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THE BRAZILIAN RIGHT is characterized by its opposition to democratic initiatives that represent a threat to traditional institutions, such as the agrarian elite, the church, the judiciary, and the military. Analysts have tried to trace the metamorphoses of the Brazilian right, but the main characteristic of the right is its authoritarian character, masked by an ideology of conciliation that is proper to Brazilian political culture.

The Brazilian right has its origins in the colonial institutions that were installed upon Portuguese colonization in 1500. The Portuguese monarchy never developed a strong army, but ruled through ideological tools. Different from the Spanish, the Portuguese did not create institutions for a middle class or intelligentsia. Education was centralized at the University of Coimbra, which trained bureaucrats to serve the ...

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