Sunday, October 6, 2019

How did democratization impact upon foreign policy of Brazil Essay

How did democratization impact upon foreign policy of Brazil - Essay Example The Geography and Demographics of Brazil Brazil has always had a unique sense of its identity as a continental country. Because of its vast land area and its sizable population it is, like the United States, Russia, China and India, bound to perform an important role in the international community. A country this size, dominating the greater part of South America, is bound to exert economic and political influence in the region and the world. It has, after all, the world’s eighth largest economy and fifth-largest land territory in the world (Da Cruz, 2005, p. 115). For instance, the magnitude of its people’s progress – 24 million Brazilians elevated from poverty, and 31 million more joining the middle class – is bound to create a sizeable ripple in the world economy (Vincent, 2010). The problems and challenges facing Brazil, and the manner in which she resolves them, will tend to exert an impact upon other states because of the country’s sheer size (Lafer, 2000, p. 208). The following figure shows a map of Brazil and its smaller neighboring states. Map of Brazil Source: Aside from its geography and demographics, Brazil’s uniqueness lies in its remarkable history. ... Brazil’s international identity places it at an advantage; although a former colony, it was distanced from international tensions that had occupied other nations in their search for a unique national identity. Brazil’s post-colonial history Brazil gained independence from the colonizers in 1822, and after that it gained freedom from monarchical rule in 1889 through a military overthrow. Between these years, a legitimate monarchy gave way to a well-established oligarchic republic where power was wielded by industrialists, coffee growers, and cattle ranchers (Lafer, 2000; Maitra, 2007). From 1889 to 1930, the country was run as a constitutional republic (i.e., the â€Å"First Republic†) with its old provinces granted autonomy as states, and collectively governed under the formal name, â€Å"The United States of Brazil.† In 1930, the Brazilian Revolution marked the end of the old republic and installed Getulio Dornelles Vargas in power. For this reason, 1930 to 1945 is known as the Vargas Era. While the early years had the benefit of a democratically eleted legislature, the years 1937 to 1945 saw Vargas transform into an authoritarian ruler who had abolished the former Constitution in a coup d’etat, shut down Congress, and assumed dictatorial powers. In 1945 Vargas was deposed, and the country redemocratized (Levine, 2003, p. 97). The subsequent period saw a populist regime followed by unsuccessful economic programs, for which reason the military intervened in 1964 in a revolutionary coup which again, as before, ended in dictatorship by 1985 (Levine, 2003). By 1985, democracy was again established, giving way to the first directly elected president (after the military regime) in 1989, in

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