Power

130 years later, Brazil’s Republic remains a “draft”

republic 130 years brazil

Exactly 130 years ago, the Brazilian Republic began in the most peculiar of circumstances. 

The new regime was installed after a coup d’état led by a monarchist who had little appreciation for the values of liberal democracy. Until the very day he proclaimed the republic, Field Marshal Deodoro da Fonseca gloated about being a friend—and humble servant—of Emperor Pedro II. It was only after finding out the crown wanted to reduce the powers of the military that he flipped to side with the republican movement.

True to his political nature, Mr. Fonseca tried to rule Brazil not as a...

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