Talk:Empire of Brazil

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Respect for civil rights when there were still LEGAL slaves?[edit]

The original sentenca stated

Brazil had political stability, freedom of speech, respect for civil rights and vibrant economic growth

(remark in bold is mine). Wikipedist User:Astynax changed the phrase to a more correct form

freedom of speech, vibrant economic growth and respect for civil rights for its non-slave population

(remark in bold is mine, again). — Preceding unsigned comment added by 186.18.238.70 (talk) 10:28, 23 January 2014 (UTC)

The fact it was the last Christian state to abolish slavery is important enough to be written in the introduction[edit]

The fact it was the last Christian state to abolish slavery is important enough to be written in the introduction — Preceding unsigned comment added by 186.18.238.70 (talk) 10:30, 23 January 2014 (UTC)

Nazi Germany had slaves until 1945. Soviet Union until the 1970s. --Lecen (talk) 10:35, 23 January 2014 (UTC)

The comparison of Brazilian slavery with Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union is misleading, because 1) the 3rd Reich and the USSR were non-Christian stated, 2) they were not in the Western Hemisphere, and 3) the slavery in those dictatorships was of a very different nature than the traditional slavery which had its origins in the colonial trade across the Atlantic — Preceding unsigned comment added by 186.18.238.70 (talk) 10:39, 23 January 2014 (UTC)

I'm unsure what you mean by a "Christian state" or how one would quantify that. Regardless, a reliable source needs to be cited which says that it was "the last Christian state to abolish slavery". I could only find references to Brazil being the last nation in the Western Hemisphere (after Cuba a few years earlier, and the US before that) to abolish slavery. The word slavery also carries the connotation of an institution where the enslaved had no rights. The situation in Brazil was a better than that which existed in the US prior to abolition or in many other nations where slavery was tolerated. The situation of Brazilian slaves differed little from the condition of lower classes throughout many parts of the Americas and elsewhere where nominally "free" people continued to live in de facto serfdom. While Brazil being the last is notable enough to be included in the section on slavery, or in the section where the Lei Áurea/Golden Law is discussed, I also have reservations that this should be in the lead itself. This article general in nature and not every factoid need be summarized in the lead. Indeed, were everything to be put into leads, there would be no point in having lead sections. There is an article that specifically deals with Slavery in Brazil, and this information might warrant being included in the lead section there. Be that as it may, please back the use of the "last Christian state to abolish" wording before reinserting. • Astynax talk 08:54, 24 January 2014 (UTC)
I agree with Lecen that the rights enjoyed by full citizens were indeed unusually broad and constitutionally secured, a situation not found in few nations during that era. As slavery is mentioned already in the lead, it likely goes without saying that these rights were not universally applied. However, I also agree that the language in the lead requires a caveat, which I have supplied in a footnote in an attempt at compromise while retaining accuracy and balance. This discussion also caused me to note that there is only a very small mention of the similar push for women's rights under the Empire (in the Decline section), and the article would benefit by a bit more expansion on this point in the article's body. • Astynax talk 10:06, 24 January 2014 (UTC)
In my humble opinion, you are relativizing/minimizing/smoothing an unquestionable fact: The Empire of Brazil was the last Western Hemisphere/Christian state to abolish slavery. If the introduction only mentions the aspects in which the Empire was better than its Hispanic-American counterparts (political stability and relatively democratic institutions), but at the same time it omits an unquestionable and very important fact in which the Empire was worse, then the introduction is non-neutral.186.18.238.70 (talk) 20:07, 24 January 2014 (UTC)
The introduction is also non-neutral if the better aspects are mentioned in the main text, but the worse ones are partially hidden in a citation/note/observation/comment.186.18.238.70 (talk) 20:10, 24 January 2014 (UTC)


In my opinion this article is all non-neutral, I still do not know how it was nominated as a good article, of course, only people who are not aware of Brazilian History would say this article is good. This article mostly only points the good side of the Monarchy, and it hide the worse sides of it. This article pretends to be neutral, since all the informations have sources, but the point is that the person who wrote this article only focused on the good sides, but she bad sides were hiden or minimize the bad ones. For example, this article claims that, during the Empire, Brazil gradually reduced slavery, which sounds a good thing, but it hides the information the Brazil was the last country to abolish slavery in the Americas. It also hides that most Brazilians were living in extreme poverty at that time, or that over 90% of Brazilians were illiterate and that only the tiny White elite had access to education, and many other things. Somebody needs to re-write this article or to add information about the bad sides of the society, because this article sells the idea that the Monarchy was a paradise (yes, it was a paradise for the tiny White elite, but no for the poor Blacks and mixed-race people who composed the vast majority of the population back then).
I aggree: this article is non-neutral because the good points are emphasized, while the bad aspects are minimized or omitted thoroughly.186.18.238.70 (talk) 01:44, 25 January 2014 (UTC)

And NO, Brazilian slavery was not better than the American one. Look at American slaves: they were able to reproduce themselves. Slavery in Brazil was so harsh that masters needed to import several thousand more slaves than the US because of extreme high mortality rates. This kind of information needs to be added. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 200.150.32.121 (talk) 00:38, 25 January 2014 (UTC)

Please stop reverting the removal of disputed wording. If you have WP:Reliable sources that back the specific wording, we can discuss it here. Otherwise, inserting unsourced material in a FA-level article which has been thoroughly reviewed is wasting everyone's time. The lead section is not the place to insert detail at the level of granularity that is reflected thus far. As "Empire of Brazil" is a huge subject that already strains the article size limits, it is questionable whether some of the proposed additions should not instead be added to the sub-articles instead of this main article. If you have reliable references to offer that show that something deserves to be included here, again, please bring this material here for discussion and be prepared to show that it is supported by mainstream scholarship and that adding it is not imposing WP:UNDUE weight here, when it might work better in the more detailed sub-articles. • Astynax talk 03:45, 25 January 2014 (UTC)

Treaty with Paraguay in 1872[edit]

Paraguay was occupied by Brazilian forces in the aftermath of the Paraguayan War (1864-1870). The statement that an international treaty was achieved with occupied Paraguay in 1872, should mention this detail: if not, it is a half-truth. 186.18.238.70 (talk) 23:42, 24 January 2014 (UTC)

BTW, I am aware that the nation of Paraguay still exists because it was a decision by the government of the Empire to mantain the existence of the defeated nation -- the project of the Argentine president (Domingo Sarmiento) was to delete Paraguay completely and distribute all the Paraguayan lands amongst Brazil and Argentina. This praiseworthy decision by the Empire on the very existence of Paraguay is, IMHO, also worth of mention, and it is not mentioned in the article.186.18.238.70 (talk) 00:07, 25 January 2014 (UTC)
Again, this is a general article about a huge subject that attempts to squeeze a lot of material into article length constraints. The details you propose would be better added to Paraguayan War, supported by citations from reliable sources. • Astynax talk 03:49, 25 January 2014 (UTC)
Everyone knows that Paraguay was occupied by Brazilian forces for about a decade in the aftermath of the Paraguayan War. When the article mentioned the 1872 Brazil-Paraguay treaty that allowed free navigation of Brazilian ships on the Paraguay River, it was evident that just mentioning the treaty was an incomplete truth, if it was not mentioned as well that it was a treaty between Brazil and a country occupied by Brazil.
But my correction was undone on the basis that I was supposedly adding material that cannot be cited to reliable sources, and then I had to search for a reliable source in order to demonstrate a fact that all of us knew without the need of any source: that Paraguay was still under occupation by Brazilian forces in 1872.186.18.238.70 (talk) 06:02, 25 January 2014 (UTC)

Comparison of Argentine and Brazilian international trade in 1850[edit]

The original sentence:

The absolute value of exports from the Empire in 1850 was the highest
in Latin America and triple that of Argentina which was in fourth place

This phrase should be repaired. Why? Because Argentina suffered the consequences of the Anglo-French blockade of the Río de la Plata, which lasted from 1845 to 1850. If we compare the international trade of a country in peacetime with another country which is blockaded by two of the most powerful maritime powers of the time, then the comparison is, at least, flawed. Three possible solutons come to my mind at this moment:

1) write an explanation on the particular historical situation of Argentina (as I did, but it was undone by User:Lecen)

2) use some year other than 1850 for comparison

3) remove the comparison with Argentina

186.18.238.70 (talk) 23:51, 24 January 2014 (UTC)

As in the above cases, the logical place for your more detailed explanation would be Anglo-French blockade of the Río de la Plata. Wikipedia is not a place for posting a thesis or original research, but rather a place to summarize what has already been published in reliable sources dealing with the subject at hand. If you have such secondary or tertiary sources with information comparing economies of various American states during the nineteenth century, it might be useful to create an article or list on that subject and wikilink to it from Empire of Brazil, rather than inserting material that goes into that level of specificity. • Astynax talk 03:58, 25 January 2014 (UTC)
It is NOT original research: it is simply common sense. You cannot use the figures of Argentine international trade of 1850 as a mesure or comparison with another country, when Argentina was suffering a blockade during the first 8 months of that year.
I insist: it is not original research, it is simply common sense.
186.18.238.70 (talk) 06:11, 25 January 2014 (UTC)

The year 1850 is used because historians and economists prefer round numbers. The source says: "As exportações brasileiras triplicavam as da Argentina em 1850, segundo cálculos de Bulmer Thomas... Em termos internacionais mais amplos, o valor absoluto das exportações brasileiras era o mais elevado da América Latina, enquanto o da Argentina ocupava o quarto lugar." In English: The Brazilian exports were the triple of Argentina's in 1850, according to calculations by Bulmer Thomas... In more ample international terms, the absolute value of Brazilian exports were the highest in Latin America, while Argentine held the fourth place." The book was written by the Brazilian historian Boris Fausto and the Argentine historian Fernando J. Devoto. It's a comparative history of Brazil and Argentina from 1850 until 2002. I used the edition in Portuguese. There is an edition in Spanish ("Argentina y Brasil, 1850-2000: un Ensayo de Historia Comparada") published by Sudamericana Buenos Aires. Of course, if anyone has data regarding other years I would be glad to see them. They would be useful in Economy of the Empire of Brazil. --Lecen (talk) 13:24, 5 February 2014 (UTC)