Brazil: Economic, Political, Social Change Essay

Brazil’s “economic miracle”

1. Skidmore, Thomas E. and Peter H. Smith. Modern Latin America. 6th ed. New York:

Oxford University Press, 2005.

This source explains the effects of Brazil’s economic choices that ultimately lead to the economic expansion known as Brazil’s “economic miracle”. As the source holds the military as the key player in the bettering of the Brazilian economy, the reasons as to why the economy was growing are listed.

* With the Revolution of 1964 came the new military government focused upon a democratic structure in order to achieve its primary goal of economic growth.

* This government in return was able to grow beyond expectations of the Brazilians, but was proven ineffective in its lack of education reform.

2. “D�Nio Nogueira and the Brazilian Economic Miracle.” Capital Flow Analysis. Center

for Capital Flow Analysis. 30 Oct. 2007 ;


This source evaluates the role the Brazilian government played in the economic growth during the 1960s. The value of this source is in its ability to inform about the positive outcomes that helped transform Brazil from an unindustrialized nation to a stable economic nation based upon an array of exports and imports, unlike the dependent agricultural exports of previous years.

The specific worth of this article is in its explanations of how the country grew and with what exports. Also, this article shows the effects of the latter political ideologies and how the elimination of the idea of Brazil’s “economic miracle” dismantled all economic growth that had occurred.

* With a stable government and new economic policies, Brazil was finally able to examine the negative policies from previous years and construct new policies to prevent economic descent.

* In setting specific goals, the government was able to create “nationalization of production,” therefore leading Brazil towards a positive balance between self-sufficiency and world trade.

* A large mistake this government made was the failure to educated Brazil. This resulted in a country with a “strong industrial base,” but no education to further it.

3. “The Brazilian Economic Miracle and the Revolution of 1964.” Capital Flow Analysis.

Center for Capital Flow Analysis. 30 Oct. 2007 < investment-tutorial/case_1n.html>.

This source helps in evaluating the role that the United States played in the government of Brazil during the “economic miracle.” With the explanations of why Brazil depended upon the military in order to further economic progress and create a stable infrastructure.

Though this article contains much on the “economic miracle,” it seems to focus upon the effect of the United States government in bringing this economic success to ruins. The article does not have proper explanations of the United States’s reasoning for turning it’s back on Brazil, but does explain why Brazil was not able to withstand the United States’s effects.

* With Brazil’s implement of a military government, the people began to see economic progress without the common Latin American politician becoming rich through human suffering.

* Due to military leadership, the country was able to more wholeheartedly focus upon the economic development of Brazil, rather social and political agendas.

* Though the infrastructure was somewhat solid, the new military leaders faced “international propaganda,” which lead to the United States’s dissent of Brazil. The new military government led the country backwards in regards to the economy, and therefore negated any progress.

Estado Novo

1. Skidmore, Thomas E. and Peter H. Smith. Modern Latin America. 6th ed. New York:

Oxford University Press, 2005.

This source evaluates the positive and negative effects that Vargas had upon the political and economic struggles that Brazil could not ignore. The source proves its value in the complete explanation of how Vargas came to power, his effect upon the Brazilians, and the universal importance of his policies.

The objectiveness of this source not only helps in creating a personal understanding of Vargas’s new policies directed towards growth, but also understands the undemocratic ways these policies were enforced.

* As with many developing nations, Vargas rose to power out of public dissent for the previous president, Washington Luis. The desperation for a new leader lead the Brazilians to establish an initial trust for Vargas, and effectively allowed him to achieve complete power.

* Vargas was able to attain complete power through his taking advantage of the lack of legislature. He restricted “state autonomy” and was able to control both foreign ownership of land and the fragile economy.

* With this control, Vargas was able to control the media and implement censorship. In taking the Brazilians’ rights away, he was able to control the economy without the political unrest that previously stagnated economy growth.

2. “President’s Breakfast.” Time. 30 Oct. 2007 ;


This source provides an insight into the modern developments of Vargas’s power. This source evaluates at a personal level his desire for success within Brazil.

Although the source may provide objective points, the article contains limitations with a personal tone. The source identifies key points, but adds a democratic viewpoint of Vargas’s censorship policies.

* Brazil continues to support Vargas, but the censorship helps support the press’s loyalty to the Brazilian Republic. The press controls whether or not Vargas will be able to maintain his Estado Novo, and without the press’s support, Vargas’s power could soon wither.

* Vargas, therefore, eliminated many restrictions upon the press, ultimately leading to a more republic state.

* Although Vargas was persuaded to eradicate many censorship laws, the press still is not able to utilize complete freedom of speech.

3. Robert, Levine M. The History of Brazil. Westport: Greenwood P, 1996.

This source evaluates the differing opinions on Vargas’s role in the Estado Novo, and whether it was positive or negative for Brazil. The value lies in its definitions of what Estado Novo actually is, and how these policies effects the Brazilian people in short-term and long-term political and social viewpoints.

A limitation of this source is that it puts forth a bias with opinions from people from the press, who may have experienced different forms of Vargas’s censorship, therefore leading to either an opinion for or against him. On the other hand, this could explain differing viewpoints of the Brazilian people; therefore the limitations may prove valuable.

* As a member of the press explains, despite Vargas’s censorship and bureaucratic-authoritarian policies, he does all actions for the promotion “of the public good.” Therefore, with Estado Novo, this man proclaims that Vargas worked towards the “goal of constructing a permanent place for the people.”

* From another member of the press, with a differing point of view, Vargas’s Estado Novo was valuable in its ability to unite the Brazilian people, especially with his positive encouragement. Although the Brazilian people may be uplifted, the man states that democracy and representation have been “buried,” and the country is supporting itself upon “pageantry and blue, green, and yellow flags.”


1. Stepan, Alfred, ed. Americas: New Interpretive Essays. New York: Oxford UP, 1992.

This source defines what bureaucratic-authoritarism represents in Latin America, and can therefore be applied to Brazil. The book cites many objective views upon this type of “right-wing repression.” The value of this source is its ability to define, with allusions to other Latin American governments, the government in which Vargas created in Brazil.

A limitation to this source is its failure to apply the bureaucratic-authoritarianism to Vargas. The source, although ample in its description of the type of government, does not reference Brazil. It can be concluded that even though there is a lack in reference to Brazil, the source helps in understanding the type of government imposed upon Brazil.

* The bureaucratic-authoritarian state requires the government to “stimulate” economic growth through both foreign and domestic investment.

* This government is concluded as a result of “ungovernability” in which the leader must take a large role in controlling the nation; sometimes this may occur despite the citizen’s desires.

* Although these “neoliberal” plans are not considered radical, the “socioeconomic transformations” prove to be the key in some successes of this government.

2. Eakin, Marshall C. Brazil: The Once and Future Country. New York: St. Martin’s

Griffin, 1998.

This source helps in understanding the economic effects that Vargas’s bureaucratic authoritarian leadership had upon Brazil. The value is in its ability to explain the overall significance of understanding the government and its role it played in changing Brazilian economics while remaining somewhat stagnant with social reforms.

* With Vargas’s leadership focused upon economic reform, the negative effect of his ignoring education reforms would become one of Brazil’s largest social problems yet. Without education, Vargas created an infrastructure that would easily fall to other countries, such as the United States, due to its people inability to create policies of compromise rather than stubbornness.

3. Tenenbaum, Barbara A, ed. Encyclopedia of Latin American History and Culture. Vol. 1. Simon and Schuster, 1995.

This source provided an ample view of what role a bureaucratic-authoritarian leader may take. Therefore, this source proves itself to be invaluable, as the similarities to other Latin American countries can be drawn.

* In order to be viewed as bureaucratic-authoritarian, one must provide a passion for upholding the economy

* This would lead to the importance of economy over political parties, which is a definite role in Vargas’s leadership


1. Skidmore, Thomas E. Brazil: Five Centuries of Change. New York: Oxford

University Press, 1999.

This source provides an accurate depiction of how grandeza affected more than just the economics of Brazil. This source valued the opinions and monetary effects of the poor and examined both the standpoint of a poor Brazilian, to a rich one. With this examination of both viewpoints, the author is able to create a stance upon grandeza being unrealistic.

* As far as the Brazilian people understood, grandeza was a reachable goal. The military government implemented grandeza despite knowledge of OPEC’s raise in petroleum prices. As Brazil is a dependent country upon oil, the raise in oil prices should have stagnated extreme growth. Although Brazil needed much infrastructure building, this was not an ideal time to do so, with the borrowing of millions of dollars from different lender countries.

2. Simon, Collier, Skidmore E. Thomas, and Harold Blakemore, eds. “Brazil.” The

Cambridge Encyclopedia of Latin America and the Carribean. 2nd ed. New York:

Cambridge UP, 1992.

The value in this source is its explanation of grandeza and its effects upon the small markets that were trying to grow. With the idea of grandeza, it was projected that industries would grow and the balance of imports and exports would become more stable. Small markets dropped and eventually so did the economy, with its need to borrow money from different investors.

* As grandeza grew, so did the debt. The Brazilian people were not able to afford luxury items, especially the poor Brazilians. With no market to compete with the large-scale petroleum and iron production, money was lost to foreign markets, therefore resulting in a disproportional balance between imports and exports that would eventually lead the country into debt and crisis.

3. Orr, Bernadette M., and Barbara Cruz. Americas: Study Guide. New York: Oxford

University Press, 1993.

The value of this source is seen through its holistic viewpoints upon Brazil and the effects that lead to the formation of grandeza, or greatness, as a goal. With its ability to explain the reasons grandeza came to be, and the effects it had upon the economy, this source proves its value.

* As Brazil followed the import-substituting industrialization policies, it was found that they could not keep up with paying loans due to dependence upon imported materials, tariffs, and “low-quality goods at high prices.”

* These problems became inevitable to Brazil due to their ideology of grandeza that Brazil should expand and then the economy will catch up with it. With all of the potential that Brazil had, the Brazilians refused to stop massive reconstruction, while leading themselves into national debt.

* Grandeza resulted in national debt and the idea that once Brazil attained money, it would be split amongst the Brazilian people. This proved to be false, and instead of the poor receiving economic infrastructure, they were made even poorer. As the middle class disappeared, and the rich got richer, the country became susceptible to an authoritarian leader.

Automobile Industry

1. Simon, Collier, Skidmore E. Thomas, and Harold Blakemore, eds. “Brazil.” The

Cambridge Encyclopedia of Latin America and the Caribbean. 2nd ed. New York:

Cambridge UP, 1992.

This source provides an insight into the role the United States and Europe played in creating a large-scale automobile industry within Brazil. With cheaper labor, these automobile companies were able to create a market in the United States for Brazilian made automobiles.

* In the 1970s and 1980s, investors from Europe and the United States began to develop automobile factories in Brazil, in hopes for cheaper labor and a booming market in the United States.

* What these investors did not expect was the need for auto parts and engines from the United States in order to assemble these vehicles. Therefore, exporting and importing of the raw materials and automobiles gave Brazil an opportunity to stabilize its economy.

2. Orr, Bernadette M., and Barbara Cruz. Americas: Study Guide. New York: Oxford

University Press, 1993.

This source provides an introspection of the automobile industry and how it positively affected Brazil. The automobile industry was seen as a way to lead Brazil out of debt, and with bureaucratic-authoritarian power, Vargas was able to achieve this momentarily.

This source proves itself extremely valuable through its close examination of how Vargas came to power, and how he constructed a plan to help Brazil out of debt and more focused on a healthy economy.

* Once OPEC raised its oil prices, Brazil was immediately sent into a recession, due to its high dependence upon oil.

* Leaders decided to continue investing in industry and exports, and were able to do so through “petrodollars,” or loans from the United States and European banks.

* This parallels with grandeza, and the need to set priorities for the country. Brazil faced major debt, but was able to push new ideas about alternative gasoline, and therefore reduced some impact upon its dependence for oil.

3. Keen, Benjamin, and Keith Haynes. A History of Latin America. Boston: Houghton

Mifflin Company, 2000.

This source provides insights into the policies that Vargas implemented in order to help Brazil grow its industries, and therefore help in economic growth. The value of this source is its close identification of the necessity Vargas felt to maintain a less dependent state upon oil.

A limitation of this source is that it does not mention the after effects of the oil search, or the effect of automobiles upon the Brazilian economy.

* With Vargas announcing his Five-Year Plan, his goals were to expand heavy industry, including oil.

* As Vargas witnessed large companies begin the production of trucks, such as in 1946 with the National Motor Company. Vargas realized the booming industry of petroleum could only help in boosting Brazil’s economy and a self-sufficiency with oil.