power holders manipulated the system to protect their narrow interests to the detriment of the national interest was the Land Law of 1850, which set the pattern for modern landholding. The Land Law ended the colonial practice of obtaining land through squatting or royal grants and limited acquisition to purchase, thereby restricting the number of people who could become owners. By creating obstacles to landownership, the law's framers hoped to force free labor to work for existing landlords. However, proprietors sabotaged the law by not surveying their lands and not resolving their conflicting claims in order to keep titles cloudy and hence in their hands. One result of the uncertain titles was that slaves were used as collateral.

Also in 1850, British pressure finally forced the Brazilian government to outlaw the African slave trade. London, tiring of Brazilian subterfuge, authorized its navy to seize slave ships in Brazilian waters, even in ports. Rather than risk open war with Britain, paralyzation of commerce, widespread slave unrest, and destabilization of the empire, the government outlawed the African slave trade. It deported a number of Portuguese slavers and instructed the provincial presidents, police, judges, and military to crack down. Over the next five years, even clandestine landings stopped, and despite the tempting rise of slave prices in the coffee districts of Rio de Janeiro Province, the trans-Atlantic trade ended. Although the British claimed credit, it should be noted that for the first time a Brazilian government had the power to enforce a law along the length of the coast. Also, internal support for the trade had weakened. Most slave importers were Portuguese, who had been selling the ever more expensive Africans to landowners on credit at climbing interest rates, in some cases forcing the latter into insolvency and loss of property. Xenophobia and the debts of the landed classes combined to support the government action.

Ending the slave trade had a number of consequences. First, because labor needs increased in Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo as the world demand for coffee rose, Northeastern planters sold their surplus slaves to Southern growers. In addition, Parliament passed laws encouraging European immigration, as well as the Land Law of 1850. Second, ending the slave trade freed capital that could then be used for investment in transport and industrial enterprises. Third, it ensured that Britain did not interfere in Brazil's military intervention to end the rule in Buenos Aires of Juan Manuel de Rosas (president of Argentina, 1829-33, 1835-52).

Coffee dominated exports in the last half of the nineteenth century, going from 50 percent of exports in 1841-50 to 59.5 percent in 1871-80. But sugar exports also increased, and cotton, tobacco, cocoa, rubber, and maté were important. The vast cattle herds that grazed the Northeastern sertão , the plains (cerrado ) of Minas Gerais, and the pampas of Rio Grande do Sul foreshadowed Brazil's status in 1990 as the world's second largest meat exporter. Meat-salting plants (saladeros ) in Rio Grande do Sul shipped sun-dried beef to the expanding coffee-growing region to feed its slaves and freed tenant farmers (colonos ). In addition to beef, Brazilians ate protein-rich beans, rice, and corn, much of which came from Minas Gerais or the immigrant colonies of Rio Grande do Sul. Interregional trade was budding, but for the most part local self-sufficiency was the norm. Indeed, more people produced food for the domestic market than labored on export crops.

Expanding coffee production in the 1850s and 1860s attracted British investment in railroads to speed transport of the beans to the coast. The Santos-São Paulo Railroad (1868) was the first major breach of the coastal escarpment, which had slowed development of the Southern plateau. Similarly, in the Northeast railroads began to cut into the interior from the coast. But generally the pattern was to connect a port with its export-oriented hinterland, creating a series of enclaves that were connected with each other by sea. Well into the twentieth century, Brazil lacked railroads and highways linking its major regions, urban areas, and economic zones. The country was laced together by intricate networks of mule trails that moved goods and people throughout the vast interior. Viewed as archaic by modern observers, the mule train trails nonetheless were important in Brazil's formation, tying the various regions together and spreading a common language and culture.

The empire had lost the East Bank of the Río de la Plata with the founding of Uruguay in 1828, but it continued to meddle in that republic's affairs. Brazil's most important businessman, Irineu Evangelista de Sousa, the Visconde de Mauá, had such heavy financial interests there that his company was effectively the Uruguayan government's bank. Other Brazilians owned about 400 large estates (estancias ) that took up nearly a third of the country's territory. They objected to the taxes the Uruguayans imposed when they drove their cattle back and forth to Rio Grande do Sul, and they took sides in the constant fighting between Uruguay's Colorado and Blanco political factions, which later became the Colorado Party and the National Party (Blancos). Some of Rio Grande do Sul's gauchos did not accept Uruguayan independence in 1828 and continually sought intervention.

In the mid-1860s, the imperial government conspired with Buenos Aires authorities to replace the Blanco regime in Montevideo with a Colorado one. The Blancos appealed to Paraguayan dictator Francisco Solano López (president, 1862-70), who harbored his own fears of the two larger countries and who regarded a threat to Uruguay as a menace to Paraguay. A small landlocked country, Paraguay had the largest army in the region: 64,000 soldiers compared with Brazil's standing army of 18,000. In 1864 Brazil and Argentina agreed to act together should Solano López attempt to save the Blancos. In September 1864, wrongly convinced that he would not be so foolish, the Brazilians sent troops into Uruguay to put the Colorados in power. Each side miscalculated the intentions, capabilities, and will of the other. Paraguay reacted by seizing Brazilian vessels on the Rio Paraguai and by attacking the province of Mato Grosso. Solano López, mistakenly expecting help from anti-Buenos Aires caudillos, sent his forces into Corrientes to get at Rio Grande do Sul and Uruguay and found himself at war with both Argentina and Brazil. In May 1865, those two countries and Colorado-led Uruguay signed an alliance that aimed to transfer contested Paraguayan territory to the larger countries, to open Paraguayan rivers to international trade, and to remove Solano López. By September 1865, the allies had driven the Paraguayans out of Rio Grande do Sul, and they took the war into Paraguay when that country spurned their peace overtures.

Fiercely defending their homeland, the Guaraní-speaking Paraguayans defeated the allies at Curupaití in September 1866. The Argentine president, General Bartolomé Mitre (1861-68), took the bulk of his troops home to quell opposition to his war policy, leaving the Brazilians to soldier on. The famed General Lima e Silva, Marquis and later Duke of Caxias, took command of the allied forces and led them until the fall of Asunción in early 1869. With stubborn determination, the Brazilians pursued Solano López until they cornered and killed him. They then occupied Paraguay until 1878.

The war dragged on for several reasons. First, the Paraguayans were better prepared at the outset and conducted an effective offensive into the territories of their adversaries, immediately handing them defeats. Even later, when pushed back onto their own land, they had the advantages of knowing the ground, of having prepared defenses, and of fielding stubbornly loyal troops. Second, it took the Brazilians considerable time to marshal their forces and considerable effort and cost to keep them supplied. Third, the Argentines, hoping to improve their postwar situation in relation to Brazil, delayed operations partly to force the empire to weaken itself by expending its resources. Fourth, this was the era of "unconditional surrender." It was militarily fashionable to pursue Solano López to the bitter end.

The war had important consequences for Brazil and the Río de la Plata region. It left Brazil and Argentina facing each other over a prostrate Paraguay and a dependent Uruguay, a situation that would soon turn into a tense rivalry that repeatedly assumed warlike postures. Historians debate the number of Paraguayan casualties, some asserting that 50 percent of Paraguayans were killed, others arguing that it was much less, possibly 8 to 9 percent of the prewar population total. Nonetheless, the losses from battle, disease, and starvation were severe and disrupted the development of the republic. In Brazil the war contributed to the growth of manufacturing, to the professionalization of the armed forces and their concentration in Rio Grande do Sul, to the building of roads and the settling of European immigrants in the southern provinces, and to the increased power of the central government. Most important for the future, the war brought the military firmly into the political arena. Military officers were keenly aware that the war had exposed the military's lack of equipment, training, and organization. Officers blamed these shortcomings on civilian officials. In the next decades, reformist officers seeking to modernize the army would criticize the Brazilian political structure and its peculiar culture as obstacles to modernization.

The end of the war coincided with the resurgence of republicanism as disenchanted liberals cast about for a new route to power. The 1867 collapse of the short-lived, French-sponsored Mexican monarchy of Maximilian left Brazil as the hemisphere's only monarchial regime. And because Argentina appeared to prosper in the 1870s and 1880s, it served as a powerful advertisement for republican government. The republican ideology spread in urban areas and in provinces, such as São Paulo and Rio Grande do Sul, where the people did not believe they benefited from imperial economic policies. The republican manifesto of 1870 proclaimed that "We are in America and we want to be Americans." Monarchy was, the writers asserted, hostile to the interests of the American states and would be a continuous source of conflict with Brazil's neighbors. The republicans embraced the abolition of slavery to remove the stigma of Brazil's being the only remaining slaveholding country (save for Spanish Cuba) in the hemisphere. It was not so much that they believed that slavery was wrong as that it gave the country an image distasteful to Europeans. Abolition, which would come in 1888, did not imply that liberals wanted deep social reform or desired a democratic society. Indeed, their arguments against slavery were weighted toward efficiency rather than morality. Once in power, the republicans looked to discipline the legally free work force with various systems of social control.

The Brazilian social system functioned through intertwined networks of patronage, familial relationships, and friendships. The state, capitalist economy, and institutions such as the church and the army developed within what historian Emília Viotti da Costa has called, "the web of patronage." Contacts and favor rather than ability determined success in virtually all occupations. Brazilian society was, and still is, one in which a person could not advance without friends and family; hence, the continued importance of kinship networks (parentelas ), godfathers (compadres ) and godmothers (comadres ), and military school classes (turmas ). Such a social system did not lend itself to reform.

The 1870s and 1880s saw a crisis in each of the three pillars of the imperial regime--the church, the military, and the slaveholding system. Together, these crises represented the failure of the regime to adapt without alienating its base. In the 1870s, Rome pressured Brazil's Roman Catholic Church to conform to the conservative reforms of Vatican Council I, which strengthened the power of the pontiff by declaring him infallible in matters of faith and morals. This effort by Rome to unify doctrine and practice worldwide conflicted with royal control of the church in Brazil. The crown had inherited the padroado , or right of ecclesiastical patronage, from its Portuguese predecessor. This right gave the crown control over the church, which imperial authorities treated as an arm of the state. Although some clerics had displayed republican sentiments earlier in the century, a church-state crisis exploded in the mid-1870s over efforts to Europeanize the church.

The importance of the military crisis is clearer because it removed the armed prop of the regime. After the Paraguayan War (1864-70), the monarchy was indifferent to the army, which the civilian elite did not perceive as a threat. The fiscal problems of the 1870s slowed promotions to a crawl, salaries were frozen, and officers complained about having to contribute to a widows' fund from their meager salaries. Moreover, the soldiers in the ranks were considered the dregs of society, discipline was based on the lash, and training seemed pointless. The gulf between the military and the civilian oligarchies broadened. The political parties were as indifferent as the government to demands for military reform, for obligatory military service, for better armament, and for higher pay and status. During the 1870s, the discontent was checked by the National Guard's reduced role; by an unsuccessful but welcomed attempt to improve the recruitment system; and, especially, by the cabinet service of war heroes, including the Duke of Caxias as prime minister (1875-78) and Marshal Manuel Luís Osório, the Marquis of Herval, as minister of war (1878). But the latter died in 1879 and Caxias the year after, leaving leadership to officers less committed to the throne. The junior officer ranks were filled with men from the middle sectors who had entered the army to obtain an education rather than to follow a military career. They were more concerned than their predecessors with social changes that would open opportunities to the lower middle class.

The officer corps was split into three generations. The oldest group had helped suppress the regional revolts of the 1830s and 1840s, had fought in Argentina in 1852, and had survived the Paraguayan War. The numerous mid-level officers were better schooled than their seniors and had been tested in combat in Paraguay. The junior officers had missed the war but had the most education of the three groups and had experienced the empire only when its defects had become clearly apparent. They were the least attached to the old regime and the most frustrated by the lack of advancement in a peacetime army cluttered with veterans of the great war.

Brazilian political tradition permitted officers to hold political office and to serve as cabinet ministers, thereby blurring the civil-military roles. As parliamentary deputies and senators, officers could criticize the government, including their military superiors, with impunity. In the 1880s, officers participated in provincial politics, debated in the press, and spoke in public forums. In 1884 a civilian minister of war attempted to impose order by forbidding officers to write or speak publicly about governmental matters. The subsequent punishments of offending officers led Field Marshal Manuel Deodoro da Fonseca and General José Antônio Correia de Câmara (Visconde de Pelotas) to head protests that eventually forced the minister to resign in February 1887 and the cabinet to fall in March 1888.

Even as the church and military crises were unfolding, the slavery issue shook the support of the landed elite. Members of the Liberal and Conservative Parties came from the same social groups: plantation owners (fazendeiros ) made up half of both, and the rest were bureaucrats and professionals. The ideological differences between the parties were trivial, but factional and personal rivalries within them made it difficult for the parties to adjust to changing social and economic circumstances. As a result, the last decade of the empire was marked by considerable political instability. Between 1880 and 1889, there were ten cabinets (seven in the first five years) and three parliamentary elections, with no Parliament able to complete its term. The repeated use of the moderating power provoked alienation, even among traditional monarchists.

Attitudes toward slavery had shifted gradually. Pedro II favored abolition, and during the Paraguayan War slaves serving in the military were emancipated. In 1871 the Rio Branco cabinet approved a law freeing newborns and requiring masters to care for them until age eight, at which time they would either be turned over to the government for compensation or the owner would have use of their labor until age twenty-one. In 1884 a law freed slaves over sixty years of age. By the 1880s, the geography of slavery had also changed, and the economy was less dependent on it. Because of manumissions (many on condition of remaining on the plantations) and the massive flight of slaves, the overall numbers declined from 1,240,806 in 1884 to 723,419 in 1887, with most slaves having shifted from the sugar plantations in the Northeast to the south-central coffee groves. But even planters in São Paulo, where the slave percentage of the total population had fallen from 28.2 percent in 1854 to 8.7 percent in 1886, understood that to continue expansion they needed a different labor system. The provincial government therefore actively began subsidizing and recruiting immigrants. Between 1875 and 1887, about 156,000 arrived in São Paulo. Meanwhile, the demand for cheap sugarcane workers in the Northeast was satisfied by sertanejos (inhabitants of the sertão ) fleeing the devastating droughts of the 1870s in the sertão .

The economic picture was also changing. Slavery immobilized capital invested in the purchase and maintenance of slaves. By turning to free labor, planter capital was freed for investment in railroads, streetcar lines, and shipping and manufacturing enterprises. To some extent, these investments offered a degree of protection from the caprices of agriculture.

Meanwhile, slaves left the plantations in great numbers, and an active underground supported runaways. Army officers petitioned the Regent Princess Isabel to relieve them of the duty of pursuing runaway slaves. Field Marshal Deodoro da Fonseca, commander in Rio Grande do Sul, declared in early 1887 that the military "had the obligation to be abolitionist." The São Paulo assembly petitioned the Parliament for immediate abolition. The agitation reached such a pitch that to foreign travelers, Brazil appeared on the verge of social revolution. The system was coming apart, and even planters realized that abolition was the way to prevent chaos.

The so-called Golden Law of May 13, 1888, which ended slavery, was not an act of great bravery but a recognition that slavery was no longer viable. The economy revived rapidly after a few lost harvests, and only a small number of planters went bankrupt. Slavery ended, but the plantation survived and so did the basic attitudes of a class society. The abolitionists quickly abandoned those they had struggled to free. Many former slaves stayed on the plantations in the same quarters, receiving paltry wages. They were joined by waves of immigrants, who often found conditions so unbearable that they soon moved to the cities or returned to Europe. No freedmen's bureaus or schools were established to improve the lives of the former slaves; they were left at the bottom of the socioeconomic scale, where their descendants remain in the 1990s. New prisons built after 1888 were soon filled with former slaves as society imposed other forms of social control, in part by redefining crime.

In the end, the empire fell because the elites did not need it to protect their interests. Indeed, imperial centralization ran counter to their desires for local autonomy. The republicans embraced federalism, which some saw as a way to counter the oligarchies, which used patronage and clientage to stay in power. In the early republic, however, they would find that the oligarchies adapted easily and used their accumulated power and skills to control the new governmental system. Taking advantage of cabinet crises in 1888 and 1889 and of rising frustration among military officers, republicans favoring change by revolution rather than by evolution drew military officers, led by Field Marshal Fonseca, into a conspiracy to replace the cabinet in November 1889. What started as an armed demonstration demanding replacement of a cabinet turned within hours into a coup d'état deposing Emperor Pedro II.

Brazil - The Republican Era, 1889-1985

The history of the republic has been a search for a viable form of government to replace the monarchy. That search has lurched back and forth between state autonomy and centralization. The constitution of 1891, establishing the United States of Brazil (Estados Unidos do Brasil), restored autonomy to the provinces, now called states. It recognized that the central government did not rule at the local level, that it exercised control only through the local oligarchies. The empire had not absorbed fully the regional pátrias , and now they reasserted themselves. Into the 1920s, the federal government in Rio de Janeiro would be dominated and managed by a combination of the more powerful pátrias (São Paulo, Minas Gerais, Rio Grande do Sul, and to a lesser extent Pernambuco and Bahia). After the revolution of 1930, the trend would be strongly toward absorption of the pátrias , reaching a peak in the New State (Estado Novo) of 1937-45. Centralization extended into the smallest remote villages as the nation-state's bureaucracy and power grew to previously unknown levels. Renewed autonomy would come with the constitution of 1946 but would disappear under the military regime. The constitution of 1988 once again restored a degree of state autonomy but in the context of a powerful, all-embracing nation-state. In the 1990s, the pátrias are more folkloric vestiges than autonomous centers of power.

The history of the republic is also the story of the development of the army as a national institution. The elimination of the monarchy had reduced the number of national institutions to one, the army. Although the Roman Catholic Church continued its presence throughout the country, it was not national but rather international in its personnel, doctrine, liturgy, and purposes. By the time of the 1964 coup, the political parties were not national parties; they were oriented more along regional, personalist (personalism--see Glossary), and special-interest lines. Only in the struggle to reestablish civilian rule in the 1980s did a fitful process of creating national parties take shape. Thus, the army was the core of the developing Brazilian state, a marked change from the marginal role that it had played during the empire. The army assumed this new position almost haphazardly, filling part of the vacuum left by the collapse of the monarchy and gradually acquiring a doctrine and vision to support its de facto role. Although it had more units and men in Rio de Janeiro and Rio Grande do Sul than elsewhere, its presence was felt throughout the country. Its personnel, its interests, its ideology, and its commitments were national in scope (see The Military Role in Society and Government, ch. 5).

The republic's first decade was one of turmoil. It appears to be a pattern of Brazilian history that seemingly peaceful regime changes are followed by long periods of adjustment, often scarred by violence. Years of "regime change" in 1889, 1930, and 1964 introduced protracted adjustment that involved some authoritarian rule. Curiously, because the violence occurred over long periods, usually without overturning the government in Rio de Janeiro or Brasília, Brazil acquired an undeserved reputation for having a nonviolent history of political and social compromise.

Brazil - The Old or First Republic, 1889-1930

The founders of the Brazilian republic faced a serious question of legitimacy. How could an illegal, treasonous act establish a legal political order? The officers who joined Field Marshal Deodoro da Fonseca in ending the empire were violating solemn oaths to uphold emperor and empire. The officer corps would eventually resolve the contradiction by linking its duty and destiny to Brazil, the motherland, rather than to transitory governments. In addition, the republic was born rather accidentally: Deodoro had intended only to replace the cabinet, but the republicans manipulated him into fathering a republic.

The Brazilian republic was not a spiritual offspring of the republics born of the French or American revolutions, even though the Brazilian regime would attempt to associate itself with both. The republic did not have enough popular support to risk open elections. It was a regime born of a coup d'état that maintained itself by force. The republicans made Deodoro president (1889-91) and, after a financial crisis, appointed Field Marshal Floriano Vieira Peixoto minister of war to ensure the allegiance of the military. Indeed, the Brazilian people were bystanders to the events shaping their history. In the last decades of the nineteenth century, the United States, much of Europe, and neighboring Argentina expanded the right to vote. Brazil, however, moved to restrict access to the polls. In 1874, in a population of about 10 million, the franchise was held by about 1 million, but in 1881 this had been cut to 145,296. This reduction was one reason the empire's legitimacy foundered, but the republic did not move to correct the situation. By 1910 there were only 627,000 voters in a population of 22 million. Throughout the 1920s, only between 2.3 percent and 3.4 percent of the total population voted.

The instability and violence of the 1890s were related to the absence of consensus among the elites regarding a governmental model; and the armed forces were divided over their status, relationship to the political regime, and institutional goals. The lack of military unity and the disagreement among civilian elites about the military's role in society explain partially why a long-term military dictatorship was not established, as some officers advocating positivism (see Glossary) wanted. However, military men were very active in politics; early in the decade, ten of the twenty state governors were officers.

The Constituent Assembly that drew up the constitution of 1891 was a battleground between those seeking to limit executive power, which was dictatorial under President Deodoro da Fonseca, and the Jacobins, radical authoritarians who opposed the Paulista coffee oligarchy and who wanted to preserve and intensify presidential authority. The new charter established a federation governed supposedly by a president, a bicameral National Congress (Congresso Nacional; hereafter, Congress), and a judiciary. However, real power was in the regional pátrias and in the hands of local potentates, called "colonels" (coroneis ; coronelismo --see Glossary). Thus, the constitutional system did not work as that document had envisaged. It would take until the end of the decade for an informal but real distribution of power, the so-called politics of the governors, to take shape as the result of armed struggles and bargaining.

Article 14 on the military was particularly important for the future. It declared the army and navy to be permanent national institutions responsible for maintaining law and order and for ensuring the continuance of the three constitutional powers. Officers insisted on the statement of permanent status because they feared that the elites would disband their services. The armed forces were to be the moderator of the system, and military officers were Brazil's only constitutionally mandated elite. The article also required the military to be obedient to the president but "within the limits of the law." Thus, the armed forces were to obey only if they determined a presidential order to be legal. Oddly, military officials were less than enthusiastic about discretionary obedience, which they saw as subversive; the civilian politicians, however, wanted it as a check on presidential power. Interestingly, the constitutions of 1934 and 1946 kept the discretionary clause unaltered. However, the 1937 constitution of the dictatorial Estado Novo, which was a military regime in civilian dress, put the military securely under obedience to the president.

In the election that followed the adoption of the new constitution in 1891, Deodoro da Fonseca and Floriano Peixoto were elected president and vice president, respectively, but with the former gaining only 129 votes and the latter 153. The first president, Deodoro da Fonseca, had difficulty adjusting to sharing power with Congress and, in imperial fashion, dissolved it in November 1891, provoking rebellions in the navy and in Rio Grande do Sul. To mollify the opposition, he resigned in favor of Vice President Peixoto (acting president, 1891-94). Peixoto, known as the "Iron Marshal" (marechal de ferro ), ousted all the state governors who had supported Deodoro, provoking violence in many parts of the country. One of the bloodiest of these struggles was the civil war that exploded in Rio Grande do Sul in 1893 and soon spread into Santa Catarina and Paraná, pitting former monarchist liberals against republicans. Concurrently, the fleet in Guanabara Bay at Rio de Janeiro challenged Peixoto, and the naval revolt quickly became linked to the struggle in the South. Peixoto's diplomat in Washington, Salvador de Mendonça, with the help of New York businessman Charles Flint, was able to assemble a squadron of ships with American crews, which proved decisive in ending the standoff in Guanabara Bay. The United States government, interested in Brazilian commerce and in the republic's survival, permitted this mercenary effort to occur and sent several cruisers to provide a barely concealed escort. This was the first documented American intervention in Brazil's internal affairs, and significantly it was organized privately.

Deodoro da Fonseca's dissolution of Congress, his resignation, Peixoto's assumption of power, and the outbreak of civil war split the officer corps and led to the arrest and expulsion of several senior officers. Although the power struggles that produced the fighting in Rio Grande do Sul during 1893-95 were local in origin, Peixoto made them national by siding with republican Governor Julio de Castilhos. The savage combat and the execution of prisoners and suspected sympathizers, in what historian José Maria Bello called the "cruelest of Brazil's civil wars," was shameful on both sides. Peixoto's fierce defense of the republic made him the darling of the Jacobins and from then on a symbol of Brazilian nationalism. In November 1894, because of his ill health (he died in 1895) and the military's disunity, Peixoto turned the government over to a spokesman for the agrarian coffee elite, São Paulo native Prudente José de Morais Barros, also known as Prudente de Morais, the first civilian president (1894-98). Prudente de Morais negotiated an end to the war in the South and granted amnesty to the rebels and the expelled officers. He weakened the army's staunchest republicans and sought to lower the military's political weight. He promoted officers committed to creating a professional force that would be at the disposal of the national authorities, who would determine how it was to be employed. A General Staff (Estado Geral), established in 1896 on the German model, was to shape this new army.

However, before the new army could take shape, it was used in 1897 to destroy the religious community of Canudos in the sertão of Bahia, which the Jacobins thought mistakenly was a hot-bed of monarchist sedition. The Rio de Janeiro government, which saw monarchists everywhere, threw a force of 9,500 against a population of perhaps 30,000. Some 4,193 soldiers were wounded between July and October 1897, and the townspeople were killed, taken prisoner, or fled. Canudos was erased in the same fashion that Indian villages had been and continued to be erased. Although the campaign's symbolic value as a defense of the republic faded as the reality became known, it remained a powerful warning to marginal (marginality--see Glossary) folk throughout Brazil that they would not be permitted to challenge the hierarchical order of society. In this sense, Canudos was a step in creating mechanisms of social control in the postslavery era.

Canudos affected the political scene immediately when a returning soldier, the foil in a high-level Jacobin conspiracy, attempted to assassinate President Prudente de Morais but killed the minister of war instead, thereby acting as a catalyst for rallying support for the government. The abortive assassination made possible the election of Manuel Ferraz de Campos Sales (president, 1898-1902). In the army, the attempt consolidated the hold of generals who opposed Floriano Peixoto and were interested in professionalizing the institution.

The turmoil of the 1890s and particularly Canudos suspended the military's capability to exercise the moderating role that it supposedly inherited from the monarchy. By 1898 the rural-based regional oligarchies had regained command of the political system. Their fiscal policies reflected their belief that Brazil was an agricultural country whose strength was in supplying Europe and North America with coffee, rubber, sugar, tobacco, and many natural resources. Brazil produced 75 percent of the world's coffee. With competition increasing, however, prices fell continually, causing the government to devalue the currency against the British pound. This devaluation forced up the price of imported goods, thus lowering consumption and government tax revenues from imports. Those shortfalls led to suspension of payments on the foreign debt, and the generally poor economy caused half of the banks to collapse. The oligarchy responded to the situation by attempting to preserve its own position and by limiting national industry and infrastructure to that necessary to support the agricultural economy. The society that the economy underlay was one in which the elites regarded the majority of the people merely as cheap labor. The elites encouraged immigration to keep labor plentiful and inexpensive, although they also wanted to "whiten" the population. They considered public education of little use and potentially subversive.

The political system that took shape at the beginning of the twentieth century had apparent and real aspects. There was the constitutional system, and there was the real system of unwritten agreements (coronelismo ) among local bosses, the colonels. Coronelismo , which supported state autonomy, was called the "politics of the governors." Under it, the local oligarchies chose the state governors, who in turn selected the president.

The populous and prosperous states of Minas Gerais and São Paulo dominated the system and swapped the presidency between them for many years. The system consolidated the state oligarchies around families that had been members of the old monarchial elite. And to check the nationalizing tendencies of the army, this oligarchic republic and its state components strengthened the navy and the state police. In the larger states, the state police were soon turned into small armies; in the extreme case of São Paulo, French military advisers were employed after 1906.

The "politics of the governors" kept a relative peace until the end of World War I. Urban Brazil, the one foreigners saw from the decks of ships, prospered. But there was no integrated national economy. Rather, Brazil had a grouping of regional economies that exported their own specialty products to European and North American markets. The absence of overland transportation, except for the mule trains, impeded internal economic integration, political cohesion, and military efficiency. The regions, "the Brazils" as the British called them, moved to their own rhythms. The Northeast exported its surplus cheap labor and saw its political influence decline as its sugar lost foreign markets to Caribbean producers. The wild rubber boom in Amazônia lost its world primacy to efficient Southeast Asian colonial plantations after 1912. The national-oriented market economies of the South were not dramatic, but their growth was steady and by the 1920s allowed Rio Grande do Sul to exercise considerable political leverage. Real power resided in the coffee-growing states of the Southeast (Sudeste)--São Paulo, Minas Gerais, and Rio de Janeiro--which produced the most export revenue. Those three and Rio Grande do Sul harvested 60 percent of Brazil's crops, turned out 75 percent of its industrial and meat products, and held 80 percent of its banking resources.

One factor that eventually would draw "the Brazils" closer together was the heightened sense of nationalism that developed among the urban middle and upper classes before World War I. This sense of nationalism can be explained partially by the Brazilian elite's focus on Rio de Janeiro as the center of their world. Although the national government was weak, it was still the source of prestige and patronage. Rio's sanitation projects and its remodeled downtown (1903-04) were soon copied by state capitals and ports.

The elites had reason to think that Brazil's status in the world was rising. In 1905 the archbishop of Rio de Janeiro received Latin America's first cardinalate. Brazil hosted the Third Pan-American Conference, raised its Washington legation to an embassy (1904), sent a notable delegation to the Second Hague Peace Conference (1907), gained possession via arbitration of hundreds of thousands of square kilometers of disputed territory, established the Indian Protective Service, tied together the far reaches of the country via telegraph, and purchased two of the world's largest dreadnoughts for its navy. Many cheered writer Afonso Celso when he asserted that the era was "the dawn of our greatness . . . . We will be the second or first power of the world."

However, the enthusiasm was not sufficient to overcome the resistance of Brazilians of all levels to military service. When an Obligatory Military Service Law was enacted in 1908, it went unenforced until 1916. Military service was unappealing because members were called on continually to take up arms. During the presidency of Marshal Hermes Rodrigues da Fonseca (1910-14), nephew of Deodoro da Fonseca, turmoil spread across Brazil. In 1910 sailors protesting extreme physical punishments in the navy seized the new dreadnoughts São Paulo and Minas Gerais and some smaller vessels in the bay at Rio de Janeiro and threatened to bombard the city. Hermes da Fonseca was forced to grant the rebels their demands and to give them amnesty.

The image of national stability with which the earlier Campos Sales administration had tried to dazzle foreign bankers also was shattered by a series of military interventions, known as the Salvations, that replaced a number of state governments. The national government, somewhat against Hermes da Fonseca's inclination, sponsored what amounted to coups d'état against state governments in Sergipe, Pernambuco, Alagoas, Pará, Piauí, Bahia, and Ceará. In disorderly fashion, one oligarchic alliance substituted for another, often with an army officer in charge. In the disastrous case of Bahia, the local army commander bombarded the governor's palace and surrounding buildings. In 1911 São Paulo's French-trained Public Force (Força Pública) and civilian Patriotic Battalions saved the city from similar federal intervention.

Struggling to keep control of the army, Hermes da Fonseca replaced the minister of war three times in sixteen months and forced the retirement of about 100 colonels and generals. But to keep them from rebelling, they were all retired at higher ranks and salaries. The Brazilian political system was not so much one of compromise as of co-optation. With this internal army purge, the Salvationist Movement spent itself, and the tide turned away from federal military interventions to replace dominant regional oligarchies toward neutrality or preserving the status quo. The movement can be seen as a messy attempt to reduce state autonomy and to heighten the power of the central government.

Meanwhile, the vision of Brazilian order and progress as seen by the urban elite, intellectuals, and newspaper editorials was challenged again by the supposedly anarchic sertão , this time in the South. In August 1914, as world attention focused on the outbreak of war in Europe, a very different conflict burst forth in the Contestado region of Santa Catarina. A popular rebellion, also known as the Contestado, confronted the "colonel"-dominated socioeconomic and political system. Where the Salvationist Movement aimed at substituting one oligarchy for another, the Contestado rebels rejected the national system and wanted to remake their part of the Brazilian reality. As with Canudos, the response of state and federal authorities was pulverizing violence.

The region's economy was based on livestock, the collection of maté, and lumbering. Its social structure concentrated wealth and power in the hands of a few "colonels," around whom lesser landowners were arrayed. Most families lived at the sufferance of those men or had shaky land titles. A jurisdictional dispute between Santa Catarina and Paraná arose because each state issued deeds to the same land. The no-man's-land attracted fugitives from throughout Brazil. The construction of the São Paulo-Rio Grande do Sul Railroad and the timbering and colonization operations of United States capitalist Percival Farquhar added foreign elements to the already volatile mix. The Brazil Railroad and the Southern Brazil Lumber and Colonization Company forced Brazilians off their expropriated lands, imported European immigrants, and sawed away at virgin pine, cedar, and walnut trees. People whose families had lived in the region for a century suddenly saw their lands rented or sold to others. As if that were not enough, in 1910 the threat of war with Argentina loomed, and authorities speeded the railroad's construction and expanded labor crews to about 8,000. In this environment of tumultuous destruction of the forests, social tensions rose with evictions and the sudden introduction of foreigners and modern technology. The local "colonels" secured their own interests, abandoning their customary paternalism and leaving the mass of people adrift. The Contestado was afflicted with a collective identity crisis, which caused many to turn to messianic religion as solace.

The people of the Contestado followed a local healer, Miguel Lucena Boaventura, known as José Maria, who soon died in a confrontation with Paraná Military Police. His followers refused to accept his death, however, and believed that he was either alive or would rise again. His story mixed with the Luso-Brazilian belief in supernatural assistance in desperate times. This phenomenon, called Sebastianism, transformed the submissive population, accustomed to acting only with the "colonel's" approval, into a resolute fighting force. Their attacks on the railway and lumbering operations and the failure of negotiations with federal authorities led to an escalation of hostilities in 1912 and a fierce military campaign that in 1915 involved 6,000 troops, modern artillery and machine guns, field telephones and telegraph, and the first use of aircraft in a Brazilian conflict. The fighting was spread over a wide area, and the many redoubts of about 20,000 "fanatics," as the army called them, made suppression slow and difficult and also revealed the military's weaknesses. The number of casualties was uncertain but sizeable, and henceforth the army maintained a garrison in the region. The Contestado was subdued by the end of 1917.

Army reformers, a key group of whom returned from training in Germany by the end of 1913, wrote commentaries on the campaign in the new military monthly, A Defesa Nacional . They regarded the Contestado as "an inglorious conflict that discredited our arms." They blamed the republic for its "lack of elevated political norms, the abandonment of thousands of Brazilians . . . segregated from national society by the lack of instruction, by the scarcity of easy means of communication, by the want of energy, and by the poverty of initiative that, unhappily, has characterized the administrations generally since the time of the monarchy." They warned military leaders that "the lesson of the Contestado" was that the army's passivity in accepting poorly conceived political measures would only damage it "morally" and would bring Brazil "the most funereal consequences."

The Contestado joined Canudos as an important component in the army's institutional memory. Veterans played meaningful roles in military and national affairs in the next decades. Within a few years, the reformist critique would be part of the thinking that underlay the tenente or lieutenants' revolts of the 1920s, beginning with the Copacabana Revolt in 1922. The Salvationist Movement and the Contestado drew the army and the central government deeply into the internal affairs of the states, thereby whittling away at their coveted autonomy. The era's legacy of political intervention and suppression of dissent muddied the army's mission and self-image, but it amplified the power of the central government (Rio de Janeiro).

The growing power of Rio de Janeiro was reflected in Brazilian foreign affairs under the guidance of José Maria da Silva Paranhos, the Baron of Rio Branco, who served as foreign minister from 1902 to 1912, under presidents Francisco de Paula Rodrigues Alves (acting president, 1902-3; president, 1903-6), and Afonso Pena (1906-9), Acting President Nilo Peçanha (1909-10), and President Hermes da Fonseca. His vision shaped both the boundaries of the country and the traditions of Brazilian foreign relations. In the heyday of international imperialism, he was instrumental in negotiating limits over which the great powers were not to intrude. He argued for military reform to back up energetic diplomacy, and he began the process of moving Brazil out of the British orbit and into that of the United States. The latter was taking half of Brazil's total exports by 1926, but Brazil still owed Britain over US$100 million in the mid-1920s. British banks financed the country's international commercial exchange, and British investors provided 53 percent of the total foreign investment until 1930. But by the late 1920s, United States banks held nearly 35 percent of the foreign debt. Rio Branco's goal, which was pursued by his successors, was to diffuse the country's dependency among the powers so that none could intervene without being checked by another. Trade and financial ties with the United States were increased at British expense, and these would be balanced by military links with Germany and then France. France would continue for decades to provide a cultural model for the elites.

The Rio Branco years were the basis for what became known as the Itamaraty tradition (named after the building that housed the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Rio de Janeiro), but not every administration grasped its purpose. Some confused its tactical aspects--reliance on foreign loans and investments, Pan-Americanism, and alliance with the United States--with its essential substance, the quest for independence and national greatness.

World War I found Brazil with nearly half of its army committed in the Contestado. The war in Europe was traumatic for the army, which was then beginning a reorganization under the influence of thirty-two officers who had recently returned from service in German army units. A German military mission had been expected, but pressure from São Paulo and from Paris resulted in a mission contract with France instead. Economics, Washington's decision to enter the war, and German submarine attacks on Brazilian merchant ships pulled Brazil into the conflict on the Allied side. The military mobilized, but the generals, feeling over-committed and ill-prepared, declined to send troops to Europe.

Pan-Americanism provided some outlet for Brazil's international status pretensions, but the period between the world wars often found its neighbor Argentina suspicious of harmless improvements in Brazil's armed forces. Brazil's obligatory military service, its construction of new barracks, its purchases of modern weapons, and its contracts for a French military mission and a United States naval mission were viewed by military officials in Buenos Aires as threatening. Brazilian leaders wanted their country regarded as the most powerful in South America but understood that the public would not accept, and the constitution outlawed, a war of aggression. Regardless of what the Argentines thought, the military was not prepared to wage a foreign war. Tension between Argentina and Brazil and maneuvering for greater influence in Paraguay and Uruguay have been characteristic of their relations since the War of the Triple Alliance.

The interwar years in Brazil saw an increase in labor agitation as the economy expanded, industrialization and urbanization stepped up, and immigrants flowed into the country. Coffee overproduction by the turn of the century had provoked subsidization programs at the state and national levels that helped the planters but could not prevent the decline in the economy's capacity to pay for imported manufactured goods. Local industry began to fill the gap. World War I restricted trade further, and Brazilian industrial production increased substantially. The government stressed the need for more industrial independence from foreign producers and stimulated import substitution, particularly in textiles. Many of the factories were small, with an average of twenty-one workers. In 1920 about a million urban workers were concentrated in Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo. Brazil was just beginning to develop its industrial base, but it was still mainly an agricultural country with 6.3 million people working the soil.

The living conditions of urban workers were bad. Housing, transportation, sewerage, and water supply trailed far behind the rapid population growth and produced serious public health problems. The clean-up campaigns at the beginning of the century struck at the high incidence of yellow fever, malaria, and smallpox in Rio de Janeiro, Santos, and Northeastern seaports. The city centers were made safer, but the workers who crowded into sordid "beehives" (cortiços --small crowded houses) and favelas (shantytowns) suffered all sorts of ailments.

The federal and state governments subsidized immigration from Italy, Portugal, Spain, Germany, and Japan to provide workers for the coffee plantations. However, many immigrants soon fled the rough conditions in the countryside for better opportunities in the cities. They flooded the labor pools, making it difficult for unions to force factory owners to pay better wages. Women, who were the majority of workers in the textile and clothing industries, were frequently active in organizing factory commissions to agitate for improved conditions, freedom from sexual abuse, and higher pay. Strikes had occurred in 1903, 1906, and 1912, and in 1917 general strikes broke out in Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, Recife, Santos, and Porto Alegre. Because the mentality of the industrialists was rooted in the slavery era and emphasized their well-being over that of the commonwealth and because they functioned on a thin profit margin, they tended to fire workers for striking or joining unions. The industrialists also blacklisted troublemakers, employed armed thugs to keep control inside and outside the factories, and called on the government to repress any sign of labor organization. There were no large massacres of strikers, as occurred in Mexico and Chile, but the physical violence was marked.

Some advocates of reform were heard. For example, economic nationalists like Roberto Simonsen argued for improved pay incentives to prevent individual workers from unionizing. During the 1920s, the Roman Catholic Church, as part of its effort to revive its status, organized the Young Catholic Workers and preached the example of the Holy Family accepting "the will of Providence, in pain and in happiness." By 1930 church societies, private charities, factory-sponsored recreational clubs, and government agencies strove for more control over workers' organizations and leisure time.

During the Old Republic, Brazil changed at a frightening rate. As its population increased 162 percent between 1890 and 1930, it became more urbanized and industrialized, and its political system was stretched beyond tolerance. Concern over the resurgence of labor activity in the late 1920s was one of the factors that led to the collapse of the Old Republic in 1930 and to the subsequent significant change in labor and social policy.

Brazil - The Era of Getúlio Vargas, 1930-54

Just as the 1889 regime change led to a decade of unrest and painful adjustment, so too did the revolts of 1930. Provisional President Getúlio Dorneles Vargas ruled as dictator (1930-34), congressionally elected president (1934-37), and again dictator (1937-45), with the backing of his revolutionary coalition. He also served as a senator (1946-51) and the popularly elected president (1951-54). Vargas was a member of the gaucho-landed oligarchy and had risen through the system of patronage and clientelism, but he had a fresh vision of how Brazilian politics could be shaped to support national development. He understood that with the breakdown of direct relations between workers and owners in the expanding factories of Brazil, workers could become the basis for a new form of political power--populism. Using such insights, he would gradually establish such mastery over the Brazilian political world that he would stay in power for fifteen years. During those years, the preeminence of the agricultural elites ended, new urban industrial leaders acquired more influence nationally, and the middle class began to show some strength.

Tenentismo , or the lieutenants' rebellion against the army and governmental hierarchies, faded as a distinctive movement after 1931, in part because its adherents promoted the preservation of state autonomy when the trend toward increased centralization was strong. Individual lieutenants continued to exercise important roles, but they made their peace with the traditional political forces. In 1932 São Paulo, whose interests and pride suffered under the new regime, rose in revolt. The three-month civil war saw many officers who had lost out in 1930 or were otherwise disgruntled join the Paulistas, but federal forces defeated them.

A new constitution in 1934 reorganized the political system by creating a legislature with both state and social-sector representatives. It contained some electoral reforms, including women's suffrage, a secret ballot, and special courts to supervise elections. The Constituent Assembly elected Vargas president for a four-year term. However, the attempt to harness the revolution to the old system, somewhat remodeled, would soon fail completely and take Brazil into prolonged dictatorship. The left helped in that process by becoming a creditable threat. On misguided instructions from Moscow based on misinformation from Brazil, the Brazilian communists, led by a former tenente, staged a revolt in 1935, but it was rapidly suppressed.

In the 1930s, the civilian elites feared that Brazil would suffer a civil war similar to Spain's, and so for the first time in Brazilian history they supported a strong, unified military. The Estado Novo gave the army its long-held desire for control over the states' Military Police (Policia Militar) units. The elites of the old state pátrias gave up their independent military power in return for federal protection of their interests. This process was not always a willing one, as the Paulista revolt of 1932 showed, but federal monopoly of military force escalated the power of the central government to levels previously unknown. A significant turning point in the history of Brazil had been reached.

Under the Estado Novo, state autonomy ended, appointed federal officials replaced governors, and patronage flowed from the president downward. All political parties were dissolved until 1944, thus limiting opportunities for an opposition to organize. In the process, Vargas eliminated threats from the left and the right. At the local level, "colonels" survived by declaring their loyalty and accepting their share of patronage for distribution to their own underlings. The Vargas years had their greatest impact on national politics and economics and their least impact at the local level where the older forms of power continued well into the 1950s. Even in the 1990s, local political bosses were tagged "colonels." Vargas took care to absorb the rural and commercial elites into his power base. He had the ability to make former enemies supporters, or at least neutrals.

The Vargas years saw the reorganization of the armed forces, the economy, international trade, and foreign relations. The government restored the old imperial palace in Petrópolis and encouraged the preservation of historic buildings and towns. The average annual rise in the gross domestic product (GDP--see Glossary) was nearly 4 percent. Brazil's first steel mill at Volta Redonda (1944) was the start of the great industrial output of the second half of the century. The 1930-45 era added corporatism (see Glossary) to the Brazilian political lexicon.

Even as it channeled investment into industry, the Estado Novo classified strikes as crimes and grouped the government-controlled unions into separate sector federations that were not allowed to form across-the-board national organizations. The idea was to keep the lines of control vertical (vertical integration--see Glossary). The government decreed regular wage and benefits increases and slowly expanded an incomplete social security system. Its minimum wage levels were never satisfactory. The regime's propaganda touted state paternalism and protection and depicted Vargas as the benefactor of the working classes. He also was the benefactor of the factory owners, who saw industry expand 11.2 percent a year throughout the 1930s, which meant that it more than doubled during the decade. Indeed, growth and repression were the twin orders of the day. Journalists and novelists were censored, jailed, and discouraged. The army restricted access to the military schools to those with acceptable racial, familial, religious, educational, and political characteristics.

As a result of these repressive measures, the suspension of political activities, and the government's support of rearming and modernizing the military, the army gained a coherence and unity that it had not experienced since before 1922. The popular status that the army won by participating in the Italian campaign (1944-45) of World War II also permitted the High Command, under General Pedro Aurélio de Góes Monteiro, a long-time supporter of Vargas, to step into the successionist crisis of October 1945 to depose Vargas and to cut short the political mobilization of the masses that the generals believed would upset the social order. Not to have acted would have violated the implicit agreement made with the elites when the latter surrendered their independent state military forces to federal control.

The elected government over which President Eurico Gaspar Dutra presided from 1946 to 1951 opened under the decree laws of the Estado Novo and continued under the new constitution of 1946. This charter reflected the strong conservative tendency in Brazilian politics by incorporating ideas from the constitution of 1934 and the social legislation of the Estado Novo. Over the next years, the various cabinet changes traced the government's steady movement toward the right. The Dutra administration was supported by the same conservative interventionist army that had backed the previous regime. Indeed, Dutra, who though retired from active duty, was inaugurated in his dress uniform and was promoted to general of the army and then to marshal while in office, made the point that he still belonged to the military class (classe militar ), that he would not neglect its needs, and that he would guide the army politically.

More dispassionate observers see the ending of Vargas's productive leadership--during which the average annual rise in the GDP was nearly 4 percent--as the reaction of the landowning and business elite allied with the urban middle class against the processes of change. Dutra's years in office displayed a minimal level of state participation and intervention in the economy. It was indeed ironic that the man who led Brazil through the first steps of its "experiment with democracy" was a general who, in the early years of World War II, was so antiliberal that he had opposed aligning Brazil with the democratic countries against Nazi Germany. He was a fervent anticommunist, who quickly broke the diplomatic ties Vargas had established with the Soviet Union, outlawed the Brazilian Communist Party, and supported the United States in the opening phases of the Cold War. He exchanged official visits with President Harry S. Truman and sought American aid for continued economic development.

Dutra's government improved the railways, completed construction of roads that connected Rio de Janeiro to Salvador and São Paulo, and expanded the electrical generating and transmission systems. It also cooperated with the states in building more than 4,000 new rural schools and supported construction of new university buildings in various states. In 1951 it also created the National Research Council (Conselho Nacional de Pesquisas--CNPq), which would be important in developing capabilities and university faculties in coming decades (see Science and Technology as Modernization, 1945-64, ch. 6). His mandate was marked by heated disputes over the nationalization of oil and plans for an international institute to study Amazônia. The latter were shelved amidst emotional charges that they would lead to the loss of half of the national territory; and the campaign for the former was suppressed violently.

Dutra's military program included domestic arms production, sending many officers for training in the United States, expanding air force and naval schools and modernizing their equipment, and establishing the War College (Escola Superior de Guerra--ESG), which played such an important role in the political crises of the 1960s. Although Dutra could be criticized for not containing inflation and for allowing an importing frenzy that soon exhausted the savings of the war years, he managed to govern without declaring a state of siege, and he was the first elected president since 1926 to pass the office to his elected successor.

As a candidate for president in the 1950 elections, Vargas advocated accelerating industrialization and expanding social legislation, and he was rewarded with a sizeable 49 percent of the vote. Vargas's attempts to base his elected government (1951-54) firmly on populism induced military, elite, and United States fears of nationalism. Even so, it was a period of deepening political polarization. Anticommunist military officers saw red in every attempt to expand labor's influence and objected to wage increases for workers when the value of their own salaries was eroding steadily. The United States refused economic assistance that Brazilian leaders believed they deserved for providing bases, natural resources, and troops during World War II. The lack of postwar benefits, especially for the service of the Brazilian Expeditionary Force (Força Expedicionária Brasileira--FEB), caused Vargas and part of the military to reject the idea of sending troops to fight in Korea.

Although the United States government did not want to provide economic aid, it also did not want the Brazilian government to take an active role in developing the country's resources. Washington's desire to secure Brazil as a safe place for private United States investment clashed with Brazil's treatment of foreign-owned utilities. Foreign interests had been too slow in developing energy resources, so the Vargas government created the Brazilian Petroleum Corporation (Petróleo Brasileiro S.A.--Petrobrás) in 1953 and the Brazilian Electric Power Company (Centrais Elétricas Brasileiras S.A.--Eletrobrás) in 1961. The "Petroleum is Ours!" campaign of the nationalists caused arguments within the military over what was best to do. Some officers embraced the antistatist attitude that Washington was sponsoring. The bitterly fought, emotional debate over the creation of Petrobrás poisoned political life and contributed to the subsequent military interventions. The Vargas administration dissolved in frustration and charges of corruption; faced with military demands for his resignation, Vargas shot himself on August 24, 1954. His death produced considerable public sympathy, which in turn strengthened his reputation as "father of the poor." His influence in Brazilian politics was felt for decades.

Brazil - The Post-Vargas Republic, 1954-64

If corporatism was the hallmark of the 1930s and 1940s, populism, nationalism, and developmentalism characterized the 1950s and early 1960s. Each of these contributed to the crisis that gripped Brazil and resulted in the authoritarian regime after 1964. At the core of the crisis was the continued unwillingness of the elite to share the benefits of Brazil's wealth with the majority of the people. By the early 1960s, the crisis was boiling in reverse, from the top down. The crisis had much more to do with elite fears of a mass uprising, supposedly instigated by international communism, than with the reality of social revolution. They, rather than the masses, believed the fiery rhetoric of leftist-populist politicians. What elites elsewhere might have seen as popular democratic mobilization, the Brazilian elites saw as revolutionary change that threatened their well-being. Because they portrayed their well-being as the same as the national well-being, and because they controlled the state and the instruments of power, they responded with a counterrevolution, what historian Joseph Page labeled "the revolution that never was."

Labor became more active in seeking to improve the status of the working class, and the population continued to grow beyond the state's ability to expand educational and social services. As a result, conservative elites feared that they were losing control of politics and of the state. The elites had opposed Vargas because he sought to use the state to spread benefits more broadly. The middle classes tended to identify with elite visions of society and to see the lower classes as a threat. Curiously, the term povo (people), which had meant the lowest class, the destitute, the squatters, the rural poor, had changed by the early 1950s to mean the politically active and economically mobile urban lower classes. Further, politicians appealed to the povo during election campaigns but once elected directed government benefits principally to the middle and upper classes.

Juscelino Kubitschek (1956-61), the only post-Vargas elected president to serve a full term, soothed opponents by avoiding the emotional appeals of the populists. Even so, his common touch reached millions, and his developmentalist and nationalist visions stirred the Brazilian imagination. Kubitschek co-opted the military by involving it in the decision-making process and by adequately funding it. He pushed the creation of an automotive industry, which in a generation would result in Brazil's leaping from the bull cart and mule train era into that of the internal combustion engine. The new factories turned out 321,000 vehicles in 1960. The great highway network of the late twentieth century and the world's eighth-largest automobile production are his legacies. And he yanked Brazil away from its fascination with the coast by moving the capital to Brasília in a new Federal District (Distrito Federal) carved out of then-distant Goiás. Thanks to the changes in transportation and the growing availability of motorized farm equipment, the vast countryside of Goiás and Mato Grosso would be cultivated in the next decades, and Brazil would become the world's number-two food exporter. The overall economy would expand 8.3 percent a year. There was a lot of truth in his government's motto: "Fifty Years' Progress in Five."

Brazil of 1960 was very different from that of 1930. The population, which had been 33.5 million in 1930, was now 70 million, with 44 percent in urban areas. A third of all Latin Americans were Brazilian. Life expectancy had improved noticeably. The number of industrial workers had more than doubled from a 1940 level of 1.6 million to 2.9 million, and the industrial share of GDP was higher (25.2 percent) than that of agriculture (22.5 percent). The underside of such progress was a continuous swelling of urban slums and inflation. The annual rate of inflation rose from 12 percent in 1949 to 26 percent in 1959, and then zoomed to a shocking 39.5 percent in 1960. Savings depreciated, lenders refused to offer long-term loans, interest rates soared, and the government refused to undertake orthodox, anti-inflationary programs styled after those of the International Monetary Fund (IMF--see Glossary). Moreover, the disparities between rich and poor remained, with 40 percent of national income enjoyed by 10 percent of the population, 36 percent going to the next 30 percent, and 24 percent being divided among the poorest 60 percent of Brazilians. Before national wealth could be redistributed, however, development had to be maintained.

Brazil had the potential, but it lacked the hard currency necessary to pay for the imports needed to sustain swift industrialization. Either it could cut imports, thereby paralyzing factories and transportation, or it could stop repayments on foreign loans and profit remittances from foreign investments. With such unpalatable alternatives, it is not surprising that Brazilian governments had difficulty formulating an economic plan that would both satisfy creditors and keep trade flowing.

The populist administrations of Jânio Quadros (January-August 1961) and João Goulart (1961-64) expanded the term povo once again to embrace the rural poor, thereby producing the image of a budding proletariat ready to join a reformist government against elite privilege and United States imperialism. Quadros, a former governor of São Paulo, could not keep his promise to sweep out corruption, because his bid for more presidential power ended with his sudden resignation on August 25, 1961. He had assembled a makeshift political coalition that gave him an impressive electoral margin but did not give him enough influence in Congress to get his legislation passed.

Frustrated, he planned to restructure the government, but before he could act, Carlos Lacerda, governor of Guanabara (the old Rio de Janeiro Federal District), revealed that Quadros intended to close Congress, decree reforms, and get the people's blessing in a plebiscite. Quadros and Lacerda clashed over the issue of an independent foreign policy. Such a policy, which Quadros supported, emphasized new markets for Brazilian products and a strong stance in favor of the developing world, while maintaining relations with the United States but refusing to isolate Cuba. Lacerda was particularly critical of Quadros's pro-Cuba policy. Quadros resigned believing that the military would be unwilling to allow Vice President João Goulart, a populist and former minister of labor under Vargas, to assume the presidency. Quadros hoped that his action would shock the povo into taking to the streets to demand his reimposition and would spur the military into pressuring Congress. He then flew to São Paulo, where he spent the next day at a military base waiting for the summons to return, but instead the head of the Chamber of Deputies was sworn in as acting president. People were shocked, but they tended to feel betrayed by Quadros rather than believe that "terrible forces" had risen against him. On that Friday in August 1961, the republic of 1945 began its painful death.

Instead of worrying how to restore Quadros, the politicians and military leaders focused on Goulart's succession. An uneasy country awaited Goulart on his return from a trade mission to China. Congress refused to agree to the request of the military ministers that it disavow his right to the presidency. His brother-in-law, Leonel de Moura Brizola, the fiery governor of Rio Grande do Sul, and the regional army commander announced that their forces would defend the constitution. The threat of civil war was ominous. Instead, a compromise changed the constitutional system from a presidential to a parliamentary one (1961-63), with Goulart as president and Tancredo de Almeida Neves of Minas Gerais as prime minister. In the next months, Goulart, chafing at the attempt to turn him into a figurehead, made heated appeals to the masses to mobilize in his favor. Goulart secured victory in a 1962 plebiscite, which restored the presidential system in January 1963. Unhappily, Goulart interpreted the five-to-one margin as a personal mandate, as opposed to a mandate for the presidential system.

Goulart's relations with the United States went from uneasy, when he visited President John F. Kennedy and gave a speech to the United States Congress in April 1963, to frigid, when President Lyndon B. Johnson took over in Washington in November 1963. The United States, smarting from Fidel Castro's radicalization of Cuba, resented Brazilian unwillingness to isolate Havana and became obsessed with peasants organizing in the impoverished Northeast. Washington poured millions of dollars directly into that region's states, bypassing Goulart's government. The regional elites happily accepted United States aid to expand their autonomy vis-à-vis Brasília.

Goulart carried his populism too far when he backed proposals for noncommissioned officers to hold political office and when he appeared sympathetic to rebelling sergeants in September 1963. The officer corps believed that the president was undermining discipline, thereby threatening military institutions.

Minister of Army General Amaury Kruel complained that the army had been subjected to a "survival" budget since 1958 and that most of its armaments and equipment were either obsolete, beyond repair, or required replacement. In 1962 every regional army headquarters reported that it was not in condition to hold regular exercises, and many officers concluded that their efforts were useless because of a generalized "disbelief and lack of incentive." General Kruel alerted President Goulart that inadequate funding was creating a "calamitous situation" in which the army was being "economically and financially asphyxiated."

The right and the military charged that Goulart's call for reforming legislation was merely a cover for a radical nationalist takeover. Publicly, they organized study groups, formed a shadow government, orchestrated an intense press campaign, and staged street marches. Secretly, they armed large landowners (fazendeiros ) in the countryside, developed plans to neutralize opposition and to topple the government, and sought help from the United States. The military was again about to break the bonds of obedience to a national government. The argument was that the armed forces should support any government as long as it was democratic.

Such logic grew more persuasive as political mobilization gripped the society. Peasant land seizures and urban food riots contributed to a sense of impending chaos. Brizola bragged foolishly that he had a 200,000-strong peoples' militia organized in groups of eleven. The opposition charged the government with arousing a "state of revolutionary war." In the months before March 1964, the staff and student officers of the Army General Staff School (Escola de Comando de Estado-Maior do Exército--ECEME) played a key role in convincing officers that they should support a move against Goulart. Even the highly respected chief of staff, Marshal Humberto de Alencar Castelo Branco, joined the conspiracy. Castelo Branco had served as FEB operations officer in Italy, director of studies at ECEME, and long-time head of the War College. The officers believed that rational economic development, internal security, and institutional well-being would occur only if economic and political structures were altered, and that the civilian leaders were unwilling to make the necessary changes. They believed that the left was so well-organized that the conspiracy might fail. They had plans to flee Brazil in that case, and United States officers had promised that they would receive training and logistical support to return to wage a guerrilla war.

Struggling to keep the impatient left on his side and to stave off the right, Goulart opted for a series of public rallies to mobilize pressure for basic reforms. In a huge rally in Rio de Janeiro on March 13, 1964, Goulart decreed agrarian reform and rent controls and promised more. A counter rally against the government, held six days later in São Paulo, put 500,000 people marching in the streets. Sailors and marines in Rio de Janeiro, led by an agent provocateur of the anti-Goulart conspiracy, mutinied in support of Goulart. However, Goulart mishandled the incident by agreeing that they would not be punished and that the navy minister would be changed. The uproar was immediate. Rio de Janeiro's Correio da Manhã published an unusual Easter Sunday edition with the headline "Enough!" It was followed the next day, March 30, with one saying "Out!" In the next two days, the military moved to secure the country, and Goulart fled to Uruguay. Brizola's resistance groups proved an illusion, as did the supposed arms caches of the unions and the readiness of favela residents to attack the wealthy. The period of the military republic had begun.

Brazil - The Military Republic, 1964-85

The military held power from 1964 until March 1985 not by design but because of political struggles within the new regime. Just as the regime changes of 1889, 1930, and 1945 unleashed competing political forces and caused splits in the military, so too did the regime change of 1964. Because no civilian politician was acceptable to all the revolutionary factions, the army chief of staff, Marshal Humberto Castelo Branco (president, 1964-67), became president with the intention of overseeing a reform of the political-economic system. He refused to stay beyond the term of deposed João Goulart or to institutionalize the military in power. However, competing demands radicalized the situation; military hard-liners wanted a complete purge of left-wing and populist influences, while civilian politicians obstructed Castelo Branco's reforms. The latter accused him of dictatorial methods, and the former criticized him for not going far enough. To satisfy the military hard-liners, he recessed and purged Congress, removed objectionable state governors, and decreed expansion of the president's (and thereby the military's) arbitrary powers at the expense of the legislature and judiciary. His gamble succeeded in curbing the populist left but provided the successor governments of Marshal Artur da Costa e Silva (1967-69) and General Emílio Garrastazú Médici (1969-74) with a basis for authoritarian rule. Anti-Goulart politicians understood too late the forces they had helped unleash.

Castelo Branco tried to maintain a degree of democracy. His economic reforms prepared the way for the Brazilian economic "miracle" of the next decade, and his restructuring of the party system that had existed since 1945 shaped the contours of government-opposition relations for the next two decades. He preserved presidential supremacy over the military and kept potential coup-makers in check, but in the process he had to expand presidential powers in the infamous Second Institutional Act of October 1965, and he had to accept the succession of Minister of Army Costa e Silva.

As in earlier regime changes, the armed forces' officer corps was divided between those who believed that they should confine themselves to their professional duties and the hard-liners who regarded politicians as scoundrels ready to betray Brazil to communism or some other menace. The victory of the hard-liners dragged Brazil into what political scientist Juan J. Linz called "an authoritarian situation." However, because the hard-liners could not ignore the counterweight opinions of their colleagues or the resistance of society, they were unable to institutionalize their agenda politically. In addition, they did not attempt to eliminate the trappings of liberal constitutionalism because they feared disapproval of international opinion and damage to the alliance with the United States. As the citadel of anticommunism, the United States provided the ideology that the authoritarians used to justify their hold on power. But Washington also preached liberal democracy, which forced the authoritarians to assume the contradictory position of defending democracy by destroying it. Their concern for appearances caused them to abstain from personalist dictatorship by requiring each successive general-president to pass power to his replacement.

The role of the United States in these events was complex and at times contradictory. An anti-Goulart press campaign was conducted throughout 1963, and in 1964 the Johnson administration gave moral support to the campaign. Ambassador Lincoln Gordon later admitted that the embassy had given money to anti-Goulart candidates in the 1962 municipal elections and had encouraged the plotters; that many extra United States military and intelligence personnel were operating in Brazil; and that four United States Navy oil tankers and the carrier Forrestal , in an operation code-named Brother Sam, had stood off the coast in case of need during the 1964 coup. Washington immediately recognized the new government in 1964 and joined the chorus chanting that the coup d'état of the "democratic forces" had staved off the hand of international communism. In retrospect, it appears that the only foreign hand involved was Washington's, although the United States was not the principal actor in these events. Indeed, the hard-liners in the Brazilian military pressured Costa e Silva into promulgating the Fifth Institutional Act on December 13, 1968. This act gave the president dictatorial powers, dissolved Congress and state legislatures, suspended the constitution, and imposed censorship.

In October 1969, when President Costa e Silva died unexpectedly, the democratic mask fell off as the officer corps of the three services consulted among themselves to pick General Garrastazú Médici for the presidency. Costa e Silva and Médici represented the hard-line, antipolitics segment of the military, which seemingly was content to hold authority as long as necessary to turn Brazil into a great power. The Médici government illustrated how it was possible to remain in power without popular support, without a political party, and without a well-defined program. It was the era of terrorist actions in the cities, replete with kidnappings of diplomats, including the United States ambassador, and an extensive antiguerrilla campaign in northern Goiás. The repressive apparatus expanded into various agencies, which spied on political opponents and engaged in dirty tricks, torture, and "disappearings" (see The Military Role in the Intelligence Services, ch. 5). Those operations caused an open break between the government and the hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church for the first time in Brazilian history. They also produced a deterioration in relations with the United States, whose leaders had expected the Castelo Branco vision of the revolution to win out.

The Médici administration wrapped itself in the green and gold flag when Brazil won the World Cup in soccer in 1970, began to build the Trans-Amazonian Highway through the northern rain forests, and dammed the Rio Paraná, creating the world's largest hydroelectric dam at Itaipu. From 1968 to 1974, parallel with the darkest days of the dictatorship, the military-civil technocratic alliance took shape as the economy boomed, reaching annual GDP growth rates of 12 percent. It looked as if Brazil's dreams of full industrialization and great-power status were possible. Sadly, in those years of the supposed "economic miracles," criticism and labor unrest were suppressed with arrests, torture, and censorship. Moreover, this apparent success of mixing authoritarian rule and economic growth encouraged officers in Argentina, Chile, Bolivia, and Uruguay to seize power in their countries.

It was in this atmosphere that retired General Ernesto Geisel (1974-79) came to the presidency with Médici's approval. There had been intense behind-the-scenes maneuvering by the hard-liners against him and by the more moderate supporters of Castelo Branco for him. Fortunately for Geisel, his brother, Orlando Geisel, was the minister of army, and his close ally, General João Baptista de Oliveira Figueiredo, was chief of Médici's military staff.

Although not immediately understood by civilians, Ernesto Geisel's accession signaled a move away from repression toward democratic rule. Geisel replaced several regional commanders with trusted officers and labeled his political program distensão , meaning a gradual relaxation of authoritarian rule. It would be, in his words, "the maximum of development possible with the minimum of indispensable security."

President Geisel sought to maintain high economic growth rates, even while seeking to deal with the effects of the oil shocks. He kept up massive investments in infrastructure--highways, telecommunications, hydroelectric dams, mineral extraction, factories, and atomic energy. Fending off nationalist objections, he opened Brazil to oil prospecting by foreign firms for the first time since the early 1950s. His government borrowed billions of dollars to see Brazil through the oil crisis.

Brazil shifted its foreign policy to meet its economic needs. "Responsible pragmatism" replaced strict alignment with the United States and a worldview based on ideological frontiers and blocs of nations. Because Brazil was 80 percent dependent on imported oil, Geisel shifted the country from a pro-Israeli stance to closer ties with oil-rich Saudi Arabia and Iraq. His government also recognized China, Angola, and Mozambique and moved closer to Spanish America, Europe, and Japan. The 1975 agreement with the Federal Republic of Germany (West Germany) to build nuclear reactors produced confrontation with the Carter administration, which was also scolding the Geisel government for the human rights abuses that it was fighting to stop. Frustrated with what he saw as United States highhandedness and lack of understanding, Geisel renounced the military alliance with the United States in April 1977.

In 1977 and 1978, the succession issue caused further confrontations with the hard-liners. Noting that Brazil was only a "relative democracy," Geisel attempted in April 1977 to restrain the growing strength of the opposition parties by creating an electoral college that would approve his selected replacement. In October he dismissed the far-right minister of army, General Sylvio Cueto Coelho da Frota. In 1978 Geisel maneuvered through the first labor strikes since 1964 and through the repeated electoral victories of the opposition Brazilian Democratic Movement (Movimento Democrático Brasileiro--MDB). He allowed the return of exiles, restored habeas corpus, repealed the extraordinary powers decreed by the Fifth Institutional Act, and imposed General João Figueiredo (1979-85) as his successor in March 1979.

The last military president, João Figueiredo, said that he took over the presidency more out of a sense of duty than political ambition. He signed a general amnesty into law and turned Geisel's distensão into a gradual abertura (the opening of the political system), saying that his goal was "to make this country a democracy." The hard-liners reacted to the opening with a series of terrorist bombings. An April 1981 bombing incident confirmed direct military involvement in terrorism, but Figueiredo proved too weak to punish the guilty. The incident and the regime's inaction strengthened the public's resolve to end military rule. Moreover, Figueiredo faced other significant problems, such as soaring inflation, declining productivity, and a mounting foreign debt.

Political liberalization and the declining world economy contributed to Brazil's economic and social problems. In 1978 and 1980, huge strikes took place in the industrial ring around São Paulo. Protesters asserted that wage increases indexed to the inflation rate were far below a livable level. Union leaders, including the future 1990 presidential candidate Luis "Lula" Inácio da Silva, were arrested for violation of national security laws. The IMF imposed a painful austerity program on Brazil. Under that program, Brazil was required to hold down wages to fight inflation. In the North, Northeast, and even in relatively prosperous Rio Grande do Sul, rural people seized unused, private land, forcing the government to create a new land reform ministry. Tension with the Roman Catholic Church, the major voice for societal change, peaked in the early 1980s with the expulsion of foreign priests involved in political and land reform issues.

To attack the soaring debt, Figueiredo's administration stressed exports--food, natural resources, automobiles, arms, clothing, shoes, even electricity--and expanded petroleum exploration by foreign companies. In foreign relations, the objective was to establish ties with any country that would contribute to Brazilian economic development. Washington was kept at a certain distance, and the North-South dialogue was emphasized.

In 1983 the economy leaped ahead with 5.4 percent GDP growth, but it was lost in the rising inflation and the failure of political leadership. Figueiredo's heart condition led to bypass surgery in the United States, removing him from control of the situation. In an impressive display, millions of Brazilians took to the streets in all the major cities demanding a direct vote (diretas já! ) in the choice of the next president. In April 1984, Congress failed to achieve the necessary numbers to give the people their wish, and the choice was left to an electoral college. Figueiredo did not act forcefully to back a preference, so it became a scramble as candidates pursued the collegial votes.

On January 15, 1985, the electoral college elected Tancredo Neves of Minas Gerais, Vargas's minister of justice in the 1950s, and former federal deputy, senator, and prime minister. Neves was a sensible politician with a reputation for honesty. However, he collapsed the night before his inaugural, and the presidency passed to Vice President José Sarney (president, 1985-90), long-time supporter of the military regime. Neves died on April 21. The hopes that 1985 would be a quick transition to a new regime faded as Brazilians watched this turn of events in a state of shock. Like the regime changes of 1822, 1889, 1930, 1946, and 1964, the 1985 change also proved to be long and difficult (see Politics, 1985-96, ch. 4).

Brazil - The Society and Its Environment

THE FIFTH LARGEST country in the world, Brazil is the largest country in Latin America and has territory slightly larger than that of the continental United States. Its population, estimated officially at nearly 160 million in mid-1997, is the largest in Latin America and constitutes about half of the population in South America. With 80 percent of its population living in cities and towns, Brazil is one of the most urbanized and industrialized countries in Latin America. São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro are among the ten largest cities in the world. São Paulo, with its 18 million people, is the world's third largest city, after Mexico City and Tokyo. Yet, parts of Brazil's Amazon region, which has some of the world's most extensive wilderness areas, are sparsely inhabited by indigenous peoples still in the process of coming into contact with the modern world.

More than for its superlatives, however, Brazil stands out for its regional and social disparities. Brazil is noted for having one of the most unequal income distributions of any country. In the rural Northeast (Nordeste), there is poverty similar to that found in some African and Asian countries. Although increased urbanization has accompanied economic development, it also has created serious social problems in the cities. Even the wealthiest cities contain numerous shantytowns called favelas.

While in many ways this diversity or heterogeneity makes it similar to other developing countries in Latin America and elsewhere, Brazil is also unique. One of the fascinating elements of this uniqueness is that it is different things at once, presenting different faces or identities of a single coherent whole. Both local and foreign perceptions of Brazil tend to exaggerate particular features, lack a balanced view, and fail to grasp how the parts of the whole fit together. During the twentieth century, for example, Brazil came to be known to the rest of the world and to many of its own inhabitants in picturesque motifs that could best be fit together coherently in terms of a "land of contrasts." The country was considered a tropical paradise famed for its exports (coffee), music (such as Carmen Miranda, samba, and bossa nova), and soccer (thanks to Edson Arantes do Nascimento (Pelé)), as well as the nearly mythical Amazon rain forest. Rio de Janeiro was associated with Sugarloaf (Pão de Açucar), Copacabana, income tax fugitives, and even the mastermind of Britain's "Great Train Robbery" of 1963. On a more serious level, Brazil often was disparaged for its inability to solve basic political and economic problems, such as consolidating democratic institutions, controlling runaway inflation, and servicing the foreign debt. However, the nation is noted for being an emerging industrial power and for constructing giant public works, such as the new capital city of Brasília, the Trans-Amazonian Highway, and the world's largest hydroelectric dam (Itaipu). Brazil also stands out for its leadership role in Latin America and the developing world.

Most Brazilians saw the military regime (1964-85) as a repressive dictatorship, although others regarded it as having saved the country from communism. Brazilian society was viewed as conservative and male chauvinistic, yet simultaneously freewheeling or even licentious, as revealed in its Carnaval (Carnival) festivities. In the 1980s, much of the world saw the Amazon, the world's greatest store of biodiversity, and its native peoples as falling victim to unparalleled destruction. In the early 1990s, the news of massacres of Yanomami Indians, street children, and favela dwellers who inhabit Rio de Janeiro's hillsides sundered Brazil's image of cordiality. Although there were other reasons for pessimism and a continuing identity crisis (Brazil became the first democracy to impeach its president, in December 1992), there were reasons for pride as well (inflation was brought under control in 1994). Was Brazil a "serious country" destined to be a great power, or was it always to remain a land of the future?

One can find ample evidence for countervailing trends: unity and diversity, modernity and tradition, progressive government policies and deeply rooted inequality, tight control by elites and broadening popular participation, principles and pragmatism. There are no simple answers. This chapter examines Brazil's social and environmental complexity and its characteristic paradoxes and nuances of meaning, beginning with the physical setting and moving into the more mercurial social issues, with special attention to how society relates to nature.

Brazil - The Physical Setting

Size and Location

With its expansive territory, Brazil occupies most of the eastern part of the South American continent and its geographic heartland, as well as various islands in the Atlantic Ocean. The only countries in the world that are larger are Russia, Canada, China, and the United States (including Alaska). The national territory extends 4,395 kilometers from north to south (5°16'20" N to 33°44'32" S latitude) and 4,319 kilometers from east to west (34°47'30" E to 73°59'32" W longitude). It spans four time zones, the westernmost of which, in Acre State, is the same as Eastern Standard Time in the United States. The time zone of the capital (Brasília) and of the most populated part of Brazil along the east coast is two hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time, except when it is on its own daylight savings time, from October to February. The Atlantic islands are in the easternmost time zone.

Brazil possesses the archipelago of Fernando de Noronha, located 350 kilometers northeast of its "horn," and several small islands and atolls in the Atlantic--Abrolhos, Atol das Rocas, Penedos de São Pedro e São Paulo, Trindade, and Martim Vaz. In the early 1970s, Brazil claimed a territorial sea extending 362 kilometers from the country's shores, including those of the islands.

On Brazil's east coast, the Atlantic coastline extends 7,367 kilometers. In the west, in clockwise order from the south, Brazil has 15,719 kilometers of borders with Uruguay, Argentina, Paraguay, Bolivia, Peru, Colombia, Venezuela, Guyana, Suriname, and French Guiana (see table 2, Appendix). The only South American countries with which Brazil does not share borders are Chile and Ecuador. A few short sections are in question, but there are no major boundary controversies with any of the neighboring countries.

Brazil - Geology, Geomorphology, and Drainage

In contrast to the Andes, which rose to elevations of nearly 7,000 meters in a relatively recent epoch and inverted the Amazon's direction of flow from westward to eastward, Brazil's geological formation is very old. Precambrian crystalline shields cover 36 percent of the territory, especially its central area. The principal mountain ranges average elevations just under 2,000 meters. The Serra do Mar Range hugs the Atlantic coast, and the Serra do Espinhaço Range, the largest in area, extends through the south-central part of the country (see fig. 3). The highest mountains are in the Tumucumaque, Pacaraima, and Imeri ranges, among others, which traverse the northern border with the Guianas and Venezuela.

In addition to mountain ranges (about 0.5 percent of the country is above 1,200 meters), Brazil's Central Highlands include a vast central plateau (Planalto Central). The plateau's uneven terrain has an average elevation of 1,000 meters. The rest of the territory is made up primarily of sedimentary basins, the largest of which is drained by the Amazon and its tributaries. Of the total territory, 41 percent averages less than 200 meters in elevation. The coastal zone is noted for thousands of kilometers of tropical beaches interspersed with mangroves, lagoons, and dunes, as well as numerous coral reefs.

Brazil has one of the world's most extensive river systems, with eight major drainage basins, all of which drain into the Atlantic Ocean. Two of these basins--the Amazon and Tocantins-Araguaia--account for more than half the total drainage area. The largest river system in Brazil is the Amazon, which originates in the Andes and receives tributaries from a basin that covers 45.7 percent of the country, principally the north and west. The main Amazon river system is the Amazonas-Solimões-Ucayali axis (the 6,762 kilometer-long Ucayali is a Peruvian tributary), flowing from west to east. Through the Amazon Basin flows one-fifth of the world's fresh water. A total of 3,615 kilometers of the Amazon are in Brazilian territory. Over this distance, the waters decline only about 100 meters. The major tributaries on the southern side are, from west to east, the Javari, Juruá, Purus (all three of which flow into the western section of the Amazon called the Solimões), Madeira, Tapajós, Xingu, and Tocantins. On the northern side, the largest tributaries are the Branco, Japurá, Jari, and Negro. The above-mentioned tributaries carry more water than the Mississippi (its discharge is less than one-tenth that of the Amazon). The Amazon and some of its tributaries, called "white" rivers, bear rich sediments and hydrobiological elements. The black-white and clear rivers--such as the Negro, Tapajós, and Xingu--have clear (greenish) or dark water with few nutrients and little sediment.

The major river system in the Northeast is the São Francisco, which flows 1,609 kilometers northeast from the south-central region. Its basin covers 7.6 percent of the national territory. Only 277 kilometers of the lower river are navigable for oceangoing ships. The Paraná system covers 14.5 percent of the country. The Paraná flows south into the Río de la Plata Basin, reaching the Atlantic between Argentina and Uruguay. The headwaters of the Paraguai, the Paraná's major eastern tributary, constitute the Pantanal, the largest contiguous wetlands in the world, covering as much as 230,000 square kilometers.

Below their descent from the highlands, many of the tributaries of the Amazon are navigable. Upstream, they generally have rapids or waterfalls, and boats and barges also must face sandbars, trees, and other obstacles. Nevertheless, the Amazon is navigable by oceangoing vessels as far as 3,885 kilometers upstream, reaching Iquitos in Peru. The Amazon river system was the principal means of access until new roads became more important in the 1970s. The São Francisco was also used for transportation in the past. Dams and locks in the Paraná system have made it an important artery for interstate and international trade in the 1990s.

The various river systems descending from the shields have endowed Brazil with vast hydroelectric potential, estimated at 129,046 megawatts (MW), of which 30,065 MW were in operation or under construction in 1991. The largest hydroelectric projects are Itaipu, in Paraná, with 12,600 MW; Tucuruí, in Pará, with 7,746 MW; and Paulo Afonso, in Bahia, with 3,986 MW.

Brazil - Soils and Vegetation

Brazil's tropical soils produce 70 million tons of grain crops per year, but this output is attributed more to their extension than their fertility. Despite the earliest Portuguese explorers' reports that the land was exceptionally fertile and that anything planted grew well, the record in terms of sustained agricultural productivity has been generally disappointing. High initial fertility after clearing and burning usually is depleted rapidly, and acidity and aluminum content are often high. Together with the rapid growth of weeds and pests in cultivated areas, as a result of high temperatures and humidity, this loss of fertility explains the westward movement of the agricultural frontier and slash-and-burn agriculture (see Glossary); it takes less investment in work or money to clear new land than to continue cultivating the same land. Burning also is used traditionally to remove tall, dry, and nutrient-poor grass from pasture at the end of the dry season. Until mechanization and the use of chemical and genetic inputs increased during the agricultural intensification period of the 1970s and 1980s, coffee planting and farming in general moved constantly onward to new lands in the west and north. This pattern of horizontal or extensive expansion maintained low levels of technology and productivity and placed emphasis on quantity rather than quality of agricultural production.

The largest areas of fertile soils, called terra roxa (red earth), are found in the states of Paraná and São Paulo. The least fertile areas are in the Amazon, where the dense rain forest is. Soils in the Northeast are often fertile, but they lack water, unless they are irrigated artificially.

In the 1980s, investments made possible the use of irrigation, especially in the Northeast Region and in Rio Grande do Sul State, which had shifted from grazing to soy and rice production in the 1970s. Savanna soils also were made usable for soybean farming through acidity correction, fertilization, plant breeding, and in some cases spray irrigation. As agriculture underwent modernization in the 1970s and 1980s, soil fertility became less important for agricultural production than factors related to capital investment, such as infrastructure, mechanization, use of chemical inputs, breeding, and proximity to markets. Consequently, the vigor of frontier expansion weakened.

The variety of climates, soils, and drainage conditions in Brazil is reflected in the range of its vegetation types. The Amazon Basin and the areas of heavy rainfall along the Atlantic coast have tropical rain forest composed of broadleaf evergreen trees. The rain forest may contain as many as 3,000 species of flora and fauna within a 2.6-square-kilometer area. The Atlantic Forest is reputed to have even greater biological diversity than the Amazon rain forest, which, despite apparent homogeneity, contains many types of vegetation, from high canopy forest to bamboo groves.

In the semiarid Northeast, caatinga , a dry, thick, thorny vegetation, predominates. Most of central Brazil is covered with a woodland savanna, known as the cerrado (sparse scrub trees and drought-resistant grasses), which became an area of agricultural development after the mid-1970s. In the South (Sul), needle-leaved pinewoods (Paraná pine or araucaria) cover the highlands; grassland similar to the Argentine pampa covers the sea-level plains. The Mato Grosso swamplands (Pantanal Mato-grossense) is a Florida-sized plain in the western portion of the Center-West (Centro-Oeste). It is covered with tall grasses, bushes, and widely dispersed trees similar to those of the cerrado and is partly submerged during the rainy season.

Brazil, which is named after reddish dyewood (pau brasil ), has long been famous for the wealth of its tropical forests. These are not, however, as important to world markets as those of Asia and Africa, which started to reach depletion only in the 1980s. By 1996 more than 90 percent of the original Atlantic forest had been cleared, primarily for agriculture, with little use made of the wood, except for araucaria pine in Paraná.

The inverse situation existed with regard to clearing for wood in the Amazon rain forest, of which about 15 percent had been cleared by 1994, and part of the remainder had been disturbed by selective logging. Because the Amazon forest is highly heterogeneous, with hundreds of woody species per hectare, there is considerable distance between individual trees of economic value, such as mahogany and cerejeira . Therefore, this type of forest is not normally cleared for timber extraction but logged through high-grading, or selection of the most valuable trees. Because of vines, felling, and transportation, their removal causes destruction of many other trees, and the litter and new growth create a risk of forest fires, which are otherwise rare in rain forests. In favorable locations, such as Paragominas, in the northeastern part of Pará State, a new pattern of timber extraction has emerged: diversification and the production of plywood have led to the economic use of more than 100 tree species.

Starting in the late 1980s, rapid deforestation and extensive burning in Brazil received considerable international and national attention. Satellite images have helped document and quantify deforestation as well as fires, but their use also has generated considerable controversy because of problems of defining original vegetation, cloud cover, and dealing with secondary growth and because fires, as mentioned above, may occur in old pasture rather than signifying new clearing. Public policies intended to promote sustainable management of timber extraction, as well as sustainable use of nontimber forest products (such as rubber, Brazil nuts, fruits, seeds, oils, and vines), were being discussed intensely in the mid-1990s. However, implementing the principles of sustainable development (see Glossary), without irreversible damage to the environment, proved to be more challenging than establishing international agreements about them.

Brazil - Climate

Although 90 percent of the country is within the tropical zone, the climate of Brazil varies considerably from the mostly tropical North (the equator traverses the mouth of the Amazon) to temperate zones below the Tropic of Capricorn (23°27' S latitude), which crosses the country at the latitude of the city of São Paulo. Brazil has five climatic regions--equatorial, tropical, semiarid, highland tropical, and subtropical.

Temperatures along the equator are high, averaging above 25°C, but not reaching the summer extremes of up to 40°C in the temperate zones. There is little seasonal variation near the equator, although at times it can get cool enough for wearing a jacket, especially in the rain. At the country's other extreme, there are frosts south of the Tropic of Capricorn during the winter (June-August), and in some years there is snow in the mountainous areas, such as Rio Grande do Sul and Santa Catarina. Temperatures in the cities of São Paulo, Belo Horizonte, and Brasília are moderate (usually between 15°C and 30°C), despite their relatively low latitude, because of their elevation of approximately 1,000 meters. Rio de Janeiro, Recife, and Salvador on the coast have warm climates, with average temperatures ranging from 23°C to 27°C, but enjoy constant trade winds. The southern cities of Porto Alegre and Curitiba have a subtropical climate similar to that in parts of the United States and Europe, and temperatures can fall below freezing in winter.

Precipitation levels vary widely. Most of Brazil has moderate rainfall of between 1,000 and 1,500 millimeters a year, with most of the rain falling in the summer (between December and April) south of the Equator. The Amazon region is notoriously humid, with rainfall generally more than 2,000 millimeters per year and reaching as high as 3,000 millimeters in parts of the western Amazon and near Belém. It is less widely known that, despite high annual precipitation, the Amazon rain forest has a three- to five-month dry season, the timing of which varies according to location north or south of the equator.

High and relatively regular levels of precipitation in the Amazon contrast sharply with the dryness of the semiarid Northeast, where rainfall is scarce and there are severe droughts in cycles averaging seven years. The Northeast is the driest part of the country. The region also constitutes the hottest part of Brazil, where during the dry season between May and November, temperatures of more than 38°C have been recorded. However, the sertão , a region of semidesert vegetation used primarily for low-density ranching, turns green when there is rain. Most of the Center-West has 1,500 to 2,000 millimeters of rain per year, with a pronounced dry season in the middle of the year, while the South and most of the Atlantic coast as far north as Salvador, Bahia, in the Northeast, have similar amounts of rainfall without a distinct dry season.

Brazil - Geographic Regions

Brazil's twenty-six states and the Federal District (Distrito Federal) are divided conventionally into five regions--North (Norte), Northeast, Southeast (Sudeste), South, and Center-West (see fig. 4). In 1996 there were 5,581 municipalities (municípios ), which have municipal governments. Many municipalities, which are comparable to United States counties, are in turn divided into districts (distritos ), which do not have political or administrative autonomy. In 1995 there were 9,274 districts. All municipal and district seats, regardless of size, are considered officially to be urban. For purely statistical purposes, the municipalities were grouped in 1990 into 559 micro-regions, which in turn constituted 136 meso-regions. This grouping modified the previous micro-regional division established in 1968, a division that was used to present census data for 1970, 1975, 1980, and 1985.

Each of the five major regions has a distinct ecosystem. Administrative boundaries do not necessarily coincide with ecological boundaries, however. In addition to differences in physical environment, patterns of economic activity and population settlement vary widely among the regions. The principal ecological characteristics of each of the five major regions, as well as their principal socioeconomic and demographic features, are summarized below.


The equatorial North, also known as the Amazon or Amazônia, includes, from west to east, the states of Rondônia, Acre, Amazonas, Roraima, Pará, Amapá, and, as of 1988, Tocantins (created from the northern part of Goiás State, which is situated in the Center-West). Rondônia, previously a federal territory, became a state in 1986. The former federal territories of Roraima and Amapá were raised to statehood in 1988.

With 3,869,638 square kilometers, the North is the country's largest region, covering 45.3 percent of the national territory (see table 3, Appendix). The region's principal biome is the humid tropical forest, also known as the rain forest, home to some of the planet's richest biological diversity. The North has served as a source of forest products ranging from "backlands drugs" (such as sarsaparilla, cocoa, cinnamon, and turtle butter) in the colonial period to rubber and Brazil nuts in more recent times. In the mid-twentieth century, nonforest products from mining, farming, and livestock-raising became more important, and in the 1980s the lumber industry boomed. In 1990, 6.6 percent of the region's territory was considered altered by anthropic (man-made) action, with state levels varying from 0.9 percent in Amapá to 14.0 percent in Rondônia.

In 1996 the North had 11.1 million inhabitants, only 7 percent of the national total. However, its share of Brazil's total had grown rapidly in the 1970s and early 1980s as a result of interregional migration, as well as high rates of natural increase. The largest population concentrations are in eastern Pará State and in Rondônia. The major cities are Belém and Santarém in Pará, and Manaus in Amazonas. Living standards are below the national average. The highest per capita income, US$2,888, in the region in 1994, was in Amazonas, while the lowest, US$901, was in Tocantins.


The nine states that make up the Northeast are Alagoas, Bahia, Ceará, Maranhão, Paraíba, Pernambuco, Piauí, Rio Grande do Norte, and Sergipe. The former federal territory of Fernando de Noronha was incorporated into Pernambuco State in 1988. For planning or ecological purposes, Maranhão west of 44° W longitude, most of which until recently was covered with "pre-Amazon" forest (that is, transition from the cerrado or caatinga to tropical forest), is often included in the Amazon region.

The Northeast, with 1,561,178 square kilometers, covers 18.3 percent of the national territory. Its principal biome is the semiarid caatinga region, which is subject to prolonged periodic droughts. By the 1990s, this region utilized extensive irrigation. In an area known as the forest zone (zona da mata ), the Atlantic Forest, now almost entirely gone, once stretched along the coastline as far north as Rio Grande do Norte. Sugar plantations established there in colonial times persisted for centuries. Between the mata and the sertão lies a transition zone called the agreste , an area of mixed farming. In 1988-89, 46.3 percent of the region had been subjected to anthropic activity, ranging from a low of 10.8 percent in Maranhão to a high of 77.2 percent in Alagoas.

Because its high rates of natural increase offset heavy out-migration, the Northeast's large share of the country's total population declined only slightly during the twentieth century. In 1996 the region had 45 million inhabitants, 28 percent of Brazil's total population. The population is densest along the coast, where eight of the nine state capitals are located, but is also spread throughout the interior. The major cities are Salvador, in Bahia; Recife, in Pernambuco; and Fortaleza, in Ceará. The region has the country's largest concentration of rural population, and its living standards are the lowest in Brazil. In 1994 Piauí had the lowest per capita income in the region and the country, only US$835, while Sergipe had the highest average income in the region, with US$1,958.


The Southeast consists of the four states of Espírito Santo, Minas Gerais, Rio de Janeiro, and São Paulo. Its total area of 927,286 square kilometers corresponds to 10.9 percent of the national territory. The region has the largest share of the country's population, 63 million in 1991, or 39 percent of the national total, primarily as a result of internal migration since the mid-nineteenth century until the 1980s. In addition to a dense urban network, it contains the megacities of São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, which in 1991 had 18.7 million and 11.7 million inhabitants in their metropolitan areas, respectively. The region combines the highest living standards in Brazil with pockets of urban poverty. In 1994 São Paulo boasted an average income of US$4,666, while Minas Gerais reported only US$2,833.

Originally, the principal biome in the Southeast was the Atlantic Forest, but by 1990 less than 10 percent of the original forest cover remained as a result of clearing for farming, ranching, and charcoal making. Anthropic activity had altered 79.5 percent of the region, ranging from 75 percent in Minas Gerais to 91.1 percent in Espírito Santo. The region has most of Brazil's industrial production. The state of São Paulo alone accounts for half of the country's industries. Agriculture, also very strong, has diversified and now uses modern technology.


The three states in the temperate South--Paraná, Rio Grande do Sul, and Santa Catarina--cover 577,214 square kilometers, or 6.8 percent of the national territory. The population of the South in 1991 was 23.1 million, or 14 percent of the country's total. The region is almost as densely settled as the Southeast, but the population is more concentrated along the coast. The major cities are Curitiba and Porto Alegre. The inhabitants of the South enjoy relatively high living standards. Because of its industry and agriculture, Paraná had the highest average income in 1994, US$3,674, while Santa Catarina, a land of small farmers and small industries, had slightly less, US$3,405.

In addition to the Atlantic Forest and pine woods, much of which were cleared in the post-World War II period, the South contains pampa grasslands, similar to those of Argentina and Uruguay, in the extreme south. In 1982, 83.5 percent of the region had been altered by anthropic activity, with the highest level (89.7 percent) in Rio Grande do Sul, and the lowest (66.7 percent) in Santa Catarina. Agriculture--much of which, such as rice production, is carried out by small farmers--has high levels of productivity. There are also some important industries.


The Center-West consists of the states of Goiás, Mato Grosso, and Mato Grosso do Sul (separated from Mato Grosso in 1979), as well as the Federal District, site of Brasília, the national capital. Until 1988 Goiás State included the area that then became the state of Tocantins in the North.

The Center-West has 1,612,077 square kilometers and covers 18.9 percent of the national territory. Its main biome is the cerrado , the tropical savanna in which natural grassland is partly covered with twisted shrubs and small trees. The cerrado was used for low-density cattle-raising in the past but is now also used for soybean production. There are gallery forests along the rivers and streams and some larger areas of forest, most of which have been cleared for farming and livestock. In the north, the cerrado blends into tropical forest. It also includes the Pantanal wetlands in the west, known for their wildlife, especially aquatic birds and caymans. In the early 1980s, 33.6 percent of the region had been altered by anthropic activities, with a low of 9.3 percent in Mato Grosso and a high of 72.9 percent in Goiás (not including Tocantins). In 1996 the Center-West region had 10.2 million inhabitants, or 6 percent of Brazil's total population. The average density is low, with concentrations in and around the cities of Brasília, Goiânia, Campo Grande, and Cuiabá. Living standards are below the national average. In 1994 they were highest in the Federal District, with per capita income of US$7,089 (the highest in the nation), and lowest in Mato Grosso, with US$2,268.

Brazil - The Environment

The environmental problem that attracted most international attention in Brazil in the 1980s was undoubtedly deforestation in the Amazon. Of all Latin American countries, Brazil still has the largest portion (66 percent) of its territory covered by forests, but clearing and burning in the Amazon proceeded at alarming rates in the 1970s and 1980s. Most of the clearing resulted from the activities of ranchers, including large corporate operations, and a smaller portion resulted from slash-and-burn techniques used by small farmers.

Deforestation in the Amazon declined from levels averaging 22,000 square kilometers per year during the 1970-88 period to about 11,000 square kilometers per year between 1988 and 1991. There was controversy about the levels in the mid-1990s. Knowledgeable experts placed the level of accumulated deforestation at about 15 percent in 1996, as opposed to 12 percent in 1991. Although unseasonal rainfall patterns may explain some year-to-year variation, the basic cause for the decline in deforestation after 1987 was economic crisis. There was insufficient capital, credit, or incentive for large-scale clearing, as well as insufficient public investment to stimulate new migration. Migration to the Amazon also fell quickly in the late 1980s. More effective enforcement of government regulations and bad publicity for large offenders, both of which were associated with changes in public opinion about the environment, also played a part. Technical changes involved in the transition from horizontal expansion of agriculture to increasing productivity also accounted for decreasing rates of deforestation.

Desertification, another important environmental problem in Brazil, only received international attention following the United Nations Conference on the Environment and Development, also known as the Earth Summit, held in Rio de Janeiro in June 1992. Desertification means that the soils and vegetation of drylands are severely degraded, not necessarily that land turns into desert. In the early 1990s, it became evident that the semiarid caatinga ecosystem of the Northeast was losing its natural vegetation through clearing and that the zone was therefore running the risk of becoming even more arid, as was occurring also in some other regions.

In areas where agriculture is more intense and developed, there are serious problems of soil erosion, siltation and sedimentation of streams and rivers, and pollution with pesticides. In parts of the savannas, where irrigated soybean production expanded in the 1980s, the water table has been affected. Expansion of pastures for cattle-raising has reduced natural biodiversity in the savannas. Swine effluents constitute a serious environmental problem in Santa Catarina in the South.

In urban areas, at least in the largest cities, levels of air pollution and congestion are typical of, or worse than, those found in cities in developed countries. At the same time, however, basic environmental problems related to the lack of sanitation, which developed countries solved long ago, persist in Brazil. These problems are sometimes worse in middle-sized and small cities than in large cities, which have more resources to deal with them. Environmental problems of cities and towns finally began to receive greater attention by society and the government in the 1990s.

According to many critics, the economic crisis in the 1980s worsened environmental degradation in Brazil because it led to overexploitation of natural resources, stimulated settlement in fragile lands in both rural and urban areas, and weakened environmental protection. At the same time, however, the lower level of economic activity may have reduced pressure on the environment, such as the aforementioned decreased level of investment in large-scale clearing in the Amazon. That pressure could increase if economic growth accelerates, especially if consumption patterns remain unchanged and more sustainable forms of production are not found.

In Brazil public policies regarding the environment are generally advanced, although their implementation and the enforcement of environmental laws have been far from ideal. Laws regarding forests, water, and wildlife have been in effect since the 1930s. Brazil achieved significant institutional advances in environmental policy design and implementation after the Stockholm Conference on the Environment in 1972. Specialized environmental agencies were organized at the federal level and in some states, and many national parks and reserves were established. By 1992 Brazil had established thirty-four national parks and fifty-six biological reserves (see fig. 5). In 1981 the National Environment Policy was defined, and the National System for the Environment (Sistema Nacional do Meio Ambiente--Sisnama) was created, with the National Environmental Council (Conselho Nacional do Meio Ambiente--Conama) at its apex, municipal councils at its base, and state-level councils in between. In addition to government authorities, all of these councils include representatives of civil society.

The 1988 constitution incorporates environmental precepts that are advanced compared with those of most other countries. At that time, the Chamber of Deputies (Câmara dos Deputados) established its permanent Commission for Defense of the Consumer, the Environment, and Minorities. In 1989 the creation of the Brazilian Institute for the Environment and Renewable Natural Resources (Instituto Brasileiro do Meio Ambiente e dos Recursos Naturais Renováveis--Ibama) joined together the federal environment secretariat and the federal agencies specializing in forestry, rubber, and fisheries. In 1990 the administration of Fernando Collor de Mello (president, 1990-92) appointed the well-known environmentalist José Lutzemberger as secretary of the environment and took firm positions on the environment and on Indian lands. In 1992 Brazil played a key role at the Earth Summit, not only as its host but also as negotiator on sustainable development agreements, including the conventions on climate and biodiversity. The Ministry of Environment was created in late 1992, after President Collor had left office. In August 1993, it became the Ministry of Environment and the Legal Amazon and took a more pragmatic approach than had the combative Lutzemberger. However, because of turnover in its leadership, a poorly defined mandate, and lack of funds, its role and impact were limited. In 1995 its mandate and name were expanded to include water resources--the Ministry of Environment, Hydraulic Resources, and the Legal Amazon--it began a process of restructuring to meet its mandate of "shared management of the sustainable use of natural resources." In 1997 the Commission on Policies for Sustainable Development and Agenda 21 began to function under the aegis of the Civil Household. One of its main tasks was to prepare Agenda 21 (a plan for the twenty-first century) for Brazil and to stimulate preparation of state and local agendas.

Institutional development at the official level was accompanied and in part stimulated by the growth, wide diffusion, and growing professional development of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) dedicated to environmental and socio-environmental causes. The hundreds of NGOs throughout Brazil produce documents containing both useful information and passionate criticisms. Among the Brazilian environmental NGOs, the most visible are SOS Atlantic Forest (SOS Mata Atlântica), the Social-Environmental Institute (Instituto Sócio-Ambiental--ISA), the Pro-Nature Foundation (Fundação Pró-Natureza--Funatura), and the Amazon Working Group (Grupo de Trabalho Amazônico--GTA). The Brazilian Forum of NGOs and Social Movements for the Environment and Development and the Brazilian Association of Nongovernmental Organizations (Associacão Brasileira de Organizações Não-Governamentais--ABONG) are national networks, and there are various regional and thematic networks as well. The main international environmental NGOs that have offices or affiliates in Brazil are the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), Conservation International (CI), and Nature Conservancy.

Especially after the events of the late 1980s, international organizations and developed countries have allocated significant resources for the environmental sector in Brazil. In 1992 environmental projects worth about US$6.8 million were identified, with US$2.6 in counterpart funds (funds provided by the Brazilian government). More than 70 percent of the total value was for sanitation, urban pollution control, and other urban environmental projects. Thus, the allocation of resources did not accord with the common belief that funding was influenced unduly by alarmist views on deforestation in the Amazon.

Among the specific environmental projects with international support, the most important was the National Environmental Plan (Plano Nacional do Meio Ambiente--PNMA), which received a US$117 million loan from the World Bank (see Glossary). The National Environmental Fund (Fundo Nacional do Meio Ambiente--FNMA), in addition to budgetary funds, received US$20 million from the Inter-American Development Bank (see Glossary) to finance the environmental activities of NGOs and small municipal governments. The Pilot Program for the Conservation of the Brazilian Rain Forests (Programa Piloto para a Proteção das Florestas Tropicais do Brasil--PPG-7) was supported by the world's seven richest countries (the so-called G-7) and the European Community (see Glossary), which allocated US$258 million for projects in the Amazon and Atlantic Forest regions. The Global Environment Facility (GEF), created in 1990, set aside US$30 million for Brazil, part of which is managed by a national fund called Funbio. GEF also established a small grants program for NGOs, which focused on the cerrado during its pilot phase. The World Bank also made loans for environmental and natural resource management in Rondônia and Mato Grosso, in part to correct environmental and social problems that had been created by the World Bank-funded development of the northwest corridor in the 1980s.

Despite favorable laws, promising institutional arrangements, and external funding, the government has not, on the whole, been effective in controlling damage to the environment. This failure is only in small measure because of the opposition of anti-environmental groups. In greater part, it can be attributed to the traditional separation between official rhetoric and actual practice in Brazil. It is also related to general problems of governance, fiscal crisis, and lingering doubts about appropriate tradeoffs between the environment and development. Some of the most effective governmental action in the environmental area has occurred at the state and local levels in the most developed states and has involved NGOs. In 1994 the PNMA began to stress decentralization and strengthening of state environmental agencies, a tendency that subsequently gained momentum.

Brazil - Population

At the turn of the century, Brazil's population was 17,438,434. By 1950 it had grown to 51,944,397, and in 1970 it reached 93,139,037. By 1991 Brazil was the world's sixth most populous country, with about 2.7 percent of the world's 5.3 billion people or 147,053,940 inhabitants. In July 1996, the population was counted as being 157,079,573, but estimated in 1997 to be nearly 160 million. Projections indicate a total population of 169 million in 2000 and 211 million in 2020, and population stability at about 250 million in 2050. The population growth rate for the 1992 to 2000 period is estimated at 1.5 percent per year. As a result of the decline in mortality and continued high fertility during the 1950s and 1960s, the average growth rate was nearly 3 percent per year. Subsequent to a decrease in total fertility, the growth rate dropped to 2.5 percent in the 1970s and 1.9 percent in the 1980s.

Average population density in Brazil in 1994 was 18.5 inhabitants per square kilometer. There was a wide variation between the densely populated Southeast and South, on the one hand, and the sparse North and Center-West, on the other, with the Northeast at intermediate levels. In comparison, in 1991 the United States (including Alaska) had an average of twenty-five inhabitants per square kilometer; France, 100; the United Kingdom, 100; China, 110; and Canada, three.

According to the 1996 count, the most populous region in the country is still the Southeast (63 million inhabitants), followed by the Northeast (45 million), the South (23.1 million), the North (11.1 million), and the Center-West (10.2 million). The most inhabited states are São Paulo, Minas Gerais, Rio de Janeiro, Bahia, Rio Grande do Sul, and Paraná. These states all lie along the Atlantic coast.

In some rural areas and many cities, particularly in major metropolitan areas, females outnumber males. The historical predominance of women over men in the Brazilian population has persisted. The 1996 count showed that there were ninety-seven men for every 100 women and that the total number of women exceeded the number of men by 5 million.

The average age of the Brazilian population has increased as a result of a continued decrease in mortality and fertility. Between 1980 and 1990, the proportional share of children from birth to age fourteen decreased from 38.2 to 34.7 percent, while the share for those of age fifteen to sixty-four increased from 57.8 to 61.1 percent. The proportion of elderly (age sixty-five or greater) increased from 4.0 to 4.2 percent and is projected to reach 9.0 percent by the year 2020. In all regions of the country, the count registered an increased number of people of ages fifteen to sixty-four and of older people over sixty-four years old. In the Southeast, for example, the proportion of people in the former age bracket increased from the 61.7 percent registered in 1980 to 63.6 percent in 1991, while the number of older people increased from 4.2 percent to 5.1 percent.

The demographic transition in Brazil becomes apparent as the bottom of the very wide-based pyramid, typical of developing countries with high birthrates, begins to narrow (see fig. 6). Further declines in the fertility rate, estimated at 2.44 children born per woman in 1994, eventually will lead to a pyramid that is shaped more like a bullet, with cohorts under age sixty of roughly equal size. Senior citizens will live longer, and the proportion of young people will decline. In the year 2000, young people will account for 28.3 percent of the population and senior citizens, 8 percent. Couples will have fewer children, and the fertility rate may be less than 2.2 children per woman, the replacement level.

<>Migration and Urbanization
<>Social Classes
<>The Elderly
<>Race and Ethnicity
<>Rural Groups
<>Cultural Unity and Diversity

Updated population figures for Brazil.

Brazil - Mortality

As is typical in demographic transitions, declines in mortality preceded declines in fertility in Brazil, but the process took only a few decades rather than centuries, as it did in developed countries. The death rate started to fall in the 1940s because of the expanding public health system, urbanization, and sanitation. The crude death rate in 1995 was eight per 1,000 population, a notable decrease from the 1960-65 rate of 12.3. The 1995 level, which is similar to that of developed countries, resulted from the age structure being still relatively younger.

Life expectancy at birth, which is a measure of mortality that is not affected by different age structures, began to rise in Brazil in the 1940s. It increased from 42.7 years in 1940 to 52.7 years in 1970 and 67.1 years in 1995. It is projected to reach 68.5 years in 2000 and 75.5 years in 2020. Life expectancy for women is about seven years greater than that for men, but the differential is decreasing.

A decline in mortality has occurred in all regions, but strong regional variations in life expectancy persist. The lowest levels are found in the Northeast (65.4 years in 1995) and the highest in the South (69.4 years in 1995), slightly higher than the Southeast. The North and Center-West regions have levels of life expectancy close to the national average. Within the socioeconomic strata, higher life expectancy is strongly associated with higher family income. Mortality is generally higher in rural than in urban areas, except for the lowest income groups.

In the past, the principal causes of death in Brazil were infectious and contagious diseases, especially diarrhea and intestinal parasites among infants, as well as tuberculosis, measles, and respiratory diseases (for a discussion of infant mortality, see Indicators of Health, this ch.). As these were brought under control in the postwar period, primarily in the more developed regions, degenerative diseases such as cardiovascular disorders and cancer became proportionately more prevalent. Deaths from external causes, including violence and traffic accidents, also gained importance.


Brazil - Fertility

In 1996 the crude birthrate was estimated at 21.16 births per 1,000 population, a significant reduction from 42.1 for the 1960-65 period. As in the case of mortality, crude birthrates are affected by the age structure and, therefore, difficult to compare among countries and regions or over time. It is preferable to use the total fertility rate, a standardized measure that corresponds to the average number of children per woman at age forty-nine, the end of her reproductive life, assuming that she has survived and followed the fertility patterns characteristic of each age category.

Brazil's total fertility rate dropped from close to six in the 1940s and 1950s to 3.3 in 1986 to 2.44 in 1994, not much higher than the replacement level of 2.2. Fertility declined in urban and rural areas, in all regions, and among all socioeconomic strata, although the rates continued to vary. In large countries, such a rapid and generalized fertility decline had been observed previously only in China, where official policy placed intense pressure on couples to have only one child. Projections indicate a total fertility rate of 2.0 in the year 2000 and 1.8 in 2020, lower than replacement.

The Brazilian birthrate began to decline noticeably in the 1970s, by which time socioeconomic changes had made large families less affordable than in the traditional social and economic structure in rural areas. In the past, especially in rural areas, children started work early and supported their parents in old age, and the children did not cost much to raise. In the 1990s, they attend school for longer periods and cost more to support.

Meanwhile, new methods of birth control, primarily pills and female sterilization, became widely available in the 1970s. Oral contraceptives are sold over the counter without prescription. Surgical sterilization, which is practiced in Brazil more than any other country, is typically performed during cesarean deliveries. Such deliveries comprised nearly a third of all deliveries in the 1980s. Surgical sterilization is of questionable legality, but is often carried out by doctors who are paid for the cesarean section by the public health system and receive private payment for extra services on the side.

The number of Brazilian couples opting for sterilization as a means of contraception increased by more than 40 percent during the 1986-96 period, based on the Demographic and Health Survey carried out by Bemfam, an NGO. The survey, conducted between March and July 1996, interviewed 12,612 women between fifteen and forty-nine years of age as well as 2,949 men between fifteen and fifty-nine years. The survey found that 40.1 percent of married women or women living with partners had been sterilized, as compared with 26.9 percent in 1986. In 1986 only 0.8 percent of males had had a vasectomy, as compared with 2.6 percent in 1996. The Bemfam survey showed that the average age at which women are sterilized was 28.9 years in 1996, as compared with 31.4 years in 1986.

In the early 1990s, the use of birth-control pills and female sterilization (tubal ligation) continued to contribute to the fertility decline in Brazil. About 65 percent of Brazilian women used contraceptives, which is comparable with levels in developed countries. Of the women who used some method and were in union, 44 percent were sterilized. About 7 percent used rhythm, while other contraceptives or methods were rarer.

Abortion in Brazil is significant. In the early 1990s, some 1.4 million abortions were performed each year, almost all of which were technically illegal. This corresponds to approximately one abortion for every two live births. The only cases in which abortion is not subject to legal sanctions in Brazil are rape and danger to the mother's life, but the law is not enforced effectively. The practice of unsafe, clandestine abortions helps to explain why Brazil has the fifth highest maternal mortality rate in Latin America, estimated at 141 deaths per 1,000 births, in contrast to eight in the United States.

A fertility decline in Brazil occurred in the absence of any official policy in favor of controlling birthrates. The government's stance was one of laissez-faire. Although it did not promote family planning, largely because of the influence of the Roman Catholic Church, the government did little to interfere with the widespread practice of contraception among the population at large. Nor did the population pay much heed to religious dogma. In the case of fertility regulation, social change in Brazil occurred from the bottom up. Women took much of the initiative.

In the 1980s, the Ministry of Health included family planning services as part of an integrated women's health program. However, because of a severe lack of funds, the direct effects of the program were limited. Changing public opinion and the women's movement in Brazil favored changes in official policy, which were slow to come about. The 1988 constitution included the right to plan freely the number of children. A Family Planning Law took effect in 1997 in order to regulate sterilization, making it available in the public health network but forbidding it during deliveries, as well as provide birth-control alternatives through the same network.


Brazil - Migration and Urbanization

Immigration from Europe and the African slave trade, which were the prime sources of population growth during much of Brazil's history, became demographically insignificant by the 1930s. Subsequently, there were massive transfers of internal migrants from the Northeast and Minas Gerais to the growing urban centers of São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. Over time, there were successive waves of significant but less voluminous counterflows to frontier areas in Paraná, the Center-West, and finally the Amazon. The government's colonization plans, which included settlement along the Trans-Amazonian Highway, stimulated internal migration. However, the last cycle of frontier expansion came to a close, at least temporarily, in the late 1980s.

During the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s, some 20 million people moved from rural to urban areas in Brazil. This population movement constitutes one of the largest of its kind in history. Brazil's urban population (by the official definition) grew at rates of about 5 percent per year and accounted for 56 percent of the total population in 1970, 68 percent in 1980, and 75 percent in 1991. During most of the post-World War II period, the largest cities grew fastest as a result of gradual migration to progressively larger cities. In the 1980s, however, the proportion of Brazil's population living in metropolitan areas dropped from 29 percent to 28 percent. The new pattern of population redistribution revealed by the 1991 census involved less interregional migration, with more people staying in their regions of origin or moving to large cities nearby rather than to megacities.

Numerous efforts have been made at the policy level to stimulate settlement in the interior, including colonization in the Amazon, and to limit the growth of the largest cities while strengthening middle-sized cities. Despite these efforts, however, most public policies have continued to favor population concentration in the Southeast and in large cities by promoting industry at the cost of agriculture and by providing services and benefits primarily to urban residents.

During the 1980s, as a result of economic crisis and improved transportation services, emigration from Brazil increased to other countries, including the United States, Canada, Portugal, and Japan. For the first time ever, Brazil became a net exporter of population and thus entered a new stage in its demographic history. Some of the emigrants sought employment in menial jobs in developed countries; others were skilled personnel, including scientists and engineers. However, a noteworthy reverse brain drain also took place, with skilled workers from other Latin American countries and Europe constituting a significant proportion of new immigrants. Immigration increased from neighboring countries, especially members of the Common Market of the South (Mercado Comum do Sul--Mercosul; see Glossary), including Argentina, Uruguay, and Paraguay, as well as from some countries in Africa and Asia.


Brazil - Social Classes

Brazil inherited a highly stratified society from the colonial system and from slavery, which persisted for nearly three generations after independence in 1822. The legacy of sharp socioeconomic stratification is reflected in Brazil's highly skewed income distribution, among the world's worst (see Inequality and Poverty, ch. 3). The relatively high average per capita income (US$4,086 in 1995) masks deep inequality. During the postwar period, income concentration and regional disequilibrium did not change significantly despite numerous government policies aimed at greater equity. Poverty was widespread, reaching the lowest levels in the rural parts of the Northeast, but also including pockets of urban poverty in the largest cities in the developed regions. In 1990 the number of indigents suffering from extreme poverty (see Glossary) was estimated to be at least 32 million, about one-fifth of the country's total population. This included an estimated 9.6 percent of the residents of metropolitan areas, 18.4 percent of the population of other urban areas, and 42.8 percent of the rural population.

Socioeconomic inequality involves subtle forms of residential, educational, and workplace discrimination, in such ways that members of distinct socioeconomic strata tend to live, work, and circulate in different settings. The well-to-do live in chic neighborhoods, usually centrally located, go to private schools, drive or ride in cars, and shop at malls. The urban poor live in favelas or distant housing projects, take long bus trips to work, go to public schools or drop out, and shop at smaller supermarkets or local shops. The rural poor in the country's interior are practically invisible to the urban upper and middle classes.

Despite such social segregation, class solidarity is not strong. Instead of horizontal class ties, numerous cross-cutting vertical relationships involve personal dependence on individuals who have more property and prestige. Given the circumstances, these relationships of clientelism and paternalism are advantageous for both patrons and clients. Because of the lack of effective government services and real possibilities for class action, the poor have few alternatives but to seek the protection of patrons. The traditional rural forms of patronage have been described as colonelism (coronelismo --see Glossary), referring to the fact that rural bosses often had military titles (see The Old or First Republic, 1889-1930, ch. 1). Among other things, colonels (coronéis ) used their influence over their clientele for electoral purposes. Such vertical interpersonal ties continue to be stronger in rural areas, especially in the Northeast, but they also persist in other forms in urban settings and at various levels of the socioeconomic scale. Even members of the modern middle class tend to have lower-income persons or families dependent on them for such things as domestic employment and economic or health emergencies. They, in turn, seek help from powerful friends and relatives.

Contrary to dualistic stereotypes of Latin American societies, Brazilian class structure cannot be reduced to a wealthy landed elite versus masses of poor peasants and workers. The middle sectors or classes have been significant at least since the nineteenth century. Sectors of Brazil's population that were neither slave owners nor slaves began to grow in the colonial period, when craftsmen, shopkeepers, small farmers, freed slaves, and persons of mixed racial origin began to outnumber slave owners and eventually slaves. During the twentieth century, the middle sectors continued to grow. The present middle class does not own large properties, industries, or firms but also is not destitute. It consists largely of a technical work force--clerks, professionals, teachers, salespersons, public servants, and highly skilled workers. Its position is based more on knowledge and skills than on property. A surge of upward mobility strengthened the middle class during the "economic miracle" in the late 1960s and early 1970s. At the same time, blue-collar workers with middle to low levels of skills constitute a lower middle class that is numerically very significant.

In addition to those formally employed, many workers are in the so-called informal economy (see Glossary), which includes self-employed businessmen and workers who do not have the legal protection of labor legislation. In 1990 the informal sector accounted for nearly half of the economically active population. The informal sector grows in times of recession because of unemployment and during times of prosperity, when opportunities for making money are more readily available. A survey released in 1996 by the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (Fundação Instituto Brasileiro de Geografia e Estatística--IBGE) showed that only 85 percent of those questioned wanted to seek formal employment.

Increasingly, the system of social stratification that was originally based on property (land or industry) has evolved in such a way that individuals who acquire special technical skills or know-how are able to earn reasonable incomes. Outside these two groups of propertied or skilled individuals lies a significant mass, perhaps a majority, that is excluded in the sense of limited participation in markets and poor access to government services, such as health, education, and sanitation.


Brazil - Gender

For reasons of property transmission and religion, Brazilian society was originally strongly patriarchal, but there was also strong tension between rigid norms of Iberian origin and the extenuating circumstances of frontier life, where conditions were not favorable for compliance with the norms. The difficulty of putting Roman Catholic values into effective practice in the context of poverty, isolation, and unbalanced male/female sex ratios (number of men per 100 women) reinforced the Mediterranean double moral standard for men and women. Men were expected to demonstrate their masculinity, while proper women were supposed to remain virgins until marriage and to be faithful to their husbands. This double standard also favored frequent consensual unions, illegitimacy, and prostitution. Such behavior was not entirely acceptable but was tolerated more readily in Brazil, generally speaking, than in North America and the rest of Latin America.

Although women were allowed open access to schools and employment around the turn of the century and suffrage on a national level in 1933, they were not on an equal footing with men in family affairs. Men were automatically heads of households, and married women were legally subordinate to their husbands. Because of the inconvenience caused by informal remarriage, divorce was made legal in 1977. Under the constitution of 1988, women became entirely equal to men for all legal purposes.

Female participation in the labor force grew dramatically in the 1970s and 1980s, as a result of new employment patterns, especially the expansion of the services sector, and economic pressures on family income. Women are most commonly employed as domestic servants. The economic participation of women in Brazil rose from 18 percent in 1970 to 27 percent by 1980 and 30 percent by 1990 (although such figures might underestimate actual rates of participation by failing to include the informal activities that characterize small and/or household enterprises). More than 70 percent of women in the labor force are employed by the services sector (as compared with 42 percent of men), and women tend to be underrepresented among the formal labor force in agricultural and industrial activities. Patterns of labor force participation vary considerably by region. In the early 1990s, rates of female labor force participation ranged from 36.8 percent in Rio de Janeiro to 33.1 percent in the Northeast. In Brazil, as in most other countries in Latin America, rates of females participating in the job market appear to increase with education, especially the proportion of single educated women entering the formal sector rather than the informal and self-employed sectors.

There is a considerable wage gap between men and women. According to one recent estimate, the differential between women and men is less pronounced in urban areas (for example, women earn on average 77.8 percent of men's wages in Rio de Janeiro and 73.6 percent in São Paulo), and most pronounced in the Northeast (where, on average, women earn 63.5 percent of the wages of men). Average wages are also considerably lower in the Northeast, where women's average hourly wages are 42 percent of the prevailing average in Rio de Janeiro. According to recent economic studies, only a small portion (between 11 percent and 19 percent of wage differentials in the formal labor force) can be attributed to differences between men and women in their endowments (such as education or experience). For the most part, the wage gap probably reflects discriminatory practices.

Recent decades have also been characterized by significant changes in family structures. For example, the available data suggest a considerable increase over the past decades in female-headed households, which include the poorest of the poor, from 13 percent in 1970 to 16 percent in 1980 and 20 percent by the late 1980s. This process has been termed the "feminization of poverty." Once again, there are considerable differences among regions; in the urban North Region, for example, over 24 percent of households were headed by women in the late 1980s, while their relative share in the South was closer to 16 percent.

Despite persistent gender inequality, the status of women in Brazil is improving on various fronts. As a rule, there are as many females as males in schools, even at the highest levels, and professions that traditionally were dominated by males, such as law, medicine, dentistry, and engineering, are becoming more balanced in terms of gender, if there are not already more women students than men. More women than men are in the National Lawyers' Association (Associação Nacional dos Advogados). The attitudes and practices of young people are generally not as sexist as those of their parents, at least among youth of families with higher income and education.

Nevertheless, there are still relatively few women in positions of power. They have a significant, albeit limited, presence in high levels of federal government, although they have better representation at the state and municipal levels. Since the government of João Baptista do Oliveira Figueiredo (president, 1979-85), several female ministers have been in the cabinet, and in 1994 two women were candidates for vice president. By 1994 women made up only 7 percent of the Congress.

Women's movements grew in the 1980s, when a National Council on Women's Rights (Conselho Nacional de Direitos da Mulher--CNDM) was created. Originally, the feminist movement was closely connected to human rights movements and resistance to the military regime. In the 1980s and 1990s, attention shifted to violence against women, especially domestic violence and sexual abuse and harassment. One original response to this kind of problem was the creation of special police stations for women. Women's movements also mobilized support for reproductive health and rights, as defined in the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development, held in Cairo.


Brazil - Youth

The population under age eighteen was only 30.7 percent of the total population in 1991. This significant decrease relative to previous decades--it was over 42.6 percent in 1960--was almost entirely the result of rapid fertility decline. Compared with developed countries, as mentioned above, Brazil still has a relatively young population.

Overall, school enrollment in the early 1990s reached about 90 percent of school-age children (seven to fourteen), although there was wide variation, with lower coverage among rural and low-income populations. There were also high levels of repetition, and only a minority of those who entered first grade completed the eight grades of fundamental schooling. One reason for the high dropout rate was child labor. In 1990, 18 percent of the children between the ages of ten and fourteen participated in economic activity.

Because of marital instability, unwanted pregnancies, and above all poverty, there are thousands of apparently homeless "street children" (meninos de rua ) in Brazil. The numbers require cautious use because, in addition to about 10,000 children who actually live in the streets, this category also includes many children who work or otherwise generate income to help their families. Truly homeless street children constitute a small minority. They attracted considerable public and media attention nationally and internationally in the early 1990s because of their high visibility and frequent petty thievery, as well as cases of violent retaliation, including murder, by the police and local businesspeople.

At least officially, minors have long been protected by the Brazilian legal system. Judges in juvenile cases (juizes de menores ) protect their interests, and a network of institutions, in theory, cares for their welfare. In 1990, in response to the problems of youth, the Collor government passed special legislation to establish children's rights, known as the Children's Statute, and created the Brazilian Center of Infancy and Adolescence (Centro Brasileiro de Infância e Adolescência--CBIA) to carry out special programs for children in these age-groups. The government also promoted the establishment of federal, state, and municipal councils of childhood and adolescence, which included participants from government agencies and civil society. The National Street Children's Movement is an NGO. The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) developed the Pact for Childhood, and the National Conference of Brazilian Bishops (Conferência Nacional dos Bispos do Brasil--CNBB) supported the Children's Pastoral Service.


Brazil - The Elderly

The proportion of elderly in the population increases as fertility declines and longevity increases. The absolute numbers grow faster than the total population. The proportion of the Brazilian population age sixty-five and older grew from 6.4 percent in 1960 to 7.6 percent in 1980 and 8 percent in 1991, or about 11.7 million. By 2020 the number is expected to increase to 15 percent of the population, or about 33 million. Brazil faces particular problems with the aged because of difficulties in employing them (younger and better trained workers are preferred over middle-aged workers) and a lack of appropriate means to care for them. As people live longer, the number of siblings and children drops, and population mobility increases. Consequently, older people are less likely to have children or other relatives living nearby who are willing and able to care for them. In 1996 the country was shocked by the number of deaths of elderly living in very poor conditions in publicly supported homes for senior citizens, especially the case of the Santa Genoveva Clinic in Rio de Janeiro.

The government-run social security system provides minimal pensions for retired people, including those in rural areas who did not contribute to the system as employees. However, health care becomes expensive in old age, especially for the so-called degenerative diseases, and the cost of private health insurance becomes prohibitive. Retired persons were successful in organizing pressure groups to protect the real value, after inflation, of their pensions in the early 1990s by keeping them pegged to the minimum wage. Nonetheless, these pensions were still far from being sufficient to care for the needs of most elderly persons.


Brazil - Race and Ethnicity

The first European immigrants to Brazil were of Iberian origin, primarily Portuguese. Some Portuguese settlers were of Jewish or Moorish origin but most of them had converted to Christianity. There were also some Dutch immigrants to the Northeast in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. The Portuguese intermarried with the Amerindian population, which was decimated by conflict and disease.

During the colonial period, after Indian slavery proved difficult to enforce, the colonists imported hundreds of thousands of slaves from Africa for labor on the sugar plantations, in the mines, and later on coffee plantations. At first, slaves outnumbered the white settlers in many areas, but the balance eventually changed because of their high mortality and low fertility. However, as slavery became economically and politically less feasible after 1850 and the British blocked the slave trade, Italian immigrants began replacing the slaves on coffee plantations in São Paulo. During the same period, settlers from Europe, primarily Germany, Italy, and Poland, established farming colonies in parts of the South.

Brazil's racial mix was made more diverse with the arrival of Japanese and Middle Eastern immigrants in the early twentieth century. At first, the Japanese worked in agriculture in São Paulo and the Amazon, while the Lebanese, Turks, and Syrians became involved in commerce in many parts of the country. During the 1900s, the Japanese descendants, who constitute the largest community of Japanese outside of Japan, except for Hawaii, became primarily urban residents, especially in São Paulo. In the 1970s, intermarriage with non-Japanese became common.

As emphasized by anthropologists such as Gilberto Freyre and Darcy Ribeiro, all the racial and ethnic groups that arrived in Brazil intermingled and intermarried, with few exceptions. This led to increasing mixtures of all possible combinations and degrees. Many individuals are, therefore, difficult to classify in racial terms. Questions on color were included in the demographic censuses of 1940, 1950, 1980, and 1991. Although the answers involved self-classification and may not have been objective, it was clear that the proportion of blacks decreased while that of mulattoes increased. There was a simultaneous process of "whitening." The self-declared proportions in 1991 were 55.3 percent white, 39.3 percent mulatto, 4.9 percent black, and 0.6 percent Asian.

Because of the lack of a clear color distinction and a strong cultural tradition of tolerance and cordiality, as well as longstanding explicit laws against racial discrimination, Brazil has been touted as a "racial democracy." However, "racial democracy" is a myth. There is a very strong correlation between light color and higher income, education, and social status. Few blacks reach positions of wealth, prestige, and power, except in the arts and sports. Although discrimination is usually not explicit, it appears in subtle forms: unwritten rules, unspoken attitudes, references to "good appearance" rather than color, or simply placing higher value on individuals who are white or nearly white.

In the 1960s, black consciousness began to grow, although the very lack of a clear color line in biological or social terms weakened racial solidarity of the nonwhite population. The prevailing notion that Brazil was a "racial democracy" also made it easy to dismiss black movements as un-Brazilian. For the most part, the movements did not press for changes in government policy, which was already officially against racial discrimination. Instead, they emphasized racial pride and the struggle against subtle forms of discrimination and the often covert violence to which blacks were subject.


Brazil - Amerindians

Estimates of the original Amerindian population of Brazil range from 2 to 5 million at the time of first contact with Europeans in the early sixteenth century. There were hundreds of tribes and languages. Now there are 230 tribes that speak more than ninety languages and 300 dialects.

Because of violence and disease, the original Amerindian population was reduced to about 150,000 by the early twentieth century. In 1910 the Indian Protection Service (Serviço de Proteção aos Indios--SPI) was established. Its leader, Marechal Cândido Rondon, was famous for stating that "one should die, if necessary, but never kill an Indian." In 1968 the National Indian Foundation (Fundação Nacional do índio--Funai) replaced SPI, which was charged with corruption. The Indian Statute went into effect in 1973. The 1988 constitution provides that Indians are entitled to the lands that they traditionally occupy.

Despite the difficulties it faced, the Amerindian population began to recover its numbers and increased to 330,000 by the mid-1990s. In genetic terms, millions of Brazilians have some Amerindian ancestry, usually on the side of their grandmothers or great-grandmothers. The ancestry is especially strong in the Amazon region, where the inhabitants of mixed Indian and white descent are called caboclos . Because of such widespread miscegenation and acculturation, objective definitions of "Indian" are practically impossible in Brazil. The most useful definition, also used for official purposes, is subjective but pragmatic: Indians are those who consider themselves Indians and are considered by others as such. They include groups that are officially classified as isolated, in the process of integration, or integrated (although "integration" involves entry into the lowest ranks of Brazilian society).

Most of the Amerindian population is in the Amazon region, where Amerindian lands account for about 15 percent of the territory. Some of the largest areas were set aside during the Collor administration in 1992. The best known and largest of these is the 9.6-million-hectare Yanomami Indigenous Park, located in the northern states of Amazonas and Roraima, along Brazil's border with Venezuela. Gold miners and their diseases have had an adverse impact on the Yanomami. The Caiapó in southeastern Pará became widely known both for their traditional environmental management and their controversial concessions to gold miners and lumber companies. Other indigenous areas include the Xingu Indigenous Park and other parts of Amazônia, including the western section of the Amazon along the Rio Solimões, Roraima, northern Amazonas, Rondônia, Acre, Amapá, and northern and southeastern Pará. The Northeast (Maranhão) and Center-West (western Mato Grosso, Mato Grosso do Sul, and Goiás) regions also have large indigenous areas.


Brazil - Rural Groups

Some groups in rural Brazil merit special attention. Although there has been massive rural to urban migration in Brazil, nearly 40 million people still live in the countryside, and another 10 million live in towns with a population under 20,000. There are also signs of urban to rural migration as a result of exhaustion of employment and income opportunities in large cities.

Many of the inhabitants of the countryside are rural workers in agriculture, with permanent or, more typically, seasonal employment, particularly in harvesting, an activity in which women and children are also involved. Although a large number of small family farmers have land of their own, millions of rural workers are landless because land tenure is extremely concentrated in Brazil. In the face of slowness of official land reform, they began to invade unproductive properties in the 1990s. As a result of their organization and massacres of their activists in Rondônia and Pará, they entered the political limelight, and land reform was placed high on the political agenda.

In addition to farmers, Brazil has various kinds of traditional populations--including rubber tappers, Brazil nut collectors, caboclos and other traditional riverine dwellers, small fishermen, and others--who became a new social category in the late 1980s. Some of them received land from the government in the form of extractive reserves, meaning land containing valuable natural resources such as rubber-yielding trees, hardwoods, and so forth, ceded to their associations on the condition that they use their natural resources in a sustainable way. For some rural Brazilians, sustainable extraction presents an alternative to rural exodus and structural unemployment.


Brazil - Cultural Unity and Diversity

Brazilian culture was never monolithic. Since the sixteenth century, it has been an amalgamation of traditional Iberian, indigenous, and African values, as well as more recent Western values, developed in northern Europe and the United States, such as equality, democracy, efficiency, and individual rights. At times there are subtle or open conflicts, especially between norms of Mediterranean and Anglo-Saxon origin, or between practices of European versus Amerindian or African origin. However, Brazil is remarkable for the way in which there is unity in cultural diversity. Sometimes the values and practices of different origins have blended with each other, as in the case of Afro-Brazilian religious syncretism or liberation theology (see Glossary).

Another way of reconciling diversity has been the often considerable distance between actual practices, which conform with tradition, and official norms, which generally follow the positivist logic of "order and progress" that underlay the establishment of the republic in 1889. The difference between norms and behavior, or between theory and practice, is a constant throughout Brazilian history. In colonial times and during the empire, imported cultural values and social norms had to be reconciled with the extenuating circumstances and realities of a frontier situation. Getting married officially, for example, was difficult in the absence of priests or because of the high cost of service by the justices of the peace.

In the 1990s, many people ignore laws that are not enforced, or allege that doing the right thing would be fine but that they lack the condições (conditions). The aphorism that sums up a common attitude about doing one's duty is, "Ninguém é de ferro " (No one is made of iron). The relaxed attitude is reinforced by the fact that laws or norms are often seen as having been imposed from the outside, rather than being the result of a social contract established for the common good. Thus, Brazilians, who are known for pragmatism, have become adept at living with idealistic rules, on the one hand, and actual practices that are often quite divergent, on the other. They switch easily between different cultural codes ranging from "traditional" values, such as machismo and paternalism, to "modern" values and social norms that favor women and equality.


Brazil - The Brazilian Way

Despite regional and social class variations, the Brazilian way of life has common traits that distinguish it from the customary ways of dealing with people and situations in North America and Europe and even in other Latin American countries. Its uniqueness seems to result from the peculiar blend of Portuguese, African, and Amerindian cultural influences in a setting in which central authority attempted, without great success, to exploit the people and resources and to enforce religious norms. Under these circumstances, it was preferable to appear to obey than actually to obey.

Many attempts have been made to explain what makes Brazilians different from their neighbors in the Americas, both North and South. In the late nineteenth century, Joaquim Maria Machado de Assis, one of Brazil's greatest writers, explored the subtleties of the Brazilian character, focusing on the attempts of the urban middle class to emulate European lifestyles and aspirations. In the 1920s, the writer Mário de Andrade, a leader of the modernist movement that broke with tradition and attempted to find an authentic Brazilian identity, created the archetypal Brazilian character, Macunaíma, a lazy but ingenious black-turned-white Amazonian who migrated to São Paulo and was a "man with no character." In the following decade, in books such as The Masters and the Slaves (Casa Grande e Senzala) and The Mansions and the Shanties (Sobrados e Mocambos), Gilberto Freyre emphasized the flexibility of the Portuguese, as well as the African roots of the Northeasterners. Other authors characterized the Brazilian as homem cordial (cordial man). In his novels and stories, João Guimarães Rosa, Brazil's greatest writer of the twentieth century, found universal themes in the contradictory characters and peculiar language of men and women deep in the sertão backlands. Novelist Jorge Amado focused on social conflict, local color, and sensuality in his native Bahia State. More recently, the Brazilian anthropologist Roberto da Matta explored tensions between the private and public spheres, spontaneity, and authority, as well as sentiment and order to which Brazilians have found their own characteristic solutions.

At the level of interpersonal relations, in contrast to what is usually found in Spanish-speaking Latin America, where behavior tends to be more formal and rigid, there are in Brazil strong cultural values in favor of conciliation, tolerance, and cordiality. To the extent possible, direct personal confrontation is avoided. This Brazilian style of behavior may be derived from an Iberian and colonial heritage of diverse ethnic groups living together, weaker central authority exercised by the Portuguese crown, and day-to-day practical forms of resistance to exploitation. It may also have an element of popular emulation of the genteel behavior of the elites. Whatever its origins, Brazilians are known for their informality, good nature, and charm (simpatia ), as well as their desire not to be thought unpleasant or boorish (chato ). They place high value on warmth, spontaneity, and lack of pomp and ceremony.

Though they are cordial and magnanimous at the interpersonal level, Brazilians as a whole are exploitative with regard to the environment. This attitude has been explained in terms of the bandeirante or conquistador mentality by authors such as Viana Moog and Jorge Wilheim. According to this interpretation, the general spirit of the colonizer of yesteryear or today is to accumulate as much wealth as possible as quickly as possible and then move on. Whatever its roots, the result of this kind of behavior is individualism, transience, and disregard for others and for nature as opposed to stability, solidarity, equilibrium, and equity. It has led to both human and environmental degradation.

In a similar fashion, Brazilians tend not to think in terms of the common good. Discourse invoking mutual benefit for all concerned is often mistrusted as a disguised justification for colonialism or exploitation. The result of widespread evasion of rules imposed by the central authority is a vicious circle involving crackdowns and inspections (fiscalização ) to enforce ever-tougher rules and ever more sophisticated and ingenious ways of evading the rules (burla ). This tendency often blocks the efforts of those who are well-intentioned, without creating major obstacles but rather making their work easier for the truly dishonest.

This nonconformity with illegitimate authority is probably an origin of one of Brazil's most characteristic and original concepts, summarized in the word jeito . The word is practically untranslatable but refers to ways of "cutting red tape," "bending the rules," "looking the other way," or an alternative "way out." In its worst form, it amounts to corruption. At its best, it means finding pragmatic solutions to difficult problems without making waves.

Many Brazilians regard soccer and Carnaval, for which Brazil is famous, as outlets for the frustrations of everyday life. Brazil's three world soccer championships led to great national pride until 1970; subsequent losses caused twenty-four years of frustration until the fourth World Cup was brought home in 1994. The yearly Carnaval festivities provide for short-lived release and relaxation.

Another form of release is through imported and native music, widely disseminated by modern communications. The bossa nova of the 1960s was replaced by the lively Brazilian rhythms and dance movement of forró , lambada , and pagode .

Brazil - Language

Language is one of the strongest elements of Brazil's national unity. Portuguese is spoken by nearly 100 percent of the population. The only exceptions are some members of Amerindian groups and pockets of immigrants, primarily from Japan and South Korea, who have not yet learned Portuguese. The principal families of Indian languages are Tupí, Arawak, Carib, and Gê.

There is about as much difference between the Portuguese spoken in Brazil and that spoken in Portugal as between the English spoken in the United States and that spoken in the United Kingdom. Within Brazil, there are no dialects of Portuguese, but only moderate regional variation in accent, vocabulary, and use of personal nouns, pronouns, and verb conjugations. Variations tend to diminish as a result of mass media, especially national television networks that are viewed by the majority of Brazilians. See <"media.htm">The Media.

The written language, which is uniform all over Brazil, follows national rules of spelling and accentuation that are revised from time to time for simplification. They are slightly different from the rules followed in Portugal. Written Brazilian Portuguese differs significantly from the spoken language and is used correctly by only a small, educated minority of the population. The rules of grammar are complex and allow more flexibility than English or Spanish. Many foreigners who speak Portuguese fluently have difficulty writing it properly.

Because of Brazil's size, self-sufficiency, and relative isolation, foreign languages are not widely spoken. English is often studied in school and increasingly in private courses. It has replaced French as the principal second language among educated people. Because Spanish is similar to Portuguese, most Brazilians can understand it and many can communicate in it, although Spanish speakers usually have difficulty understanding spoken Portuguese.

Brazil - Mass Communications

Under the military governments in the 1970s, Brazil's state-owned system of telecommunications became highly developed. The telephone system was modernized by means of massive government investments. Long-distance and international calls, which had been difficult to make and hear until then, were made accessible through direct dialing, at least to those who could afford the high price of telephone lines. The Postal and Telegraph Company (Empresa de Correios e Telégrafos--ECT) also became a model of efficiency. Some of the quality of telephone and postal services was lost in the 1980s and early 1990s.

The development of telecommunications in Brazil was originally part of a strategy of modernization with centralized control. However, the widespread flow of information contributed to democratization of society in the 1980s and 1990s, a process in which the uncensored press played a key role. Censorship imposed during the military regime was lifted during the Figueiredo administration. The press is owned by private enterprises, none of which can be owned or controlled by foreigners; it includes dozens of daily newspapers, several weekly magazines, and a myriad of other periodical publications.

Radio and television stations are licensed to private businesses owned by Brazilians. There are hundreds of radio stations all over the country. Television became widespread in the 1970s, with several national networks and numerous local stations in all states. Television sets are common even in low-income households. Soap operas (telenovelas ) are widely watched and are a common topic of conversation. It is a sign of their high technical quality that these programs have been sold to countries all over the world. The news programs often include editorial comment. In the authoritarian period, this expression of opinion, sometimes in subtle ways, tended to support government. In the 1990s, it has contributed to clearer notions of good government and citizens' rights among strata that had not developed political consciousness, but it may also have contributed to disillusionment.

Brazil - Family and Kinship

The Portuguese crown and ecclesiastical authorities in Brazil were not entirely successful in implanting their ideals with regard to marriage and the patriarchal family. Brazilians have limited enthusiasm for official norms and often resort to consensual unions, marital dissolution, serial unions, and what the Roman Catholic Church generally considers to be lax standards of behavior.

At the same time that many of them bend the rules, Brazilians place high value on family and kinship relations. These are especially valued in an environment in which authorities, on the one hand, and one's subordinates, on the other, are thought to be untrustworthy. Most Brazilians are genuinely fond of children and are attached to their parents, and they cultivate a wide circle of aunts, uncles, and cousins. In the past, relationships with godchildren, godparents, and ritual co-parents extended these networks, but they are losing their importance in modern urban society.

Marital separation and divorce as well as formal and informal remarriage are now commonplace. Women commonly head their own households, and families often include children from different marriages or unions. The new arrangements are socially accepted but have not become culturally institutionalized in the sense of devising new terminology for the various relationships.

Brazil - Roman Catholicism

Brazil's strong Roman Catholic heritage can be traced to the Iberian missionary zeal, with the fifteenth-century goal of spreading Christianity to the infidels. In the New World, these included both Amerindians and African slaves. In addition to conversion, there were also strong efforts to enforce compliance with Roman Catholicism, including the Inquisition, which was not established formally in Brazil but nonetheless functioned widely in the colonies. In the late nineteenth century, the original Roman Catholic populace of Iberian origin was reinforced by a large number of Italian Catholics who immigrated to Brazil, as well as some Polish and German Catholic immigrants.

According to all the constitutions of the republican period, there is no state or official religion. In practice, however, separation of church and state is weak. Government officials generally avoid taking action that may offend the church.

Brazil is said to be the largest Roman Catholic country in the world. In 1996 about 76 percent of the population, or about 122 million people, declared Roman Catholicism as their religion, as compared with 89 percent in 1980. The decline may have resulted from a combination of a real loss of influence and a tendency to be more objective in answering census questions about religion.

As in most dominant religions, there is some distance between nominal and practicing Catholics. Brazilians usually are baptized and married in the Roman Catholic Church. However, according to the CNBB (National Conference of Brazilian Bishops), only 20 percent of nominal Catholics attend Mass and participate in church activities, but the figure may be as low as 10 percent. Women attend Mass more often than men, and the elderly are more active in church than the young. In the 1990s, charismatic forms of Catholicism used unconventional approaches, along the line of those used by Pentecostal Protestant groups, to attempt revitalization and increase active participation.

Popular or traditional forms of Catholicism are widespread in the interior of the country. Many Brazilians pray to figures such as Padre Cícero (a revered priest who lived in Ceará from 1844 to 1934), make pilgrimages to the site of the appearance of Brazil's patron saint, our Lady of the Appearance (Nossa Senhora Aparecida), and participate in traditional popular rites and festivities, such as the Círio in Belém and the Festa do Divino in central Brazil. Some use expressions of religious origin, such as asking for a blessing on meeting someone older or responding "God willing" (Se Deusquiser ) when someone says "See you tomorrow."

During the 1970s, the progressive wing of the church made an "option for the poor." They were influenced by the doctrine of liberation theology (see Glossary), in which Brazilian theologians such as Leonardo Boff played a leading role, and followed the decision of the Latin American Bishops' Conference in Medellín, Colombia, in 1968. The church organized Ecclesiastical Base Communities (Comunidades Eclesiais de Base--CEBs; see Glossary) throughout the country to work for social and political causes at the local level. During the military regime, the progressive clergy managed to make the church practically the only legitimate focus of resistance and defense of human rights. In the early 1990s, conservative forces, supported by Pope John Paul II, gained power in the church.

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Brazil - Other Religions

Syncretism, the combination of different forms of belief or practice, has been widespread in Brazil, where Roman Catholicism has blended with numerous Afro-Brazilian cults. Syncretism occurred partly because of religious persecution and partly because of the compatibility of the different belief systems. The most well-known and socially acceptable combinations are called umbanda or candomblé . At one extreme, umbanda blends in with Kardecian spiritualism (see Glossary). At the other extreme, there is a kind of black magic called macumba , which can be used for either good or evil purposes. Its practitioners leave offerings of chicken, rum (cachaça ), flowers, and candles at crossroads, beaches, and other public places. Kardecian spiritists, as well as Mormons, Jehovah's Witnesses, Jews, and Buddhists, together account for about 3 to 5 percent of the population, while those declaring that they have no religion total 15 percent.

In recent decades, Protestantism has grown rapidly. The proportion of the population considered evangelical grew from 3.7 percent in 1960 to 6.6 percent in 1980. The 1991 census showed a proportion of 19.2 percent, or 28.2 million followers. Nearly half of Brazil's evangelicals, or 13 million, belong to the Assembly of God. This and other evangelical or Pentecostal varieties of Protestantism--Christian Congregation, Universal Church of the Kingdom of God, Quadrangular Evangelicals, Brazil for Christ, and God and Love--emphasize brotherhood and religious ceremonies that actively engage participants in song and chants. The groups that have grown the most are fundamentalists with strict standards of personal behavior regarding dress, drinking, smoking, and gambling. They have special appeal among recent migrants to urban areas or to the frontier, who have had to adapt to new and difficult circumstances. In contrast to the formality and central control of the Roman Catholic Church, the fundamentalist Protestant groups grow rapidly and split and multiply frequently.

<>Roman Catholicism

Brazil - Health Status and Health Care

Indicators of Health

In 1996 the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), which worked together with the Applied Economic Research Institute (Instituto de Pesquisa Econômica Aplicada--IPEA), released its Human Development Report 1995 for Brazil. Using an index based on income, education, infant mortality, and other socioeconomic indicators, the report showed that Brazil was in a medium human development position as compared with other countries. It suggested that the national territory could be divided into three parts, with standards of living similar to those found in Belgium (the South and Southeast), Bulgaria (Center-West and North), and India (Northeast).

As in the Human Development Report 1995 , infant mortality rates (deaths of children less than one year of age per 1,000 live births) often are used as indicators of living conditions. Since the denominator is births, they are not affected by the population's age structure. Because of underreporting of vital statistics, they must be estimated from census data. The overall average infant mortality rate for Brazil declined from 117 per 1,000 live births to eighty-eight, according to the 1960 and 1980 censuses, respectively. The 1991 census showed that the rate dropped to 49.7 in 1991. In 1995 the estimated rate was 44.4 per 1,000 live births.

As usual, national averages mask wide regional and socioeconomic variations. As in previous decades, infant mortality levels in 1995 were lowest in the South, at 21.1, and highest in the Northeast, where they reached 70.2, more than three times higher. In recent decades, infant mortality generally has been higher in rural areas, except for the poorest urban strata, whose mortality has been higher. State infant mortality rates fluctuate from year to year, depending on economic and public health conditions.

The sharp drop in infant mortality in recent decades did not necessarily reflect a commensurate general improvement in living conditions. To a large extent, the drop was the result of both the decline in fertility, which decreases the risk of infant deaths for biological and socioeconomic reasons, and specific health and sanitation interventions, primarily use of oral rehydration and extension of piped water.

Brazil - Infectious and Chronic Diseases

Perinatal conditions were responsible for 47.1 percent of total infant mortality, ranking first among the causes of reported deaths for those under one year old in 1988. The leading cause of mortality among children one to four years of age, at 24.5 percent of all deaths in 1988, was infectious and parasitic diseases, particularly diarrheal diseases. External causes, specifically traffic accidents and homicide, accounted for the greatest share of registered deaths for the cohort aged five to forty-nine. Among the elderly population sixty years and above, deaths resulting from diseases of the circulatory system amounted to the highest percentage (50.3) of the total in 1989. Those diseases were also the leading cause of mortality for the entire nation, with higher ratios in the wealthier Southeast (36.2 percent) and South (37.2 percent), relative to the impoverished North (23.2 percent) and Northeast (29.3 percent). Although the proportion of deaths has shifted to older population groups, regional variations continue to hold, such that over a quarter of deaths afflicts the below-five age range in the North.

Expanded immunization coverage in recent years has favored a drop in mortality ascribed to vaccine-preventable diseases, from 12.9 percent in 1979 to 2.4 percent in 1988. In 1993 vaccination of Brazilian children less than one year old under the National Immunization Program reached 68.5 percent for diphtheria, pertussis, and tetanus, 92.3 percent poliomyelitis, 77.7 percent measles, and 98 percent tuberculosis. Although tuberculosis persists as a principal source of morbidity and mortality, particularly with the onset of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), its incidence and death rates have been steadily on the decline.

Control measures have proven effective in reducing the prevalence and outbreak of other infectious and endemic diseases, including cholera, Chagas' disease (American trypanosomiasis), yellow fever, and schistosomiasis (bilharzia). However, the number of registered cases of malaria, which 42.9 percent of the Brazilian population is at risk of contracting (mainly in the Amazon region), grew from 52,000 cases per year in 1970 to about 600,000 in the 1980s, with some improvement since then. Other communicable diseases either have been reintroduced, as in the case of dengue (breakbone fever) since 1986. Infectious tropical diseases reflect poor sanitary conditions as well as discrepancies in the standard of living between Northern and Southern Brazil, where such diseases ranked third and last, respectively, among the six leading causes of death in 1989.

Leprosy remains a serious problem in Brazil's high poverty areas, where the disease is spreading most rapidly. In October 1996, an average of 100 new cases were being reported each day. As many as half a million Brazilians are afflicted with leprosy.

The incidence of acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) in Brazil has also reached epidemic proportions, from 490 in 1985 to 103,262 cumulative cases by March 1, 1997, the fourth highest reported prevalence in the world. Based on 1996 data from the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), homosexuals and/or bisexuals constitute 45 percent of the cumulative cases; intravenous drug users, 27 percent; heterosexuals, 20 percent; and others, 8 percent. The incidence was highest among young adults; 60 percent of those suffering from AIDS in 1994 were in the twenty-five to thirty-nine age-group. What began as a disease of homosexuals and recipients of blood transfusions quickly spread to heterosexuals and intravenous drug users. HIV infection attributed to needle-sharing during drug use increased from 3.0 percent of the cases in 1986 to 24.5 percent in 1992-93 and from 5.0 percent to 23.4 percent for heterosexual transmission, altering the male-to-female ratio from 100:1 in the 1980s to 4:1 in 1994. The surge in the proportion of women contracting the virus has resulted in part from a rise in perinatal transmission, the predominant mode of infection for the 12,000 infants and children diagnosed with AIDS in 1994.

The overall reduction in the number of new cases of the above infectious diseases, on the one hand, and the conspicuous rise in the incidence of chronic and degenerative diseases, on the other, indicate the occurrence of an epidemiological transition in Brazil. However, the transition is not complete; the two types coexist as major causes of death. Diseases of the circulatory system, including cerebrovascular and heart diseases, currently claim first place as the leading cause of death among the entire population (34.3 percent in 1989). The degenerative diseases have contributed to steep rises in the cost of health care, especially for the elderly.

Brazil - Nutrition and Diet

Inadequate nutrition serves as a risk factor for morbidity and mortality from infectious diseases. Diarrheal and respiratory diseases, measles, tuberculosis, and malaria are the principal causes of death for malnourished children. The prevalence of malnutrition resulting from insufficient protein-energy diets among children under five years in Brazil in 1990 was 13.0 percent. Nevertheless, malnutrition within this age-group dropped substantially (61.4 percent) during the years 1975-88. Chronic malnutrition in 1989 characterized 15.4 percent of the entire population. The Northeast suffered from a greater rate of chronic malnutrition (27.3 percent) than the South (8.1 percent). The indigenous population's rate was twice that of low-income groups.

Improvement in nutrition has been accompanied by changes in the typical Brazilian diet. The staples of the traditional diet in Brazil are rice and beans, supplemented by whatever meat may be available, and few, if any, green vegetables. In the Amazon region, the staple carbohydrate is manioc meal, usually eaten with fish. Bread and pasta have become important parts of the diet of low-income families, especially in urban areas, because of government subsidies for wheat. Advances in poultry-raising have led to lower prices and greater consumption of chicken and eggs as sources of protein. Urban and rural workers often take their home-made rice and bean lunches to work, although this practice in urban areas is being replaced by employer-provided meal tickets for use in restaurants or luncheonettes, including fast-food outlets.

Brazil - The Health Care System

The constitution of 1988 and the Organic Health Law (Lei Orgânica de Saúde) of 1990 universalized access to medical care, unified the public health system supported by the Ministry of Health and the National Institute for Medical Assistance and Social Security (Instituto Nacional de Assistência Médica da Previdência Social--INAMPS), and decentralized the management and organization of health services from the federal to the state and, especially, municipal level. Between 1985 and 1990, for example, the proportion of program funds managed by municipalities increased from 10 to 15 percent and by states from 23 to 33 percent. The sweeping health reforms that were initiated in the 1980s attempted to extend coverage to those outside the social security system.

The constitution grants all Brazilian citizens the right to procure free medical assistance from public as well as private providers reimbursed by the government. While the public domain oversees basic and preventive health care, the private nonprofit and for-profit health care sector delivers the bulk of medical services, including government-subsidized inpatient care (that is, private facilities owned 71 percent of hospital beds designated for government-funded health care in 1993). This publicly financed, privately provided health system continues to intensify its focus on high-cost curative care, driving hospital costs up by 70 percent during the 1980s.

Therapeutic treatment in hospitals tends to dominate funding at the expense of health promotion and disease prevention programs. Hospital-based assistance expanded from 44 percent (1985) to 77 percent (1990) of municipal health spending, while expenses for primary care decreased from 35 to 3 percent. Not only have basic and preventive health services for the entire population diminished, but the public health system also subsidizes expensive, high-technology medical procedures that consume 30 to 40 percent of health resources and often end up being used to attend affluent segments of the population. Despite an augmentation in hospital coverage, discrepancies in access and quality of health care among the five regions characterize the Single Health System (Sistema Único de Saúde--SUS); medical consultations average 1.3 per capita in the Northeast versus 2.3 in the Southeast.

Although states and municipalities rapidly acquired more responsibility in administering health funds and facilities, the federal government retained the role of financing public health outlays. As stipulated by the 1988 constitution, government subsidies for health services are derived from the social security budget, which is predominantly based on earmarked taxes and contributions from employee payroll and business profits. The federal government consistently underwrote over three-quarters of all public spending on health in the 1980s, a sizable portion of which remunerated private medical charges. The percentage of total central government spending on health in 1990 was 6.7. Public health expenditures as a share of gross domestic product (GDP--see Glossary) in 1990 ranged from 2.1 to 3.1 percent, close to half of the total health expenditures of 5.8 percent.

Private sources finance the other half of total health expenditures. Perceptions of inefficiency in the government reimbursement schedule and deterioration in service quality of the public health system spurred a rapid growth in the private financing of health care during the 1980s, particularly in well-developed cities of the Southeast. The private sector covers 32 million citizens (roughly 20 percent of the Brazilian population) and consists of several hundred firms offering four principal types of medical plans: private health insurance, prepaid group practice, medical cooperatives, and company health plans. The group medical plans rank Brazil as the largest health maintenance organization (HMO) provider in Latin America; HMOs both finance and provide health care, but limit coverage to low-cost procedures and drive the burden of treating high-risk individuals to the publicly funded health system.

Brazil - Health Professionals and Resources

Paralleling private insurance, human resources are disproportionately distributed in Brazil, with overrepresentation in the wealthy states. A strong demand for physicians persists in the Amazon region, while 61.5 percent of doctors are located in the Southeast. Physicians also dominate the health field, comprising 46.8 percent of the work force and serving an average of 847 people per doctor between 1988 and 1991, while nurses (one for every 3,448 people) and other auxiliary personnel lag behind in supply.

Although most health establishments belong to the public sector (65.2 percent public and 34.8 percent private), more private institutions (43.2 percent) provide inpatient care than public (6.8 percent). These establishments range from federal, state, municipal, and university hospitals and health posts to private clinics. The distribution of hospitals and outpatient facilities favors the South and Southeast, at levels two to four times higher per capita than in the North and Northeast, where health conditions are more precarious and the need for health care is greater. The ratio of hospital beds per 1,000 population has remained fairly constant between 1985 (3.9) and 1990 (3.6), and is 33 percent higher than predicted in relation to Brazil's gross national product (GNP--see Glossary).

Brazil has adopted new medical technologies from industrialized countries. However, specialized and high-technology services benefit a minority of privileged patients. Many poor Brazilians, unable to afford hospital-based medical care, rely on both prescription and nonprescription medication to relieve their ailments. The national pharmaceutical market in 1990 was valued at close to US$4 billion, 70.5 percent of which was earned by commercial pharmacies. Judging from the disproportionate availability of drugs and medical equipment to different income groups, universal and equitable access to health care remains a goal to be reached.

Brazil - Public Health and Welfare

Social Security

The Ministry of Social Security, now separate from the Brazilian health system as discussed above, carries out the conventional mandate of ensuring old-age assistance. Until the 1940s, social security was limited to private plans organized by employers and employees. Over time, the components of the system became increasingly integrated and controlled by the federal government. More recently, health benefits and social security have become nearly universal, no longer depending on formal employment and contributions. Retirement and disability benefits are pegged to the official minimum wage. They weigh so heavily on government spending that they are one of the reasons the government resists raising the minimum wage for the active work force. At the same time, the middle class considers these benefits insufficient and, therefore, seeks private social security plans or makes investments in real estate, given the instability of financial markets in Brazil. The social security system will face even greater challenges as the age structure of the population changes, with a greater number of pensioners in relation to the number of contributing workers.

Sanitation and Public Utilities

The National Sanitation Plan (Plano Nacional de Saneamento--Planasa) of the 1970s did not keep pace with rapid urbanization in the development of safe drinking water supplies and waste disposal systems, particularly evident in the precarious metropolitan peripheries and favelas. Between 1988 and 1993, 87 percent had access to piped water and 72 percent to sewerage and waste disposal services, yet a 1989 study by the IBGE (Brazilian Geography and Statistics Institute) revealed that 92 percent of the municipalities did not treat domestic wastewater and only 27.6 percent of dwellings in a Northeast metropolis were linked to a sewerage system that passed quality standards.

The rural population receives far fewer water and sanitation services than its urban counterparts. Ninety-five percent of those in urban areas had adequate water supply during the 1988-93 period, as compared with 61 percent of rural dwellers; the levels for disposal systems were 84 percent and 32 percent, respectively (the rural figures refer to wells and privies, not service). To a certain extent, the urban-rural incongruity in the provision of environmental sanitation accounts for the higher percentage of deaths from diarrheal diseases in the rural North and Northeast than in the urban areas. The lack or deficiency of basic sanitation services has been associated with the persistence of diarrhea as well as outbreaks of contagious diseases, including cholera.


The National Housing Bank (Banco Nacional de Habitação--BNH) was established in the 1960s to finance public housing using funds from savings accounts and from the official employment guarantee system, known as the Severance Pay Fund (Fundo de Garantia do Tempo de Serviço--FGTS). Many thousands of basic houses (casas populares ) were built, usually in projects at the edges or outside of cities. Because of the financial constraints of working with a low-income clientele, the federal Housing Finance System (Sistema Financeiro de Habitação--SFH) has been used primarily to provide low-cost mortgages for houses and apartments for the middle class.

Many poor people, without access to financing, find it necessary to build their own houses. The favelas on the hills of Rio de Janeiro are one well-known type. In other parts of Brazil, shantytowns on stilts are built over water (alagados ), or in marshy areas (baixadas ). In 1991 there were 3,221 medium- to large-size favelas (each with more than fifty-one households), which contained 2.9 percent of the country's households. The largest favelas, such as Rocinha in Rio de Janeiro, are home to hundreds of thousands.

Brazil - Education

As in other areas of social life, education in Brazil is marked by great inequalities, with a highly developed university system at one extreme and widespread illiteracy at the other. Despite considerable progress in coverage, serious problems of quality remain. In 1995 the federal government was spending almost twice as much on the universities as on basic education, which is the primary responsibility of states and municipalities. Local governments often paid teachers wages that were well below the legal minimum.

In 1990 there were 37.6 million students, as compared with 10 million in 1964. Of the 1990 total, 3.9 million students were in preschool, 29.4 million in elementary school, 3.7 million in secondary school, and 1.7 million in university. Despite this progress, less than 40 percent of the high school-age population was enrolled in school.

Because of the economic and social changes that have occurred in Brazil in recent decades, parents now place high value on education for their children. Availability of schools has become an important factor in deciding where to live and how to make a living, even in how many children to have.

Brazil - Literacy

In 1990 it was estimated that 81 percent of the total population above age fifteen was literate, or 19 percent illiterate (based on the inability to sign one's own name). The level of functional illiteracy--that is, the inability to read newspapers and write letters--was not measured but was certainly much higher (an estimated 60 percent). As with most social indicators, illiteracy is highest in rural areas of the Northeast and North, where the figures are comparable to those in Africa, and lowest in urban areas of the Southeast and South, where the figures are comparable with those in the developed world. For example, southern towns had an adult illiteracy rate of only 10 percent in 1991, while the rate for children between the ages of eleven and fourteen was only 3 percent.

Literacy is strongly associated with income. When the population is divided into five income strata, illiteracy is ten times greater in the stratum with the lowest income. The illiteracy rate rises by age- group. The 1991 census also showed a strong racial gradient, with illiteracy levels of 11.6 percent among whites, 27.4 percent among mulattoes, and 29.9 percent among blacks. Differences by gender were not strong. Because of disappointing results when the federal government undertook a nationwide adult literacy campaign, the Brazilian Literacy Movement (Movimento Brasileiro de Alfabetização--Mobral), the emphasis shifted in the 1960s and 1970s to reaching children through the school system.

Brazil - Primary and Secondary Schools

In theory, public education is free at all levels in Brazil and is compulsory for ages seven to fourteen, but coverage is incomplete and quality uneven. Private schools continue to meet a large part of the demand of those who can afford to pay. Generally speaking, the private primary and secondary schools are for the upper and middle classes, while the public schools at these levels are attended by those in the lower socioeconomic strata. During the 1990s, rising costs and economic pressures made it necessary for some of the middle class to shift from private to public schools.

The system of primary and secondary schools was restructured during the 1970s and 1980s to consist of eight years of basic ("fundamental") education and three years of secondary school. The public schools at these levels are run by municipalities and states. In 1990 the Collor government adopted a system of integrated educational centers, which included day care, school lunches, and health care, called Integrated Centers for Assistance to Children (Centros Integrados de Assistência à Criança--CIACs) and later renamed Centers for Comprehensive Attention to Children (Centros de Atenção Integrada à Criança--CAICs). These centers were based on the model developed in Rio de Janeiro State by the administration of Leonel de Moura Brizola, then governor of the state. However, because of limited funds they could not be implemented throughout the country, and the validity of concentrating resources on a small number of beneficiaries was questioned.

Between 1960 and 1990, enrollment rates for school-age children (seven to fourteen) increased from 50 percent to 90 percent for the country as a whole. They varied considerably from one region or state to another and within regions and states. Coverage was highest in the Southeast and South and lowest in the Northeast. There were also racial differences. According to 1985 data, 91.4 percent of white children ages seven to nine were in school, as compared with only 74.6 percent of black children of those ages.

One of the biggest educational problems in Brazil is school nonattendance. In wealthy states, 95 percent of children enroll from the start, while only 65 percent to 80 percent enroll in poor states. Approximately 25 percent drop out by the second year. UNICEF reported in mid-1994 that Brazil is in last place in a world ranking that compares the per capita income of each country with the rates of school nonattendance or absenteeism in the first five grades. Given Brazil's considerable economic strength, one would expect at least 80 percent of the children to complete the fifth grade, but only 39 percent finish, according to the UNICEF report. Often children from poor families start working from the age of ten in order to help their parents. Other reasons for school nonattendance include inadequate school facilities, the high examination failure rate, and malnutrition.

One of the government initiatives at the national level that has improved attendance and nutrition is the school lunch program. Some local governments, such as that of the Federal District, have experimented with providing payments to poor families of children who stay in school.

Brazil - Colleges and Universities

The system of colleges and universities expanded rapidly in the 1970s and 1980s, reaching a total of 893 in 1993. Of these, ninety-nine were universities and 794 were isolated colleges or schools. Nearly all states have federal universities. The state universities are less widespread, while the few municipal universities or colleges are concentrated in large cities in the Southeast and South. The Southeast Region has nearly two-thirds of the country's colleges and universities. The number of undergraduate students admitted in Brazil in 1990 was 407,148, of which 14.1 percent were in federal universities, 10.9 percent in state universities, 5.9 percent in municipal universities, and 69.0 percent in private institutions. The total number of students enrolled was about 1.5 million, and the number of graduates was 230,000.

The best universities in Brazil generally include the University of São Paulo (Universidade de São Paulo--USP), the Campinas State University (Universidade Estadual de Campinas--Unicamp), the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro--UFRJ), the University of Brasília (Universidade de Brasília--UnB), and the Federal University of Minas Gerais (Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais--UFMG), all of which are public. The private Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro (Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio de Janeiro--PUC-RJ) is also highly ranked. Public universities are free and do not charge tuition. Private colleges and universities, which charge tuition, grew very rapidly during the 1970s to meet the enormous demands of a growing middle class.

Because of the great demand for higher education and the limited resources, both public and private colleges (faculdades ) and universities in Brazil require an entrance examination (vestibular ). Passing these examinations often necessitates private college-preparatory courses, which only the upper and middle socioeconomic strata can afford. On completion of a full academic course of study, university students may obtain a bachelor's degree (bacharelado ) and may also study an additional year to receive a teaching degree (licenciatura ).

The choice of majors or specialties is not well-aligned with the job market. According to a 1993 IPEA study, two out of three students were in the social sciences or humanities, as opposed to scientific or technical fields. The study also concluded that four out of ten students dropped out before graduation and that those who graduated took an average of eight years to finish. Many of these had difficulty paying for tuition, or living expenses, and many who gave up before graduation realized that they were not being well prepared for the job market (see Research and Development, ch. 6).

Graduate study grew rapidly during the 1970s and 1980s. In 1991 Brazil had 973 master's programs in almost all areas, with 39,401 students, as well as 465 doctoral programs with 12,862 students. Because of this growth, along with budget constraints, the government restricted fellowships for university study abroad, which had made it possible for about 20,000 Brazilians to obtain their advanced degrees in the United States and Europe.

Brazil - Social Conflict and Participation

Conflict and Nonviolence

While avoiding open conflict, Brazilian society has gone through transitions that in general have moved in the direction of modernization and democracy. Considering the decimation of Indian populations and the maintenance of African slavery long after it had been abolished elsewhere in the Americas, Brazil's colonial and imperial history was characterized by violence. At the same time, however, there is a strong Brazilian tradition of nonviolent resolution of conflicts. There was no war of independence against Portugal, but only local or regional conflicts, such as the Cabanagem (1835) in the Amazon, the War of the Farrapos (1845) in Rio Grande do Sul, and the São Paulo Civil War (1932) (see The Empire, 1822-89; The Republican Era, 1889-1985, ch. 1). Although Brazil participated in the Paraguayan War, also known as the War of the Triple Alliance (1864-70), most conflicts with neighboring countries were solved peacefully. The transition from empire to republic in 1889 was also relatively smooth. There was no generalized civil war, but there were isolated events, such as the resistance of a millenarian group at Canudos in the Northeast, described in Euclydes da Cunha's classic Os sertões , translated as Rebellion in the Backlands . In contrast to Spanish America, which fought protracted revolutionary wars and split into many separate countries, Portuguese America held together in one huge country. Although there were many violent episodes, Brazilian history, on the whole, has been remarkably peaceful.

Despite its nonbelligerent heritage at the national level, Brazilian life is marked by considerable violence on a day-to-day basis. Indians and slaves, or their descendants, have always been victimized. The rural bandits (cangaceiros ) of the Northeast, of whom Lampião is the most famous, battled rival groups and backlands colonels in the early 1900s. In the post-World War II period, the struggle for land pitted rural workers and their leaders against the landowners and their hired gunmen, resulting in the murder of leaders and even priests, most notably in frontier areas. Chico Mendes, a rubber-tapper leader killed in Acre in 1988, was the most widely known among hundreds of victims. In 1995 and 1996, there were massacres of landless workers in Rondônia and Pará. In urban areas, especially the largest, violence has become commonplace, with frequent thefts, robberies, break-ins, assaults, and kidnappings. The police themselves are sometimes involved in criminal activities. In Rio de Janeiro, the government has little control over the favelas, which are dominated by gangs that control informal gambling (a numbers game called jogo do bicho ) and drug trafficking as well as influence local politics.

For the most part, contemporary violence cannot easily be construed as a class struggle, at least as a struggle that involves collective consciousness and action. It is essentially particularistic and opportunistic at the individual level, although it often reflects perceptions of social injustice. Avoidance of more organized conflict between the privileged and the poor in Brazil can be attributed in part to the corporatist (see Glossary) system set up during the regime of Getúlio Dorneles Vargas (president, 1930-45, 1951-54) in the 1930s and 1940s. This system was designed to preempt direct class confrontation through well-controlled concessions to workers. The system of government-regulated labor unions and clientelism (see Glossary) reached its limits in the 1960s. In 1964 a bloodless military coup prevented it from going farther in the direction of the dispossessed.

The authoritarian military regime, which lasted from 1964 until 1985, used torture and killing to repress opposition, including cases of armed struggle between 1966 and 1975, but was gradually worn down by democratic pressures and sheer fatigue. From 1976 until 1994, political efforts on the right and the left focused on redemocratization, with greater popular participation. Revolution and repression were set aside. Once again, a major transition occurred with relatively little violence, at least as compared with Chile and Argentina, for example.

Growth of Social and Environmental Movements

In contrast to developed countries, Brazil had few organizations--interest groups, associations, leagues, clubs, and NGOs--up until the 1970s. This lack of mediation between government and society was characteristic of a paternalistic and authoritarian social structure with a small but powerful elite and a dispossessed majority. During the 1970s and early 1980s, however, in part because of the growth of the middle class, a wide variety of social movements and local and national organizations appeared and expanded. Many engaged in some kind of political activity. Women's groups also appeared. Increasingly, social and political organizations reached into the lower classes. A significant number were connected directly or indirectly to the Roman Catholic Church, which sponsored CEBs (Ecclesiastical Base Communities) as part of its "option for the poor." Independent labor movements also grew during the 1980s. People took to the streets in 1984 to press for direct elections for president, as they did in 1992 to demand the impeachment of President Collor de Mello.

Once a new constitution was written in 1988 and a president was chosen through direct elections in 1989, opposition or resistance movements were forced to redefine their roles. Many of them made a transition from protest and denunciation to providing more constructive contributions in the areas of health, education, and social services. Others organized pressure on government agencies. A 1994 study showed that some 5,000 NGOs are dedicated to: the environment (40 percent), social change (17 percent), women's causes (15 percent), and racial issues (11 percent), among other causes (17 percent). As a rule, these movements are organized around the interests of neighborhoods or broad concerns that cut across social class lines. Most are small, voluntary organizations that operate at the local level and provide assistance, but there are also large professional NGOs, such as the Brazilian Institute of Social and Economic Analysis (Instituto Brasileiro de Análise Social e Econômica--IBASE) and the Federation of Social and Educational Assistance Agencies (Federação de Órgãos para Assistência Social). Some of the large NGOs are connected to international NGOs, and many receive donations from abroad (dues are not customary). Various associations of national and regional NGOs have also developed.

Collaboration between social and environmental movements, in what has been called "socio-environmentalism," reflects a Brazilian belief that concerns with the environment are inseparable from concerns with development, social equity, and justice. In this view, human and environmental degradation have common causes, and their solution requires the same sort of action.

Inclusion and Exclusion

Critical interpretations of Brazil's social situation in the 1980s and 1990s point to what is seen as a deepening of the economic crisis and the growth of misery and hunger. These interpretations are based on a series of observations and evidence that includes loss of value of the real minimum wage as a result of inflation, high unemployment levels, widespread informal economic activity, cutbacks in government spending on social programs, and mapping of indigence carried out by IPEA in 1990. They also take into account the more visible signs of discrimination and deprivation, such as favelas, camps of landless workers, urban violence, street children, and epidemics of diseases such as cholera and dengue.

However, social indicators on such phenomena as infant mortality, school enrollment, piped water, nutritional status, and protein consumption improved significantly in the 1980s and early 1990s. The improvements have resulted in no small measure from government investments in the social area since the 1970s. These have been called "compensatory social policies" because they seem to have been designed to compensate for the economic policies that favor income concentration. Although they were insufficient, the investments had unquestionably positive effects. To some extent, the benefits also can be attributed to fertility decline, which has biological and socioeconomic effects, and to technological development in the areas of health services and food production.

The apparent contradiction between negative and positive socioeconomic trends can be explained in part by the greater visibility of poverty, which has grown most in urban areas, while the above-mentioned benefits are more diffuse and less visible. However, the problems are not only because of perceptions or misreadings. The basic explanation for the contradiction is the coexistence of simultaneous processes of inclusion and exclusion. Inclusion resulted from extension to the lower middle class, by means of the labor and consumer markets and public services, of some of the benefits of development previously restricted to the upper and upper-middle strata. They have gained from participation in the labor market or markets for their goods and services and from government-provided services, such as education, health, and sanitation. In the simplest terms, the quantity of coverage has increased, although serious problems of quality remain, and the lowest strata continue to be excluded from integral participation in markets and full access to government services.

The perception of crisis is accentuated by the fact that social mobility slowed down considerably in relation to the rapid expansion of the upper middle class in the 1960s and 1970s. According to national surveys of household expenditures, 47 percent of the heads of household questioned in 1973 said that they were better off than their parents. In 1988 the proportion fell to 38 percent, and 60 percent responded that they were the same or worse off than their parents.

In sum, social polarization persists, but it is no longer a duality. Its boundaries are multiple and mobile, depending on the dimension, and remain poorly defined. There is a vast middle ground that defies simple analyses and explanations and includes the upwardly and the downwardly mobile.

Macroeconomic policies aimed at stabilization and competitive insertion of Brazil into global markets contribute to slower economic growth and structural unemployment, which in turn worsen exclusion. At the same time, government authorities have stated their intention to give priority to social equity, the reduction of regional inequalities, and the defense of human and citizen rights. Effective achievement of these goals, to the extent that economic conditions permit, depends on appropriate analysis, political will, and especially the ability of citizens to make their demands clear.

It is unclear whether never-ending economic and political crises, disasters, and scandals will provoke disillusionment with the redemocratization process and with Brazil's future, or whether Brazilian society will continue to change in the direction of greater equilibrium within society and between society and the environment. There are important signs that significant change is underway. The campaign against hunger and misery and for citizens' rights launched by Herbert "Betinho" de Souza, a sociologist, made many Brazilians aware of the poverty that surrounds them and made clear that economic growth or government benefits alone will not solve their problems. The process of decentralization opened up opportunities for participation but raised questions about pork-barreling, accountability, and the ability of local governments and civil society to make and implement informed decisions. The question is to what extent the progressive forces will prevail so that even if inequality persists, it will not be attributed to a failure of Brazilian society to respond.

Brazil - The Economy

FROM PORTUGAL'S DISCOVERY of Brazil in 1500 until the late 1930s, the Brazilian economy relied on the production of primary products (see Glossary) for exports. Portugal subjected Brazil to a sternly enforced colonial pact, or imperial mercantile policy, which for three centuries heavily curbed development. The colonial phase left strong imprints on the country's economy and society, lasting long after independence in 1822. Measurable changes began occurring only late in the eighteenth century, when slavery was eliminated and wage labor was adopted. Important structural transformations began only in the 1930s, when the first steps were taken to change Brazil into a modern, semi-industrialized economy.

These transformations were particularly intense between 1950 and 1981, when the growth rates of the economy remained quite high and a diversified manufacturing base was established. However, since the early 1980s the economy has experienced substantial difficulties, including slow growth and stagnation. Nevertheless, Brazil still has the potential to regain its former dynamism. In the mid-1990s, it had a large and quite diversified economy, but one with considerable structural, as well as short-term, problems.

Socioeconomic transformation took place rapidly after World War II. In the 1940s, only 31.3 percent of Brazil's 41.2 million inhabitants resided in towns and cities; by 1991, of the country's 146.9 million inhabitants 75.5 percent lived in cities, and Brazil had two of the world's largest metropolitan centers--São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. The rate of population growth decreased from about 3 percent annually in the 1950s and 1960s to 1.9 percent annually in the 1980-91 period, indicating that Brazil was in a demographic transition. By mid-1997 Brazil had an estimated population of 159.9 million.

The share of the primary sector (see Glossary) in the gross national product (GNP--see Glossary) declined from 28 percent in 1947 to 11 percent in 1992. Despite this reduction, the agricultural sector remains important. Although part of it is primitive and intensive, part is modern and dynamic. Brazil remains one of the world's largest exporters of agricultural products.

In the same 1947-92 period, the contribution of industry to GNP increased from less than 20 percent to 39 percent. The industrial sector produces a wide range of products for the domestic market and for export, including consumer goods, intermediate goods (see Glossary), and capital goods (see Glossary). By the early 1990s, Brazil was producing about 1 million motor vehicles annually and about 32,000 units of motor-driven farming machines. On an annual basis, it was also producing 1.8 million tons of fertilizers, 4.7 million tons of cardboard and paper, 20 million tons of steel, 26 million tons of cement, 3.5 million television sets, and 3 million refrigerators. In addition, about 70 million cubic meters of petroleum were being processed annually into fuels, lubricants, propane gas, and a wide range of petrochemicals. Furthermore, Brazil has at least 161,500 kilometers of paved roads and more than 63 million megawatts of installed electric power capacity.

Despite these figures, the economy cannot be considered developed. Although the economic changes since 1947 raised the country's per capita income above US$2,000 in 1980, per capita income in 1995 was still only US$4,630. Growth and structural change have not altered significantly Brazil's extremely unequal distribution of wealth, income, and opportunity. Despite impressive increments in economic growth and output, the number of poor has risen sharply. Most of the poor are concentrated in the rural areas of Brazil's Northeast (Nordeste) Region, or in the country's large cities or metropolitan areas. The economic and political troubles of the 1980s and early 1990s have only complicated the task of correcting the country's development pattern.

<>The Colonial Period
<>The Sugar Cycle, 1540-1640
<>The Eighteenth-Century Gold Rush
<>The Economy at Independence, 1822
<>The Coffee Economy, 1840-1930
<>A Period of Sweeping Change, 1930-45
<>Import-Substitution Industrialization, 1945-64
<>Stagnation, 1962-67
<>Spectacular Growth, 1968-73
<>Growth with Debt, 1974-80
<>Stagnation, Inflation, and Crisis, 1981-94
<>The 1981-84 Period
<>The 1985-89 Period
<>The 1990-94 Period
<>The Labor Force and Income Levels

Brazil - The Economy - The Colonial Period

Portugal's exploitation of Brazil stemmed from the European commercial expansion of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries (see The Colonial Era, 1500-1815, ch. 1). Blocked from the lucrative hinterland trade with the Far East, which was dominated by Italian cities, Portugal began in the early fifteenth century to search for other routes to the sources of goods valued in European markets. Portugal discovered the maritime passage to the East Indies around the southern tip of Africa and established a network of trade outposts throughout Africa and Asia. After the discovery of America, it competed with Spain in occupying the New World (see the Indigenous Population, ch. 1).

Initially, the Portuguese did not find mineral riches in their American colony, but they never lost the hope of someday finding such riches there. Meanwhile, in order to settle and defend the colony from European intruders, the Portuguese established a pioneer colonial enterprise: the production of sugar in the Northeast. Beginning in about 1531, cattle began arriving in Brazil, and a cattle industry developed rapidly in response to the needs of the sugar industry for transportation and food for workers. The discovery of precious metals in the colony's Center-South (Centro-Sul), a relatively undefined region encompassing the present-day Southeast (Sudeste) and South (Sul) regions, came only in the eighteenth century.

Brazil - The Economy - The Sugar Cycle, 1540-1640

By the mid-sixteenth century, Portugal had succeeded in establishing a sugar economy in parts of the colony's northeastern coast. Sugar production, the first large-scale colonial agricultural enterprise, was made possible by a series of favorable conditions. Portugal had the agricultural and manufacturing know-how from its Atlantic islands and manufactured its own equipment for extracting sugar from sugarcane. Furthermore, being involved in the African slave trade, it had access to the necessary manpower. Finally, Portugal relied on the commercial skills of the Dutch and financing from Holland to enable a rapid penetration of sugar in Europe's markets.

Until the early seventeenth century, the Portuguese and the Dutch held a virtual monopoly on sugar exports to Europe. However, between 1580 and 1640 Portugal was incorporated into Spain, a country at war with Holland. The Dutch occupied Brazil's sugar area in the Northeast from 1630 to 1654, establishing direct control of the world's sugar supply. When the Dutch were driven out in 1654, they had acquired the technical and organizational know-how for sugar production. Their involvement in the expansion of sugar in the Caribbean contributed to the downfall of the Portuguese monopoly.

The Caribbean sugar boom brought about a steady decline in world sugar prices. Unable to compete, Brazilian sugar exports, which had peaked by the mid-seventeenth century, declined sharply. Between the fourth quarter of the seventeenth century and the early eighteenth century, Portugal had difficulties in maintaining its American colony. The downfall of sugar revealed a fragile colonial economy, which had no commodity to replace sugar. Paradoxically, however, the period of stagnation induced the settlement of substantial portions of the colony's territory. With the decline of sugar, the cattle sector, which had evolved to supply the sugar economy with animals for transport, meat, and hides, assimilated part of the resources made idle, becoming a subsistence economy. Because of extensive cattle production methods, large areas in the colony's interior were settled.

Realizing that it could maintain Brazil only if precious minerals were discovered, Portugal increased its exploratory efforts in the late seventeenth century. As a result, early in the eighteenth century gold and other precious minerals were found. The largest concentration of this gold was in the Southeastern Highlands, mainly in what is now Minas Gerais State.

Brazil - The Economy - The Eighteenth-Century Gold Rush

As a result of the mineral discoveries, settlers flocked to the gold region, and growing numbers of slaves were transferred from the sugar areas and brought in from Africa. Gold mining was mainly alluvial panning, a labor-intensive activity. The extraction of gold increased rapidly until the 1750s when gold exports peaked. After the gold deposits became depleted and exports declined sharply in the last quarter of the eighteenth century, the Brazilian economy entered another long period of stagnation.

The gold surge did not establish a basis for economic expansion after the depletion of the mines. The economic regression was especially bad because of the restrictions Portugal had imposed on the establishment of manufacturing in the colony. However, the gold rush had an important impact in shaping Brazil's territory. First, the various exploratory expeditions led to the incorporation of large areas originally belonging to Spain. In addition, the demand for food and animals for transportation and meat had major repercussions outside the mining region. The mines were located in inhospitable, mountainous terrain, and the movement of goods to and from the mines depended heavily on mules. Agricultural activities were expanded elsewhere in order to feed the miners. Thus, the gold rush brought about the occupation of, and interaction among, different geographical areas. Moreover, the colony's economic and administrative center of gravity moved to the Southeast Region. Gold was shipped through ports in or near Rio de Janeiro, prompting the transfer of the colonial administration from the Bahian town of Salvador to Rio de Janeiro.

The difficult period resulting from the depletion of the mines lasted well into the second quarter of the nineteenth century. The mainstays of the economy were in decline, and the colony fell into a state of depression and decadence. In the late eighteenth century, Brazil experienced a brief surge in cotton exports to Britain, as the War of Independence in America disrupted American trade temporarily; however, Brazilian cotton lost its place in the world market by the early nineteenth century.

Brazil - The Economy at Independence, 1822

Despite Brazil's economic troubles, the early nineteenth century was a period of change. First, the Napoleonic Wars forced the Portuguese royal family to flee to Brazil in 1808, and for a short period the colony became the seat of the Portuguese empire (see The Kingdom of Portugal and Brazil, 1808-21, ch. 1). Moreover, in 1808 Britain persuaded Portugal to open the colony to trade with the rest of the world, and Portugal rescinded its prohibition against manufacturing. These events paved the way for Brazil's independence on September 7, 1822.

Brazil's early years as an independent nation were extremely difficult. Exports remained low, and the domestic economy was depressed. The only segment that expanded was the subsistence economy. Resources (land, slaves, and transport animals) made idle by the decline of the export economy were absorbed into mostly self-consumption activities.

Brazil - The Coffee Economy, 1840-1930

The impact of coffee on the Brazilian economy was much stronger than that of sugar and gold. When the coffee surge began, Brazil was already free from the limitations of colonialism. Moreover, the substitution of wage labor for slave labor after 1870 meant an increase in efficiency and the formation of a domestic market for wage goods. Finally, the greater complexity of coffee production and trade established important sectorial linkages within the Brazilian economy.

Coffee was introduced in Brazil early in the eighteenth century, but initially it was planted only for domestic use. It took the high world prices of the late 1820s and early 1830s to turn coffee into a major export item. During the initial phase, production was concentrated in the mountainous region near Rio de Janeiro. This area was highly suitable for coffee cultivation, and it had access to fairly abundant slave labor. Moreover, the coffee could be transported easily on mule trains or on animal-drawn carts over short distances to the ports.

An entrepreneurial class established in Rio de Janeiro during the mining surge was able to induce the government to help create basic conditions for the expansion of coffee, such as removing transportation and labor bottlenecks. From the area near Rio de Janeiro, coffee production moved along the Paraíba Valley toward São Paulo State, which later became Brazil's largest exporting region. Coffee was cultivated with primitive techniques and with no regard to land conservation. Land was abundant, and production could expand easily through the incorporation of new areas. However, it soon became necessary to ease two basic constraints: the lack of transportation and the shortage of labor.

The cultivation of coffee farther away from ports required the construction of railroads, first around Rio de Janeiro and into the Paraíba Valley, and later into the fertile highlands of São Paulo. In 1860 Brazil had only 223 kilometers of railroads; by 1885 this total had increased to 6,930 kilometers. The main rail link between São Paulo's eastern highlands and the ocean port of Santos allowed for a rapid expansion of coffee into the center and northwest of the state.

After the initial coffee expansion, the availability of slaves dwindled, and further cultivation required additional slaves. However, by 1840 Brazil was already under pressure to abolish slavery, and a series of decrees were introduced, making it increasingly difficult to supply the new coffee areas with servile labor. In the 1870s, the shortage of labor became critical, leading to the gradual incorporation of free immigrant labor. The coffee expansion in the west-northwest of São Paulo State after 1880 was made possible largely by immigrant labor. In 1880 São Paulo produced 1.2 million 60-kilogram coffee bags, or 25 percent of Brazil's total; by 1888 this proportion had jumped to 40 percent (2.6 million bags); and by 1902, to 60 percent (8 million bags). In turn, between 1884 and 1890 some 201,000 immigrants had entered São Paulo State, and this total jumped to more than 733,000 between 1891 and 1900. Slavery was abolished in 1888.

The Brazilian economy grew considerably in the second half of the nineteenth century. Coffee was the mainstay of the economy, accounting for 63 percent of the country's exports in 1891. However, sugar, cotton, tobacco, cocoa, and, at the turn of the century, rubber were also important. During the first three decades of the twentieth century, the Brazilian economy went through periods of growth but also difficulties caused in part by World War I, the Great Depression, and an increasing trend toward coffee overproduction. The four-year gap between the time a coffee tree is planted and the time of the first harvest magnified cyclical fluctuations in coffee prices, which in turn led to the increasing use of government price supports during periods of excess production. The price supports induced an exaggerated expansion of coffee cultivation in São Paulo, culminating in the huge overproduction of the early 1930s.

The 1840 to 1930 period also saw an appreciable but irregular expansion of light industries, notably textiles, clothing, food products, beverages, and tobacco. This expansion was induced by the growth in income, by the availability of foreign exchange, by fiscal policies, and by external events, such as World War I. Other important factors were the expansion of transportation, the installed capacity of electric energy, increased urbanization, and the formation of a dynamic entrepreneurial class. However, the manufacturing growth of the period did not generate significant structural transformations.

Economic growth in the nineteenth century was not shared equally by the regions. Development and growth were concentrated in the Southeast. The South Region also achieved considerable development based on coffee and other agricultural products. The Amazon Basin experienced a meteoric rise and fall of incomes from rubber exports. The Northeast continued to stagnate, with its population living close to the subsistence level.

Brazil - The Economy - A Period of Sweeping Change, 1930-45

The decade of the 1930s was a period of interrelated political and economic changes. The decade started with the 1930 revolution, which abolished the Old Republic (1889-1930), a federation of semiautonomous states. After a transitional period in which centralizing elements struggled with the old oligarchies for control, a coup in 1937 established the New State (Estado Novo) dictatorship (1937-45) (see The Era of Getúlio Vargas, 1930-54, ch. 1).

To a large extent, the revolution of 1930 reflected a dissatisfaction with the political control exercised by the old oligarchies. The political unrest of the first half of the 1930s and the 1937 coup were influenced strongly by the onset of economic problems in 1930. The coffee economy suffered from a severe decline in world demand caused by the Great Depression and an excess capacity of coffee production created in the 1920s. As a result, the price of coffee fell sharply and remained at very low levels. Brazil's terms of trade (see Glossary) deteriorated significantly. These events, and a large foreign debt, led to an external crisis that took almost a decade to resolve.

The external difficulties had far-reaching consequences. The government was forced to suspend part of the country's debt payments and eventually to impose exchange controls. Excess coffee production led to increasing interventions in the coffee market. The state programs to support coffee prices went bankrupt in 1930. To avoid further decreases in coffee prices, the central government bought huge amounts of coffee, which was then destroyed. Central government intervention provided support to the coffee sector and, through its linkages, to the rest of the economy.

Despite the economic difficulties, the income maintenance scheme of the coffee support program, coupled with the implicit protection provided by the external crisis, was responsible for greater industrial growth. Initially, this growth was based on increased utilization of the productive capacity and later on moderate spurts of investment. The initial import-substitution industrialization (see Glossary) that occurred especially during World War I did not lead to industrialization; it became a process of industrialization only in the 1930s.

The 1930s also saw a change in the role of government. Until then, the state acted primarily in response to the demands of the export sector. During the first half of the decade, it was forced to interfere swiftly in an attempt to control the external crisis and to avoid the collapse of the coffee economy; government leaders hoped that the crisis would pass soon and that another export boom would occur. However, with the magnitude and duration of the crisis it became clear that Brazil could no longer rely solely on exports of primary goods (see Glossary) and that it was necessary to promote economic diversification. During the Estado Novo, the government made initial attempts at economic planning, and in the late 1930s began to establish the first large government enterprise, an integrated steel mill.

The World War II period saw mixed achievements. By the late 1930s, coffee production capacity had been reduced drastically, the worst of the external crisis had passed, and the Brazilian economy was ready to grow. However, the war interfered with development efforts. Output increased mainly through better utilization of the existing capacity but, except for the steel mill, there was little industrial and infrastructure investment. Thus, at the end of the war Brazil's industrial capacity was obsolete and the transportation infrastructure was inadequate and badly deteriorated.

Brazil - The Economy - Import-Substitution Industrialization, 1945-64

A review of the evolution and structural changes of the industrial sector since the end of World War II reveals four broad periods. The postwar period to 1962 was a phase of intense import substitution, especially of consumer goods, with basic industries growing at significant but lower rates. The 1968 to 1973 period was one of very rapid industrial expansion and modernization (between 1962 and 1967, the industrial sector stagnated as a result of adverse macroeconomic conditions). The 1974 to 1985 phase was highlighted by import substitution of basic inputs and capital goods and by the expansion of manufactured goods exports. The period since 1987 has been a time of considerable difficulties.

At the end of World War II, political and economic liberalism were reintroduced in Brazil. Getúlio Dorneles Vargas (president, 1930-45, 1951-54) was overthrown, democratic rule was reestablished, and the foreign-exchange reserves accumulated during the war made possible a reduction of trade restrictions. However, trade liberalization was short-lived. The overvalued foreign-exchange rate, established in 1945, remained fixed until 1953. This, combined with persistent inflation and a repressed demand, meant sharp increases in imports and a sluggish performance of exports, which soon led again to a balance of payments (see Glossary) crisis.

Pessimistic about the future of Brazil's exports, the government feared that the crisis would have a negative impact on inflation. Consequently, instead of devaluing the cruzeiro (for value of cruzeiro--see Glossary), it decided to deal with the crisis through exchange controls. In 1951 the newly elected government of Getúlio Vargas enforced a recently established system of import licensing, giving priority to imports of essential goods and inputs (fuels and machinery) and discouraging imports of consumer goods. These policies had the unanticipated effect of providing protection to the consumer goods industry. Early in the 1950s, however, convinced that the only hope for rapid growth was to change the structure of the Brazilian economy, the government adopted an explicit policy of import-substitution industrialization. An important instrument of this policy was the use of foreign-exchange controls to protect selected segments of domestic industry and to facilitate the importation of equipment and inputs for them.

However, the move to fixed exchange rates together with import licensing drastically curtailed exports, and the balance of payments problem became acute. The system became nearly unmanageable, and in 1953 a more flexible, multiple-exchange-rate system was introduced. Under the latter, imports considered essential were brought in at a favored rate; imports of goods that could be supplied domestically faced high rates and were allotted small portions of the available foreign exchange. Similarly, some exports were stimulated with a higher exchange rate than those of traditional exports. This system continued to be the main instrument for the promotion of import-substitution industrialization, but the performance of the export sector improved only modestly.

Between 1957 and 1961, the government made several changes in the exchange-control system, most of which were attempts at reducing its awkwardness or at improving its performance with the advance of import-substitution industrialization. For this same purpose, the government also introduced several complementary measures, including enacting the Tariff Law of 1957, increasing and solidifying the protection extended to domestic industries, and offering strong inducements to direct foreign investment.

In the second half of the 1950s, the government enacted a series of special programs intended to better orient the industrialization process, to remove bottlenecks, and to promote vertical integration (see Glossary) in certain industries. The government gave special attention to industries considered basic for growth, notably the automotive, cement, steel, aluminum, cellulose, heavy machinery, and chemical industries.

As a result of import-substitution industrialization, the Brazilian economy experienced rapid growth and considerable diversification. Between 1950 and 1961, the average annual rate of growth of the gross domestic product (GDP--see Glossary) exceeded 7 percent (see table 4, Appendix). Industry was the engine of growth. It had an average annual growth rate of over 9 percent between 1950 and 1961, compared with 4.5 percent for agriculture. In addition, the structure of the manufacturing sector experienced considerable change. Traditional industries, such as textiles, food products, and clothing, declined, while the transport equipment, machinery, electric equipment and appliances, and chemical industries expanded.

However, the strategy also left a legacy of problems and distortions. The growth it promoted resulted in a substantial increase in imports, notably of inputs and machinery, and the foreign-exchange policies of the period meant inadequate export growth. Moreover, a large influx of foreign capital in the 1950s resulted in a large foreign debt.

Import-substitution industrialization can be assessed according to the contribution to value added by four main industrial subsectors: nondurable consumer goods, durable consumer goods, intermediate goods, and capital goods. Using data from the industrial censuses, the share of these groups in value added between 1949 and 1960 shows a considerable decline in the share of the nondurable goods industries, from nearly 60 percent to less than 43 percent, and a sharp increase in that of durable goods, from nearly 6 percent to more than 18 percent. The intermediate and capital goods groups experienced moderate increases, from 32 to 36 percent and from 2.2 to 3.2 percent, respectively.

A representative component of the nondurable group is the textile industry, the leading sector before World War II. Between 1949 and 1960, its share in the value added by industry as a whole experienced a sharp decline, from 20.1 percent to 11.6 percent. In the durable goods group, the component with the most significant change was the transport equipment sector (automobiles and trucks), which increased from 2.3 percent to 10.5 percent.

The lower increases in the shares of the intermediate and capital goods industries reflect the lesser priority attributed to them by the import-substitution industrialization strategy. In the early 1960s, Brazil already had a fairly diversified industrial structure, but one in which vertical integration was only beginning. Thus, instead of alleviating the balance of payments problems, import substitution increased them dramatically.

Brazil - The Economy - Stagnation, 1962-67

As a result of the problems associated with import-substitution industrialization and the reforms introduced by the military regime after March 1964, the Brazilian economy lost much of its dynamism between 1962 and 1967. The average rate of growth of GDP in the period declined to 4.0 percent and that of industry to 3.9 percent. In part, stagnation resulted from distortions caused by the strategy. Moreover, political troubles negatively affected expectations and precluded the formation of a coalition to back the introduction of tough measures to control inflation and the balance of payments crisis. Political troubles also hindered the removal of obstacles to growth.

The 1964 coup dealt with the political obstacles by forcefully restraining opposition to the military agenda of change. With the objective of transforming Brazil into a modern capitalist economy and a military power, the regime implemented a series of reforms aimed at reducing inflation, at removing some of the distortions of import-substitution industrialization, and at modernizing capital markets. The regime gradually introduced incentives to direct investment, domestic and foreign, and tackled balance of payments problems by reforming and simplifying the foreign-exchange system. In addition, the regime introduced a mechanism of periodic devaluations of the cruzeiro, taking into account inflation. Finally, the military government adopted measures to attract foreign capital and to promote exports. It took steps to expand public investment to improve the country's infrastructure and later to develop state-owned basic industries.

Brazil - The Economy - Spectacular Growth, 1968-73

The post-1964 reforms and other policies of the military government, together with the state of the world economy, created conditions for very rapid growth between 1968 and 1973. In that period, the average annual rate of growth of GDP jumped to 11.1 percent, led by industry with a 13.1 percent average. Within industry, the leading sectors were consumer durables (see Glossary), transportation equipment, and basic industries, such as steel, cement, and electricity generation.

As a result of the post-1964 policies, external trade expanded substantially faster than the economy as a whole. There was a significant growth in exports, especially manufactured goods, but also commodities. Yet, imports grew considerably faster, rapidly increasing the trade deficit. This did not present a problem, however, because massive inflows of capital resulted in balance of payments surpluses.

The external sector contributed substantially to high growth rates, as did the rapid expansion of investment, including a growing share of public investment and investment by state-controlled enterprises. In addition, increased demand for automobiles, durable and luxury goods, and housing resulted from a rapid growth in income for the upper income strata and from credit plans created for consumers and homebuyers by the capital-market reforms.

The industrial sector generally experienced not only rapid growth but also considerable modernization. As a result, imports of capital goods and basic and semiprocessed inputs increased sharply. The share of intermediate goods imports in total imports increased from 31.0 percent in the 1960-62 period to 42.7 percent in 1972, and that of capital goods, from 29.0 to 42.2 percent. The total value of imports rose from US$1.3 billion to US$4.4 billion.

A comparison of the 1960 and the 1975 shares of the various industrial sectors in total value added by industry reveals a continuation in the relative decline of nondurable industries, notably textiles, food products, and beverages, and an increase in machinery, from 3.2 to 10.3 percent. The relative shares of most of the remaining industries, however, did not change significantly in the period.

As a result of the period's outward-looking development strategy, Brazil's industrial exports increased from US$1.4 billion in 1963 to US$6.2 billion in 1973. The composition of exports shows that whereas in 1963 processed and semiprocessed manufactured exports accounted for only 5 percent of total exports, in 1974 their share had reached 29 percent.

In the 1968-73 period, personal income became more concentrated and regional disparities became greater. Industrial expansion took place more vigorously in the Center-South Region, which had benefited most from the import-substitution industrialization strategy. Its per capita income considerably exceeded the national average, its infrastructure was more developed, and it had an adequate supply of skilled workers and professionals. The region was therefore able to take advantage of the opportunities and incentives offered by the military regime. Although a special regional development strategy existed for the Northeast, it promoted a distorted industrialization that benefited only a few of that region's large cities; the Northeast's linkages with the Center-South were stronger than its linkages within the region. The combination of a harsh climate, a highly concentrated land-tenure system, and an elite that consistently resisted meaningful change prevented the Northeast from developing effectively.

Brazil - The Economy - Growth with Debt, 1974-80

Brazil suffered drastic reductions in its terms of trade as a result of the 1973 oil shock. In the early 1970s, the performance of the export sector was undermined by an overvalued currency. With the trade balance under pressure, the oil shock led to a sharply higher import bill. Under such circumstances, a prudent course of action would have been to devalue the cruzeiro and to adopt growth-reducing policies in order to contain imports. However, Brazil opted to continue a high-growth policy. Furthermore, it adopted renewed strategies of import-substitution industrialization and of economic diversification. In the mid-1970s, the regime began implementing a development plan aimed at increasing self-sufficiency in many sectors and creating new comparative advantages (see Glossary). Its main components were to promote import substitution of basic industrial inputs (steel, aluminum, fertilizers, petrochemicals), to make large investments in the expansion of the economic infrastructure, and to promote exports.

This strategy was effective in promoting growth, but it also raised Brazil's import requirements markedly, increasing the already large current-account deficit. The current account (see Glossary) was financed by running up the foreign debt. The expectation was that the combined effects of import-substitution industrialization and export expansion eventually would bring about growing trade surpluses, allowing the service and repayment of the foreign debt.

Thus, despite the world recession resulting from other countries' adjustments to the oil shock, Brazil was able to maintain a high growth rate. Between 1974 and 1980, the average annual rate of growth of real GDP reached 6.9 percent and that of industry, 7.2 percent. However, the current-account deficit increased from US$1.7 billion in 1973 to US$12.8 billion in 1980 (see table 5, Appendix). The foreign debt rose from US$6.4 billion in 1963 to nearly US$54 billion in 1980.

Brazil was able to raise its foreign debt because, at the time, the international financial system was awash in petrodollars and was eagerly offering low-interest loans. By the end of the 1970s, however, the foreign debt had reached high levels. Additionally, the marked increase of international interest rates raised the debt service (see Glossary), forcing the country to borrow more only to meet interest payments (see table 6, Appendix). Productive capacity, exports, and the substitution of imports in various sectors expanded and became more diversified. However, the expected impacts on Brazil's current account were not to materialize until the mid-1980s.

Another feature of the 1974-80 period was an acceleration of inflation. Between 1968 and 1974, the rate of inflation had declined steadily, but afterward the trend was reversed. From 16.2 percent a year in 1973, the growth rate of the general price index (GPI--see Glossary) increased to 110.2 percent a year by 1980.

Brazil - The Economy - Stagnation, Inflation, and Crisis, 1981-94

The effect of the 1974-85 period's industrialization on the balance of trade was significant. The balance of trade moved from an average deficit of US$3.4 billion in the 1974-76 period to an average surplus of US$10.7 billion in the 1983-85 period. In 1985 the share of manufactures (processed and semiprocessed) of total exports reached 66 percent, and between 1971-75 and 1978-83 the share of basic input imports in total imports declined from 32.3 percent to 19.2 percent. The recession and stagnation of the early 1980s had a role in reducing imports. However, import substitution was also important, as demonstrated by the few years of the 1980s that experienced a significant growth in GDP while the trade surplus was maintained.

Between 1981 and 1992, the GDP increased at an average annual rate of only 1.4 percent and per capita income declined 6 percent. Gross investment, as a proportion of GDP, fell from 21 to 16 percent, in part as a result of the fiscal crisis and the loss of public-sector investment capacity. The decline also reflected growing uncertainties regarding the future of the economy. The 1980s became known as the "lost decade," and its problems spilled over into the 1990s. Despite the stagnation of the 1981-92 period, inflation remained a major problem. It sometimes reached very high rates, prompting the implementation of short-lived shock-stabilization programs.

Brazil - The Economy - The 1981-84 Period

In 1979 a second oil shock nearly doubled the price of imported oil to Brazil and lowered the terms of trade further. The rise in world interest rates increased sharply Brazil's balance of payments problem and the size of the foreign debt. Nevertheless, the government continued borrowing, mainly to face an increasing debt burden, while it tried vainly to maintain the high-growth strategy. At the beginning of the 1980s, however, the foreign-debt problem became acute, leading to the introduction of a program to generate growing trade surpluses in order to service the foreign debt. The program was achieved by reducing growth and, with it, imports, and by expanding exports. As a result, in 1981 real GDP declined by 4.4 percent. The 1982 Mexican debt crisis ended Brazil's access to international financial markets, increasing the pressure for economic adjustment.

The austerity program imposed by the International Monetary Fund (IMF--see Glossary) in late 1979 continued until 1984, but substantial trade surpluses were obtained only from 1983 on, largely as a delayed result of the import-substitution industrialization programs of the 1970s and the reduction in imports brought about by economic decline. The austerity program enabled Brazil to meet interest payments on the debt, but at the price of economic decline and increasing inflation.

Inflation accelerated as a result of a combination of factors: the exchange-rate devaluations of the austerity program, a growing public deficit, and an increasing indexation (see Glossary) of financial balances, wages, and other values for inflation. The first two factors are classical causes of inflation; the last became an important mechanism for propagating inflation and in preventing the usual instruments of inflation control from operating.

By the mid-1980s, domestic debt nearly displaced foreign debt as Brazil's main economic problem. During the high-growth 1970s, a significant portion of foreign borrowing had been by state enterprises, which were the main actors in the import-substitution industrialization strategy. Initially, they borrowed to finance their investments. However, toward the end of the decade, with the acute shortage of foreign exchange, the government forced state enterprises to borrow unnecessarily, increasing their indebtedness markedly. Their situation worsened with the sharp rise in international interest rates in the late 1970s, the devaluations of the austerity program, and the decreasing real prices of goods and services provided by the public enterprises stemming from price controls. Because the state enterprises were not allowed to go bankrupt, their debt burden was transferred gradually to the government, further increasing the public debt. This, and a growing disorganization of the public sector, transformed the public debt into a major economic problem. By the mid-1980s, the financial burden stemming from the debt was contributing decisively to its rapid expansion.

Brazil - The Economy - The 1985-89 Period

During the second half of the 1980s, it became increasingly clear that a large-scale fiscal reform, one that enabled noninflationary financing of the public sector, was needed not only to control inflation but also to restore the public sector's capacity to invest. Both were essential for an economic recovery. However, political obstacles prevented the reform from materializing. And, because inflation had become the most visible symptom of the public-sector disequilibrium, there were several attempts to bring inflation under control through what came to be known as "heterodox economic shocks." The period saw three such shocks: the Cruzado Plan (1986), the Bresser Plan (1987), and the Summer Plan (1989).

The objective of the Cruzado Plan was to eliminate inflation with a dramatic blow. Between 1980 and 1985, the rise in the GPI had escalated from 86.3 percent to 248.5 percent annually. Early in 1986, the situation became desperate, prodding the implementation of the plan. Its main measures were a general price freeze, a wage readjustment and freeze, readjustment and freeze on rents and mortgage payments, a ban on indexation, and a freeze on the exchange rate.

The plan's immediate results were spectacular: the monthly rate of inflation fell close to zero, economic growth surged upward, and the foreign accounts remained under control. However, by the end of 1986 the plan was in trouble. The wage adjustments were too large, increasing aggregate demand excessively and creating inflationary pressures. Moreover, the price freeze was maintained for too long, creating distortions and leading to shortages of a growing number of products. The plan could have been rescued if adjustments had been made at crucial moments. Instead, inflation accelerated again, and there was a return of indexation.

The two other stabilization plans amounted to renewed attempts at bringing inflation down from very high levels. It was soon clear that without a thorough reform of the public sector, controlling inflation would be impossible. Both plans introduced a price freeze and eliminated indexation, but there were differences between them, and with the Cruzado Plan. Neither was able to address the public-sector disequilibrium effectively. The objective of the Summer Plan, for instance, was mainly to avoid hyperinflation in an election year.

In fact, the public-sector disequilibrium became virtually locked in as a result of the 1988 constitution, which created advantages for various segments of society without indicating how these advantages would be paid for. Moreover, it transferred large portions of the tax revenues from the federal government to state and municipal governments, without requiring them to provide additional public services. With less revenue and more responsibility, the federal accounts experienced growing deficits. In addition, several subsidies were locked into the legislation. These factors and the financial burden of the public debt meant growing problems of public finance.

The 1980s ended with high and accelerating inflation and a stagnant economy, which never recovered after the demise of the Cruzado Plan. The public debt was enormous, and the government was required to pay very high interest rates to persuade the public to continue to buy government debt instruments (see also Trade Policies, this ch.).

Brazil - The Economy - The 1990-94 Period

The first post-military-regime president elected by popular suffrage, Fernando Collor de Mello (1990-92), was sworn into office in March 1990. Facing imminent hyperinflation and a virtually bankrupt public sector, the new administration introduced a stabilization plan, together with a set of reforms, aimed at removing restrictions on free enterprise, increasing competition, privatizing public enterprises, and boosting productivity.

Heralded as a definitive blow to inflation, the stabilization plan was drastic. It imposed an eighteen-month freeze on all but a small portion of the private sector's financial assets, froze prices, and again abolished indexation. The new administration also introduced provisional taxes to deal with the fiscal crisis, and took steps to reform the public sector by closing several public agencies and dismissing public servants. These measures were expected not only to swiftly reduce inflation but also to lower inflationary expectations.

However, few of the new administration's programs succeeded. Major difficulties with the stabilization and reform programs were caused in part by the superficial nature of many of the administration's actions and by its inability to secure political support. Moreover, the stabilization plan failed because of management errors coupled with defensive actions by segments of society that would be most directly hurt by the plan.

After falling more than 80 percent in March 1990, the GPI's monthly rate of growth began increasing again. The best that could be achieved was to stabilize the GPI at a high and slowly rising level. In January 1991, it rose by 19.9 percent, reaching 32 percent a month by July 1993. Simultaneously, political instability increased sharply, with negative impacts on the economy. The real GDP declined 4.0 percent in 1990, increased only 1.1 percent in 1991, and again declined 0.9 percent in 1992 (see table 7, Appendix).

President Collor de Mello was impeached in September 1992 on charges of corruption. Vice President Itamar Franco was sworn in as president (1992-94), but he had to grapple to form a stable cabinet and to gather political support. The weakness of the interim administration prevented it from tackling inflation effectively. In 1993 the economy grew again, but with inflation rates higher than 30 percent a month, the chances of a durable recovery appeared to be very slim. At the end of the year, it was widely acknowledged that without serious fiscal reform, inflation would remain high and the economy would not sustain growth. This acknowledgment and the pressure of rapidly accelerating inflation finally jolted the government into action. The president appointed a determined minister of finance, Fernando Henrique Cardoso, and a high-level team was put in place to develop a new stabilization plan. Implemented early in 1994, the plan met little public resistance because it was discussed widely and it avoided price freezes.

The stabilization program had three stages: the introduction of an equilibrium budget mandated by the National Congress (Congresso Nacional; hereafter, Congress); a process of general indexation (prices, wages, taxes, contracts, and financial assets); and the introduction of a new currency, the real (for value of the real (R$)--see Glossary), pegged to the dollar. The legally enforced balanced budget would remove expectations regarding inflationary behavior by the public sector. By allowing a realignment of relative prices, general indexation would pave the way for monetary reform. Once this realignment was achieved, the new currency would be introduced, accompanied by appropriate policies (especially the control of expenditures through high interest rates and the liberalization of trade to increase competition and thus prevent speculative behavior).

By the end of the first quarter of 1994, the second stage of the stabilization plan was being implemented. Economists of different schools of thought considered the plan sound and technically consistent.

Brazil - The Labor Force and Income Levels

Substantial growth and structural transformations raised Brazil's per capita income from the low-income range in the late 1950s to the upper middle-income range in 1980. Despite the economic problems of the 1980s, per capita income remained in the upper middle-income range. Structural change had an important effect on employment and earnings and on income distribution and poverty.


Since World War II, the level of employment in Brazil has coincided generally with the expansion of the country's labor force. However, there have been considerable changes in the occupational structure (see fig. 7). The period from 1950 to 1970 witnessed slow growth in agricultural employment and a rapid increase in typically urban occupations, notably commerce and services but also industry (manufacturing, construction, and mining). The period from 1970 to 1980 was one of very rapid growth in employment, led by industry, resulting from a decade of marked economic expansion. The period between 1980 and 1990 saw an expansion of employment, led by segments of the services sector, despite the sluggish economy.

In the 1950-70 phase, the employed population went from 17.1 million people to 29.6 million, increasing at a 2.7 percent annual rate, similar to the rate of population growth. This expansion was led by the services sector, with 4.6 percent annual growth. Industrial employment also expanded significantly, with 3.9 percent annual growth. However, industrial labor expansion was quite a bit slower than the sector's growth in real product in the period (7.9 percent annually). In turn, employment in the primary sector experienced only a small increase of 1.3 percent annually, much less than the sector's growth in real product in the period (4.5 percent annually). In the 1950s and 1960s, the output elasticity (see Glossary) of employment was very small, not only for agriculture but also for industry, the economy's dynamic sector.

The share of agriculture in total employment fell from almost 60 percent in 1950 to 44.3 percent in 1970, that of the industrial sector increased from 14.2 percent to 17.9 percent, and that of the services sector increased from 25.9 percent to 37.8 percent. Another change in the period was the increase in the number of women in the labor force, from 13.6 to 18.5 percent. The male participation rate declined from 80.8 to 71.8 percent.

The 1970-80 period saw very rapid economic expansion. In the 1970s, GDP grew 8.7 percent annually; industry, 9.5 percent; and agriculture, 4.4 percent. In the same period, the employed population increased 3.9 percent annually, from 29.6 million to 43.9 million persons. This time, the expansion in total employment was led by industry, with a 6.7 percent annual growth rate. The services sector's labor force grew 5.9 percent annually. As a result of conservative modernization, agriculture's labor force experienced a small reduction, from 13.3 million persons in 1970 to 13.0 million in 1980.

By 1980 the share of agricultural employment had fallen to 30.1 percent, that of industry had increased to 23.9 percent, and that of the services sector, to 46.0 percent. The number of women in the labor force continued to increase, from 18.5 percent in 1970 to 27.4 percent in 1980; the male participation rate changed little, from 71.8 to 72.4 percent.

During the 1980-90 period, total employment increased, despite the sluggish economy. Between 1981 and 1990, the average rate of GDP growth was only 1.6 percent annually; industry averaged only 0.5 percent annual growth; agriculture, 2.6 percent; and the services sector, 2.7 percent. Total employment, however, increased 2.8 percent annually, from 43.9 million to 62.1 million persons. The average rate of unemployment in the period jumped from around 4 percent in the still prosperous years of 1979 and 1980 to more than 6 percent (average for the nine major metropolitan regions) in the depressed 1981-84 period; thereafter, it declined, falling to 3.6 percent in 1986. However, even with the return of stagnation, open unemployment increased only slightly.

Despite a decline of 4.0 percent in GDP, the unemployment rate was only 4.3 percent in 1990, as opposed to 7.9 percent in 1981. Meanwhile, an extensive informal economy (see Glossary) expanded, acting as a cushion and absorbing a growing number of people that the formal sector failed to employ. The informal sector included not only large numbers of street vendors, peddlers, and providers of petty services but also large numbers of middle-class workers as artisans, self-employed agents, and backyard business operators. Moreover, established businesses used the informal sector as a means of avoiding taxes, increased regulations, and the costs associated with being registered as employed.

Brazil lacks precise data on informal-sector employment, but there are indications of its expansion since 1980. For instance, between 1980 and 1990 the share of employees in the total employed urban labor force fell from 78.7 percent to 74.6 percent, and the share of the self-employed (many in the informal sector) rose from 17.2 percent to 19.1 percent. Furthermore, the proportion of workers with formal labor contracts declined considerably in most urban economic segments. This was certainly true in areas where the informal sector traditionally has prevailed, such as personal services, entertainment, construction, and commerce; but, it was also true in the more organized sectors, such as manufacturing.

In the 1990-92 period, the economy deteriorated further, with a 1.3 percent annual decline in GDP and 4.1 percent decline in industrial output. Agriculture grew only 1.5 percent, and the services sector, only 0.4 percent annually. The overall unemployment rate increased from 3.4 percent in 1989 to 4.3 percent in 1990, 4.2 percent in 1991, and 5.8 percent in 1992. The labor absorption by the informal sector continued to be large and highly visible.

In 1992 the share of agriculture in the country's employed labor was 9.4 percent and that of industry, 16.0 percent. As a result of the swollen informal sector, employment in the services sector increased to 57.4 percent. The female participation rate continued to increase, from 27.4 percent in 1980 to 38.9 percent in 1990. In 1990 women made up 35.5 percent of the labor force compared with 15 percent in 1950. The male participation rate increased from 72.4 to 75.3 percent between 1980 and 1990.


There are two constants regarding earnings in Brazil since World War II: the very low wages of unskilled labor and the wide disparity in the wage scale. An indication of the low wage levels for unskilled labor is the minimum wage. In 1961 the monthly minimum wage averaged only US$113.30 (in 1986 dollars). The index of the average real minimum wage exhibits a clear downward trend (see table 8, Appendix). The 1991 real average monthly minimum wage was less than one-third of the already low 1961 minimum wage.

It is interesting to observe the impact of recession and particularly inflation on the real minimum wage. The two periods of swift decline in the real minimum wage were characterized by recession and by a rapidly accelerating inflation. This was true in the 1961-65 period and especially so between 1982 and 1991. The prosperity and comparatively low inflation of the 1970s (notably during the first half of the decade) did not bring about a stronger recovery of the real value of the minimum wage only because of the repressive wage policy adopted by the military regime.

The 1990 household survey revealed that 30.8 percent (some 19.9 million persons) of the employed population earned one minimum wage or less. Even allowing for underestimations of earnings by the household surveys, the numbers living with very low wages in Brazil are indeed large.

Organized labor, which has substantially larger average earnings, has obtained considerable gains since the late 1970s. These gains are reflected in the index of average real wage in São Paulo, the core of the country's modern industrial sector. The index evolved from a level of 100 in 1978 to 125.1 in 1982, declined to 112.9 in 1983, but jumped to 175.9 in prosperous 1986. After this it decreased somewhat, reaching 165.9 in 1990 and 158.4 in 1992.

As for the disparity in the wage scale, according to the 1990 household survey, in September of that year 10.8 percent of the employed work force, or 6.5 million persons, earned one-half of a minimum wage, a monthly average of US$299; 49.2 percent of the employed work force, or 29.8 million persons, received two minimum wages or less. At the other extreme, 7.8 percent of the employed work force received more than ten minimum wages, a monthly average of US$1,941; 3.2 percent, or 1.9 million persons, earned more than twenty minimum wages, or a monthly average of US$4,000. In that year, more than 60 percent of the employed labor force earned less than the average monthly earnings of US$211.

Moreover, data on the distribution of monthly earnings reveal that the distributive disparity has increased over time. In 1960 the poorest 10 percent of the employed labor force with earnings received 1.9 percent of the total earnings, but in 1990 their share was only 0.8 percent. At the other extreme, the richest 10 percent increased their share of total earnings from 39.6 percent in 1960 to 44.1 percent in 1990.

Inequality and Poverty

Income inequality in Brazil has a personal and a regional dimension. The highly concentrated distribution of income worsened in the 1960 to 1990 period. The Gini coefficient (see Glossary) for the country as a whole increased from 0.50 in 1960 to 0.56 in 1970, 0.59 in 1980, and 0.63 in 1990. The 1990 coefficient means that the richest 5 percent of the population received 36.6 percent of the national income, while the poorest 40 percent received only 7.2 percent. Moreover, the pattern of income distribution was similar in all of Brazil's five regions. In 1988 the South had the lowest Gini coefficient (0.58) and the Northeast had the highest (0.64). The difference is not remarkable; inequality is pervasive.

A substantial number of Brazilians are poor because Brazil has a large population, a medium-range income per capita (as compared with the United States, which is in the high range), and a high level of inequality. Estimates indicate that in 1990 almost a third of Brazil's total population, or 39.1 million persons, were poor. Approximately half of these poor lived in rural areas and half in urban areas. In relative terms, however, the proportion of the urban poor (22.5 percent) was substantially lower than that of the rural poor (50.1 percent). The rural to urban migration since 1950 markedly reduced the rural population, but it did not improve the lot of those who remained behind.

As for regional inequality, in 1991 the more developed Southeast and South regions, which occupy 17.6 percent of Brazil's total territory, had 58.7 percent of the total population and generated 74.3 percent of the country's GDP (in 1985). By contrast, the poverty-stricken Northeast, which occupies 18.3 percent of the total area, had 28.5 percent of the total population and generated only 13.1 percent of Brazil's 1985 GDP. The huge North (Norte) and Center-West (Centro-Oeste) regions, which occupy 64.1 percent of Brazil's total area, had 12.8 percent of the total population and generated 12.6 percent of Brazil's 1985 GDP. The Southeast had the largest urbanization rate (88.3 percent in 1991); the Northeast had the second largest proportion of the population in rural areas (41.6 percent in 1991), slightly below that of the frontier North (43.9 percent).

As a result of the economic boom, Brazil's per capita income experienced a marked increase in the 1970s, from US$1,253 to US$2,266; in the stagnant 1980s, it declined, reaching US$2,154 in 1990. In 1970 the per capita income of the Southeast exceeded the national average by 53.2 percent, while that of the Northeast was 44.4 percent lower. This discrepancy has declined, but only marginally: in 1988 the per capita income of the Southeast was 43.6 percent higher than the national average, and that of the Northeast was 37.5 percent lower. Of Brazil's 39.1 million poor in 1990, 53.1 percent were in the Northeast and 25.4 percent were in the prosperous Southeast. In the Northeast, the majority of the poor lived in rural areas, while in the Southeast the largest portion of the poor lived in cities.

Brazil's major urban areas warrant examination, given the large and growing number of urban poor. In 1991 nine Metropolitan Regions (MRs), including Belém, in the North; Fortaleza, Recife, and Salvador in the Northeast; Belo Horizonte, Rio de Janeiro, and São Paulo in the Southeast; and Curitiba and Porto Alegre in the South, had a combined population of 42.7 million people, almost one-third of Brazil's total population. The smallest MR, Belém in the Amazon, had 1.3 million inhabitants, and the largest, São Paulo, had more than 15 million inhabitants. The three largest MRs were in the Southeast. They had a combined population of 28.6 million, nearly 67 percent of the total metropolitan population and almost 20 percent of Brazil's total population. The four MRs in the North/Northeast had a combined population of 9.0 million--a large number for an underdeveloped or frontier area. The South's two MRs had a combined population of 5.0 million.

The metropolitan Gini coefficients for 1970 and 1988 show that all the MRs except for Curitiba experienced a deterioration in income distribution. The coefficients for 1988 also show that the distribution of income was worse in the Northeast MRs and better in São Paulo and in the two Southern MRs, but the differences were not large.

The metropolitan average household real income shows that all MRs, except for Rio de Janeiro, had increases between 1970 and 1988. In 1970 and in 1988, the average household incomes of the North-Northeast MRs were significantly lower than those of the Southeast-South. However, the gap between the two groups has declined somewhat. In 1970 the average household income of Fortaleza (the MR with the lowest average) was only 36.6 percent of that of São Paulo (with the highest average); in 1988 this average had increased to 53.3 percent. This does not mean that the Northeast MRs were prospering. Rather, it means that São Paulo, flooded with migrants, had a sharp increase in the number of households, moderating the rise in its average household income.

Estimates indicate that in 1990 the nine MRs had a combined total number of poor of almost 12.3 million people, or 28.9 percent of the total population of the MRs. São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro had the largest absolute number of poor (over 3 million, or nearly 24 percent of the total MR poor each), but the highest levels of urban poverty were in the MRs of the North/Northeast.

In 1989 the proportion of the poor unemployed was 11 percent, while that of the rest of the work force was only 3 percent. The proportion of the poor employed in informal occupations was 38 percent, while that of the remaining population was 26 percent (still quite a high percentage). And, the proportion of poor children, age seven to fourteen, out of school was 14 percent, while that of the nonpoor was only 6 percent.

Brazil - Agriculture

When examining the behavior of the agricultural sector in the postwar years, it is possible to identify two distinct periods: horizontal (geographical) expansion from 1949 to 1969 and conservative modernization, from 1970 to the present. In the immediate postwar years, Brazilian agriculture included an export sector that relied heavily on coffee but also on cotton, sugar, and a few minor commodities, and a semisubsistence sector that produced for the domestic market. At the time, the country's population, its per capita income, and its urban sector did not yet impose a large demand on the agricultural sector. With import-substitution industrialization, however, the situation changed drastically. This particular industrialization strategy required that the agricultural sector generate most of the economy's foreign exchange, produce growing outputs of food and some industrial inputs, and transfer resources for import-substitution industrialization. The transfer mechanism was a tax on the foreign exchange earned by coffee exports and the persistent implicit taxation of agriculture. The virtual exclusion of many agricultural products from the world market was caused by the highly overvalued cruzeiro, which resulted from this strategy. Consequently, the cheap domestic food policy that prevailed depressed prices in favor of the urban-industrial sector.

Paradoxically, the overall performance of agriculture during the horizontal expansion period was adequate. Agricultural GDP increased 4.2 percent a year between 1949 and 1969, a considerably higher growth rate than that of the population; between 1950 and 1959, food production increased 5.4 percent a year, and the production of exportables rose 4.1 percent annually. A major factor in this performance was horizontal expansion, that is, the incorporation of new land, especially along the agricultural frontier, made possible by an aggressive policy of road construction (see Frontier Expansion That Shaped Brazil, ch. 1). Moreover, the disincentives of the import-substitution industrialization policies were circumvented by maintaining ample access to land at concessionary terms for the landowning elite and for commercial farmers, reproducing a pattern established early in the colonial period.

By the late 1960s, it was clear that horizontal growth of agriculture was reaching its limits rapidly and that increases in productivity would be essential for a continued expansion of production. Moreover, the growth strategy of the military regime required a fast expansion of exports, including agricultural commodities. Thus, the government implemented a conservative modernization strategy consisting of technical change for a restricted number of subsectors and incentives for the formation of agribusiness complexes.

Technical change involved the development and adaptation of green-revolution technologies, geared mainly toward large agricultural operations that had important roles for mechanization and chemical inputs. Regarding the agribusiness complexes, the government provided strong incentives for the creation and expansion of processing industries and for the development and modernization of agricultural input industries. Moreover, the agricultural phase of the soymeal and oil, instant coffee, processed beef, poultry, orange juice, and sugar and alcohol agribusiness complexes received subsidized credit, guaranteed prices, and tax exemptions and subsidies when exported. Traditional, unprocessed, agricultural products, however, were subjected to heavy taxation and to price and other controls. As in the import-substitution industrialization phase, the production of cheap food was required, but only recently have government policies begun specifically to address this need.

Products benefiting from agricultural modernization responded well to the conservative modernization strategy. Their production methods underwent considerable technical change, and their production and yields increased markedly. Traditional products, however, failed to modernize and tended to perform poorly. They had scant access to credit and to the price-support policy. Moreover, they were frequently subjected to price controls, to a maze of regulations and export restrictions and quotas, and to competition from subsidized imports when they failed to supply the domestic market adequately.

At the beginning of the 1990s, the main crops in the modern segment were cocoa, cotton, rice, sugarcane, oranges, corn, soybeans, and wheat; those in the traditional segment included beans, manioc (cassava), bananas, peanuts, and coffee (see table 9, Appendix). Brazil is also one of the largest exporters of guavas, lemons, mangoes, passion fruit, tangerines, and tobacco. Crop production between 1970 and 1990 shows that the components of the modern segment grew considerably, both in production and in yield, while those of the traditional segment stagnated or declined. The growth in export crops allowed Brazil to become one of the world's largest soybean producers and to earn needed foreign exchange. It also allowed the substitution of sugarcane alcohol for imported oil.

Brazil - Livestock

Brazil's livestock sector went through a similar process of selective modernization. Until the early 1970s, it remained quite backward; its expansion relied chiefly on the incorporation of more land and animals into production. Following the expansion of agribusiness complexes, livestock production processes also changed. However, major differences exist between the modern and the traditional segments of the beef-cattle, poultry, and swine subsectors--the country's main livestock subsectors.

Between 1970 and 1991, Brazil's beef-cattle herd grew at a 3.1 percent average yearly rate, from 78.5 million to 152.1 million head; the slaughter of beef-cattle increased from 9.6 million to 13.9 million head; and the total carcass weight increased from 1.8 million to 2.9 million tons. However, these numbers hide large regional differences (see table 11, Appendix). The beef-cattle industry in areas near the country's more developed core has experienced considerable modernization, interlocked with the expansion of a dynamic agribusiness sector, which supplies the industry with modern inputs and slaughters and processes its animals for domestic and world markets. As a result, Brazil's beef exports increased from 98,300 tons of chilled beef and 15,800 tons of processed beef in 1970, at a total value of US$298.6 million (in 1992 dollars), to 96,800 tons of chilled beef and 127,300 tons of processed beef in 1992, at a total value of US$618.1 million. A still substantial traditional beef-cattle industry can be found in the frontier areas or in the more backward parts of Brazil; its productivity remains very low, and it is plagued by serious sanitary and management problems.

The poultry subsector experienced spectacular improvements from 1970 to 1991, changing from a small, backyard-based production into a modern industry. This change is reflected in the fact that, while the poultry flock increased 2.8 times between 1970 and 1990, from 214.3 million to 594.3 million head, the total carcass weight of the fowl slaughtered commercially increased twenty-one times, from 85,400 to 1.8 million tons. Moreover, the export of poultry products, which in 1970 was negligible, in 1992 amounted to 378,000 tons, representing a total value of US$455.6 million. The transformation of the poultry subsector into a modern industry was achieved through the development of agribusiness complexes. These modern enterprises play a central role; they provide farmers with inputs, with genetic material, and with technical assistance, in addition to buying the finished poultry from the farmers.

As for pork, the swine herd increased only 33.9 percent between 1970 and 1991, from 25.6 million to 34.3 million animals. However, a small portion of this subsector experienced considerable changes, also induced by agribusiness. Until the early 1990s, the Brazilian swine herd was composed overwhelmingly of mixed breeds of low-quality, lard-producing animals. Moreover, the management of the herd was primitive, and poor sanitation was a problem. The growing modern segment of the pork industry has a high-quality herd of meat-producing animals. Management practices have improved considerably, and there is a similar interaction between farmers and commercial and industrial enterprises.

Brazil - Fishing

With the exception of a few specialized subsectors geared to the world market, such as lobster fishing, Brazil's fishing industry has not developed well, despite the fiscal incentives it received during the 1970s. Even the specialized subsectors, including fish, crustaceans, and mollusks, only increased from 526,300 tons in 1970 to 798,600 tons in 1989.

In Brazil fishing is undertaken by businesses employing fairly modern equipment, and by thousands of independent fishermen spread along Brazil's immense coastal region. Independent fishermen employ primitive tools and fishing methods, producing for self-consumption and for sale in nearby markets. With some exceptions, the commercial segment has not expanded significantly, and in 1989 the production of fish and related catches amounted to a mere 5.3 kilograms per inhabitant.

Brazil - Industry

After 1987 problems that had confronted industry earlier in the decade intensified, adverse macroeconomic conditions persisted, and political troubles affected expectations adversely. Until the end of the 1980s, industry relied heavily on government protection and favors, but it also faced pervasive regulations and extensive governmental interference. These factors had a deleterious effect on industrial investment and on the productivity of several industrial subsectors, increasingly blunting the competitive edge they had struggled to achieve in the world market. Moreover, as a result of the fiscal crisis, the government was hard-pressed to continue to provide support and subsidies for industry and to maintain and expand the country's infrastructure.

The Collor de Mello administration, inaugurated in 1990, introduced significant changes in Brazil's economic strategy. Regarding industry, the government implemented measures to eliminate regulations, to liberalize trade, and to markedly reduce governmental favors and subsidies. It also announced a series of actions aimed at increasing industry's competitiveness. Despite these efforts, political and macroeconomic difficulties prevented the effective implementation of the new strategy, and the mounting fiscal crisis dampened efforts to rebuild and improve the badly deteriorated infrastructure. Therefore, an important part of the industrial sector failed to recover and to modernize. With stagnation, the domestic market could not give industry a dynamic push. Moreover, the reduction in investment, coupled with the deteriorating infrastructure, led to declines in competitiveness. These developments, together with fewer import barriers, caused industry's balance of trade to decline, from a peak of US$16.3 billion in 1988 to US$11.1 billion in 1991. In the early 1990s, despite sectoral weaknesses, the industrial sector became a major contributor to the country's exports and trade surplus.

Brazil - Mining

Since the early colonial period, expectations have loomed large about mineral riches hidden in Brazil's vast territory. However, the full extent of the country's mineral wealth is still unknown. Various efforts have been made to survey the country, one of which uncovered the Greater Carajás mineral province in the eastern Amazon (see fig. 9). Yet, at the beginning of the 1990s only 10 percent of the country's subsoil was known in sufficient detail. Correspondingly, the share of mining in GDP has increased but remains small; in 1950 it was only 0.4 percent, rising to 0.8 percent in 1970, to 1.0 percent in 1980, and to 2.5 percent in 1986, but declining to 1.5 percent in 1990.

The value of mineral production expanded from US$5.4 billion in 1980 to US$13.0 billion in 1990. However, only ten minerals--crude oil, iron, gold, calcium ore, natural gas, bauxite, phosphate, granite, cassiterite, and zinc--accounted for 85.5 percent of this total; crude oil alone accounted for 37.6 percent of the total, and both iron ore and gold accounted for 11.4 percent each. Apparently, the exploration of several other mineral substances has great potential, but such efforts have yet to be realized.

Advances in the early 1990s included the Greater Carajás project, which involves the production and export of iron ore, products of the bauxite-aluminum complex, and manganese, among other minerals. Overall, exports of mineral products expanded substantially, and there was a considerable import substitution of mineral inputs. In 1974 the trade balance of the mineral sector (primary, semiprocessed, and manufactured minerals) was a negative US$2.5 billion, and the deficit increased, reaching US$10.7 billion in 1980. However, by 1985 the deficit had declined to US$0.6 billion and thereafter the trade balance showed growing surpluses (US$1.1 billion in 1988, US$1.3 billion in 1989, and US$1.6 billion in 1990). This reversal was caused by an expansion of exports, especially of iron ore, products of the bauxite-aluminum complex, and manganese, and to a significant extent by reductions in crude oil imports.

Brazil's mineral policy has been marked strongly by national security considerations. Until the early 1990s, foreign capital was mostly barred from the more attractive portions of the sector. Petroleum has been a state monopoly. Another state enterprise, the giant Rio Dôce Valley Company, Inc. (Companhia Vale do Rio Dôce--CVRD), has a large share of the iron ore deposits, and it has played an important role in the development of the bauxite-aluminum complex and of other minerals. CVRD is also a major railroad and shipping operator, by far Brazil's largest exporter, and its largest generator of foreign currency. In late 1994, foreign investment funds held about 10 percent of CVRD's stock. In 1995 there were still legal obstacles to foreign participation in Brazil's mineral sector.

Brazil - Energy

The unfolding of Brazil's current difficulties in the energy arena constitutes a classic example of distortions arising from misdirected regulation combined with the action of interest groups. When import-substitution industrialization began in the early 1950s, the country's main sources of energy were firewood, charcoal, and bagasse (the dry residue from the processing of sugarcane). Because modern industrial expansion could not be based on these, a decision had to be made regarding the sources of energy to be used. Not surprisingly, electricity and petroleum products received special attention.

Electric Power

In 1950 Brazil's capacity to generate electricity was only 1.9 million kilowatts, and most of the required petroleum products had to be imported. An adequate supply of electric energy became critical, both for production and for a rapidly growing urban population. Petroleum requirements expanded quickly because of the decision to make the automobile industry the mainstay of import-substitution industrialization and because of the heavy reliance on trucks for short- and long-distance transportation. Ambitious road-building programs were implemented, and the domestic automobile industry quickly expanded the stock of motor vehicles, reaching 1.05 million units in 1960, 3.1 million units in 1970, and 10.8 million units in 1980.

Low electricity prices stemmed from the substitution policy and from the attempt to control inflation by restraining the increase in public-sector prices in nominal terms. Thus, the capacity of the electricity sector to generate resources for investment was affected considerably. As a result of federally induced borrowing in the late 1970s and early 1980s, the sector was also heavily indebted. Intermittent adjustments in electricity prices allowed the sector to generate profits and thus some resources for investment. However, on occasion, the government returned to the practice of manipulating consumer prices to contain inflation.

Although the federal treasury initially assumed many of the cost distortions of the energy policy, by the end of the 1980s the virtual bankruptcy of the public sector precluded this approach. In the early 1990s, the government implemented a series of measures to reduce its role. It introduced deregulation, market reforms, and privatization, but these reforms did not change the essence of the energy policy. Interest groups prevented the adoption of measures that would drastically alter the liquid combustible policy, and the agency controlling electric energy continued to lack resources for investments. Thus, the energy price structure was altered only marginally.

Low electricity prices induced a considerable substitution of electricity for other sources of energy and the expansion of electricity-intensive production, such as aluminum. The heavy investments in hydroelectricity of the 1970s and 1980s matured, creating a considerable generating capacity (50,500 million megawatts or 93.3 percent of the total generating capacity of electricity in 1993). One of the world's leading producers of hydroelectric power, Brazil has a potential of 106,500 to 127,868 megawatts, or, according to the World Factbook 1996 , 55,130,000 kilowatts. The country's two largest operating hydroelectric power stations are the 12,600-megawatt Itaipu Dam, the world's largest dam, on the Rio Paraná in the South, and the Tucuruí Dam in Pará, in the North Region (see fig. 3).

In principle, an increase in the generating capacity for electricity should have been easy to achieve. Brazil has enormous hydroelectric potential, and investments in the sector were forthcoming, although with an initial delay. However, until 1995 nationalistic considerations excluded foreign capital from the electric energy sector, and regulatory obstacles prevented domestic private investment. The federal and state governments were therefore left with the task of expanding the generating capacity. As of the early 1990s, the government continued to control the sector's production end, as well as transmission and distribution, although privatization of the sector is under consideration.


The fast-growing requirements of petroleum and petroleum by-products were met initially by imports. However, foreign-exchange difficulties, coupled with strategic considerations, led to efforts to reduce the country's dependence on imports. In the early 1950s, the government granted a near monopoly of the exploration, production, refining, and transportation of oil to the Brazilian Petroleum Corporation (Petróleo Brasileiro S.A.--Petrobrás), the state-owned oil company, and made resources available for investments. Emphasis was placed on the expansion of a domestic refining capacity because world oil prices were low and no problems were envisaged with oil supply. Thus, an important refining sector developed gradually.

The oil crises of the 1970s placed Brazil in a vulnerable situation. In 1974 almost 80 percent of Brazil's total oil consumption was imported, and the increases in oil prices imposed a substantial burden on the country's balance of payments. Consequently, reducing dependence on imported energy, particularly petroleum, became the main objective of energy policy. This reduction was to be achieved by large investments in petroleum substitutes, notably electric energy and ethanol, and by a substantial expansion in the exploration and domestic production of petroleum. Although modest oil fields were not discovered until late in the 1970s, investments in the energy sector increased from around 10 percent of total investment in the early 1970s to a peak of 23.5 percent in 1982-83. As a proportion of GDP, investment in energy increased steadily, from 2.8 percent early in the 1970s, to a peak of 5.0 percent in 1982.

The government also implemented the energy price policy in reaction to the 1979 oil shock. The basic assumption was that the price of oil would remain at its high 1979 level. Thus, emphasis on promoting substitution was absolute. The problem, however, was that this emphasis did not change after oil prices began to decline. To encourage substitution, the government set energy prices. The price of gasoline was set at a high level, not only to reduce its use but also to finance Petrobrás's exploration effort and to subsidize other petroleum products. The prices of diesel fuel and propane (extensively used for cooking) were maintained artificially low, requiring subsidies. The low diesel price was intended to keep transportation costs from increasing sharply, and social arguments were used to justify the propane subsidy.

To induce the purchase of ethanol-propelled cars, the price of ethanol was maintained at 60 percent of that of gasoline. To finance this subsidy, a mixture of 20 percent of ethanol in the gasoline was established. The high gasoline prices exceeded the cost of ethanol, and the profits were used to cover the subsidy. Specially low prices for electric energy were established to encourage the replacement of fuel oil and other oil derivatives in production.

The combination of conservation and substitution, along with the expansion of domestic production, reduced the country's dependence on imported crude oil, from around 80 percent in the late 1970s to 45.6 percent in 1990. Domestic output of crude oil increased from an average 165,000 barrels a day in 1975 to some 800,100 barrels a day by 1996. By the end of 1995, Brazil's proven reserves had reached 4.8 billion barrels and potential reserves were at 8.8 billion barrels. About 64 percent of Brazil's domestic oil comes from the continental shelf in the Campos Basin, which accounts for 83 percent of proven reserves. The country's petroleum reserves may actually reach 20 billion barrels if as yet unproven discoveries in deep water off the Brazilian coast are included.

Despite these advances, however, the rigidity of the energy price policy brought about serious problems. The maintenance of the gasoline-ethanol price differential and other inducements led to a rapid increase in the purchase of ethanol-propelled automobiles and to a growing conversion of gasoline cars to ethanol. Moreover, the basic assumption that the price of oil would remain high was incorrect. Although world oil prices declined, the price policy remained in effect for ethanol producers, owners of ethanol-propelled cars, and the motor vehicle industry. Additionally, the real gasoline price was eroded gradually by the government's tendency to fight inflation by tampering with the prices of goods and services produced by the public sector. Also, the substitution of ethanol for gasoline caused a swift reduction in the sale of gasoline in the domestic market. Consequently, the profits Petrobrás obtained initially from gasoline dwindled quickly, and the company required assistance from the treasury for its exploration program and to cover various subsidies. The sharp increase in the use of diesel fuel for transportation, created by this fuel's subsidy, together with technical rigidities in refining, forced Petrobrás to produce much more gasoline than was required by the domestic market. This excess had to be sold abroad, often at below-cost prices. Because the demand for diesel fuel continued to grow and the demand for gasoline to shrink, Petrobrás was forced to invest heavily in changing the product profile of its refineries. In the early 1990s, the government reduced the gasoline-ethanol price differential (in 1993 the price of ethanol was 78.4 percent of that of gasoline). The price of gasoline was maintained sufficiently high to prevent massive subsidies to ethanol. The prices of diesel fuel and propane were increased.

Natural Gas

Brazil meets only 2 percent of its energy needs with natural gas, but the country's natural gas consumption is likely to increase greatly. In May 1992, the state oil companies of Brazil and Bolivia signed an agreement outlining the route for a 2,270-kilometer, US$2 billion pipeline system to deliver natural gas from Bolivian fields to Brazil's Southeast. The pipeline was scheduled to begin supplying 8 million cubic meters a day of Bolivian gas in 1997, building up to 16 million cubic meters a day by 2004.

Nuclear Power

Nuclear energy provides an interesting chapter in Brazil's energy policy. In the early 1970s, nuclear energy was considered to have great potential, but it failed to develop. In 1975 Brazil signed an agreement with the Federal Republic of Germany (West Germany) under which that country would supply eight nuclear power reactors and transfer technology for the complete nuclear fuel cycle. A small nuclear power plant--the Angra I, which has a 626-megawatt capacity--was built near Rio de Janeiro, and work was programmed to start on two larger facilities on the same site (the Angra II and III units, which were to have a combined capacity of 3.1 million kilowatts).

The Angra I plant, which has a reactor supplied by Westinghouse Electric Corporation, was completed and trial runs were made in 1982, but reactor defects delayed operations until 1983. Moreover, technical problems allowed the facility to function only intermittently. Regarding the Angra II and III plants, construction was started on the first. However, the fiscal crisis, a slower than anticipated growth in the demand for electricity in the 1980s, the adverse United States reaction to the Brazil-West Germany agreement, and a growing environmental militancy in Brazil led to slowdowns in construction.

In 1985 the agreement with West Germany was revised, and the construction of the other reactors was postponed indefinitely, in part for financial reasons. Moreover, growing fiscal difficulties led to an interruption of construction on Angra II and further postponement of Angra III. In 1988 it was estimated that the completion of the two plants would require US$2.8 billion, which was not available. In the early 1990s, there were no indications of when the two facilities would be completed. Despite the delays, the technology transfer clauses of the agreement have been maintained, and Brazil has continued to receive West German nuclear technology.

In 1990 Brazil's uranium reserves were estimated at 301,500 tons, or the equivalent of 2.1 billion tons of petroleum. A yellow-cake (see Glossary) factory and a plant to produce nuclear fuel elements have been completed, and additional processing facilities are under construction or planned. These will allow for the enrichment of uranium and the reprocessing of spent fuel. However, as was the case with the power reactors, lack of resources has slowed down developments in this area. In early 1997, the Brazilian nuclear energy program was being supplied by the only uranium mine operating in Brazil, in Poços de Caldas, Minas Gerais State. That mine is being deactivated and replaced by the Lagoa Real/Caetité Mine in the Caetité District in southwestern Bahia State (see Nuclear Programs, ch. 6).

Brazil - Tourism

Brazil's natural wonders include the Amazon; the wildlife-packed Pantanal wetlands; 8,850 kilometers of superb Atlantic coastline, including 3,200 kilometers of white sand beaches in the Northeast running from São Luís in the north to the Bahia Basin in the south; and the waterfalls at Foz do Iguaçu. Brazil has one of the world's most spectacularly located cities, Rio de Janeiro, which hosts the annual Mardi Gras Carnaval (Carnival); one of the largest cities, São Paulo; one of the most modernistic, Brasília; and one of the most ecologically advanced, Curitiba. Other popular cities include Salvador, Ouro Prêto, and Manaus.

Traditionally, Brazilian politicians have regarded travel and tourism as elitist and an unnecessary luxury. This view has been changing, however, as politicians have begun to see travel and tourism as a major industry. In the early 1990s, about 6 million jobs were linked to Brazil's travel and tourism industry. The industry is one of the country's biggest employers, involving one in every eleven workers. It contributes an estimated 8 percent to the country's GDP. This figure compares favorably with Latin America's average of 5.1 percent, but it is well below the world average of 10.2 percent.

Since the United Nations-sponsored Rio Earth Summit (Eco-92) in 1992, the Brazilian government has targeted ecotourism as a priority. For example, the government is encouraging foreign investment in tourist facilities in Amazônia. The Ministry of Commerce, Industry, and Tourism includes a cabinet-level official in charge of tourism policies. The National Secretary of Tourism and Services, the National Tourism Board, and the state and municipal tourist authorities are responsible for the day-to-day administration of the sector.

The development of tourism in the seven states that make up the impoverished Northeast has received special attention. More than 3 million Brazilian and foreign visitors boosted hotel occupancy in the Northeastern states from 43 percent in 1991 to 67 percent in 1993.

In 1992 some 2,235,000 passengers flew to Brazil, an increase of 14.5 percent from 1991, and the same number flew out of Brazil. About 513,000 of these visitors flew between Argentina and Brazil, and according to Brazil's Civil Aviation Department (Departamento de Aviação Civil--DAC), more than 541,000 passengers flew between the United States and Brazil, an increase of 10.4 percent from 1991. The Brazilian Tourism Agency (Empresa Brasileira de Turismo--Embratur) found that 72.6 percent of those who came to Brazil in 1992 came for tourism; the rest came for business, conferences, and conventions, including Eco-92. In 1993 about 1.6 million foreign visitors traveled to Brazil.

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Brazil - Privatization

The rise in interest in the privatization of state-owned enterprises in Brazil that began in the 1980s reflects similar trends worldwide. Although much of the rhetoric used by the advocates of privatization emphasized economic efficiency and competitiveness, much of Brazil's privatization experience since 1990 is better understood as a response to the fiscal pressures on the public sector, which worsened significantly in the 1980s.

The sale of state enterprises to private buyers, both domestic and foreign, offered an attractive means to reduce the fiscal pressures. First, the sale of an enterprise provided an immediate revenue gain for the government. Second, to the extent that the enterprise sold was operating at a loss, the future fiscal burden on the public sector was reduced. Finally, the conversion of a state enterprise into a profitable private one increased the future tax revenues of the government.

Implicit in these motives for privatization is a difficult choice for the government. The first reason suggests that the greatest immediate revenue effect would be obtained from the sale of the most profitable firms, such as the CVRD (Rio Dôce Valley Company), Brazil's iron mining and exploring complex. The second consideration, however, suggests that long-term revenue benefits would be more likely from the sale of enterprises that have had a long history of low or negative returns, such as the RFFSA (Federal Railroad System, Inc.). Brazilian privatization experience and policies since the 1980s reflects the difficulty of deciding which firms to privatize first.

Although some privatization occurred between 1980 and 1990, it was confined to cases in which the federal government had taken over firms in financial difficulties, and did not touch any of the major state-owned enterprises that had been established purposely by the federal government and by some state governments in the preceding three decades. In all, only thirty-eight enterprises were privatized by the federal government before 1990, and the total receipts of the government were only US$723 million.

Policy changed significantly with the entrance of the Collor government in 1990, which made privatization one of the major planks of its economic platform. The National Privatization Program (Programa Nacional de Desestatização--PND), which was created by the National Economic Development Bank (Banco Nacional de Desenvolvimento Econômico--BNDE), expanded the scope of privatization to include a number of the enterprises formerly considered as "strategic" by earlier governments. During the Collor government between 1990 and 1992, fifteen state-owned enterprises were privatized, yielding about US$3.5 billion in total proceeds. The most important sale was that of the Minas Gerais Iron and Steel Mills, Inc. (Usinas Siderúrgicas de Minas Gerais S.A.--Usiminas) steel company in October 1991, which alone accounted for nearly twice the revenue of all previous privatizations and sold for US$2.3 billion. The Japanese holding company Nippon Usiminas acquired about 18 percent of the shares. During this period, most sales were exchanges of equity in state-owned enterprises for different types of public debt or "soft money," rather than for cash.

Under the Franco government (1992-94), privatization continued but with a greater emphasis on sales for cash. Eighteen state-owned enterprises were sold, yielding over US$5 billion. Among the most important enterprises sold in this period was the Brazilian Aeronautics Company (Empresa Brasileira Aeronáutica--Embraer), an aircraft manufacturer, which had been established in 1969 and controlled by the Ministry of Aeronautics. By 1994 only twenty-five state-owned enterprises had been sold, mostly in exchange for debt certificates and little hard cash. Other enterprises included several chemical, fertilizer, and mining companies, with the steel sector wholly privatized by the end of 1994.

Privatization policy under the Cardoso administration, beginning in 1995, shifted focus to state-owned enterprises responsible for the major part of Brazil's economic infrastructure, among them enterprises in the energy, transportation, and communications sectors. The first major privatization was the sale of the Espírito Santo Power Plants, Inc. (Espírito Santo Centrais Elétricas S.A.--Escelsa), the federally owned power company serving the state of Espírito Santo, in July 1995. In a departure from earlier policy, the CVRD, one of Brazil's largest state enterprises, was included in the program by the new government. Although Brazil's largest state-owned enterprises, Petrobrás, remained outside the program because of constitutional restrictions, appraisals were begun of the RFFSA and of the remaining federally owned power companies.

Brazil - The Real Plan

On July 1, 1994, Brazil implemented the last, and to date, most successful of its economic stabilization programs to end inflation. Nearly three years later, the Real Plan was intact, far outliving its ill-fated predecessors. By late 1996, inflation by some measures approached an annual rate of less than 20 percent, a remarkable achievement in an economy that a few years earlier would have regarded even a monthly rate at this level a triumph. The new monetary unit created by the plan, the real (pl., reais ; for value of the real , see Glossary), actually appre-ciated against the dollar in the months after its creation.

The design and implementation of the Real Plan also distinguished it from the earlier plans, and may help explain some of its success in its first years. Unlike the earlier plans, it did not depend on a general price and wage freeze to stop inflation. At the heart of the new plan was the de-indexation of the Brazilian economy, which was accomplished in part by converting salaries and a number of other prices in the months preceding the implementation of the Real Plan into Real Value Units (URVs), which were then linked to the United States dollar. After July 1, 1994, prices in URVs were converted into reais , which began officially at par with the dollar, but traded at a premium in the open market. Although the new plan made no guarantees of automatic price and wage adjustments to compensate for inflation, few restrictions were placed on employers and employees in private wage negotiations.

Although some observers characterized the Real Plan as a form of "dollarization" of the Brazilian economy, in which prices and wages that previously had been indexed to inflation were now linked to a foreign currency, there was a significant difference between Brazil's approach and that of countries like Argentina, which attempted to stabilize the value of their currencies through a formal and legal link to the dollar. Brazil did not make such a commitment, and despite the stability of the real against the dollar throughout the first year and a half of the Real Plan, there was a widespread expectation that the real eventually would depreciate.

This exchange-rate policy and the expectations that accompanied it had significant consequences for the domestic Brazilian economy. Expectations of an eventual depreciation of the currency, coupled with the short-term stability of the exchange rate and much greater mobility of financial capital between Brazil and world financial markets led to a strong appreciation of the real and painfully high domestic real interest rates. Lenders required interest rates that would protect them against a possible depreciation. With prices stable or even falling for some products, borrowers could not repay in currency that had lost its value through inflation, as they were accustomed to do in earlier years.

International enthusiasm for the Real Plan, reinforced by its apparent success in its first year, led to the resumption of large-scale flows to Brazil, permitting the government to maintain its policy of approximate exchange-rate stability. Despite the worries about a depreciation, and several speculative attacks against the real in its first year, the high level of capital flows to Brazil more than financed the high level of imports stimulated by the resumption of economic growth, leading to a sharp increase in Brazil's reserves of foreign currency. By late 1995, they totaled more than US$50 billion.

The fall in inflation, supported in part by the strong real , led to important changes in income flows within the Brazilian economy. Decades of inflation had produced a large financial sector, which flourished in part through the spread between borrowing and lending rated in a high-inflation environment. With the fall in this revenue, a number of financial intermediaries came under severe pressure, despite the high real interest rates. During 1995 there were bank insolvencies, with failures avoided by Central Bank intervention to merge these intermediaries with stronger ones.

The fall in inflation also had consequences for Brazil's income distribution. Lower-income groups, which had borne a disproportionately large share of the inflationary burden because of their relatively limited access to fully indexed savings opportunities and to the tendency of minimum salaries and other nominal wages to lag behind inflation, benefited significantly from the Real Plan. In the months following its implementation, sales of consumer durables, especially those purchased by lower-income groups, increased significantly, leading the government in 1995 to attempt to restrict consumption and reward saving. The rise in the real incomes of lower- income groups produced a level and depth of political support for the Real Plan that made it difficult for unions and other groups opposing many of the policies of the new Cardoso government to confront the Real Plan head on. It also may have helped the government in its efforts to secure the support of the Congress for a number of its proposed reforms.

The Real Plan's success in its first year strengthened the political support that the government needed to attack the underlying fiscal disequilibrium. By 1995 the operational budget of the federal government was significantly smaller than it had been in earlier years, and the attempts by some organized sectors, among them the employees of state enterprises, to overturn many of the policies of the Real Plan had been resisted. Further progress in reducing the pressures on the finances of Brazil's public sector rested on the rates of the first year of the Real Plan, as well as on the support of Congress for the fiscal reforms proposed by the Cardoso government.

By the end of 1996, the Real Plan appeared to have succeeded in its objective of ending decades of inflation and macroeconomic uncertainty. It had also bought valuable time for the government to attack the underlying fiscal imbalance that generated the inflationary pressures. There was little time to be lost, however, and the rise in public-sector expenditures, especially at the state and municipal levels, cast a cloud over the prospect for the long-run success of the Real Plan. This rise was the consequence of a number of factors, among them the surge in costs for public-sector employees created in part by the requirements of the 1988 constitution. In the short run, the rise in interest costs in the first year of the Real Plan was a heavy burden for many states and municipalities, some of which were unable in 1995 to pay employees their full salaries. Other pressures on the public sector included rising pension and social security costs, caused in part by demographic trends and by the generous promises of earlier governments to future retirees.

Brazil - Trade Policies

Brazil's economic history has been influenced remarkably by foreign trade trends and policies. Successive cycles of export booms in such commodities as sugar, gold and diamonds, rubber, and coffee played major roles in Brazilian development before World War II. In the 1930s, the collapse of coffee prices signaled a turn inward, resulting in a nascent industrialization. In succeeding decades, industrial development was fostered deliberately through restrictive trade policies, making Brazil a relatively closed economy by the mid-1960s. Only in the early 1990s did Brazil begin significant liberalization of its trade policies, and even these reforms were modest by comparison with those in a number of other Latin American nations.

Government intervention in foreign trade has a long history in Brazil, reaching back to the colonial period when Portugal forbade Brazilian trade with other nations. Following independence in 1822, Brazil opened its ports and expanded its trade with other nations, particularly Britain. Extensive government regulation of trade continued, however, with tariffs providing over half of the government's revenue before World War I. Other forms of intervention in trade included the 1906 coffee price support plan, which was a sophisticated attempt to exploit Brazil's monopolistic position in the world coffee market.

Before World War II, trade policies were used mostly as a source of revenue or as a response to specific groups such as the coffee producers, rather than as a means of achieving national economic goals. In the early 1950s, Brazil began to use trade policy in a more deliberate way to promote industrialization. The forced reduction in Brazilian imports after 1929 had resulted in the first major industrial growth in Brazil, centered in São Paulo. Heeding this apparent lesson, policy makers in the 1950s argued that measures that deliberately reduced imports would stimulate domestic production, thereby encouraging technological development and increasing employment in activities that were regarded as more "modern" than Brazil's traditional agricultural and extractive activities.

Between 1953 and 1957, Brazil attempted to use multiple exchange rates to encourage some trade transactions and discourage others. In 1957 the country instituted a broad ad valorem tariff system under Law 3,244. The new system created not only a new tariff structure but also the administrative machinery to impose or revise tariffs in accord with national development objectives and requests by domestic producers for protection. Implementation of the system heavily favored domestic producers of manufactured consumer goods, while permitting the import of capital and intermediate goods at much lower tariffs. For some goods, protection was great enough to completely eliminate competing imports from the Brazilian market.

Following the imposition of military rule in 1964, Brazil once again modified its trade policies. The new government moved quickly to eliminate some of the restrictions on Brazilian exports, and it provided special incentives for exports of manufactures. In March 1967, it significantly cut tariffs, which fell to about half their former level in a number of sectors. Brazilian imports soon increased, but this was more the result of the acceleration of economic growth after 1967 than of the tariff reforms. During the "economic miracle" between 1967 and 1973, the GDP grew at record rates. Throughout this period, trade policy continued to be relatively open in comparison with Brazilian policies before or after the economic miracle.

The steep rise in world oil prices that began in late 1973 soon ended Brazil's move toward greater trade openness. The approximate balance between imports and exports in the early 1970s became an unprecedented US$4.7 billion deficit in 1974. Although record levels of external capital flows financed this deficit, Brazilian policy makers responded by restricting imports. In June 1974, import financing for many products was suspended, while tariff rates on more than 900 items were doubled. Over the year, restrictions were increased further, and in 1975 the government required that imports be paid for in advance with deposits that did not earn interest or any correction for inflation. On the export side, further measures were taken to promote exports, especially for manufactures. Despite these measures, Brazil's trade balance remained in deficit for most of the 1970s.

The worsening of Brazil's external payments position in the early 1980s forced policy makers to turn to other measures to attempt to restore external balance, among them adjustment in the exchange rate, which was devalued sharply early in 1983. Controls on trade were not relaxed, however, and the cessation of voluntary lending to Brazil following the Mexican debt crisis in 1982 had significant effects on trade policy. Import controls that had been introduced in response to the worsening trade balance in 1980 were strengthened by centralization of all foreign-exchange transactions in the Central Bank. A negative list, which enumerated items whose import was suspended, was expanded considerably, and financing for imports was further restricted.

The combination of tightened import controls, real depreciation, and the fall in domestic demand induced by the restrictive macroeconomic policies of the early 1980s resulted in a sharp adjustment in Brazil's external accounts. The magnitude of the adjustment appears to have surprised even many of its proponents, both in the Brazilian government and among creditors. After 1983 the massive trade surpluses averaged more than 3 percent of GDP, compared with negative or negligible levels through most of the 1968-82 period. In 1984, as the full effects of the adjustment program were felt, exports were about double imports, and Brazil's trade surplus reached an unprecedented 6.1 percent of GDP, far exceeding the comparable shares in other important economies such as Japan (3.5 percent of GDP) and West Germany (3.8 percent).

Most of the import controls that were used after 1982 were in place well before the cessation of voluntary external lending. One of these measures, introduced in 1980 following the worsening of the current account, was the financing requirement for specific imports. Another form of import control, much used after 1982, was the establishment of formal import programs, which were negotiated agreements between importing firms and the Department of Foreign Trade (Carteira de Comércio Exterior--Cacex). These agreements in effect turned the import decision into a process that depended more on administrative and political considerations than on economic merit. The high degree of administrative control that these agreements gave to Cacex created problems, because middle-level trade officials acquired extensive control over the fortunes of an enterprise through their ability to approve particular trade transactions.

By 1984 it was clear that the successful external adjustment had a domestic price, as inflation accelerated to more than 200 percent at annual rates. Trade policy consequently began to be viewed as a potential instrument for internal stabilization, with some import liberalization viewed as a potential contributor to reduced inflation.

In late 1984, a number of the direct controls on imports were cut back, and the number of products on the negative list was reduced substantially. Import financing requirements were also relaxed through exemptions, and tariff surcharges were replaced by smaller additions to the legal tariff. On the administrative side, the Cacex policy of import restrictions for balance of payments purposes was reduced.

In February 1986, following several months in which the prices accelerated at an average of more than 500 percent, the Sarney government decreed the now infamous Cruzado Plan. Although the plan was presented as a definitive program to de-index the economy and wipe out inflation, its main thrust was to freeze prices. Wages were not frozen and in fact were increased by 8 percent when the plan was announced. Foreign economic policy in the plan consisted primarily of fixing the exchange rate, and no trade policy changes were included in the plan.

The combination of increased domestic real income, a fixed nominal exchange rate, and a fall in nominal interest rates soon produced a sharp increase in excess demand. In sectors less affected by price controls, such as clothing or used automobiles, prices rose sharply. The effects on the trade balance were apparent within several months after the plan was decreed. The value of monthly exports fell by about 40 percent between March and November 1986, and imports rose rapidly beginning in May. For the year, exports fell by 12.7 percent from 1985 levels, and imports increased by 5.7 percent. Brazil's external payments problems, which had appeared to be largely resolved by the record trade balances after 1983, emerged once again, as the trade balance fell from US$12.5 billion in 1985 to US$8.3 billion in 1986.

The policy response to the worsening trade balance consisted of a small 1.8 percent devaluation in October 1986, accompanied by administrative tightening of import controls. In early 1987, the negative list was once again increased, and some of the loss in exchange-rate competitiveness was regained with nominal devaluations of the cruzado (for value of the cruzado--see Glossary) of 7.8 percent and 8.7 percent in May and June of 1987.

Brazil's second price-stabilization attempt, popularly known as the Bresser Plan, was announced by the new minister of finance, Luiz Carlos Bresser Pereira, in June 1987. In contrast to the ill-fated Cruzado Plan, the Bresser Plan did not attempt to use external economic policy as an instrument for internal stabilization. Brazil returned to its earlier and generally successful "crawling-peg" policy, which consisted of frequent small devaluations roughly in line with domestic inflation. The trade balance improved with the fall in domestic demand resulting from the Bresser Plan, and a current-account balance was attained by the end of 1987.

The improving external payments situation permitted some modest liberalization, beginning with a reduction of the negative list in September 1987. Import financing requirements were once again relaxed, and in late 1988 Cacex announced an expansion of import program levels for 1989. The 1988 reforms also simplified the existing tariff system. Average rates were lowered from over 50 percent to about 40 percent. Moreover, the dispersion or variability of rates was reduced; the highest tariffs were brought down from 105 to 85 percent, and the number of different rates was reduced from twenty-nine to eighteen. The reforms further simplified the tariff system by consolidating the rules covering import transactions, reducing the number of agencies directly involved in the approval of trade transactions, and establishing greater automaticity in the approval process.

The contrast between the favorable external payments situation and Brazil's internal deficit became even more marked in 1988, as export value increased to record levels. The favorable external situation permitted a continuation of import liberalization. In August 1988, Cacex permitted firms to exceed considerably their programmed imports of capital and intermediate goods. Despite this modest relaxation of import policy, there was no noticeable increase in total imports, which actually fell slightly in 1988 from their 1987 level.

In January 1989, the government announced the Summer Plan, which temporarily froze wages and the exchange rate. Despite the announcement of further fiscal tightening, expenditures declined little and the budget deficit worsened as a result of freezing prices for public-sector services. By mid-1989 most other prices were rising at more than 30 percent per month, ending the year with a monthly rate of about 50 percent. Imports began to increase significantly in mid-1989, and Brazil's 1989 trade surplus was US$16.1 billion, well below the record US$19.2 billion of the preceding year. Although some of the increase in the level of imports may be attributable to the modest loosening of some import controls in the preceding year, major factors behind the worsening trade balance were the recovery of industrial activity and increasing overvaluation of the new cruzado (cruzado novo). In late 1989, the Customs Policy Council (Conselho para Política Aduaneira--CPA) issued Resolution 1,666, which further cut tariffs. The effect of this change was to reduce the average legal tariff from 41 to 35.5 percent. Many of the changes occurred in sectors that had formerly enjoyed high levels of protection, among them electrical equipment, some capital goods, and chemicals (see table 16, Appendix).

At the end of the Sarney government, inflation rates were at the threshold of hyperinflation, with the monthly rates in the first two months of 1990 at over 70 percent. Although the trade balance had fallen to about a third of the levels of the preceding year, Brazilian policy makers were clearly focused on internal stabilization; trade policy reform was a recognized but secondary goal.

Collor de Mello succeeded Sarney in March 1990. During the election campaign, Collor de Mello had successfully portrayed himself as an opponent of an intrusive, interventionist bureaucracy. His rhetoric, which included attacks on corruption and highly paid officials (marajás ), emphasized deregulation and greater openness to world markets. The consequences of this political and ideological change for Brazilian trade policy were not long in coming. One of Collor de Mello's early moves was to abolish Cacex, by that time the subject of widespread criticism and frequent allegations of corruption by the business community. The Technical Coordinating Office for Trade (Coordenadoria Técnica de Intercâmbio Comercial--CTIC), a slimmer and less powerful agency under the Ministry of Economy, Finance, and Planning, took over the Cacex's functions.

Although import licenses were not abolished, their approval became a relatively routine operation, and by 1991 most licenses were being issued within five working days. The CTIC became primarily a reporting and registration agency, which had little of the discretionary power formerly exercised by Cacex. The former CPA, which had been far overshadowed by Cacex, was replaced by an agency coequal with the CTIC, the Technical Coordinating Office for Tariffs (Coordenadoria Técnica de Tarifas--CTT). With the shift in emphasis in trade policy from discretionary administrative control to the automaticity of published tariffs, many of them limited by Brazil's treaty commitments, the CTT's role in formulating import policy became significantly greater than the CPA's had been.

Early in 1991, the Collor de Mello government announced a series of tariff reductions to be phased in over the 1991-94 period. These were among the most far-reaching and significant reductions in Brazilian trade protection in several decades. Earlier tariff reductions often had been largely cosmetic, only reducing rates that were prohibitive to high levels that still barred many imports. The 1991 reforms went much further, and in many sectors reduced rates to about a third of their level in the early 1980s. Equally important, the reforms reduced the wide variability or dispersion of tariff rates that were once characteristic of Brazilian trade policy. The overall trend in Brazilian trade policy is clear. By the mid-1990s, Brazil had become a much more open economy than it had been a decade earlier.

Brazil - Trade Patterns and Regional Economic Integration

Underlying much of the debate over trade policy in Brazil in the 1990s is an implicit choice between regional trade arrangements or a more nonpreferential policy that would not discriminate by national origin or destination. Brazil's most important current regional trade initiative is the Common Market of the South (Mercado Comum do Sul--Mercosul; see Glossary). With the ratification of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA; see Glossary) among Canada, Mexico, and the United States in 1993, it was inevitable that Brazilian participation in even larger regional trade arrangements than Mercosul would be discussed increasingly.

Despite the rhetorical prominence of Latin American trade in debate over Brazilian trade policies, Brazilian trade flows do not reflect a particularly strong orientation to other Latin American countries. However, with Mercosul, other Latin American countries may gain in relative importance. By the mid-1990s, trade with the other Mercosul partners, particularly Argentina, was one of the most rapidly growing sectors of Brazilian foreign trade.

In the 1980s, Brazilian exports to the rest of South America had averaged less than 10 percent of all exports; exports to Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean added another 2 percent. Brazilian exports were directed overwhelmingly to the United States and Canada (about 30 percent) and to Western Europe (about 30 percent).

Brazilian export patterns in the 1980s and early 1990s were little different from earlier decades, when they were also dominated by trade with the United States and with Europe. This trade orientation reflected several historical influences, including the structure of Brazilian international transportation channels and the composition of Brazilian exports. Only in the 1970s did Brazilian exports shift from being dominated by primary and semiprocessed products to manufactures. Major markets for all these products were primarily in high-income countries; for example, Brazil long depended on the United States as its major market for coffee. Other important primary products, such as sugar, soybeans, and iron ore, were also sold mainly in high-income countries (see table 17, Appendix).

Finally, and possibly most important, Brazilian export patterns reflected the relatively strong inward orientation of most of Brazil's Latin American trade partners during most of the early post-World War II decades. The strong influence of the import-substitution industrialization doctrines of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC; see Glossary) in most of the Latin American economies in the 1950s had by the early 1960s led to extensive import-substitution industrialization, particularly in Brazil and its larger trading partners, notably Argentina and Mexico. The inevitable result was that the more open economies of Europe and North America continued to provide the most important markets for Brazilian exports. Only with the concurrent liberalization of trade in a number of other Latin American economies, especially Argentina, did Brazil's exports begin to reflect the importance of its Latin American trade partners.

Brazil's export orientation toward North America and Europe is also noticeable in its import pattern. In addition, the Middle East is a significant trade partner because of the high value of petroleum imports. The large trade deficit with this region was financed primarily by surpluses with other regions, notably the United States and Europe. Brazil's imports from the rest of Latin America accounted for only about 12 percent of the total value of its imports in the 1980s.

Despite the approximately equal shares of Latin American trade in both Brazil's exports and its imports, during most of the 1980s Brazil had a large trade surplus with the region, exceeding US$800 million in most years. This surplus, which was generated primarily in trade with Argentina, Bolivia, and Paraguay, helped finance Brazil's oil imports from two of the region's oil exporters, Mexico and Venezuela. The value of Brazilian imports of petroleum from these countries was greatest in the early 1980s and declined with the fall in petroleum prices.

Brazilian attempts to expand formal regional trade agreements beyond bilateral preferential trading arrangements date from 1958, when the government joined Argentina, Chile, and Uruguay in discussions that led to the Treaty of Montevideo, signed in February 1960. Under the treaty, which was expanded subsequently to most of the economies of South America and to Mexico, the members agreed to negotiate mutual tariff reductions on a permanent basis.

Despite its professed intentions, the organization created by the treaty, the Latin American Free Trade Association (LAFTA--also known as Asociación Latinoamericana de Libre Comercio--ALALC; see Glossary) was only a limited success. Part of the reason lay in the departures of many of the agreements from the nondiscriminatory provisions of Article 24 of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT--see Glossary), which regulates regional trade agreements. Although the intent of LAFTA was to create new trade rather than to divert trade flows from efficient sources outside the region, its success in this respect was minimal. Another provision of the agreement, which required the formation of a free-trade area within a specified time period, was ignored. The deadline for LAFTA to create such an area was first extended from 1972 to 1980; when the 1980 deadline was not met, LAFTA was replaced by the Latin American Integration Association (LAIA--also known as Associação Latino-Americana de Integração--ALADI), which had more modest goals. The real blow to LAFTA/ALADI trade came after 1982, when international capital markets were closed to most Latin American borrowers following the onset of Mexico's external debt crisis. Like most Latin American governments, Brazil reacted by sharply restricting its imports, including those from other ALADI members. As a result, intraregional trade fell significantly in the first half of the 1980s.

Argentina historically has been Brazil's most important Latin American trade partner by a wide margin, both in imports from Brazil and exports to it. For this reason, virtually all Brazilian regional trade initiatives have been based on this bilateral trade relationship. Well behind, and of comparable importance, are Chile, Mexico, and Venezuela. One feature of Brazil's regional trade is the substantial surpluses that it has run with several of its neighbors, among them Bolivia, Colombia, and Paraguay. In the case of Paraguay, this surplus may reflect an underreporting of imports as a result of the high value of contraband and unreported consumer good imports from Paraguay to Brazil. Another prominent feature of Brazil's trade with the rest of Latin America is the importance of imports from the temperate-zone Southern Cone countries. With the exception of the oil exporters, Brazilian imports from other tropical Latin American economies are relatively unimportant, despite the importance of several of them as markets for Brazilian exports.

During the 1970s, Brazil's trade with the United States, historically its most important trade partner, declined in relative importance as trade with Western Europe and Japan grew. On the export side, this trend ended in the early 1980s, as the United States economy grew more rapidly than Europe's and the real appreciation of the dollar made the United States a relatively more attractive market in which to sell. The tendency toward a greater trade surplus was reinforced by Brazil's efforts after 1982 to restrict imports, especially from traditional suppliers like the United States.

Brazil's export-led growth (see Glossary) since the 1980s has been oriented decidedly toward the industrialized countries. As a result of their already large share of Brazil's export market and their rates of growth, the United States and Canada were responsible for nearly half of Brazil's export growth during the late 1980s and early 1990s. Brazil's most rapidly growing market in the period was the rest of South America, with annual growth exceeding 10 percent. However, its relatively modest initial share of the Brazilian export market placed South America behind Asia and the Pacific and Western Europe, as well as the United States and Canada, in its contribution to total Brazilian export growth.

Brazilian import growth in the 1980s and early 1990s presents a similar picture. The total value of Brazilian imports in this period grew very slowly, as the decline in the value of oil imports nearly offset the rise in the value of imports from Western Europe and North America. As was the case with exports, the industrialized countries were far more important trade partners for Brazil than were the less developed regions. Brazilian imports from other Latin American trade partners fell in value after 1983, as modest increases in imports from the rest of South America and the Caribbean were more than offset by the fall in imports from Mexico and Central America.

Until the early 1990s, both Brazil and Argentina had a tradition of inward-oriented industrial policy, and it is therefore not surprising that trade between the two economies fell far short of its probable potential. The 1986 trade agreement between Brazil and Argentina was a partial attempt to address this problem and formed the nucleus of the regional trade agreement for Mercosul.

President Sarney and Argentina's Raúl Alfonsín (president, 1985-89) signed twelve protocols in July 1986 and additional protocols in December 1986. Most of the protocols aimed at strengthening Argentine-Brazilian economic cooperation, although cooperation in other areas also was included. In November 1988, following extensive consultations between the two governments, Alfonsín and Sarney signed the final Argentine-Brazilian Agreement, which was ratified subsequently without modification by the congresses of the two countries in August 1989.

Both governments hailed the agreements as major steps toward economic integration, as well as a Latin American response to what was perceived as the formation of economic blocs, such as the plans of the United States-Canada Free Trade Agreement (FTA) and the European Community (EC; see Glossary). In reality, the protocols were more statements of intention than the detailed results of negotiations in the areas covered. The Argentine-Brazilian Agreement was a short, five-page general statement summarizing the objectives of the July 1986 protocols. Unlike the massive United States-Canada FTA, it in effect deferred much of the specific negotiation involved in the agreement's implementation to the future. It was nevertheless an ambitious document, appearing to promise a level of cooperation and coordination analogous to that of the EC.

The Argentine-Brazilian protocols signed between 1986 and 1988 paved the way for an even more ambitious regional trade agreement. Following negotiations with Uruguay and Paraguay, the foreign ministers of the respective governments agreed in March 1991 in Asunción, Paraguay, to establish a common market among the four countries by the end of 1994; the Treaty of Asunción, which established Mercosul, explicitly recognized the potential participation of additional members. Like the earlier bilateral Argentine-Brazilian agreements, the 1991 Mercosul agreements were long on promises and left much for future negotiations. The agreements envisioned a full common market. Article 1 of the treaty provides for free circulation of goods, services, and factors of production (see Glossary) among the member countries; elimination of tariff and nontariff barriers; establishment of a common external tariff; coordination of policies in regional and international forums; and coordination of macroeconomic and sectoral policies.

During the transition period from 1991 through 1994, the accord called for a progressive "linear and automatic" reduction in tariffs, which was to be accompanied by the elimination of nontariff barriers to trade among the contracting parties. The December 31, 1994, target was to be a zero tariff among the members. As more recent entrants, Paraguay and Uruguay were given an additional year to comply with the terms of the treaty.

Compared with some earlier declarations of intent, the Treaty of Asunción was considerably more specific about how the common market was to be created. A schedule for tariff reductions was established; cuts were to be made at six-month intervals between June 30, 1991, and December 31, 1994. These reductions were to be calculated as a percentage of the lowest tariffs applied to members outside the Mercosul group and were based on the ALADI tariff classification.

Several other provisions of the treaty give it a positive bias toward greater economic openness. Tariff reductions are based on the rates prevailing before the signing of the treaty. Any external tariff reductions that lower the base from which intra-Mercosul tariffs are calculated was to apply to all signatories. The treaty also contains a type of "most-favored-nation" clause, which guarantees that any trade concession extended to nonmembers of Mercosul by any member will be extended automatically by all other contracting members.

The Treaty of Asunción allowed each nation to submit a list of exceptions to the tariff reduction list. Brazil and Argentina submitted 324 and 394 tariff exceptions, respectively; Paraguay, allowed 439; and Uruguay, 960. Although it is impossible to quantify the degree to which these exemptions undercut the main thrust of the treaty, their most important feature was that they were temporary. Argentina and Brazil agreed to reduce their exception list by 20 percent annually, while Paraguay and Uruguay were allowed an extra year (to the end of 1995) to eliminate their lists.

Brazil and many of its neighbors have tended to view Brazilian trade preference options as geographically defined and relatively local. Whatever the outcome of the Mercosul regional initiative, the existing pattern of Brazilian trade flows suggests that Brazil's long-term trade interests extend well beyond such regional boundaries. Indeed, Mercosul and the European Union (EU, the former EC; see Glossary) have been discussing the creation of a free-trade area between the two groups. Two alternatives to Brazil's South American-focused regional trade policy are participation in a hemispheric FTA or more open, nonpreferential trade with the entire world. The former would follow the Mexican example by negotiating Brazil's entrance into the NAFTA, which is composed of the United States, Canada, Mexico, and potentially, Chile. The second strategy is to follow a Chilean approach, avoiding preferential trade liberalization and making Brazil more open to all trade flows, whatever their geographical source.

Compared with membership in an expanded NAFTA, Brazilian participation in Mercosul represents a much more modest regional trade arrangement. Canada alone has a larger GDP than do all of the Mercosul economies combined; the four Southern Cone members have a combined GDP totaling less than 10 percent of the total GDP of the NAFTA countries. Given recent rates of economic growth, this gap has actually widened in recent years.

The great disparity in the sizes of the two regional trade groups has a number of implications for alternative Brazilian trade strategies. Membership in the current group, in which Brazil is by far the dominant economy, offers political influence and the possibility of shaping many of Mercosul's external commercial policies to match Brazilian trade objectives. In many manufacturing areas, Brazil faces little competition from the other Mercosul countries. If Brazil were to become a member of the larger hemispheric trade group (NAFTA), the country would account for only about 5 percent of the association's joint product.

In addition to the size difference between Mercosul and a hemispheric FTA, other features of the two regional trade arrangements have important cost and benefit implications for Brazil. The Treaty of Asunción is in many ways more ambitious than is NAFTA. Its stated objective is the creation of a true common market similar to the EU. In such a regional trade arrangement, trade barriers among the member countries are eliminated and external tariffs against third countries, fiscal policies, and exchange-rate policies are integrated.

Brazilian participation in a hemispheric FTA would in principle require less coordination of fiscal, monetary, exchange-rate, and foreign capital policy than is required by the Treaty of Asunción. One may question how seriously the Brazilian government or other Mercosul members are prepared to implement the integration implied by a common market. The replacement of LAFTA by ALADI in 1980 suggests that in the choice between national sovereignty and the benefits of greater economic integration, the former may prevail. But, if the explicit commitments of the four governments in the Treaty of Asunción are to be taken at face value, it would appear that a relatively high degree of policy independence would be sacrificed for economic integration benefits, which are likely to be considerably more modest than those attainable by membership in a hemispheric FTA.

Another option for Brazil would be to follow a Chilean approach of greater trade openness on a nonpreferential basis. Such an approach has three main advantages, which in principle make it superior to other trade strategies. First, the possibility that inefficient trade diversion will occur is eliminated. The lowest cost or most efficient producers would be able to supply Brazil without facing trade barriers, because no such producer would be eliminated from among Brazil's potential suppliers under a nonpreferential open-trade policy. Brazilian demand would thus be supplied by the most efficient suppliers in the world market, rather than those in a more restricted area.

Second, a nonpreferential approach in Brazilian trade policy would be more easily administered because it is in effect a unilateral policy, not dependent on negotiations with potential trade partners. However, this approach may not be perceived as an advantage from a political standpoint, as it appears to sacrifice Brazil's "bargaining chips."

Third, a nonpreferential strategy may better position Brazil to respond to changes in world markets. Until the mid-1990s, Brazilian trade had not grown faster in the Mercosul region than in other areas. In fact, the United States, Canada, Western Europe, and Asia all contributed more to the growth of Brazilian trade until the mid-1990s than did other Latin American economies. Although Brazilian membership in a hemispheric FTA might ensure greater access to the United States, Canada, and Mexico, it would offer little prospect of trade expansion with Europe or Asia.

Brazil - Government and Politics

BRAZIL'S POLITICAL EVOLUTION from monarchy to de-mocracy has not been smooth. Following independence in 1822, Brazil, unlike its South American neighbors, adopted constitutional monarchy as its form of government. The new nation retained a slave-based, plantation economy, and political participation remained very limited. After the coronation of Dom Pedro II (emperor, 1840-89) in 1840, a two-party system based on the British model--with conservative and liberal parties and frequent cabinet turnovers--evolved. Within this centralized unitary system, the emperor appointed the governors, using his prerogatives under the moderating power (poder moderador--see Glossary) granted by the 1824 constitution, and legislative elections were indirect. Brazil enjoyed considerable political stability until the 1880s, when the system proved incapable of accommodating military demands and pressure to emancipate slaves.

Brazil patterned the constitution of what is now called the Old Republic (1889-1930) on the United States constitution. However, colonelism (coronelismo --see Glossary), a political system based on economic power by large landowners in rural areas, persisted. Under the new constitution of February 24, 1891, the president, National Congress (Congresso Nacional; hereafter, Congress), state governors and legislatures, and local officials were chosen through direct elections.

Following World War I, when Brazil began to undergo rural-urban and agricultural-industrial transformations, its political system again was unable to cope with the demands of the urban middle classes and especially the working classes. The 1929 stock market crash further exacerbated the volatile situation, and elites from the states of Rio Grande do Sul and Minas Gerais staged a preemptive revolution and deposed the old regime. As a result of the revolts of 1930, Getúlio Dorneles Vargas became president (1930-1945, 1951- 54).

Violent clashes over conflicting ideologies of the left and the right erupted in the streets of Brazil's major cities in the 1930s. Vargas tried to strike a balance between the demands of labor and capital following Italian dictator Benito Mussolini's Carta di Lavoro (see Glossary) model established in the 1920s. The 1934 constitution incorporated this model and thus began the politics of corporatism (see Glossary) in Brazil. In close cooperation with the military, Vargas pushed for import-substitution industrialization (see Glossary) and a reduction of military forces under the command of state governments, in favor of the Brazilian Armed Forces (Forças Armadas Brasileiras). President Vargas closed Congress in 1937 and ruled as a dictator until 1945.

The 1945-64 period is known for its multiparty democratic politics, and four presidents were elected freely in 1945, 1950, 1955, and 1960. In the early 1960s, an explosive combination of slower economic growth, rising inflation, populism, and nationalism produced political instability and popular discontent. The major political parties lost their hegemony, and labor unions accumulated great political influence over the government of João Goulart (president, 1961-64).

The military seized power in April 1964 and began twenty-one years of rule. Under its model of "relative democracy," Congress remained open, but with greatly reduced powers. Regular elections were held for Congress, state assemblies, and local offices. However, presidential, gubernatorial, and some mayoral elections became indirect. Political parties were allowed to operate, but with two forced realignments. These were the replacement of the old multiparty system with a two-party system in 1965 and a system of moderate pluralism, with six (and later five) parties in 1980. The military regime employed massive repression from 1969 through 1974.

After the "economic miracle" period (1967-74), Brazil entered a "stagflation" phase concurrent with political liberalization. During the military period, Brazilian society had become 70 percent urban; the economy had become industrialized, and more manufactured goods than primary goods were exported; and about 55 percent of the population had registered to vote. Foreign policy oscillated between alignment with the United States and pragmatic independence. A transition to a civilian president took place in 1985. From 1985 to 1997, Brazil experienced four distinct political models: a return to the pre-1964 tradition of political bargaining, clientelism (see Glossary), and economic nationalism under José Sarney (president, 1985-90); neosocial liberalism with economic modernization under Fernando Collor de Mello (president, 1990-92); an erratic personal style of social nationalism under Itamar Franco (president, 1992-94); and a consensus-style social-democratic and neoliberal coalition under Fernando Henrique Cardoso (president, 1995- ).

Under heavy accusations of corruption, President Collor was impeached in 1992. His vice president, Franco, used a pragmatic policy of "muddling through," but in mid-1994 achieved great popularity with the Real Plan (for value of the real (R$)--see Glossary), a stabilization program authored by then Minister of Finance Cardoso. In the 1994 election, Cardoso and the Brazilian Social Democracy Party (Partido da Social Democracia Brasileira--PSDB) expounded a social-democratic model of modernization, while Luis Inácio "Lula" da Silva of the Workers' Party (Partido dos Trabalhadores--PT) supported a reworked model of corporatist or syndicalist socialism. The Real Plan was instrumental in the election of Cardoso as president.

Cardoso was inaugurated as president on January 1, 1995. The transition to the new government was nearly perfect. Cardoso had won an outright victory in the first-round election. He had potentially strong support blocs in the Chamber of Deputies (Câmara dos Deputados) and Federal Senate (Senado Federal; hereafter, Senate). He had strong support from a majority of the newly elected governors, including those from the important states of Minas Gerais, São Paulo, and Rio de Janeiro, which elected governors from the president's own PSDB. Moreover, the December 1994 inflation rate was less than 1 percent; unemployment was low; and popular expectations were extremely high.

Perhaps the most important task of the Cardoso government in 1995 was to promote the reform of key sections of the 1988 constitution in order to reduce the role of the state in the economy, reform the federal bureaucracy, reorganize the social security system, rework federalist relationships, overhaul the complicated tax system, and effect electoral and party reforms to strengthen the representation of political parties. The new Cardoso government initiated constitutional reform (which requires a three-fifths majority of each house), but soon met with stiff congressional resistance. Because of the 1996 municipal elections and other political impediments, the other reforms--administrative, social security, and fiscal--were stalled in Congress, awaiting passage in 1997.

<>Political Culture
<>Constitutional Framework
<>Structure of Government
<>The Executive
<>The Legislature
<>The Judiciary
<>State and Local Governments
<>The Political Party System
<>Major Parties in Congress
<>Minor Parties in Congress
<>Regional Strength of the Parties
<>Party Legislation
<>Sarney's Presidency, 1985-90
<>Collor de Mello's Presidency, 1990-92
<>Franco's Presidency, 1992-94
<>Cardoso's Presidency, 1995
<>Women in Politics
<>The Electoral System
<>The Presidential Election of 1989
<>Congressional and State Elections, 1990
<>General Elections, 1994
<>Interest Group Politics

Brazil - Political Culture

Many aspects of Brazil's political system may be explained by its political culture (see Glossary), the origins of which may be found in traditional rural society during the colonial and independence periods through 1930. This political culture evolved into three styles of politics. Under the more traditional style of politics, coronelismo, the local coronel (colonel), in alliance with other large farmers, controlled the votes of rural workers and their families. The local political chiefs in turn exchanged votes with politicians at the state level in return for political appointments and public works in their municipalities (municípios ).

As rural-urban migration increased after 1930, a transitional style of clientelistic politics emerged in medium-size and large-size cities. Under this system, neighborhood representatives of urban politicians would help recent migrants resolve their problems in exchange for votes. These representatives were usually from "clientele professions," such as medical doctors, dentists, and pharmacists.

The third style of mass politics involved a direct populist appeal to the voter by the politician, without formal intermediation by clientelism or domination by coronelismo . Research in the early 1990s revealed that in most cases voter decision making has been influenced by a mixture of the second and third styles, as well as by peer groups, opinion leaders, and television soap operas (telenovelas ).

Polling results since the early 1970s have revealed changing public opinion concerning the relative merits of military government versus democracy. For example, the proportion of Brazilians favorable to military government decreased from 79 percent in 1972 to 36 percent in 1990. Moreover, 70 percent of Brazilians agreed in 1990 that the government should not use troops against striking workers, as compared with only 7 percent in 1972. In a March 1995 poll conducted by the Datafolha agency, however, only 46 percent of Brazilians responded that "democracy is always preferred over dictatorship," as compared with 59 percent endorsing the same proposition in March 1993. The relatively low crime rates during the military period may be a factor in the shift in public opinion regarding democracy.

Brazil has a diversity of regional political cultures. Politics in the states of the Northeast (Nordeste) and North (Norte) are much more dependent on political benevolence from Brasília than are the states of the South (Sul) and Southeast (Sudeste). Because Brazil's southernmost state, Rio Grande do Sul, suffered three civil wars and was involved frequently in political conflicts in the Río de la Plata areas, its population holds strong political loyalties. As a result, the Liberal Front Party (Partido da Frente Liberal--PFL) and the PSDB have very limited penetration in Rio Grande do Sul. Both parties are considered traitors: the PFL had splintered from the military regime's Democratic Social Party (Partido Democrático Social--PDS) in 1984, and the PSDB had broken from the Brazilian Democratic Movement Party (Partido do Movimento Democrático Brasileiro--PMDB) in 1988.

In the Southeast state of Minas Gerais, politics is conducted in a very cautious, calculated manner. Politicians there are known for their ability to negotiate and cut bargains, and they have political "adversaries" rather than enemies. In the western frontier states, politics is constantly evolving, because of the continuous inward migration from other regions. Most politicians and voters are newcomers with no local political roots or traditions.

The Southeast states of Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo have received large influxes of rural-urban and north-south migration since the 1950s. Because of higher levels of industrialization, per capita income, labor union membership, and education, the level of political consciousness is higher in these states than in those to the north and west.

As a result of intense rural-urban migration since 1960, urban voters have increased from fewer than 30 percent to more than 70 percent of the population in 1994. In 1960 only 22 percent (15.5 million) of Brazil's population was registered to vote; by 1994 more than 60 percent (nearly 95 million) of the population was enfranchised. The new migrants to urban areas quickly enhanced their political consciousness through television, increased schooling, and membership in new associations, such as labor unions.

Brazil - Constitutional Framework

Brazil has had eight constitutions since independence in 1822, beginning with the constitution of March 25, 1824. The republican constitution promulgated on February 24, 1891, was very similar to the United States constitution, containing separation of powers, checks and balances, a bicameral legislature, federalism, and direct elections. Concepts of corporatism and centralization from Italy and Portugal influenced the 1934 and 1937 constitutions. The return to representative democracy in 1945-46 produced a more balanced, liberal document, which maintained a considerable role for the state in the nation's economy. Military rule after 1964 forced an uneasy balance between "relative democracy" and the "safeguards of a national security state," reflected in the 1967 and 1969 constitutions.

After 1964 the government of Marshal Humberto de Alencar Castelo Branco (president, 1964-67) issued four institutional acts and a series of complementary acts and decrees that severely compromised the 1946 constitution. Outgoing President Castelo Branco also convoked a lame-duck Congress in December 1966 and January 1967 to approve a new constitution drafted by his legal team. The 1967 constitution removed some important autocratic powers accorded the first military president.

This 1967 constitution soon became an anathema to the military, and the government of General Arthur da Costa e Silva (president, 1967-69) decreed the Fifth Institutional Act in December 1968, which allowed the regime to close Congress and begin a third wave of political purges (cassações ). Before his incapacitating stroke in August 1969, Costa e Silva and his vice president, Pedro Aleixo, had apparently begun drafting a new constitution. The fourth military president, General Ernesto Geisel (president, 1974-79), decreed the end of the Fifth Institutional Act in January 1979.

In 1985, the first year of José Sarney's term, Congress approved the convocation of the National Constituent Assembly (Assembléia Nacional Constituinte--ANC) to draft a new constitution. Elected on November 15, 1986, and seated in February 1987, the ANC adopted a "from scratch" participatory methodology. Using this methodology, the ANC divided itself into eight committees and twenty-four subcommittees to draft respective sections of the document, and it held public hearings on suggested content. After twenty months of deliberation and two rounds of voting, the ANC produced the 1988 "citizen constitution," which was promulgated on October 5, 1988.

The majority party, the PMDB, was not united during the ANC. After the drafting committee produced a "progressive" first draft, the PMDB's center and right wings joined conservatives from other parties to form the conservative coalition, the Big Center (Centrão), in December 1987, to alter the internal rules governing first-round voting. The Big Center prevailed on some crucial votes, such as maintaining the presidential system and making Sarney's presidential term five years rather than four. However, plagued with absenteeism it was defeated in other areas, such as the economic order.

The result is a mixed document with certain inconsistencies. Very liberal in the section dealing with basic human rights, the constitution also enhances "social rights," such as retirement after thirty-five years of service, job stability for public employees, and four months of paid maternity leave. It maintains a strong role for the state in the economy and distinguishes between foreign and national capital enterprises.

The ANC maintained the skewed representational plan favoring Brazil's underdeveloped regions. It also created three very small states--Amapá, Roraima, and Tocantins--with sixteen additional deputies and nine new senators, while granting São Paulo ten more deputies. The states have considerable autonomy in certain areas, such as maintaining state banks, but the federal constitution is very centralized regarding election of state officials, mandates, and government organization.

The ANC was able to pass many controversial articles using bland wording and a final reference to "future regulation by ordinary legislation." Some 300 areas of the new constitution were not automatically applicable and awaited such "regulation" in subsequent legislative sessions (1989-90, 1991-92, 1993-94, 1995-96, and 1997-98). Thus, the constitution is incomplete.

The first draft of the constitution was based on a mixed parliamentary presidential model similar to that of Portugal and France, but a crucial vote taken on March 22, 1988, reinstated the pure presidential model. The redrafting to incorporate this major change was incomplete, however, and several vestiges of the mixed parliamentary system remained. Most notable was the provisional measure (medida provisória --MP), a sort of temporary decree, which replaced the presidential decree law. Whereas the decree law took effect only after thirty days of inaction by the legislature, the MP takes effect immediately. Although the MP ceased to exist after thirty days of legislative inaction, the president could reissue it for successive thirty-day periods. This power was formidable, especially for a president not commanding an absolute majority in Congress. In early 1997, however, the Senate approved an amendment extending an MP's validity from thirty to ninety days but prohibiting additional extensions and the use of MPs to create ministries or other government entities.

The 1988 constitution required each state to rewrite its constitution within one year (during 1989) and each municipality to elaborate its Organic Law (during 1990), which defines how it operates. In 1991 the Federal District (Brasília) drafted its Organic Law, and the new states of Amapá, Roraima, and Tocantins drafted their new constitutions.

ANC members agreed that a very detailed constitution would require frequent revisions to keep pace with an ever-changing society and economy. Thus, Article 3 of the transitional provisions provided that after five years the Congress could be converted into a unicameral assembly for constitutional revision, deliberating by absolute majority instead of by the three-fifths margin in each house normally required for the amendment process. In addition, Article 2 of the transitional provisions called for a national plebiscite to decide on the form of government (republic or constitutional monarchy) and the system of government (presidential or parliamentary). A constitutional amendment formally setting the plebiscite for April 21, 1992, passed the Chamber of Deputies. However, in late 1991, during the second round of voting in the Senate, President Collor intervened to ensure defeat, fearing negative consequences for his already beleaguered government. The plebiscite was finally held on April 21, 1993, and the presidential republic was confirmed by a wide margin.

The revision of the constitution scheduled for late 1993 and early 1994 took place, but with meager results. Factors hindering constitutional revision included aftershocks from a congressional financial scandal ("Budgetgate") exposed by the Congressional Investigating Committee (Comissão Parlamentar de Inquérito--CPI); the October 3, 1994, elections; strong pressure from nationalist and corporatist groups in defense of state enterprises, job stability, and national firms; and nonparticipatory methodology (see Glossary). As of May 1994, the only major change to the constitution was to shorten the presidential term from five to four years. The next attempt to thoroughly revise the 1988 constitution was begun in February 1995, but by the regular amendment process (three-fifths majority in both houses). Some members would like to use the 1998 elections to again convoke (as in 1987-88) a "constitutional revision Congress" in 1999, to do a revision by a unicameral, absolute majority (see Constitutional Reform, this ch.).

Brazil - Structure of Government

Brazil is a presidential and federative republic with considerable decentralized federalism. It is composed of twenty-six states and the Federal District (Brasília). In 1996 the states were subdivided into 5,581 municipalities (see fig. 1). The system is built on a directly elected president with a national constituency and a Congress elected by very parochial regional interests. Although the 1988 constitution reestablished many of the prerogatives of the bicameral Congress, the president retains considerable "imperial" powers. The federal judiciary enjoys considerable independence and autonomy. Under a system of checks and balances similar to the United States system, the three branches of government operate in harmony and with mutual respect. However, on rare occasions, one of the branches may challenge or reject the interference of the others.

Since the end of military rule in 1985, unionization, collective bargaining, and frequent strikes have become commonplace among federal employees in all three branches. The 1988 constitution grants job stability to all federal employees with more than five years of service, including those who had been hired without public examination. All new hiring must be by civil service examinations, and job stability comes after two years of probation. Mandatory retirement for all public servants, except for those elected to political office, is at age seventy.

In January 1995, the government employed (excluding state enterprises) 650,000 civilian (executive, 586,000; judicial 50,000; and legislative, 14,000) and 310,000 military personnel, totaling 960,000. A total of 723,000 were retired. State enterprises counted another 700,000 active employees.

Brazil - The Executive

Executive-branch reorganizations are frequent in Brazil, as each president seeks to impose his personal style and to incorporate political bargains struck. President Sarney expanded the cabinet to a record twenty-seven ministries. His successor, President Collor, embarked on a massive reorganization, reducing the number of ministries to twelve, abolishing many agencies, and firing some 80,000 federal employees. In a reorganization of his cabinet in early 1992, Collor was forced to dismember several ministries to create new positions in an effort to enhance political support. President Franco again expanded the cabinet to twenty-seven positions in October 1992.

In January 1995, President Cardoso installed a cabinet with twenty-two ministers and the ministerial-rank chief of the Civil Household of the Presidency and implemented several important changes (see fig. 12). The Cardoso government charged the new head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff with creating a ministry of defense by the end of 1995 (a target that was not met). It also granted three ministerial positions--Planning, Civil Household, and Finance--superior status in terms of coordinating and monitoring the other nineteen. In addition, the government also created a Political Council (Conselho Político) to coordinate major political strategy and policy decisions. The council was composed of the presidents of the parties supporting the government.

Since João Baptista de Oliveira Figueiredo (president, 1979-85), most presidents have attempted to reduce and streamline the executive branch. President Sarney reorganized the Administrative Department of Public Service (Departamento Administrativo do Serviço Público--DASP), created in the 1930s, into the Federal Administration Secretariat (Secretaria de Administração Federal--SAF), which Presidents Collor and Franco revamped. By 1994 the SAF had achieved moderate success in consolidating the number of diverse public-service career structures and salary differentials. Congress passed a new executive-branch civil service law, the Single Judicial Regime (Regime Jurídico Único--RJU), in December 1990. In addition to the large number of state enterprises under government control, the executive branch also includes many autonomous agencies and financial institutions, such as the Bank of Brazil (Banco do Brasil) and the Federal Savings Bank (Caixa Econômico Federal).

A president must be a native Brazilian over age thirty-five. From 1945 to 1979, presidents had five-year terms. Following President Figueiredo's six-year term, the 1988 constitution again set the term at five years, but the 1994 constitutional revision reduced the mandate to four years. Although all of Brazil's constitutions since 1891 have prohibited immediate reelection of presidents, governors, and mayors, in June 1997 Congress approved an amendment allowing reelection. Thus, President Cardoso and the twenty-seven governors may stand for reelection in 1998, and the mayors elected in 1996 may be reelected in 2000.

The Brazilian president has the power to appoint some 48,000 confidence positions, of which only ambassadors, higher-court judges, the solicitor general, and Central Bank directors must have Senate approval. The president may also use the line-item veto, impound appropriated funds, issue decrees and provisional measures, initiate legislation, and enact laws.

Until 1964 the president and vice president were elected on separate tickets, which produced incompatible duos in 1950 and 1960. When Vargas committed suicide in 1954 and Jânio Quadros (president, January-August 1961) resigned in August 1961, the actions of their vice presidents produced severe institutional crises, leading to their respective ousters by military intervention. Since 1964 presidents and vice presidents have been elected on a single ticket, indirectly until 1989 and by direct popular vote in 1989 and 1994; a second round takes place if a majority is needed.

The return to civilian rule in 1985 occasioned important roles for vice presidents. President-elect Tancredo de Almeida Neves died before taking office, and his vice president, José Sarney, was allowed to complete his term. After President Collor was impeached in 1992, his vice president, Itamar Franco, completed his mandate. In the event that the president and vice president become incapacitated, the line of succession falls sequentially to the president of the Chamber of Deputies, the president of the Senate, and the president of the Federal Supreme Court (Supremo Tribunal Federal--STF). If less than half of the mandate has been completed, a supplementary election must be called within ninety days. If more than half the mandate has been completed, the Congress elects a new president and vice president within thirty days.

Brazil - The Legislature

Brazil's national legislature is composed of the 513-member Chamber of Deputies and the eighty-one-member Senate. Congress has a basic four-year term, but senators serve for eight years. It meets from March through June, and from August through December. The states have unicameral legislatures elected simultaneously with Congress. The municipalities have city councils with four-year terms; municipal elections take place two years after state and national elections. Since 1930 Congress has been closed five times under authoritarian intervention: November 1930 to December 1933; November 1937 to February 1946; November 1966; December 1968 to October 1969; and for fifteen days in April 1977.

The 1988 constitution restored most of the powers and prerogatives that Congress had lost during the military regime. Congress enjoys administrative and fiscal autonomy, as well as full power over the budget. Under certain circumstances, it may issue legislative decrees not subject to presidential veto. An absolute majority secret vote in Congress is required to override a presidential veto. Congress also has a very important role in setting national, especially economic, policies. For example, it must approve all international agreements, including renegotiation of the foreign debt.

Legislators enjoy almost total parliamentary immunity, even for capital crimes, such as homicide. Even if the respective chamber lifts the legislator's immunity by an absolute majority secret vote, the legislator retains the privilege of being tried by the STF. In December 1994, nearly 100 lawsuits (courts and prosecutors) sought to lift the immunity of deputies and senators. However, the legislative esprit de corps is so strong that only rarely does a case come to the floor for a vote.

Since 1950 federal and state legislators have been elected at regular four-year intervals. Senators must be at least thirty-five years old. Each state has three seats, and one or two seats are elected alternately every four years to eight-year terms. Election is by simple majority. Since 1946 deputies have had four-year terms and must be at least twenty-one years old. The 1946 constitution granted states with small populations a minimum delegation of seven deputies; larger states counted one additional deputy for every 150,000 inhabitants up to 3 million, and after that one for every 250,000. The small states imposed this system to reverse the dominance of the two largest states (São Paulo and Minas Gerais) in the Chamber of Deputies during the Old Republic (1889-1930).

In 1970, at the height of the military oppression, the balance was tipped in favor of the larger, more developed, urbanized states. State delegations were calculated based on the size of the electorate, rather than on population. The minimum delegation was reduced to three, and most of the states in rural Brazil had their contingents cut in half. These changes reduced the Chamber of Deputies to 310 deputies. Ironically, this system helped the Brazilian Democratic Movement (Movimento Democrático Brasileiro--MDB) elect a 44 percent minority in 1974; thus, in 1978 the military returned to calculations based on population. The 1988 constitution gave Brazil's largest state, São Paulo, seventy deputies, instead of the 115 it should have to be proportionate to its population.

Election of federal and state deputies and city council members is by proportional representation. Brazil uses one of the least-used variants of proportional representation, the open-list system (the d'Hondt method--see Glossary). Thus, there is virtually no conflict or competition among parties in the elections. The conflict is concentrated within each party or coalition list, and most deputies use their own resources (which may be considerable, up to US$5 million for a federal deputy) for campaigning. Therefore, they owe no loyalty to their party, and change labels frequently after their election (see table 18, Appendix). This produces very weak parties and low cohesion in Congress. The Workers' Party is an exception to this rule.

Those holding office (elective or appointive) in the executive branch who desire to become candidates for elective office must resign six months before the election. This requirement precludes a minister, governor, mayor, or state enterprise director from using the powers and resources of the office to favor his or her election.

The Senate and Chamber of Deputies have legislative initiative. The Senate and Chamber of Deputies have six and sixteen standing committees, respectively, plus a joint budget committee. The 1988 constitution gives the committees the power to approve or kill legislation.

To override a committee decision and bring the bill to the floor of the appropriate house requires a petition signed by a certain number of members. Once one house passes a bill, the other deliberates on it. If a different version of the bill is passed, it returns to the original house for a final vote on the differences. The internal rules of each house allow members and party leaders certain prerogatives of obstruction.

Party leaders distribute party quotas on committees proportionate to the party's size. Committee presidencies are apportioned among the parties on an annual rotational basis; thus, there are no longstanding powerful committee chairs, as in the United States Congress. There are no subcommittees, and legislative committees rarely conduct public hearings.

When a matter is very serious, at least one-third of the respective house or the full Congress may petition to initiate a CPI (Congressional Investigating Committee). The CPIs have full subpoena and investigative powers, such as the disclosure of bank, income tax, telephone, credit card, and other records. A CPI produced the evidence used to impeach President Collor in 1992 and uncovered the Budgetgate scandal of 1993-94.

Normally, the Chamber of Deputies has around 50 percent turnover at each election. In 1990 this figure rose to nearly 60 percent; in 1994 it returned to 54 percent. In years when two-thirds of the Senate stands for election and gubernatorial seats are being contested, turnover can also be high in the upper house (63 percent in 1994).

Senators tend to be older and have more established political careers. Most have served as federal deputies, and many have been governors. Deputies usually tend to have served in city councils, state assemblies, and as state cabinet secretaries. In the first half of the 1990s, the proportion of deputies elected with no prior political experience increased. In 1995 the largest contingents in the Chamber of Deputies by occupation were businessmen, 32 percent; lawyers, 20 percent; medical doctors, 11 percent; engineers, 7 percent; labor leaders, 6 percent; teachers, 5 percent; economists, 5 percent; public servants, 3 percent; journalists, 3 percent; and administrators, 2 percent.

Each house elects its presiding officers (one president, two vice presidents, four administrative secretaries, and four alternates) for two-year terms. The 1987-88 ANC (National Constituent Assembly) prohibited these legislative officers from being immediately reelected, a prohibition initially imposed by the military to break up "internal oligarchies." Traditionally, the largest party in each house has the prerogative of electing the president, but the PMDB (Brazilian Democratic Movement Party) was in such disarray in 1993 and 1995 that the Liberal Front Party (Partido da Frente Liberal--PFL), the second largest party, was able to build a coalition that elected the Chamber of Deputies president. By negotiation the PMDB returned to the Chamber presidency for the 1997-98 term, and the PFL won the Senate presidency for the first time since 1985. The presiding officers comprise an all-powerful Executive Board, which makes nearly all important political, administrative, procedural, and agenda-setting decisions. The Senate president is also the president of the Congress and presides over joint sessions.

During the 1987-88 ANC, an informal group called the College of Party Leaders developed. It became an important leadership group and was the forum for decisive bargaining on crucial articles. This group has gradually acquired more power (especially agenda-setting) to the detriment of the formally elected officers, especially in the Chamber of Deputies.

The political role of Congress began to increase even before the demise of the military regime. In 1979 President Figueiredo took office without the extraordinary powers of the Fifth Institutional Act. In the 1982 elections, the government party lost its absolute majority in the Chamber of Deputies (see table 19, Appendix), and in 1983 the Chamber of Deputies defeated Figueiredo's initial decree laws, including one on social security.

Maximum political power accrued to Congress in 1985, when the vice president-elect, José Sarney (PMDB-Maranhão), assumed the presidency under less than auspicious circumstances. From March 1985 through February 1986, Chamber of Deputies President Ulysses Guimarães (PMDB-São Paulo) and PMDB Senate floor leader Fernando Henrique Cardoso (PMDB-São Paulo) more or less ruled with Sarney as informal "prime ministers." Sarney, however, recovered considerable presidential powers as a result of his cruzado (for value of the cruzado--see Glossary) economic stabilization plan, which began on March 1, 1986. Congress again assumed maximum power in 1992, when Brazil became the first nation in the world to constitutionally impeach a sitting, directly elected president.

The National Accounts Court (Tribunal de Contas da União--TCU) is the external control and oversight arm of Congress. The TCU conducts inspections, usually following newspaper exposés or requests from members of Congress, and audits the executive branch's annual accounts. Until the 1988 constitution, the president, with Senate approval, appointed members to the TCU. Retiring or defeated members of Congress or friends of the president in need of a sinecure usually filled the positions. With rare exceptions, TCU members have represented political factions and groups, and their main role is to protect allies who have been charged with corruption.

Under the 1988 constitution, recruitment criteria for the TCU became more specific. The president, with Senate approval, appoints three of the nine members. Two of the presidential appointees must be auditors or federal prosecutors from the TCU and must be chosen from a three-name list prepared by the TCU. Congress chooses the remaining six members. Each state has a State Accounts Court (Tribunal de Contas dos Estados--TCE), but only the cities of Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo have a Municipal Accounts Court (Tribunal de Contas Municipais--TCM). The accounts of all other municipalities are reviewed by their respective TCE.

Brazil - The Judiciary

The judicial branch is composed of federal, state, and municipal courts. By 1995 small-claims courts augmented some municipal courts. Only appointments to the superior courts are political and therefore subject to approval by the legislature. The minimum and maximum ages for appointment to the superior courts are thirty-five and sixty-five; mandatory retirement is at age seventy. These federal courts have no chief justice or judge. The two-year presidency of each court is by rotation and is based on respecting seniority.

The 1988 constitution produced five significant modifications in Brazil's judicial system. First, it converted the old Federal Court of Appeals (Tribunal Federal de Recursos--TFR) into the Superior Court of Justice (Superior Tribunal de Justiça--STJ). Second, it created an intermediate-level Regional Federal Court (Tribunal Regional Federal--TRF) system. Third, the federal general prosecutor was given a two-year renewable term, subject to confirmation by the Senate, without the possibility of removal by the president. Fourth, the STF (Federal Supreme Court) can issue a warrant of injunction (mandado de injunção ) to ensure rights guaranteed by the constitution but not regulated by ordinary legislation. And fifth, the STF can decide on matters of constitutionality without waiting for appeals to come through the federal courts.

The judiciary came under criticism during the Collor and Franco administrations. The STF was harshly criticized during the Collor impeachment investigation and subsequent trials, particularly for the slow pace of the trials. In late 1993, former president Collor's appeal against the Senate's decision to strip his political rights for eight years ended in a four-four tie in the STF. Three judges had disqualified themselves: Collor's former foreign minister, Collor's first cousin, and the STF president who had presided over the Senate impeachment trial. Instead of throwing the case out after the tie vote, the STF called three substitute judges from the STJ, who broke the tie against Collor.

In addition, executive-branch public employees (especially in the armed forces) became discontented with the STF's utter disregard for parity salary scales among the three branches and with government austerity targets. To address these problems and to streamline the judicial process, the 1993-94 attempt at constitutional revision produced numerous proposals for reforming the judicial branch, including an external control body, the Penal Code (1941), and the 1916 Civil Code (revised in 1973). Significant reforms have yet to be enacted, however. The need for judicial reform in general is widely recognized because the current system is inefficient, with backlogs of cases and shortages of judges. Cases are frequently dismissed because they are too old. Lawyers contribute to backlogs by dragging out cases as long as possible because they are paid based on the amount of time they spend on a case. In addition, STF jurisprudence is not followed by lower courts. Some corrupt judges delay certain cases so that they can be dismissed. Vacancies on the bench are difficult to fill because of low pay and highly competitive examinations that often eliminate 90 percent of applicants.

Created in October 1890, the STF has eleven members appointed by the president with Senate approval. The STF decides conflicts between the executive and legislative branches, disputes among states, and disputes between the federal government and states. In addition, it rules on disputes involving foreign governments and extradition. The STF issues decisions regarding the constitutionality of laws, acts, and procedures of the executive and legislative branches, warrants of injunction, and writs of habeas corpus. Further, it presents three-name lists for certain judicial-branch nominations, and conducts trials of the president, cabinet ministers, and congressional and judiciary members. The president of the STF is third in the line of presidential succession and would preside over an impeachment trial held by the Senate.

The TFR (Federal Court of Appeals) was created under the 1946 constitution. It initially had thirteen members but expanded to twenty-seven members in 1979. In 1988 the TFR became the thirty-three-member STJ (Superior Court of Justice). As the last court of appeals for nonconstitutional questions, the STJ reviews decisions of the TRFs (Regional Federal Courts) and tries governors and federal judges. The president appoints its members with Senate approval on rotation. One-third are picked from the ranks of TRF judges; one-third from the ranks of State Supreme Court judges; and one-third from the ranks of state and federal public prosecutors.

The 1988 constitution created five TRFs--Recife, Brasília, Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, and Porto Alegre. Each TRF must have at least six judges, appointed by the president and approved by the Senate. One-fifth must be from among lawyers or public prosecutors with at least ten years of professional experience. Members must be at least thirty years of age but no older than sixty-five.

Brazil's judicial system has a series of special courts, in addition to the regular civil court system, covering the areas of military, labor, and election affairs. The Superior Military Court (Superior Tribunal Militar--STM), created in 1808 by João VI (king of Portugal, 1816-26), is the oldest superior court in Brazil. It is composed of fifteen judges appointed by the president with Senate approval. Three members must have the rank of admiral in the Brazilian Navy (Marinha do Brasil), three must be general officers of the Brazilian Air Force (Fôrça Aérea Brasileira--FAB), four must be army generals, and five must be civilians. The latter must be over age thirty and under age sixty-five. Two of the civilians are alternately chosen from among military justice auditors and military court prosecutors; three are lawyers with noted judicial knowledge and ten years of professional experience.

The STM has jurisdiction over crimes committed by members of the armed forces. It was also used extensively to try civilians accused of crimes against "national security" during the military regime. States also have military courts to try cases involving state Military Police (Polícia Militar--PM). During the constitutional revision process of 1995, proposals were made to close down such courts at the state level. These proposals were renewed in 1997 after a series of revolts and strikes by Military Police in several states.

The government of Getúlio Vargas created the Superior Electoral Court (Tribunal Superior Eleitoral--TSE) in 1932 in an effort to end election fraud and manipulation. The TSE has jurisdiction over all aspects of elections and regulates the functioning of political parties. Its powers include supervising party conventions and internal elections; granting or canceling registration of parties; registering candidates and certifying those elected; regulating and supervising party access to free television and radio time during an election; and registering voters. All states have a Regional Electoral Court (Tribunal Regional Eleitoral--TRE); larger cities have municipal election judges, and smaller towns have local election boards.

The TSE has seven members, each with a two-year mandate. By secret ballot, the STF chooses three of its members to sit on the TSE, and the STJ chooses two of its members. The president appoints, with Senate approval, two lawyers from among a six-name list submitted by the STF. The TSE elects its president and vice president from among the members of the STF.

Since 1950 the TSE has made important decisions affecting Brazil's political system. In 1950 and 1955, the TSE decided in favor of the elections of presidents Getúlio Vargas (1951-54) and Juscelino Kubitschek (1956-61) by simple rather than by absolute majorities. In 1980 the TSE denied the "magic" label of the Brazilian Labor Party (Partido Trabalhista Brasileiro--PTB) to the Leonel de Moura Brizola faction, which was then forced to create the Democratic Labor Party (Partido Democrático Trabalhista--PDT). In 1994 the TSE prohibited noncandidates from appearing on the "free TV election hour," thus barring former President Collor from participating in the television campaign of the National Reconstruction Party (Partido da Reconstrução Nacional--PRN).

The system of labor courts was created by Getúlio Vargas in the 1930s to arbitrate labor-management disputes, which previously had been settled by police action. The 1946 constitution created the Superior Labor Court (Tribunal Superior do Trabalho--TST). Each state has a Regional Labor Court (Tribunal Regional do Trabalho--TRT), although São Paulo State has two TRTs, and each municipality has a set of labor conciliation boards. The labor court system has jurisdiction over all labor-related questions. It registers labor contracts, arbitrates collective and individual labor disputes, recognizes official union organizations, resolves salary questions, and decides the legality of strikes.

The president appoints, with Senate approval, twenty-seven judges to the TST. Seventeen of the judges--eleven career labor judges, three labor lawyers, and three labor court prosecutors--receive lifetime terms (to age seventy). Ten temporary judges are appointed from lists evenly divided between the confederations of labor and management.

The Public Ministry is an important independent body in Brazil's judicial system. Its principal component, the Office of the Solicitor General of the Republic (Procuradoria Geral da República--PGR), is composed of several public prosecutors selected by public examination. The PGR's headquarters is in Brasília, and it has branches in every state. The PGR is charged with prosecuting those accused of federal crimes, those accused of offending the president and his ministers, and all federal officials and employees accused of crimes. Before 1988 the president could appoint and dismiss the solicitor general at will. Under the 1988 constitution, the solicitor general has a fixed, renewable two-year term and is appointed by the president, with Senate approval, among the career prosecutors.

The Office of the Federal Attorney General (Advocacia- Geral da União--AGU), which was separated from the PGR by the 1988 constitution, defends the federal government against lawsuits and provides legal counsel to the executive branch. The AGU was organized and staffed under a provisional measure (MP) issued by President Franco.

Each state has a State Supreme Court (Tribunal de Justiça--TJ). The governor, with approval by the State Assembly (Assembléia do Estado), appoints the judges to the court. This court has the prerogative of appointing special state circuit judges to deal with agrarian problems. In addition, it is responsible for organizing and supervising the lower state courts. Each state is divided into district courts (comarcas ).

Brazil - State and Local Governments

Since independence Brazil has oscillated between centralization and state autonomy. During the empire (1822-89), Brazil had a centralized constitutional monarchy and little state autonomy. The emperor exercised the moderating power by appointing senators for life, presiding over a Council of State, removing and transferring police and judicial officials at will, and appointing provincial governors.

The Old Republic was established in 1889 in part because of state demands for greater autonomy. Until 1930 the larger and more powerful states enjoyed great autonomy under a federal system patterned after the United States model, but the smaller and poorer states constantly suffered interventions by the central government. "Young Turk" lieutenants (tenentes ) rebelled against this system of state oligarchies in the 1920s and were prominent in the initial modernization strategies after the 1930 revolution. From 1930 to 1945, the national government centralized control over state and local governments by appointing governors, who in turn appointed all mayors. Except for the brief period of 1933-37, the national government closed legislatures at all levels. The 1946 constitution reestablished a more balanced federalism, but maintained central control over industrial, financial, labor, election, and development policies. In October 1965, the military regime began curtailing the autonomy of the states once again. From 1966 through 1978, the central government appointed state governors and mayors of state capitals and some 170 designated selected cities deemed vital to "national security." Active-duty army colonels were appointed as security chiefs in each state. As part of its "liberalizing opening," the military regime allowed direct elections for governors in 1982. In November 1985, President Sarney and Congress allowed direct elections for mayors of state capitals and selected cities deemed vital to "national security."

Until 1994 state governors and vice governors were elected to one four-year term, taking office on January 1 following their election. In 1998 those elected in 1994 may seek one consecutive second term. State deputies are also elected to four-year terms but are not restricted to one term. Governors have state cabinets, and their executive branch is organized in a manner similar to the federal executive branch. Likewise, state assemblies organize their legislative process like that of Congress. After 1988 state assemblies lost their salary autonomy; state deputies may receive up to 75 percent of the salary of a federal deputy.

State governments are responsible for maintaining state highway systems, low-cost housing programs, public infrastructure, telephone companies, and transit police. Both state and municipal governments are responsible for public primary and secondary schools and public hospitals. Municipal governments are also responsible for water, sewerage, and garbage services. State tax revenues are concentrated in sales taxes. State governments are allowed to operate state financial institutions, most of which are a constant problem for the Central Bank because they run heavy deficits, especially in election years. In 1995 the Central Bank intervened in some of the state banks with the worst deficits (São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Alagoas, and Mato Grosso) and sought to privatize others. In October 1996, Brazil had 5,581 municipalities, of which more than 15 percent had populations under 5,000. The municipal taxing authority is concentrated on property and service taxes.

Mayors and vice mayors must be at least twenty-one years of age and are elected to one four-year term. Reelection is now permitted as of the year 2000. City council members must be at least eighteen years of age and are elected to renewable four-year terms under a proportional representation system. From 1950 through 1970, municipal elections coincided with general federal and state elections. Local officials elected in 1970 were given two-year terms, so as to set local elections two years out of phase with general elections (the next local elections were held in 1972 and 1976). However, local officials elected in 1976 were given six-year terms to make municipal elections again coincide with general elections in 1982, but in turn the latter also got six-year terms to make local elections out of phase again (in 1988, 1992, and 1996).

Brazil - The Political Party System

Shortly after Brazil's independence, the first political groups emerged with either pro-Brazilian or pro-Portuguese factions. During the second empire period (1831-89), the Conservative and Liberal parties alternated in power, and an embryonic Republican Party appeared in 1870. During the Old Republic (1889-1930), sections of the Republican Party in the larger states held political power. During the brief opening of representative politics between 1934 and 1937, attempts were made to organize national parties.

After 1945, when parties and elections again were permitted, local factions in the interior that had been allied with the Vargas government since 1930 organized the Social Democratic Party (Partido Social Democrático--PSD); the pro-Vargas groups in urban areas organized the PTB (Brazilian Labor Party); and all those opposed to Vargas initially formed the UDN (National Democratic Union). The PSD elected the president and an absolute majority to the 1946 Constituent Assembly. The Brazilian Communist Party (Partido Comunista Brasileiro--PCB), led by Luis Carlos Prestes, operated freely from 1945 through 1947, but the STF (Federal Supreme Court) canceled its registry in early 1948.

By 1960 Congress had thirteen parties. Confronted with adverse results in the direct gubernatorial elections of October 1965, President Castelo Branco (1964-67) decreed the end of this multiparty system and imposed a two-party system. His objective was to organize a strong majority support party and a loyal opposition. Thus, the National Renewal Alliance (Aliança Renovadora Nacional--Arena) and the MDB (Brazilian Democratic Movement) were born.

About 90 percent of the UDN, 50 percent of the PSD, and 15 percent of the PTB joined Arena. Although it held an absolute majority in Congress until its demise in 1979, Arena was plagued with regional and former party factionalism. The MDB suffered from ideological factionalism regarding the military government; the factions divided among the authentics (those most strongly opposed to the military government), the neo-authentics, and the moderates.

As a result of the voting trends of the 1974, 1976, and 1978 elections, which channeled protest votes to the MDB, General Golbery do Couto e Silva, the architect of much of the regime's political evolution from 1964 until his retirement in August 1981, called for a party realignment to achieve broader political maneuvering space for the government. A survey conducted among members of Congress in March 1979 showed that nearly three-fourths of Arena and two-thirds of the MDB desired a multiparty system. In December 1979, Congress approved government-sponsored legislation abolishing Arena and the MDB and permitting moderate party pluralism.

Initially, the realignment strategy was successful. The MDB became the PMDB (Brazilian Democratic Movement Party) but with half its 1979 size. Arena became the PDS (Democratic Social Party), and retained its majority position. MDB moderates and Arena liberals organized the government auxiliary Popular Party (Partido Popular--PP) led by Senator Tancredo Neves and Deputy Magalhães Pinto. Former deputy Ivette Vargas and former governor Leonel Brizola resurrected the PTB; and the new, more militant labor unions organized the Workers' Party.

In May 1980, this pluralism became less moderate when, in a highly political decision, the TSE (Superior Electoral Court) decided to give the PTB label to Ivette Vargas instead of Brizola, who had much broader organizational support within the party. Undaunted, Brizola immediately organized the PDT (Democratic Labor Party) and, in 1982, was elected governor of Rio de Janeiro, with twenty-three deputies versus Ivette Vargas's thirteen (see table 19, Appendix). Because of the harsh 1982 election rules imposed by the Figueiredo government, the Popular Party decided to dissolve itself and reincorporate with the PMDB, which greatly strengthened the latter in many states, especially in Minas Gerais and Paraná.

In 1985 Congress passed legislation easing the requirements for organizing new parties; thus, the ANC (National Constituent Assembly) seated eleven parties in 1987, nineteen in 1991, and eighteen in 1995. With the exception of the Workers' Party, traditionally all Brazilian political parties have been organized from the top down, with a compact group of professional politicians making major decisions. The party system suffered considerable fragmentation during the late 1980s and early 1990s, especially because of an exodus from the largest parties--PMDB and PFL (Liberal Front Party)--after 1988, similar to the factionalization in the 1950s and early 1960s. In 1987 the five largest parties accounted for 92.8 percent of the Chamber of Deputies. In 1989 this figure fell to 70.1 percent, and in 1992 it fell further to 61.4 percent. However, after the 1994 elections a "reconcentration" occurred, and by 1997 the five largest parties accounted for 83.6 percent.

In addition to strong internal cleavages, parties differ regionally. The Popular Party was almost totally concentrated in Minas Gerais and Rio de Janeiro. Initially, Brizola's PDT was concentrated in Rio de Janeiro and Rio Grande do Sul--the two states that had elected him in the 1947-64 period--but later expanded to more states and elected three governors in 1990 (see table 20, Appendix). The Workers' Party remains concentrated in São Paulo but has expanded to other states in the South and North. The PSDB (Brazilian Social Democracy Party) is highly concentrated in Ceará and São Paulo. The PFL has always been concentrated in the Northeast. In Rio Grande do Sul, the PFL and the PSDB have very limited penetration (see Political Culture, this ch.).

Brazil - Major Parties in Congress

In 1995 eight political parties, constituting 89.7 percent of the total membership of the Chamber of Deputies, were considered major parties. Each held more than 5 percent of the Chamber. In 1997 the seven significant parties totaled 92.6 percent.

Progressive Renewal Party

The Progressive Renewal Party (Partido Progressista Renovador--PPR) was organized by the fusion of the PDS (Democratic Social Party) and the Christian Democratic Party (Partido Democrático Cristão--PDC) in April 1993. After the Workers' Party, the PPR has the most consistent ideology. It generally supports the interests of business and rural landlords. It has a radical position in favor of privatization, economic modernization, and reduction of the state's role in the economy. In 1994 the PPR elected three governors, two senators, and fifty-three federal deputies. The PPR contributed one minister (health) to Cardoso's cabinet, but the party does not automatically support government positions in Congress. In 1995 Paulo Maluf remained the main leader of the PPR, which attempted to form a bloc with the Progressive Party. In mid-September 1995, Maluf merged the PPR with the Progressive Party to form the Brazilian Progressive Party (Partido Progressista Brasileiro--PPB).

Brazilian Democratic Movement Party

The Brazilian Democratic Movement (Movimento Democrático Brasileiro--MDB), the political opposition to the military regime, began mobilizing national support in the late 1970s. Like the PTB (Brazilian Labor Party) in the early 1960s, the MDB was on the verge of becoming a mass political party when Congress dissolved it in 1979. The party president, Deputy Ulysses Guimarães, convinced the party to "add a P to the MDB" to preserve the hard-fought opposition image.

The Brazilian Democratic Movement Party (Partido do Movimento Democrático Brasileiro--PMDB) won nine governorships in 1982 and elected Tancredo Neves in the electoral college of January 1985 in alliance with the PFL. The centrist PMDB advanced to become the "catch-all, rainbow" party, electing a majority to the ANC (National Constituent Assembly), and all but one governor in 1986. Overloaded with joiners (many of whom migrated from the Arena/PDS), the PMDB acquired a more conservative profile, provided a base for the Big Center in the ANC, and projected an image of close collaboration with the Sarney government. These tendencies provoked the exodus of the more progressive members, such as the PSDB, in 1988. The party was less successful in the congressional and gubernatorial elections in 1988 and 1990, but made a slight comeback in the 1992 municipal elections.

In 1994 the PMDB's presidential candidate, former governor Orestes Quêrcia, placed fourth. Nevertheless, the PMDB managed to elect nine governors and remained the largest party in Congress, electing fourteen senators and 107 federal deputies. The PMDB had two important ministries (transport and justice), plus the Secretariat of Regional Development (now subordinate to the Ministry of Planning) in the Cardoso government. With the defeat of Quêrcia and the loss of São Paulo State, the party has no coherent national leadership, and the support of its sizable congressional delegation is uncertain. In 1997 the PMDB became the second largest party in Congress, losing its first-rank position to the PFL.

Liberal Front Party

A manifesto signed by three governors, ten senators, and sixty federal deputies in December 1984 officially launched the center-right Liberal Front Party (Partido da Frente Liberal--PFL). In the January 15, 1985, electoral college, the PMDB-Liberal Front-PDS ticket of Tancredo Neves and José Sarney received the votes of 102 federal deputies, fifteen senators, and fifty-one delegates still nominally affiliated with the PDS. In 1985 the PFL became the second largest party in Congress. It received a mere 8.8 percent of the votes in the municipal elections of November 1985, but when Sarney was able to reform the cabinet inherited from Tancredo Neves in February 1986, the PFL received six ministries. In 1992 the PFL elected nearly 1,000 mayors, second only to the PMDB.

Although the PFL is noted for its neoliberal ideology, it is always predisposed to pragmatic bargaining, such as in 1994, when it abstained from running its own presidential candidate and joined with the PSDB and PTB. Although it elected only two governors, it remained the second largest party in Congress, electing eleven senators and eighty-nine federal deputies (57 percent from the Northeast), in addition to the vice president. In Congress the PFL is known to have the most articulate and cohesive delegation, on a par with the Workers' Party. As a Cardoso coalition partner, the PFL received three ministries in 1995. It became the first-ranked party in 1997.

Brazilian Labor Party

The Brazilian Labor Party (Partido Trabalhista Brasileiro--PTB), a pre-1964 leftist party, was resurrected as center-rightist in 1980. Two factions--one led by Leonel Brizola and the other led by Ivette Vargas--vied for leadership of the PTB. Although twenty of the twenty-three federal deputies who originally joined the PTB were brizolistas , Ivette Vargas was allied with General Golbery do Couto e Silva, chief of Ernesto Geisel's Civil Household of the Presidency, who pressured the TSE (Superior Electoral Court) to give the label to Vargas's pro-government faction in May 1980.

The PTB elected thirteen deputies in 1982 and became the junior member in a coalition with the PDS to give the latter a majority in the Chamber of Deputies. In 1986 the PTB elected seventeen federal deputies, and in 1990 it elected two governors, four senators, and thirty-eight federal deputies. The party became a convenient election vehicle for politicians without space in the larger parties.

In 1994 the PTB formed a coalition with the PFL and PSDB in support of Cardoso's candidacy. In that election, the PTB elected one governor, three senators, and thirty-one federal deputies--a slightly worse record than in 1990. In 1995 the PTB remained loyal to its coalition with the PSDB and PFL in support of the Cardoso government and occupied two ministries.

Democratic Labor Party

Brizola founded the social democratic-oriented Democratic Labor Party (Partido Democrático Trabalhista--PDT) in May 1980 after losing the PTB label to Ivette Vargas. Over the ensuing fifteen years, many PDT members migrated to other parties. In 1990 the PDT elected three governors (Brizola included), five senators, and forty-seven federal deputies and became the third largest party in Congress. In 1994 Brizola placed fifth for president and was defeated by Enéas Carneiro in Rio de Janeiro, thus ending his forty-seven-year political career. The PDT elected only two governors, four senators, and thirty-three federal deputies that year.

Despite his massive defeat in 1994, Brizola refused to relinquish personal control of the party and tried to impose a systematic opposition posture on the congressional delegation, although the two PDT governors favored a more flexible position vis-à-vis the Cardoso government. Both the very dynamic governor of Paraná, Jaime Lerner, and Dante de Oliveira, governor of Mato Grosso, left the PDT in 1997.

Workers' Party

The Workers' Party (Partido dos Trabalhadores--PT), the country's first independent labor party, is a unique party in Brazil. Organized externally (outside Congress) from the grassroots up and based on the new trade unionism in São Paulo in 1979, the Workers' Party initially did not want any professional politicians or students in its ranks. However, to have a voice in Congress it accepted five deputies and one senator into its ranks in early 1980. Since then the Workers' Party has grown steadily, doubling its Chamber of Deputies delegation in 1982, 1986, and 1990, while tripling the number of its state deputies at each election, except in 1994. It has also won mayorships in several cities, including São Paulo (1988) (see Elections, 1988-96, this ch.).

The Workers' Party is divided into six factions along a left-right continuum. The right consists of Radical Democracy (Democracia Radical), which has a social-democratic orientation. The center consists of Unity and Struggle (Unidade e Luta), Catholic militants, and members of the right wing of Lula da Silva's former Articulation (Articulação) faction. The left consists of Option of the Left (Opção de Esquerda), which is divided into two subgroups--Hour of Truth (Hora da Verdade), the dissident left wing of the former Articulation group, former Stalinists, and Castroites; and Socialist Democracy (Democracia Socialista), the largest Trotskyite group, which existed before the Workers' Party. The extreme left consists of Workers' Party in the Struggle (Na Luta PT), which is divided into two subgroups--Socialist Force (Força Socialista), whose members are former militants from extreme left guerrilla groups from the 1960s: the People's Electoral Movement (Movimento Eleitoral do Povo--MEP) and Popular Action (Ação Popular--AP); and The Work (O Trabalho), consisting of Trotskyites from two student movements of the 1970s--Freedom (Liberdade) and Struggle (Luta).

Until 1993 Lula's moderate Articulation group had a large absolute majority in the Workers' Party. This group conducted pragmatic coalition-building in the 1990 and 1992 elections, which resulted in the election of increasing numbers of deputies and city council members. However, in 1993 the extreme left and left elected an absolute majority (53 percent) of the national party directorate, took control, and imposed stricter criteria for coalition-building at the state level. In 1995 and 1997, the Articulation faction was again elected to the party presidency.

Brazilian Social Democracy Party

A center-left group of the PMDB (Brazilian Democratic Movement Party) organized the Brazilian Social Democracy Party (Partido da Social Democracia Brasileira--PSDB) in June 1988. Many of these PMDB members were associated with the Progressive Unity Movement (Movimento de Unidade Progressista--MUP). They had become discontented with the rainbow party, with the PMDB's participation in the conservative Big Center during the National Constituent Assembly, and especially with the politics of President Sarney. The principal leaders of the new party were from São Paulo, including Senator Cardoso (PMDB floor leader in the Senate).

The PSDB adopted a modernizing, social-democratic program and favored a parliamentary system of government. In 1988 it became the third largest delegation in Congress, although it elected only eighteen mayors that year (including Belo Horizonte).

The PSDB occupied three ministries in the Franco cabinet, including Senator Cardoso at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In May 1993, Cardoso moved to the Ministry of Finance, where he launched the Real Plan for economic stabilization in March 1994. With other major parties already engaged in different presidential alliances, the PSDB opted for a coalition with the more conservative PFL and PTB in the 1994 elections. The adoption of the new Real currency and the resulting near-zero inflation greatly boosted Cardoso's presidential candidacy in July and August and guaranteed his first-round victory with a margin of 54.3 percent on October 3. The PSDB also elected six governors (including Ceará, Minas Gerais, São Paulo, and Rio de Janeiro), nine senators, and sixty-two deputies, a much better performance than in 1990 (see General Elections, 1994, this ch). The Social Democrats occupied six ministries, including the powerful ministries of Planning, Finance, and Civil Household of the Presidency, in the Cardoso government.

Progressive Party

The Progressive Party (Partido Progressista--PP) grew out of the PTR (Workers' Renewal Party). In 1990 the PTR and the Social Workers' Party (Partido Social Trabalhista--PST) had elected just two federal deputies each. The new Progressive Party had thirty-seven deputies in 1993, and by 1994 had grown to forty-five, the fifth largest delegation in the Chamber of Deputies. In 1995 the Progressive Party became leaderless, with no clear political strategy. Thus, it merged with the PPR (Progressive Renewal Party) to form the PPB (Brazilian Progressive Party).

Brazil - Minor Parties in Congress

In 1995 eleven smaller parties were represented in Congress, of which five are noteworthy.

Liberal Party

Deputy Alvaro Valle (PDS-Rio de Janeiro) founded the center-right Liberal Party (Partido Liberal--PL) in 1985. Dubbed the businessman's Workers' Party, the Liberal Party rapidly supplanted the Liberal Front Party (Partido da Frente Liberal--PFL) in São Paulo. In the elections of November 15, 1986, the Liberal Party secured seven seats in the Chamber of Deputies and one in the Senate. It received 4.8 percent of the national vote in 1990 and elected fifteen deputies. On taking their seats in February 1991, the new Liberal Party deputies joined the opposition bloc against Collor. In 1994 the Liberal Party elected no governors, one senator, and thirteen deputies.

Party of National Reconstruction

Created in February 1989 by a takeover of the Youth Party as an election vehicle for Collor's candidacy, the conservative Party of National Reconstruction (Partido da Reconstrução Nacional--PRN) immediately received twenty deputies and two senators. After Collor's election, the party increased its congressional delegation in 1990, but had a dismal performance in the October 3 elections that year: forty deputies and only 7 percent of the vote, and no governors. In 1994 the party, reduced to four deputies and four senators, elected one federal and two state deputies.

Brazilian Socialist Party

Resurrected in 1986 from the pre-1964 Socialist Party, the left-wing Brazilian Socialist Party (Partido Socialista Brasileiro--PSB) elected seven representatives to the ANC (National Constituent Assembly). It joined the Brazilian Popular Front (Frente Brasil Popular--FBP) coalition in 1989 in support of Lula, and again in 1994. With 2.3 percent of the national vote in 1990, the PSB elected eleven deputies, including twice governor of Pernambuco Miguel Arraes, PSB president. The PSB, which has a more pragmatic socialism than the Workers' Party, contributed two ministers to Franco's cabinet. In 1994 the PSB elected two governors (including Arraes), one senator, and fifteen federal deputies.

Brazilian Communist Party

In 1993 the Brazilian Communist Party (Partido Comunista Brasileiro--PCB), in a stormy national convention led by its president, Deputy Roberto Freire, removed Marxist-Leninist doctrine from the party statutes and the hammer and sickle from its flag, and changed its name to the PPS (Popular Socialist Party). The original PCB had been organized in 1922. At Moscow's initiative, Luis Carlos Prestes took over the PCB's leadership in the mid-1930s. Prestes presided over the party until the early 1980s, when he was ousted by a renovated Euro-communist faction that had tired of his Stalinist line. During its illegal period (1948-85), the PCB was able to elect a few of its members under other party labels. The PCB regained legal registry in 1985, elected three representatives to the ANC in 1986, and again in 1990, always in coalitions. Deputy Freire carried the PCB banner as candidate for president in 1989, and became floor leader of the Franco government in 1992. In 1994 the PPS joined the FBP in support of Lula and elected one senator (Freire) and only two federal deputies.

Communist Party of Brazil

The Communist Party of Brazil (Partido Comunista do Brasil--PC do B) was created as an underground splinter from the PCB in 1958, following Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev's denunciations of Stalinist atrocities. The PC do B repudiated the new Moscow line and aligned itself with Maoism. When the People's Republic of China began making economic reforms in 1979, the PC do B aligned itself with Albania. When Albania held its first free elections in 1992, the PC do B became nonaligned. After the PC do B was legalized in 1985, under the leadership of former deputy and former guerrilla João Amazonas, it elected more deputies in 1986 and 1990 than its arch rival, the PCB. The PC do B joined the FBP in support of Lula in 1989 and 1994. The PC do B doubled its delegation from five to ten federal deputies, representing nine states, in 1994. This feat resulted from PC do B domination of student organizations in most states and astute use of coalitions.

Brazil - Regional Strength of the Parties

Within the basic government coalition--the PFL (Liberal Front Party), the PSDB (Brazilian Social Democracy Party), and the PTB (Brazilian Labor Party)--the PFL is highly concentrated in the Northeast (Bahia and Pernambuco), and the PSDB to a lesser degree in the Southeast (São Paulo and Minas Gerais). Almost half of the PSDB deputies elected in the Northeast came from Ceará; the PTB elected only two deputies from the Northeast.

Those formally opposed to the new Cardoso government, led by the Workers' Party and PDT, are concentrated in the South and Southeast. The Workers' Party became the second largest delegation in the states of São Paulo and Rio Grande do Sul in 1994, and slightly expanded its delegations in the North, Northeast, and Center-West (Centro-Oeste) regions. Although reduced from its 1990 size, the PDT remained the largest delegation in Rio de Janeiro, but fell to fourth rank in Rio Grande do Sul, after the PMDB (Brazilian Democratic Movement Party), Workers' Party, and PPR (Progressive Renewal Party).

The PSB (Brazilian Socialist Party) is highly concentrated in the Northeast; nearly half of its fifteen deputies come from Pernambuco. The PC do B (Communist Party of Brazil) is the only small party to have elected deputies in all five regions of Brazil in 1994. It presents a very dispersed pattern, with ten deputies elected in nine states. The PC do B dominated student associations (university and high school) in almost all states and was able to mobilize these young voters to concentrate their preferences on one or two PC do B candidates in each state.

The delegations of the four parties considered potential allies of the government are mostly concentrated in the North, Center-West, and South. In 1994 the PMDB's two largest delegations came from the Southeast (thirty-two) and Northeast (thirty). Nonetheless, the PMDB was weakened in those regions in the 1994 elections, even though it elected four of the nine Northeastern governors (Piauí, Rio Grande do Norte, Alagoas, and Paraíba).

As a result of its electing three of the seven governors in the North, the PPR elected the second largest delegation from that region. Its second regional concentration was in the South, where it was tied with the Workers' Party with twelve deputies. The PPR became the second largest delegation in Rio de Janeiro with seven deputies. Leading defeated coalitions in the runoffs in Goiás and Brasília, the Progressive Party became the second largest delegation in the Center-West, after the PMDB. Its best performances at the state level were in Minas Gerais (seven deputies) and in Paraná (six deputies).

Brazil - Party Legislation

Because Congress did not pass a new organic law for political parties in 1994, political parties until 1995 were regulated by a patchwork quilt of legislation: the 1988 constitution, the old Organic Law imposed by the military, and a host of individual laws passed over the past twenty years, including Election Law No. 8,713, passed on September 30, 1993. Parties are considered part of public law, and the state regulates and supervises them closely. Although Article 17 of the 1988 constitution states that parties are free to organize, fuse, incorporate, or dissolve themselves, Paragraph 2 of the same article states that after parties acquire a "legal personality" under civil law they may then register their statutes. Although Paragraph 1 states that parties are free to organize themselves internally, in reality they are governed by a detailed, complex, and often conflicting set of legal rules.

After 1985 provisional organization of new parties became easier: 101 members of the party sign a petition with bylaws, statutes, and a program, which are registered with the TSE (Superior Electoral Court). Definitive registry is more complicated; within a twelve-month period, the new party must organize state directorates in nine states and in one-third of the municipalities in each of these states.

In late August 1995, Congress finally passed the new Organic Law of Political Parties, which had been under consideration since 1989. This law imposed stiffer criteria for the registration of new parties, stated that party switchers might lose their mandate, and established a "weak" threshold of 3 percent for proportional elections (parties with less than 3 percent of the valid vote would not be allowed to operate in Congress, but those elected would be seated). Continuous party switching has been a problem in Congress. In the first five months of the 1995 legislature (February through June), more than forty federal deputies (8 percent) switched party labels at least once.

On the final deadline date of October 2, 1995, Law No. 9,100 was passed and published in the daily record; it regulated the municipal elections of October 3, 1996. Some minor changes were enacted: a 20 percent quota for female candidates for city councils; less transparency in campaign finance than in 1994; very high limits for campaign contributions (up to US$221,000.00 for businesses and US$51,500.00 for individual persons); and a return to the 1990 rules on free radio/television time.

Brazil - Sarney's Presidency, 1985-90

The government's strategy of controlling the election of the first civilian president in the 1985 electoral college almost received a mortal blow on April 25, 1984. On that day, the diretas já! constitutional amendment, which called for direct elections for president on November 15, 1984, came just twenty-two votes shy of the necessary two-thirds majority (320 votes). In late June 1984, the Liberal Front dissident group split from the military government's PDS (Democratic Social Party) and joined the PMDB led by Governor Tancredo Neves (Minas Gerais). In the second half of 1984, massive rallies engulfed Brazil, as the Tancredo Neves-Sarney ticket consolidated its 300-vote margin over Paulo Maluf (PDS-São Paulo) in the January 1985 electoral college.

Sarney got his start in politics in his home state of Maranhão in the late 1950s as federal deputy in the progressive wing of the National Democratic Union (União Democrática Nacional--UDN). A staunch supporter of the 1964 revolution, he was able to defeat the PSD (Social Democratic Party) political machine in direct elections for governor in 1965, and was elected senator by Arena (National Renewal Alliance) in 1970. The military government never quite accepted Sarney and vetoed his attempts to return to the governorship in 1974 and 1978. He was also passed over several times for the presidency of the Senate and for the post of minister of justice in 1980. As a consolation prize, he became president of the PDS. In 1984 Sarney was one of the dissident leaders of the schism in the PDS, and he became Tancredo Neves's running mate.

Tancredo Neves took ill on the eve of his inauguration on March 14, 1985, and died on April 21. Sarney was first sworn in as vice president and then acting president within a very loose interpretation of the constitutional norms for presidential succession.

Deputy Ulysses Guimarães had been elected president of the Chamber of Deputies on February 1 and by right should have assumed the presidency because neither Tancredo Neves nor Sarney had been inaugurated. On the death of Tancredo Neves, a new indirect election should have been called within ninety days. Guimarães, perhaps sensing that the military would not accept this scenario, graciously declined in favor of Sarney.

Sarney's first year was very difficult. He was unprepared to assume the presidency and was assisted immediately by General Ivan Souza Mendes, director of the National Intelligence Service (Serviço Nacional de Informações--SNI). In effect, Brazil's government was an informal parliamentary system during 1985, with Deputy Guimarães and PMDB Senate floor leader Fernando Henrique Cardoso acting as informal prime ministers. The Sarney administration moved to consolidate representative democracy in 1985: it legalized the two communist parties, the PCB and the PC do B, allowed illiterates to vote, and called for direct elections for mayors of all capital cities and "national security" municipalities.

The PMDB performed poorly in the November 15, 1985, mayoral elections, when former president Jânio Quadros of the PTB (Brazilian Labor Party) narrowly defeated Cardoso for mayor of São Paulo. However, Sarney recovered national prestige and high standing in the polls following the introduction of the Cruzado Plan on February 28, 1986, and began to consolidate his power as president. The PMDB became the great "umbrella" party in the 1986 elections, leading a broad coalition to victory in all states but Sergipe, and electing an absolute majority in the ANC (National Constituent Assembly).

Rapid consolidation of democracy in Brazil after 1985 was in part slowed by some of the concessions negotiated by Tancredo Neves with the military to ensure their support. Tancredo Neves agreed that members of the armed forces who had been expelled for subversion after 1964 would not receive amnesty and reinstatement; that there would be no independent, noncongressional Constituent Assembly; and that before the new constitution was finished and promulgated, none of the authoritarian decrees--National Security Law, antistrike law, repressive press law, and limitations on Congress--would be canceled or modified.

By October 1988, Sarney, who was still a nominal member of the PMDB, had grown very unpopular because of increasing inflation and allegations of corruption. As a result, the PMDB lost many cities in the November 15, 1988, municipal elections--of the 100 largest cities, the party dropped from seventy-seven to twenty mayors, but in 1992 elected twenty-nine; in 1996 the number fell back to only sixteen (see table 21, Appendix). In addition, impeachment proceedings were initiated against Sarney on charges of corruption. The CPI (Congressional Investigating Committee) reported in favor of impeachment, but the measure was not transmitted to the floor of the Chamber of Deputies for deliberation.

During Sarney's presidency, Brazil suffered four austerity shock plans and used three currencies. Thus, for the December 17, 1989, runoff, voters selected the two presidential candidates who most vociferously criticized the Sarney presidency--Collor (PRN) and Lula (Workers' Party).

Brazil - Collor de Mello's Presidency, 1990-92

Collor created extremely high expectations that he could solve Brazil's economic problems and that he could insert Brazil into the international economic arena. With one "silver bullet," he promised to rid Brazil of inflation, rampant corruption, and all marajás (literally maharajahs, or do-nothing, corrupt high government officials who draw huge salaries), while modernizing Brazil's economy and society.

Collor's ambitious program began by confiscating some US$50 billion in financial and bank assets from depositors and investors, thereby plunging the country into recession. He set about "taking the state apart," announcing that he would reduce the number of federal civilian employees from nearly 1 million to 300,000. Further, he would auction off government cars and housing in Brasília, sell all state enterprises, and begin a program to consolidate or eliminate the myriad of federal agencies. Collor's style of presidency was similar to that of developed countries and included well-orchestrated public relations campaigns and lavish entertaining.

Although he commanded a small minority bloc in Congress, Collor's high ratings in the polls and excellent television communication skills dissuaded many politicians from opposing his unusual proposals in an election year. Unlike the Cruzado Plan, which had helped Collor's election as governor of Alagoas in 1986, his 1990 stabilization plan did not produce positive economic results before the November 15 elections. Most of his allied gubernatorial candidates were defeated, and his coalition remained a minority in Congress. As inflation increased in 1991, the government began to flounder, and the opposition was able to thwart many of his proposals. Many of his initiatives in the international arena came to naught.

In late 1991, Collor counterattacked in a media blitz, blaming constitutional impediments for obstructing his modernization plan and boldly proposing a broad constitutional reform package of sixteen amendments. However, in March 1992, as new accusations of corruption mounted daily, Collor fired almost his entire cabinet (except for the military ministers and the ministers of health and education, who were not politicians) and brought in older, more experienced politicians who generally were considered "clean."

A month later, the president's younger brother, Pedro Collor, unleashed his bombastic accusations regarding the modus operandi of the corruption system, and on June 1, 1992, Congress installed the impeachment CPI. President Collor, together with his adviser, Paulo César Farias, and other cronies from Alagoas, had taken office with a "dynasty" strategy in mind. As described by Pedro Collor and other CPI witnesses, the Collor-Farias administration centralized all corruption, demanding 40 percent kickbacks for all government contracts and special policy decisions. With a war chest accumulating at nearly US$2 billion a year, they apparently expected to bribe their way into power for the next twenty years. As the 1993-94 Budgetgate CPI revealed, this conspiracy had numerous collaborators in Congress and the executive branch. Because the 1992 impeachment CPI threatened to widen its inquiry, the politicians decided to sacrifice Collor quickly to obscure their own involvement.

Brazil - Franco's Presidency, 1992-94

Senator Itamar Franco (Liberal Party-Minas Gerais) had been chosen as Collor's running mate for three reasons: Minas Gerais had the second largest electorate; Franco had led the impeachment CPI against Sarney's alleged corruption; and Franco was the ideal anti-impeachment "insurance" because of his idiosyncratic nature. During the 1989 campaign, Franco had threatened to resign several times and later voiced outspoken opposition to some Collor policies, especially concerning privatization. As president, Franco immediately installed a politically balanced cabinet and sought broad support in Congress.

Franco's presidential style was the opposite to that of Collor. A man of more simple habits and tastes, Franco refused the imperial, ceremonious presidential role. However, he proved to be quite temperamental, and many of his appointments were ill-conceived and short-lived. His most serious difficulty was defining an optimum economic strategy and selecting a minister of finance. He slowed Collor's privatization program to a near standstill and reverted to a developmentalist, nationalist model that was based on a national plan to guide the country through a series of stages of development, eventually culminating in modernization. After successively appointing two politicians and an academic economist to head the Ministry of Finance, Franco moved Senator Fernando Henrique Cardoso (PSDB-São Paulo) from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to Finance in May 1993.

In October 1993, Congress installed a CPI to investigate its own members involved in a far-reaching scandal within the joint budget committee. The scandal had begun during the Sarney period and extended into Franco's government. In addition to investigating possible involvement of some fifty members of Congress and identifying the "corruptors" in the private sector, the investigations unmasked a conspiracy ring within the executive branch that involved several middle-level bureaucrats. Distraught by the scandal reaching the executive branch, President Franco contemplated resigning. However, cooler heads persuaded him not to, and instead the president appointed several distinguished citizens to a Special Investigating Commission (Comissão Especial de Investigação--CEI) headed by the SAF (Federal Administration Secretariat) chief. Some of those involved in corruption were fired. Franco also appointed several military officers to civilian positions in the Ministry of Transport, Federal Police, and Office of the Federal Budget Director, which had difficult problems.

With Cardoso's PSDB (Brazilian Social Democracy Party) team installed at Finance, the Franco government became less erratic, and the kitchen cabinet's influence somewhat diminished. However, inflation had increased from 25 percent to 45 percent by April 1994, when Cardoso resigned to run for president, a month after his new stabilization plan went into effect.

The economic stabilization plan took into account all the errors of the Cruzado Plan of 1986, and both Cardoso and his team were aware of its potential effect on the 1994 elections. Because of the great success of the Real Plan, President Franco's approval rating soared to nearly 80 percent at the end of his term. The Franco-Cardoso transition was the most tranquil in Brazilian political history.

Brazil - Cardoso's Presidency

Cardoso was inaugurated as president on January 1, 1995, under the most auspicious circumstances. He had won an outright victory in the first round of the election and had potentially strong support blocs in the Chamber of Deputies and Senate. He had strong support from a majority of the newly elected governors, including those from the important states of Minas Gerais, São Paulo, and Rio de Janeiro, which had elected governors from the president's own PSDB. Further, the December 1994 inflation rate was less than 1 percent, unemployment was low, and popular expectations ratings were extremely high.

After his inauguration, Cardoso called the lame-duck Congress into session in an attempt to pass important legislation not acted on in 1994. President Cardoso abolished the CEI, which had not yet finished investigating corruption in the Franco administration, and transferred its mission to the new Internal Control Secretariat (Secretaria de Contrôle Interno--SCI). The Cardoso government pushed privatization and organized the sale of the Rio Dôce Valley Company (Companhia Vale do Rio Dôce--CVRD), one of the world's largest mining firms; the telecommunications system; and the electricity sector.

In 1995 Congress enacted major constitutional reforms, including economic deregulation, eliminating state monopolies, and changes in election and party legislation. By July 1995, the lower house had passed (and transmitted to the Senate) all five amendments dealing with the economic area. The amendments reduced to varying degrees state-held monopolies on coastal shipping, natural gas distribution, telecommunications, and petroleum, and eliminated the distinction between domestic and foreign firms in Article 171.

Perhaps the most important task of the Cardoso government in 1995 was to promote the reform of key sections of the 1988 constitution in order to reduce the role of the state in the economy, reform the federal bureaucracy, reorganize the social security system, rework federalist relationships, overhaul the complicated tax system, and effect electoral and party reforms to strengthen the political representation of political parties. In February 1995, the new Cardoso government moved quickly to initiate constitutional reform by a three-fifths majority of each house.

In the area of political reforms, Congress sought to improve Brazil's very weak party system. Congress proposed establishing a mixed system, prohibiting coalitions in proportional elections, establishing a minimum representation threshold (5 percent), permitting immediate reelection to executive office, imposing more rigid party fidelity norms, restricting party access to television and radio time, and establishing stricter regulations for campaign finance.

Brazil - Women in Politics

The women's suffrage movement began in Brazil in the early 1900s. As in the United States, women were first fully enfranchised at the state level. In 1927 in Rio Grande do Norte, the state election laws were amended giving women the right to vote. A year later, Alzira Soriano was elected mayor of Lajes, Santa Catarina State. Finally, the new national election code, signed by President Vargas in 1932, allowed women to vote in the May 1933 elections for the 1934 Constituent Assembly. Two women were elected to that body.

Many women have been elected mayors. In 1985 Luiza Fontenelle (Workers' Party) was the first woman elected in a state capital (Fortaleza, Ceará). The most important elective office held by a woman in Brazil was the mayorship of São Paulo, which Luiza Erundina (Workers' Party) won in 1988.

Although women have become federal judges by public examination, none has ever been appointed to Brazil's superior courts. In 1988 President Sarney appointed the first woman to the National Accounting Court. However, this appointment was more related to the appointee's notorious journalist husband than to her judicial qualifications (see Gender, ch. 2).

By 1994 women constituted nearly half of the electorate. In August 1994, data from the TSE (Superior Electoral Court) showed that of 94,782,410 registered voters, 49.4 percent were women.

No women were elected to Congress in the 1946-51 period, but Getúlio Vargas's niece, Ivette Vargas, was elected federal deputy from São Paulo in 1950 at age twenty-three. Women continued to have minuscule representation in Congress and in state assemblies until the political opening (abertura ) in 1982, when nine women were elected to the Chamber of Deputies, followed by twenty-six in 1986, twenty-three in 1990, and thirty-six in 1994. Among the latter, Vanessa Cunha (PSDB-Rio de Janeiro) was the youngest federal deputy at age twenty-two. Among state deputies, seventy-nine women were elected in 1994.

The first female senator assumed office in 1979 as an alternate on the death of her predecessor. Since then a few women have been elected to the Senate in successive elections. In 1994 fourteen women were candidates for the Senate, and four were elected.

In 1996 Congress adopted a quota system (20 percent) for female candidates for city council, and this policy increased the number of women elected. In 1997 Congress extended the mechanism to the 1998 general elections.

Until 1994 no women had been elected governor in their own right. When the governor of Acre resigned to run for the Senate in 1982, Yolanda Fleming was appointed governor to serve out the last ten months of the term. In 1994 eleven women ran for governor, and three made it into the second-round runoff--Angela Amin (PPR--Santa Catarina), Lúcia Vânia of the Progressive Party, and Roseana Sarney (PFL-Maranhão). Sarney, a daughter of the former president, was elected by a very small margin.

In 1994 women became candidates for vice president for the first time. The PMDB chose Iris Rezende, wife of the Goiás governor, to be Orestes Quêrcia's running mate. Although Rezende, a Protestant, had never held a formal political office, she was very active in politics while first lady of Goiás. With her candidacy, the PMDB hoped to attract the growing number of Protestant voters. Not to be outdone, the PPR chose Gardênia Gonçalves from Maranhão as a running mate for Senator Esperidião Amin. Gonçalves's husband had been a governor and senator from Maranhão, in opposition to the Sarney group, and in 1992 she was elected mayor of the capital city, São Luís.

Figueiredo (president, 1979-85) was the first president to name a woman to a cabinet position--Professor Esther Figueiredo Ferraz (no relation to the president) as minister of education and culture. His successors also appointed female cabinet ministers, the most famous of whom was Zélia Cardoso de Melo, President Collor's minister of economy. President Franco's cabinet included three women. President Cardoso appointed one woman during his first year in office, but she was replaced by a man in 1996.

Brazil - The Electoral System

Since independence Brazil has experimented with almost every possible electoral system: single and multimember districts, and proportional representation with various formulas. Only the so-called mixed systems are yet to be tried. Election day is always a national holiday. Until 1965 national and state elections were held on October 3, but the military moved the date to November 15 (Day of the Republic, a military holiday). The constitution of 1988 reestablished October 3 (ninety days before the inauguration of executive-branch elected officials) for the first round of voting, and November 15 for runoff elections when needed. As of 1998, first-round elections will be held on the first Sunday in October and runoff second rounds on the last Sunday of October.

Brazilian election laws are very complex and detailed. The law requires that all candidates who hold executive positions resign six months before the election (see The Legislature, this ch.). No "write-in" candidacies are allowed; only candidates officially presented by a registered political party may participate. Parties choose their candidates in municipal, state, or national conventions. Although the legislation does not recognize party primaries officially, on occasion they have been used informally.

Voting is considered both a right and a duty in Brazil; thus, registration and voting are compulsory between the ages of eighteen and seventy. Illiterates vote, but their voting registration card identifies their status, and they sign the voting list with a fingerprint on election day. The 1988 constitution lowered the voting age, permitting sixteen- and seventeen-year-olds to vote on a voluntary basis. In 1994 these young voters (who cannot legally drink or drive) totaled 2,132,190 (2.2 percent of the electorate). For these reasons, turnouts for all elections in Brazil are very high, usually more than 85 percent. At certain times, voters have cast blank and void ballots as a means of protest, especially in 1970, when military oppression was at its height.

Before 1966 individual paper ballots were used for each office, and the voter placed the appropriate set in an envelope, which was inserted into the ballot box. Since 1966 unified single ballots have been used for simultaneous elections. In 1996 fifty-one of Brazil's largest cities used a new electronic voting machine with great success. In 1998 some 90 million voters will use this new technique, which may become a hot export item. For majority elections, candidates' names are listed in random order, and the voter must mark the respective box. For proportional elections, the voter can write the name or identification (ID) number of the candidate, or write the symbol or ID number of the party preference. There is no alternative to making a straight party vote for all offices on the ballot. This procedure is extremely complicated for voters with little schooling. In elections in the first half of the 1990s, many voted for one or two executive offices and left the rest of the ballot blank.

Before Congress adopted Law No. 8,713 in September 1993, there were few restrictions on campaign finances. Businesses and labor unions could not make political contributions. Individual persons could contribute to parties, but not to individual candidates. Parties were required to submit their accounting to the TSE (Superior Electoral Court), countersigned by each other. In 1994 contributions from individual businesses (but not labor unions) were legalized, and electoral bonus (bônus eleitoral ) receipts were issued to contributors, who have often used them to evade taxes.

In 1994 Law No. 8,713 also required parties and candidates to submit to the electoral courts detailed balance sheets listing contributors and expenses. These reports were made public and hastily analyzed by the press. Cardoso's presidential campaign listed expenses of nearly R$32 million, about one real per vote, and contributions from banks, large construction firms, and businesses.

Brazil has four types of majority elections: the president, governors, and mayors are elected by absolute majorities; senators, by simple majorities. In elections for president, governors, and mayors of cities with more than 200,000 voters, a runoff is required between the top two candidates if no one receives an absolute majority in the first round (50 percent plus at least one vote). The president, governors, and mayors have their respective vice president, vice governors, and vice mayors, who are elected on unified slates.

The May 1994 constitutional revision reducing the presidential term from five to four years unified the terms of the president, state governors, and Congress. State and national elections are scheduled for 1998 and 2002, two years out of phase with municipal elections, which are set for 1996 and 2000.

Three senators are elected by simple majority to represent each of the twenty-six states and the Federal District. They are elected to alternating eight-year terms: one seat will be contested in 1998 and the other two in 2002. Each senator has an alternate elected on a unified ticket, usually from another party in the coalition. If the senator elected takes leave, dies, resigns, or is expelled, the alternate takes over.

Brazil uses an open-list d'Hondt proportional representation system to elect federal and state deputies and city council members. Each party or coalition selects its list of candidates, which is registered with the respective Electoral Court in June. Coalition partners lose their identity and compete in a single "basket" of votes. Coalitions are very important for proportional representation elections in Brazil. In 1962 nearly 50 percent of federal deputies were elected through coalitions. With the surge of new parties created after 1985, coalitions again appeared in the 1986, 1990, and 1996 elections. These coalitions accounted for nearly 90 percent of those elected.

In proportional representation elections, voters have the option of making a party vote. Usually, however, the proportional representation campaigns are so individualized (many candidates never mention their party label in their propaganda) that the party vote is very small (8 percent in 1994). An exception is the Workers' Party, which received 33 percent of its votes for federal deputy as party votes in 1994.

Brazil - The Presidential Election of 1989

The 1989 presidential election, the first direct presidential election since 1960, was established by the 1988 constitution. The 1988 municipal elections were a preview of the 1989 elections for the PMDB, the nation's largest party, which lost in most cities with a population of more than 100,000. Leonel Brizola's PDT (Democratic Labor Party) and Lula's Workers' Party made considerable gains, as voters made plain their rejection of parties associated with the Sarney government.

As a result of more lenient legislation, twenty-two parties qualified candidates for the presidency in 1989. The PRN (Party of National Reconstruction) was hastily organized by a questionable takeover of the Youth Party (Partido da Juventude--PJ) to launch the candidacy of Alagoas governor Fernando Collor de Mello, who had been elected by the PMDB in 1986, and had a brief flirtation with the PSDB in late 1988. Six of the major candidates were closely associated with the Sarney period or with the Big Center in the ANC (National Constituent Assembly).

By June 1989, Collor, aided by numerous television appearances, had close to 50 percent of voter preference. His other advantages in this election included his antiparty and antiestablishment posture; his being relatively unknown politically; a huge war chest of campaign funds, efficiently collected by campaign treasurer, Paulo Cesar Farias; a fleet of fifteen Lear jets at his disposal for campaigning; a sophisticated campaign organization; and his good communication and oratory skills, acquired while working at the family television station in Maceió.

In the first round of voting, Collor received 28.5 percent of the votes and Lula, 16.1 percent, slightly edging out Brizola in a close third (see table 22, Appendix). In the second round, Lula managed to pull ahead of Collor in the polls by some 5 percent in the last ten days of the campaign. However, because of Collor's negative campaign attacks against Lula, the election swung in Collor's favor by a 5.7 percent margin (see table 23, Appendix). Collor's geographic vote distribution was very similar to that of the PDS (Democratic Social Party)--the smaller the city, the larger Collor's proportion of the vote.

Brazil - Congressional and State Elections, 1990

Although President Collor had been able to pass most of his emergency legislation in 1990, he knew that his government needed to elect a solid majority to Congress, backed up by sympathetic governors. The economic stabilization plan adopted in March 1990 produced a deep recession, which was not reversed before the October 3 general elections. The 1988 constitution had created three new states--Amapá, Roraima, and Tocantins--and home rule came to Brasília, which elected its first governor. Thus, twenty-six states and the Federal District held simultaneous elections for governor, state assemblies, the full 503-member Chamber of Deputies, and thirty-one senators (the new states of Amapá and Roraima elected three senators each).

Seventeen of the gubernatorial races had runoffs on November 15. Among the twenty-seven governors elected, Collor had four staunch allies, eleven sometime allies, and twelve in opposition. Parties nominally aligned with Collor had elected close to an absolute majority (252) of federal deputies, but because of low party loyalty and cohesion, the president had great difficulty passing his legislative agenda in 1991 (see table 24, Appendix). The PMDB (Brazilian Democratic Movement Party) remained the largest party in Congress, retaining the presidency of the Senate. However, in 1993 the PMDB lost the presidency of the Chamber to a PFL-led coalition. Nineteen parties gained representation in the lower house.

Brazil - General Elections, 1994

The 1994 elections were significant because the presidential election coincided with the general elections for governor, senator, and federal and state deputy for the first time since 1950. It was expected that a strong presidential showing would have strong coattails (see Glossary) at the state level. However, many thought that election results proved otherwise. Coalition-building was generally inconsistent between the national and state levels, because local political animosities and affinities were so diverse from state to state that none of the presidential coalitions could cover all the possible combinations. Among the major parties, the PFL, PTB (Brazilian Labor Party), and Progressive Party decided not to field separate presidential candidates. The PMDB, PDT (Democratic Labor Party), PPR (Progressive Renewal Party), Workers' Party, and PSDB decided to run their own candidates. Four minor parties--the Liberal Party (Partido Liberal--PL), National Order Redefinition Party (Partido da Redefinição da Ordem Nacional--Prona), PRN (Party of National Reconstruction), and Social Christian Party (Partido Social Cristão--PSC)--also nominated candidates.

Despite opposition from a minority, the PMDB nominated former São Paulo governor Orestes Quêrcia as its presidential candidate. The PDT again nominated Leonel Brizola. Lula's Workers' Party articulated a broad coalition on the left, including the Brazilian Socialist Party (Partido Socialista Brasileiro--PSB), Popular Socialist Party (Partido Popular Socialista--PPS), PC do B (Communist Party of Brazil), and Green Party (Partido Verde--PV). However, Marxist wings of the Workers' Party, having gained control of the party's Executive Committee, imposed a difficult, radical platform on the campaign.

Cardoso had become minister of finance in May 1993 and had assembled the same PSDB economic team that had formulated the Cruzado Plan in 1986. This time, however, the team put together a stabilization plan that included the components missing in 1986. The hope was that the initiative would boost Cardoso's potential candidacy into the second round. In February 1994, Congress approved the Real Value Units (Unidades Reais de Valor--URVs; see real (R$) in Glossary) Stabilization Plan, which gave the minister of finance almost absolute power to impound or reallocate budgeted funds, reduce the fiscal deficit, and conduct a rescheduling of the foreign debt.

The impact of the Real Plan on the preference polls was even more dramatic than PSDB strategists had imagined. They had thought that, at best, if the plan were a success, Cardoso might pull even with Lula by the end of August, thus guaranteeing a second round in November. However, Cardoso surpassed Lula in the Datafolha firm's presidential preference poll results at the end of July by successfully branding the Workers' Party as against the Real Plan and for inflation. Cardoso went on to win the election outright on the first round with 54.3 percent of the valid votes cast (44.1 percent of the total vote, including blank and null ballots) (see table 25, Appendix). Lula placed second with 27.0 percent. Cardoso's PSDB-PFL-PTB coalition received additional support from the PMDB and PPR, which abandoned their candidates and climbed aboard the Cardoso bandwagon. In addition to electing the president and a majority of the governors, the Center coalition returned substantial majorities to Congress.

The social-liberal alliance, the Big Center, that elected Cardoso on the first round enjoyed only moderate presidential coattails at the state level (see table 26, Appendix). The PSDB-PFL-PTB alliance elected nine (33 percent) governors, twenty-four of fifty-four (44 percent) senators up for election, 182 of 513 (35 percent) federal deputies, and 324 of 1,045 (31 percent) state deputies. Cardoso placed first in every state except the Federal District (Brasília) and Rio Grande do Sul. Lula surpassed Cardoso in the Federal District and Rio Grande do Sul, where his coattails pulled the Workers' Party gubernatorial candidates into the second round.

The 1994 gubernatorial election was the fourth in a series of direct elections for governor since their reinstatement in 1982. Compared with 1990, the PSDB had the best performance of all parties in 1994. The PSDB was formed hastily in June 1988, and in 1990 elected only one governor (Ceará). In 1994 the PSDB won six governorships, including Minas Gerais, São Paulo, and Rio de Janeiro. These three states account for nearly 60 percent of Brazil's gross national product (GNP--see Glossary) and tax base. Certainly, presidential coattails and the Real Plan were important factors in these three second-round victories. Brizola's PDT lost the three states won in 1990, but in 1994 elected the governors of Paraná (Jaime Lerner) and Mato Grosso (Dante de Oliveira), both on the first round. The Workers' Party made it into the second round in three states and won in two: Brasília and Espírito Santo. The two victories gave the Workers' Party a chance to demonstrate how it would manage a state government. The party had already elected mayors in major cities (São Paulo, Porto Alegre, and Belo Horizonte) in 1988 and 1992.

Of the fifty-four Senate seats up for election in 1994, only nine incumbents were reelected. Six of the twenty-seven senators elected in 1990 were replaced by their respective alternates (five were elected to other offices and one died). Thus, in 1995 fifty-one of the eighty-one senators were new, although five of the latter had served in the Senate before 1990. The PMDB, PFL, and PSDB continued to have the largest upper-house delegations; and the PFL made substantial gains (see table 27, Appendix). The most significant change was the advance of the left. From only two senators in 1991, this group increased to seven (five from the Workers' Party). The PPS, the former PCB (Brazilian Communist Party), elected its first senator (Roberto Freire) since Luís Carlos Prestes was elected in 1945.

The Chamber of Deputies was enlarged in 1995 with the expansion of the São Paulo State delegation from sixty to seventy as mandated by the 1988 constitution. Turnover in the lower house in 1995 (275 new deputies out of 513, or 53.6 percent) was slightly lower than that in 1991. As in 1991, the Chamber of Deputies in 1995 continued to have two larger parties (PMDB and PFL) and six middle-sized parties. By electing deputies in all five regions of Brazil, these eight parties, as well as the PC do B, have a more national representation.

Voter turnout was lower in 1994 (82.2 percent) than in 1989 (88.1 percent), and blank and null votes were more frequent in 1994 than in 1989. These differences may have resulted in part from the fact that the 1994 election was more complicated, with two ballots and six offices.

Brazil - Interest Group Politics

Brazil has very intense and diversified interest groups. Before 1964 the most visible were labor unions, student organizations, and business groups, which exercised their pressures more on Congress than on the executive branch. During the military period, especially from 1969 to 1974, interest groups continued to operate but almost exclusively vis-à-vis the executive branch. In 1983, when it became apparent that a political transition would take place, Congress again became the focal point of interest groups. The most explicit example of this trend was the ANC (National Constituent Assembly), when literally thousands of lobbyists--one researcher catalogued 121 noninstitutional groups--descended on Brasília.

Interest Groups

Government institutions lobby the executive and legislative branches through their legislative liaisons and employee associations. The president's office maintains a Subsecretariat for Congressional Relations. State enterprise employee associations, such as those of the Brazilian Petroleum Corporation (Petróleo Brasileiro S.A.--Petrobrás) and the Brazilian Electric Power Company, Inc. (Centrais Elétricas Brasileiras S.A.--Eletrobrás), have very active lobbying organizations, as do federal employees. All states and many large cities maintain permanent representation offices in Brasília. Although strictly prohibited, military officers exerted heavy pressure on the government for better salaries in 1992-94 through protest marches by military families.

In 1983 the Interunion Parliamentary Advisory Department (Departamento Intersindical de Assessorial Parlamentar--DIAP) was founded to coordinate and unify the lobbying efforts of the labor movement. The DIAP represented 517 unions, nine confederations, and one central federation in 1992. The DIAP soon proved highly efficient in monitoring legislative activities, publishing profiles of the performance of congressional members, and identifying friends and enemies of workers. In the 1991-94 period, the party leadership's manipulations attempted to thwart DIAP monitoring by floor voting, and very few roll-call votes were taken during that session.

Since the 1930s, business groups have been organized into umbrella federations at the state level and confederations at the national level, such as the São Paulo State Federation of Industries (Federação das Indústrias do Estado de São Paulo--FIESP) and the National Confederation of Industry (Confederação Nacional das Indústrias--CNI). Other businesses are organized as national associations by sector: the Brazilian Association of Radio and Television Companies (Associação Brasileira das Empresas de Rádio e Televisão--ABERT), the Brazilian Electro-Electronic Industry Association (Associação Brasileira da Indústria Eletro-Eletrônica--ABINEE), and the Brazilian Aluminum Association (Associação Brasileira de Alumínio--ABAL). Business groups mounted a very efficient lobbying operation in support of the Big Center during the ANC.

Professional groups, such as associations of medical doctors, lawyers, pharmacists, and engineers, are usually more active regarding the regulation of their professions, but occasionally attempt to influence more generalized economic and social legislation. Since the 1970s, there has been a steady growth of urban social movements and groups concerned with issues such as the prevention and treatment of acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS), racial prejudice, consumer rights, ecology, the homeless, Indians, mortgages, street children, and tenants. As a result, there has been a parallel growth of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs). Some NGOs are considered aggregative, such as the Brazilian Institute of Social and Economic Analysis (Instituto Brasileiro de Análise Social e Econômica--IBASE) in Rio de Janeiro, or the Institute of Socioeconomic Studies (Instituto de Estudos Sócio-Econômicos--Inesc) in Brasília. Some are more issue-focused, such as the Center for Indian Rights (Núcleo de Direitos Indígenos--NDI) in Brasília, or SOS Atlantic Forest (SOS Mata Atlântica) in Rio de Janeiro.

Religious groups are also important. The Roman Catholic Church acts officially through the National Conference of Brazilian Bishops (Conferência Nacional dos Bispos do Brasil--CNBB). However, it has an unofficial far right wing in the Brazilian Association of Tradition, Family, and Property (Sociedade Brasileira de Defesa da Tradição, Família e Propriedade--TFP), and an unofficial left wing of liberation theology linked to the Ecclesiastical Base Communities (Comunidades Eclesiais de Base--CEBs) (see Glossary). The center and left had always elected the president and general secretary of the CNBB since its inception. However, in May 1995 conservative Prime Bishop-Cardinal Lucas Moreira Neves was elected president of the CNBB, a consequence of Pope John Paul II's consistent appointment of conservative bishops in Brazil. The Protestants have their Order of Evangelical Ministers (Ordem dos Ministros Evangélicos--OME) and Political Action Evangelical Group (Grupo Evangélico de Ação Política--GEAP).

The Lobbying Process

Three basic styles of lobbying are found in Brasília: the interest group sends its own representatives to Brasília, when the legislative agenda warrants; the interest group has its own representatives permanently installed in Brasília; or the group contracts with lobbyists in Brasília to represent its interests. Professional lobbyists systematically monitor the activities of Congress and the executive branch regarding legislative agendas and procedures. Visits by groups and individual interests to strategic members of Congress are organized frequently. In some cases, the deputies' geographical vote profiles for the last election within their state are analyzed for the client. When the interest group has a large membership, bus caravans to Brasília are organized to pressure Congress or the executive branch.

As in many legislatures, the Brazilian Congress also has inside lobbyists; that is, Chamber of Deputies or Senate staff, and some members themselves (the so-called single-issue deputy or senator). Because staff are very important to the legislative process, they are cultivated assiduously by lobbyists, and many become sensitive to (or eventually agents for) certain interest groups. In response to these pressures, the Chamber of Deputies Research Staff Association began preparing a Code of Ethics in 1993.

Campaign contributions are local and are an integral part of the lobbying process. The Ministry of Finance issues electoral bonus receipts for campaign contributions. Many contributing businesses, however, have used these receipts to evade taxes by providing documentation for their bogus records, known as their caixa dois (second set of books). Several bills have been introduced to address this problem, but no legislation had been passed by early 1997. The Chamber of Deputies allows groups to receive lobbying credentials. In the 1991-92 session, thirty-nine groups (twenty-eight business groups) received credentials, in addition to all ministries and sixteen other public-sector agencies. The Senate does not offer credentials.

<"media.htm">The Media

Brazil - The Media - Satellite TV, DirecTV and Dish Network

Print and electronic media play a very important role in Brazilian politics. Until the 1988 constitution, the president had the exclusive prerogative to allocate radio and television concessions. From 1985 through 1988, television and radio concessions became the "currency of political negotiation" as President Sarney tried to maintain majorities in Congress. Although "social control" over concessions and renewals is called for in the new constitution, no such action had been taken until Cardoso's new minister of communications, Sérgio Motta, served notice in 1995 that all pending concessions would be canceled and a National Social Control Commission would be established that would use different criteria.

Shortly after radio arrived in Brazil in the 1930s, President Vargas initiated weekday transmissions of the Voice of Brazil, as propaganda on government operations. The news show, which emphasizes activities in and around government and political circles, carries thirty minutes of news from the executive branch and thirty minutes from Congress and the judiciary.

Media owners have very definite political agendas and pursue them assiduously. Francisco de Assis Chateaubriand Bandeira de Melo built the first media empire in Brazil. He founded the Diários Associados newspaper chain in the 1930s, and in the 1950s established a media empire that included thirty-three newspapers, eighteen magazines, the Tupi Network (with twenty-five radio and eighteen television stations), and two news agencies. Chateaubriand exercised tremendous coercive power over businessmen, presidents, governors, and Congress. As a result of losing a political and judicial battle against the rise of the TV Globo Network, Tupi deteriorated after Chateaubriand's death in 1968. The military government finally confiscated and reallocated its concessions in 1981. The newspaper chain still exists but with less central coordination.

The second media empire and the most powerful one in 1997, Globo Organizations (Organizações Globo), began with the Rio newspaper O Globo , founded by Irineu Marinho in the 1920s. In 1931 the oldest son, Roberto Marinho, assumed control of the newspaper and still commanded the empire in 1997 at age eighty-five. Globo began radio transmissions in 1944, and TV Globo began in Rio de Janeiro in 1965, the latter under a controversial technical assistance agreement with the Time-Life Group that generated a CPI.

Satellite TV

With the establishment of a microwave and later national satellite tv hookup by the Brazilian Telecommunications Company (Empresa Brasileira de Telecomunicações--Embratel) in 1970, the Globo network steadily advanced to cover all states. The network accounts for approximately 70 percent of television audience ratings and advertising billings in Brazil. See <"http://www.satisfied-mind.com/directv/">Satellite TV - DirecTV and Dish Network.

In 1993, 333 daily newspapers had a total circulation of about 2.5 million. Magazines sold 222 million copies in 1993 (1.47 per inhabitant), down 32 percent from 1991. Although per capita newspaper circulation and readership is very low in Brazil, research has shown that print media have considerable influence on politics because of very competent investigative reporting and exposés, influence among "opinion leaders," and influence on other media. Of the five national newspapers--O Estado de São Paulo , Folha de São Paulo , Gazeta Mercantil , O Globo , and Jornal do Brasil --members of Congress regarded Gazeta Mercantil as the least biased paper, according to a May 1995 survey.

Radio and especially television exert a tremendous direct influence over the voting behavior of the vast majority of Brazilians. When the TSE (Superior Electoral Court) completed a massive computerized voter registration before the 1986 elections, it classified 70 percent of those registered as "illiterate or semi-illiterate." Brazilian television has an insidious influence on these nearly 60 million voters. Political subplots are cleverly woven into television soap operas (telenovelas ) and situation comedies to jaundice public opinion about certain political groups and types of politicians. Biased news coverage of political campaigns is commonplace.

Brazil - Foreign Relations

The Foreign Service

The Rio Branco Institute (Instituto Rio Branco--IRBr) recruits from twenty to thirty candidates each year among college graduates. After four semesters of intensive study of language and diplomacy, graduates receive a certified bachelor of arts degree in diplomacy and begin their careers as third secretaries. In 1996 the IRBr began studies to upgrade the course to an M.A. program. The IRBr teaching staff is composed of senior diplomats and some academics from the University of Brasília (Universidade de Brasília). Some foreign students are admitted, mostly from Latin America and Africa.

After three or four years experience within several divisions of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (known as Itamaraty, after the building it formerly occupied in Rio de Janeiro), the junior diplomat is posted overseas. Promotion to second and first secretary is by merit (evaluation by immediate superiors). Before promotion to minister second class, the diplomat goes through a mid-career course and produces a monograph, which is defended before an examining board. Many diplomats also acquire graduate degrees during their career. Promotion to the final positions of counselor (minister first class) and ambassador involves a combination of merit and political considerations; the president makes the final decision. Because Itamaraty has more diplomats than posts overseas and in Brasília, diplomats frequently fill key positions in other ministries, state enterprises, and the president's office. Brazilian diplomats generally are considered skilled and patient negotiators by their peers.

Brazil - Foreign Policy Decision Making

Most foreign policy strategies and decisions originate within Itamaraty. A senior diplomat always occupies the position of foreign affairs adviser within the president's office, and diplomats occupy similar liaison positions in key ministries. Since the 1980s, Itamaraty, in response to the growing complexity of foreign policy issues, has established new divisions dealing with export promotion, environmental affairs, science and technology, and human rights. Itamaraty also established the International Relations Research Institute (Instituto das Pesquisas das Relações Internacionais--IPRI) as part of the Alexandre Gusmão Foundation, which functions as a think tank and conference center and publishes foreign policy studies.

The Senate and Chamber of Deputies each have foreign affairs standing committees. Under the 1988 constitution, the Senate expanded its treaty approval prerogative to include all international financial agreements, such as negotiations with the International Monetary Fund (IMF--see Glossary) and international banks, which in the past had been the exclusive prerogative of the executive branch (see The Military in the Amazon, ch. 5). The Congress also has involved itself in major government contracts with foreign companies, such as the contract with Raytheon for an Amazon surveillance system.

The Brazilian Cooperation Agency (Agência Brasileira de Cooperacão--ABC), a foreign aid agency formally established in the late 1980s, coordinates all international technical cooperation and assistance received by Brazil from foreign donors (often, but not always, within the context of bilateral agreements). For example, in the absence of a United States-Brazil bilateral agreement, United States Agency for International Development (USAID) programs in Brazil are not coordinated through the ABC. The ABC also coordinates Brazilian international technical cooperation and assistance directed to other countries, mostly through South-South relationships conducted by Brazilian government agencies, universities, and NGOs.

At times other agencies may take the lead in foreign policy decision making. For example, in June 1995 the economic sector, led by the Ministry of Planning, made the initial decision to impose quotas on imported automobiles. This decision provoked a crisis within the Common Market of the South (Mercado Comum do Sul--Mercosul; see Glossary)--because Argentine automobile exports to Brazil would have been affected. Itamaraty intervened, and a solution was negotiated excepting Mercosul from the rigors of the measure.

The military had the final say on foreign policy during the 1964-85 period, when foreign policy was decided frequently within the National Security Council (Conselho de Segurança Nacional--CSN). Since then the military occasionally has exercised some influence. When the United Nations (UN) requested Brazilian troops for a peacekeeping force in Namibia during the delicate, pre-election phase of transition in 1991, Itamaraty was favorable, but the army vetoed the initiative. The reverse occurred in 1995. After a successful peacekeeping mission in Mozambique in 1993-94, the army, in search of new missions, approved sending a battalion to the peacekeeping operation in Angola. However, for reasons of economic austerity the ministries of Planning and Finance delayed the appropriation until 1996.

Brazil - Multilateral Relations

Brazil was a founding member of the League of Nations (see Glossary) in 1920 and the UN in 1945, and has chaired the UN Security Council on several occasions. Brazil is also an active participant in the Organization of American States (OAS; see Glossary), IMF, World Bank (see Glossary), Inter-American Development Bank (IADB; see Glossary), African Development Bank (ADB), World Trade Organization (WTO, which now administers the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade--GATT; see Glossary), International Commodity Organization (coffee, cocoa beans), and Antarctic Treaty. International pressures have been strong on Brazil to join certain agreements, such as the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), which Brazil announced its decision to sign on June 20, 1997. Brazil joined the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR--see Glossary) in October 1995.

Brazil has participated in UN peacekeeping operations since the Suez Crisis in 1956. A Brazilian contingent participated in the UN observer force that guaranteed the October 1994 elections in Mozambique, and in the UN observer force in Bosnia in 1995. Regarding the latter, a Brazilian general commanded a force of 680 observers, of whom thirty-four were Brazilians. In May 1995, two Brazilian officers were among the several hundred UN observers captured by the Bosnian Serbs and used as human shields against further NATO bombings. The number of Brazilian personnel attached to UN peacekeeping operations has gradually declined from 1,166 in August 1996 to forty-eight in September 1997. Because of its active participation in UN activities and its status as a middle-level emerging economic and political power, Brazil aspires to a permanent seat on the Security Council, if and when membership in this body is expanded.

Brazil - Latin America

Brazil's first circle of international relations is with its Latin American neighbors. Being the largest nation in the region makes this process somewhat delicate. Most border issues were settled in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, but some questions concerning the borders with Bolivia, Colombia, Paraguay, and Venezuela remain. In 1995 Brazilian farmers and forest gatherers penetrated Bolivia's Pando Department, in an action reminiscent of the invasion of Acre by Brazilian rubber tappers in the 1890s. Brazil regularly extends export credits and university scholarships to its Latin American neighbors. A certain quota of Latin Americans are admitted to the Rio Branco Institute and the armed forces staff schools.

An active participant in regional security activities, Brazil hosted the conference that established the Inter-American Treaty of Reciprocal Assistance (Rio Treaty) in 1947. In addition, Brazil was a founding member of the OAS in 1948 and has participated in several OAS peacekeeping endeavors. Most notable was Brazil's participation in the Inter-American Peace Force (Fuerzas Interamericanas de Paz--FIP) in the Dominican Republic in 1965. In the 1980s, Brazil was an active participant in the Contadora Support Group (see Glossary), which sought a permanent peace in Central America. In June 1995, eighty-seven Brazilians were attached to peacekeeping operations in the Americas--thirty-seven in El Salvador, thirty-two in Nicaragua, ten on the Ecuador/Peru border, six in Honduras, and two in Guatemala.

The Treaty of Asunción--signed in 1991 by Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, and Paraguay--was the culmination of a rapprochement between Brazil and Argentina after 160 years of regional rivalry (see Trade Patterns and Regional Economic Integration, ch. 3). It also incorporated Uruguay and Paraguay into Mercosul, and Bolivia and Chile joined Mercosul in 1996.

Brazil - Europe

During the period from the 1970s to 1995, the relative importance of the European Economic Community (EEC; now the European Union--EU) as a trading partner with Brazil was reduced, but increased in the mid-1990s. By 1995 German investments in Brazil were second only to the United States, but Britain, Italy, and France also have important investments, mostly in industrial manufacturing, heavy equipment and automobiles, and consumer goods. In mid-1995 negotiations advanced toward establishing a free-trade association between the EU and Mercosul. In December 1995, the EU signed an important free-trade protocol with Mercosul, the first ever between two regional trading blocs. Since then Brazil has adroitly used the EU card to force a slowdown of the United States pressure to "fast track" the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) expansion of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

Relations with the EU are economically important, but even more so from a North-South political perspective. Brazil and its Mercosul partners want to strengthen their trading bloc to include not only Chile but also Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Venezuela before 2005, to be able to negotiate as a bloc with NAFTA, as opposed to bilateral negotiations as favored by the administration of President William Jefferson Clinton. The United States view is that 2005 is the date for the FTAA to be "fully operational," whereas Brazil and its Mercosul partners view the year 2005 as a "starting point" for the FTAA process.

Brazil - The Middle East

Immigrants from the Middle East began arriving in Brazil in large numbers in the twentieth century, especially following World War I. These immigrants spread throughout Brazil but can be found mostly in the Southeast region, where many are merchants.

Brazil's economic relations with the Middle East were accelerated by the 1973 petroleum crisis. Brazil tried to maintain a moderate stance vis-à-vis the Arab-Israeli conflict and supported all UN peace initiatives. In late 1973, Brazil established embassies in Iraq and Saudi Arabia and legations in Libya and Kuwait, and it signed cooperation agreements with Egypt, Israel, and Iraq.

However, in 1975, because of the deepening petroleum crisis and in search of petrodollar investments, Brazil tilted its foreign policy in favor of the Arab (Palestinian) cause in three crucial votes in the UN. Brazil's military government upgraded its representation in Iraq by appointing a succession of four-star generals as ambassadors to Baghdad. When the Iran-Iraq War broke out in 1979, nearly 35 percent of Brazil's oil imports were coming from Iraq. In 1981 it was reported that Brazil had sold low-grade uranium ore or yellow cake (see Glossary) to Iraq.

The Iraq-Kuwait conflict, which resulted in Operation Desert Storm in early 1991, placed Brazil in a very delicate position. United States congressional subcommittees accused Brazil of exporting technology and expertise to Iraq to develop a missile based on the Piranha missile (MAA-1). Retired Air Force Brigadier Hugo Oliveira Piva had taken a private group of Brazilian technicians to Baghdad to complete this project; under pressure, the Collor government ordered the group's return to Brazil.

At the time of Desert Storm, a Brazilian construction company, Mendes Júnior, had several hundred workers and technicians, as well as several million dollars worth of equipment, in southern Iraq working on railroad and irrigation projects. Thus, Brazil, unlike Argentina, did not participate in the Allied operation. The Brazilian government had to dispatch its key negotiator, Ambassador Paulo de Tarso Flecha de Lima, from his post in London to negotiate the release of the Mendes Júnior personnel from Iraq and the disposition of the equipment. Brazil had won a US$5 billion price and performance competition to supply its Osório tank to Saudi Arabia in 1990, but the Kuwait conflict changed the decision in favor of the United States Abrams tank.

Brazil - Africa

Brazil's relations with Africa date from the beginning of the slave trade in the seventeenth century. By the middle of the nineteenth century, many former slaves had returned to West Africa and had become prosperous merchants and entrepreneurs, and regular shipping lines and commerce flourished from Bahia. After 1945 Brazil maintained a low-profile position in the anticolonialism debate in the UN, but supported the positions of Portugal, Belgium, France, and Britain. In 1961 President Jânio Quadros's new independent foreign policy made some timid advances in favor of independence for the remaining colonies in Africa. During the Goulart period (1961-64), Brazil took contradictory positions, especially regarding Portugal. Brazil's main contacts with the newly independent nations of West Africa involved price-fixing attempts within the International Coffee Organization. The Castelo Branco administration (1964-67) sent two commercial missions to Africa, the Costa e Silva administration (1967-69) opened an embassy in Abidjan (Côte d'Ivoire) and one in Kinshasa (Zaire).

Nonetheless, the opening to Africa really began during the presidency of Emílio Garrastazú Médici (1969-74). In November 1972, Foreign Minister Mário Gibson Barbosa visited nine West African countries. In 1973 Brazil voted in favor of anticolonialism measures in the UN. This vote and follow-up trade missions resulted in numerous bilateral agreements and Brazil's participation in the ADB (African Development Bank). South African companies made considerable investments in Brazil, especially in mining. Brazil's exports to Africa jumped from US$90.4 million in 1972 to US$1.96 billion in 1981, and its imports from US$152.9 million to US$1.98 billion.

Brazil's opening to Africa was consolidated during the Geisel period (1974-79), which coincided with the emancipation of the five Portuguese colonies in Africa. Brazil recognized the independence of Guinea-Bissau and Cape Verde in July 1974, before it was conceded by Portugal. In November 1975, Brazil became the first Western nation to recognize the independence of Angola, under the revolutionary government of the Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (Movimento Popular de Libertação de Angola--MPLA), and to establish an embassy in Luanda. Brazil's stance caused much consternation for the United States because the MPLA government in Angola was socialist and dependent on the communist bloc and Cuba at that time. That same month, Brazil established relations with the government in Mozambique because of its strategic importance in southern East Africa and the Indian Ocean. Within the context of the Cold War and Brazil's anticommunist military government, this decision was a bold move on the part of the Geisel government. However, Brazil placed considerable importance on establishing relations with African countries. It was hard hit by the 1973-74 petroleum crisis and desired access to West African oil exports in particular. The petrodollars thus earned were used to buy Brazilian exports of manufactured goods through Petrobrás International Trade, Inc. (Petrobrás Comércio Internacional S.A.--Interbrás).

Over the next twenty years, Brazil established very close relations with the lusophone or Portuguese-Speaking African Countries (Paises Africanos de Lingua Oficial Portuguêsa--PALOPs). In addition to Angola and Mozambique, these included São Tomé e Príncipe, Cabo Verde, and Guinea-Bissau. The Rio Grande do Sul Airline (Viação Aérea Rio-Grandense do Sul--Varig) established regular flights to Lagos, Nigeria; Abidjan; Luanda, Angola; and Maputo, Mozambique. However, in the early 1990s flights were suspended to Lagos (to control drug traffic) and Maputo. President Figueiredo (1974-85) was the first Brazilian president to visit Africa (five countries in November 1983). Brazilian construction companies undertook hydroelectric and infrastructure projects, and Petrobrás signed risk contracts for oil exploration.

By 1986 Brazil had twenty-two embassies in the region, and President Sarney continued the expansion of relations with Africa, visiting Cape Verde in 1986 and Angola in 1989. African heads of state from Algeria, Zaire, Cape Verde, and Mozambique, as well as Sam Nujoma of the South West African People's Organization (SWAPO), also visited Brasília. By 1985 commerce between Africa and Brazil had grown to US$3.3 billion.

In the context of the independence of Namibia in 1990, the UN requested a Brazilian battalion to participate in peacekeeping operations, but Brazil refused, saying that the army was not prepared and the government lacked resources for such a venture. However, when the UN asked for Brazilian army and police participants in peacekeeping operations during the October 1994 election in Mozambique, the Itamar Franco government was quick to oblige. In 1995 the Cardoso government sent a full engineering battalion to Angola to participate in UN operations (minesweeping and infrastructure rebuilding). In 1996 President Cardoso made a short visit to Angola en route to a longer state visit to South Africa.

Brazil - Asia

Before 1960 Brazil maintained diplomatic relations with three Asian nations: Japan, India, and Nationalist China (Taiwan). In that year, Brazil established ties with the Republic of Korea (South Korea) and Ceylon (now Sri Lanka). In August 1961, President Quadros sent his vice president, João Goulart, to the People's Republic of China as head of a commercial delegation. In August 1974, Brazil broke relations with Taiwan and established full relations with China, four years before the United States. The Nationalist diplomats were evicted unceremoniously from the Chinese embassy in Brasília to make way for the new tenants.

In the 1970s and 1980s, relations with Asia expanded to ten embassies in Brasília. Because of the growing importance of the newly industrialized countries in the Pacific Basin, Brazil installed a legation in Singapore. Although not a major trading partner, India became an important South-South ally in international forums, such as the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), GATT, and the Group of 77 (G-77).

With its gradual economic opening to the West, mainland China has become an important trading partner for Brazil since the 1980s. Petrobrás began oil exploration under risk contract, and engineering services were contracted for mining and hydroelectric ventures. In addition, the Chinese have purchased large quantities of Brazilian iron ore and steel plate.

However, Japan has received the highest priority within the region. Brazil established diplomatic relations with Japan in 1897. The first Japanese immigrants arrived in Brazil in 1908, as the São Paulo coffee planters sought alternative free labor after the abolition of slavery in 1888. This influx of Japanese immigrants continued until 1934, when the new constitution limited foreign immigration to 2 percent of the past fifty years. Diplomatic relations broke off during World War II, but resumed in 1952. Some 100 years after the first waves of immigration, Brazilians of Japanese descent constitute one of the largest ethnic segments of Brazil's population.

In the 1960s, Japan began to invest heavily in various sectors in Brazil, including mining, steel, aluminum, telecommunications, manufacturing, and agricultural ventures (the latter in the Central Highlands plateau region and the Amazon). In return, Japan imported large quantities of iron, other nonferrous ores, unfinished steel and aluminum products, and soybeans and other agricultural products.

In the 1980s, with cycles of recession and decreasing employment opportunities in Brazil, a reverse immigration flux began; some 200,000 Brazilians of Japanese descent traveled to Japan in search of jobs. Their monthly remittances to their families remaining in Brazil have become an important item in bilateral commerce.

In 1992 Japanese companies invested US$1.4 billion in Brazil in the areas of telecommunications, capital goods, mining, and metallurgy. The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has sponsored many rural colonization projects in Brazil since the 1950s. In 1995 JICA was using Brazilian technicians and installations to train people from developing countries in Latin America and Africa in industrial job training, community development, education, and so forth.

In mid-1995 the Socialist Republic of Vietnam signaled a desire for closer trade relations with Brazil, thus eliminating Thailand as middleman. President General Le Duc Anh visited Brazil and the Brazilian foreign minister visited Vietnam in the second half of 1995. Brazil's opening to Vietnam was made within the context of Brazil's general Southeast Asian strategy and its view that Vietnam may soon become an "Asian Tiger."

Brazil - United States

The United States was the first nation to establish a consulate in Brazil in 1808, following the transfer of the Portuguese royal court to Rio de Janeiro and the subsequent opening of the ports to foreign ships. However, it was not until after World War II that the United States became Brazil's number-one trading partner and foreign investor. After 1945 United States-Brazil relations took on five basic dimensions: promoting and protecting United States investments in and exports to Brazil; promoting Brazil's exports of primary goods or products (see Glossary) and supporting Brazil's industrialization policies; garnering Brazil's support for United States policy positions in the hemisphere and in other world forums; promoting Brazil's emergence as a middle-level world power in Latin America and the developing world; and showcasing Brazil's successful independent foreign policy and autonomous development strategy among its peers in the developing world.

During the presidency of Enrico Gaspar Dutra (1946-51), Brazil's foreign policy was aligned closely with that of the United States. Brazil outlawed the PCB (Brazilian Communist Party) in 1947 and broke off relations with the Soviet Union. Vargas's return to power in 1951 signaled a cooling of relations. Vargas blamed the United States for his ouster in 1945 and appealed to Brazilian nationalism, which was growing in many sectors, including the armed forces. The Korean War and the European recovery were then high United States priorities. Brazil was not at the time threatened by communism, and United States arms sale policies equated formerly pro-Axis Argentina with Brazil. Brazil's foreign policy of actively promoting its agricultural exports, whose terms of trade (see Glossary) were diminishing, ran counter to United States interests. The establishment of the Petrobrás oil monopoly in 1953 crowned these nationalist sentiments and was hailed as an economic declaration of independence from United States oil companies. These sentiments were further fanned by charges of United States involvement in Vargas's ouster and suicide in August 1954. His suicide note blamed "international economic and financial groups."

President Kubitschek (1956-61) improved relations with the United States, while strengthening relations with Latin America and Europe, and exploring market possibilities in Eastern Europe. His industrial development policy attracted huge direct investments by foreign capital, much from the United States. He proposed an ambitious plan for United States development aid to Latin America in 1958 (Operation Panamerica). The outgoing administration of President Dwight D. Eisenhower found the plan of no interest, but the administration of President John F. Kennedy appropriated funds in 1961 for the Alliance for Progress (see Glossary).

Relations again cooled slightly after President Quadros announced his new independent foreign policy in January 1961. Quadros also made overtures to Cuba and decorated Cuban revolutionary Ernesto "Che" Guevara with Brazil's highest honor.

Severe economic problems, political and economic nationalism, union populism, and strained relations with the United States frustrated President Goulart, eventually causing his overthrow in 1964. Before assuming the presidency, Goulart was known for having been a Vargas protégé and for being pro-Fidel Castro, procommunist, and antiforeign capital. However, during the first parliamentary period (September 1961 to February 1963) of his presidency, Goulart tried to maintain close relations with the United States by naming strongly pro-United States Roberto Campos as ambassador in Washington and Deputy Santiago Dantas as minister of foreign affairs. Nonetheless, certain domestic and foreign policy issues clouded this relationship. First, Goulart's brother-in-law, Leonel Brizola, then governor of Rio Grande do Sul, insisted on expropriation of foreign-owned public utilities (electric power and telephones), and nationalists in Congress pushed for zero or minimum compensation. Second, Brazil joined Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Ecuador, and Mexico in abstaining from a final vote on an OAS resolution expelling Cuba from that organization. Third, in August 1962, Congress approved a more restrictive law governing profit remittances, and new foreign investments dwindled to almost zero in early 1964.

In late 1963, Washington, alarmed that Brazil might become a hostile, nonaligned power like Egypt, reduced foreign aid to Brazil. The exact United States role in the March 31, 1964, military coup that overthrew Goulart remains controversial. However, the United States immediately recognized the new interim government (before Goulart had even fled Brazilian territory); a United States naval task force anchored close to the port of Vitória; the United States made an immediate large loan to the new Castelo Branco government (1964-67); and the new military president adopted a policy of total alignment with the United States.

The Castelo Branco regime broke off relations with Cuba (while enhancing them with the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe); purged or exiled leftists and alleged communists; adopted a more discreet position in the UN vis-à-vis Portuguese colonialism; duly compensated expropriated foreign capital investments; passed a new profit remittances law; and sent a 1,200-man battalion as part of the Interamerican Peace Force to the Dominican Republic in 1965. Brazilian foreign policy centered on combating subversion and contributing to the collective security of the hemisphere. Brazil ranked third after Vietnam and India as recipients of United States aid; it received US$2 billion from 1964 to 1970. Nonetheless, Castelo Branco's all-out support for United States policies only served to increase anti-Americanism rather than to lessen it.

Divergence and some hostility characterized relations during the Costa e Silva period (1967-69). Brazil perceived that United States leadership in the global struggle was faltering because of the winding down in Vietnam, making it more difficult for Brazil to support United States positions in world forums. In 1969 the Richard M. Nixon administration assumed a low-profile policy with Latin America. Washington provided less economic aid and fewer arms shipments to Brazil and sharply reduced its military mission in Brazil (from 200 in 1968 to sixty in 1971).

Although Costa e Silva did not turn to economic nationalism and the climate for foreign investments remained generally favorable, Brazil asserted its independence in other ways. It withdrew support from the Interamerican Peace Force, declined to sign the NPT (Non-Proliferation Treaty), tried to organize a Latin American nuclear community, assumed a leadership role in the nonaligned G-77, and increased Soviet-Brazilian trade. Nevertheless, Costa e Silva paid a state visit to Washington in 1967, and in 1969 Brazil sided with the United States against the nationalization of oil properties by the Peruvian military government.

The Médici and Geisel governments (1969-79) generally followed the same course of increasingly independent foreign policy combined with friendly relations with the United States. Brazil sought to pursue its own advantages by leaving open its nuclear options, greatly expanding trade with the Eastern Bloc, recognizing the Beijing government four years before the United States normalized relations with mainland China, and asserting a 322-kilometer maritime zone (always referred to by Brazilians as "200 miles") contrary to United States policy and fishing interests.

Brazil's policies emphasized North-South issues over the East-West conflict. Brazil took the lead in organizing commodity cartels (coffee, sugar, and cocoa). In 1975 Brazil voted for the UN resolution equating Zionism with racism and did not condemn the Soviet and Cuban intervention in Angola.

The Nixon administration remained basically sympathetic to Brazilian hopes for growth and world power status, and considered Brazil to be one of the developing world nations most sympathetic to the United States. In February 1976, Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and Minister of Foreign Affairs Antônio Azeredo da Silveira signed a memorandum of understanding that the two powers would consult on all issues of mutual concern and would hold semiannual meetings of foreign ministers. Brazil had signed similar agreements with Britain, France, and Italy in 1975. Only Brazil and Saudi Arabia, aside from the major Western allies, had such an agreement with the United States. Although these agreements had no great practical consequences, they indicated a changed United States policy of wooing Brazil.

The Carter administration marked a definite cooling of United States-Brazil relations. The confrontation involved two very sensitive issues--human rights and nuclear proliferation. In 1967 Brazil had signed a contract with Westinghouse to build a 626-megawatt nuclear power station at Angra dos Reis, Rio de Janeiro State, to be completed in 1977. In 1973-74 the petroleum crisis jolted Brazil into a high-priority policy of seeking alternative energy sources (hydro, solar, alcohol, biogas, Bolivian natural gas, and nuclear). However, the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission renounced its guarantee of delivery of enriched uranium, casting doubts on the value of nuclear cooperation with the United States, which had prohibited Westinghouse from constructing enrichment and reprocessing plants in Brazil.

Brazil, desiring independent control of the full cycle from ore to kilowatts, signed a broad nuclear agreement with West Germany in June 1975. It involved furnishing technology and equipment for eight nuclear power plants, plus enrichment and reprocessing facilities. Despite safeguard provisions, some thought this agreement opened the door for Brazil to construct nuclear weapons, if desired. The Ford administration reacted only mildly to the agreement, but from his first day in office, President Carter sought to prevent its implementation.

In 1975 the United States Congress mandated that the Department of State produce a general report on human rights performance by all recipients of United States military assistance. The section of the report dealing with Brazil noted some improvements and described violations as mildly as possible. This report might have gone unnoticed if the United States Embassy had not delivered a copy to the Foreign Office in Brasília just hours before its release in Washington. This gesture, intended as a courtesy, was interpreted as an intolerable interference in Brazil's internal affairs. The next day, Brazil renounced the United States-Brazil Military Assistance Agreement, which had been in effect since 1952, and some military nationalists pushed for breaking diplomatic relations. Formal relations between the two military organizations have still not been reestablished.

The Reagan administration made ostensible gestures to improve relations with Brazil. A former military attaché to Brazil during the 1964 coup, retired General Vernon Walters was dispatched to Brasília to express United States concern over the Cuban-supported guerrilla movement in El Salvador and to request support and assistance. Brazil listened politely, but then refused to join the military governments of Argentina, Uruguay, and Chile in support of the Salvadoran government. Moreover, it increased trade credits to Nicaragua and signed several large trade agreements with the Soviet Union.

In the early 1980s, tension in United States-Brazil relations centered on economic questions. Retaliation for unfair trade practices loomed on the horizon and threatened Brazilian exports of steel, orange juice, commuter aircraft, frozen chickens, shoes, and textiles. The United States criticized Brazil for its trade restrictions and unfair practices (in the area of pharmaceutical patents and restrictions on United States computer giants), and for its US$5 billion trade surplus with the United States. Brazil replied that it needed desperately to maintain large balance of payments surpluses to meet its foreign debt obligations.

When President Sarney took office in March 1985, political issues, such as Brazil's arms exports to Libya and Iran, again surfaced. Brazil's foreign debt moratorium and its refusal to sign the NPT caused the United States Congress to put Brazil on its mandated blacklist, thereby restricting Brazil's access to certain United States technologies (see Nuclear Programs, ch. 6). On taking office in March 1990, President Collor sought a quick rapprochement with the United States in order to begin an aggressive policy of inserting Brazil into the world economy and placing it at the negotiating table of world powers. Collor concluded a nonproliferation agreement with Argentina, which was registered with the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna. He moved to deactivate Brazil's autonomous nuclear project and the nuclear submarine project, as well as the air-to-air Piranha missile project. He also gained congressional approval for eliminating the market reserve on computer products and beginning tariff reductions. Collor abolished the National Intelligence Service (Serviço Nacional de Informações--SNI) and the National Security Council (CSN), and fashioned a Strategic Affairs Secretariat (Secretaria de Assuntos Estratégicos--SAE) with a civilian head. However, after a year in office the Collor government concluded that these overtures had been in vain. Reciprocity by the United States was not forthcoming, and Brazilian policies reverted to a more pragmatic, independent approach.

The Franco administration maintained an even more independent stance and reacted coolly to proposals by the Clinton administration for a Latin American free-trade zone. Brazil pushed ahead with its Satellite Launch Vehicle (Veículo Lançador de Satélite--VLS) program, based in Alcântara, Maranhão. Because Brazil wants to participate in the very lucrative satellite launching market, it had consistently refused, until October 1995, to sign the MTCR (Missile Technology Control Regime), which it believed restricted developing nations from attaining access to this technology. In June 1995, the Israeli military attaché in Brasília denounced Brazil for continuing sales of Astros II surface-to-surface missile launchers and heavy bombs to Libya, despite UN embargoes. In October 1995, after continuous pressure from the United States, Brazil finally met the conditions to join the MTCR and was accepted as a member. Brazil joined the MTCR because it was necessary to gain access to crucial rocket technology to finalize the VLS IV and to ensure that it would become operational in 1997.

Relations with the Cardoso government in 1995-97 were good. Cardoso made a very successful trip to Washington and New York in April 1995, and the Clinton administration was very enthusiastic regarding the passage of constitutional amendments that open the Brazilian economy to increased international participation. The United States was especially pleased with the break-up of state monopolies in the petroleum and telecommunications sectors. However, the United States called for increased efforts to stem international drug smuggling across Brazil's territory from Andean neighbors, and better coordination between the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and Brazilian authorities. In April 1995, Brasília and Washington signed a new cooperation agreement.

Related to the problem of surveillance of drug smuggling across the Amazon region was the controversial Amazon Region Surveillance System (Sistema de Vigilância da Amazônia--Sivam) contract. In the 1970s and 1980s, Brazil had installed three air surveillance and traffic control systems in the South (Sul), Southeast, and Northeast, purchased from Thomson CSF, the French electronics manufacturer. In the 1990s, several international consortiums, including Thomson CSF, hotly contested the proposed Sivam contract (worth US$1.5 billion). A timely visit by United States Secretary of Commerce Ron Brown in June 1994 heavily influenced the decision, and two days after his departure, the Brazilian government decided in favor of a consortium led by the American firm Raytheon, instead of Thomson CSF. United States incentives included very favorable Export-Import Bank financing and assurance that Raytheon would participate in the privatization of the Brazilian Aeronautics Company (Empresa Brasileira Aeronáutica--Embraer), which never happened.

In 1995, before the final signing of the contracts with Raytheon, Brazil's Congress, under pressure from environmental groups and the governors of the Amazon region, decided to review the decision process and contract details. Under intense pressure from the United States Embassy in Brasília, however, the Brazilian Senate and Chamber of Deputies finally approved the plan in May 1995, over protests from the governors from the Amazon region.

In response to United States criticism over its unfair trade practices and its failure to protect intellectual property rights, Brazil finally signed a new patent protection law in March 1996. The new law includes protection for pharmaceutical patents and contains a "pipeline" mechanism. The United States also looks to Brazil to fulfill its longstanding commitments to enact legislation on computer software and semiconductor layout design, and to introduce amendments to its copyright laws.

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CITATION: Federal Research Division of the
Library of Congress. The Country Studies Series. Published 1988-1999.

Please note: This text comes from the Country Studies Program, formerly the Army Area Handbook Program. The Country Studies Series presents a description and analysis of the historical setting and the social, economic, political, and national security systems and institutions of countries throughout the world.

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