story on the sorry economic state of Brazil. The country has been in recession for two years, calling it, “the deepest economic decline since records began”, which is quite an indictment. This comes not so long after all the economic “experts” were touting Brazil as one of the up-and-coming economic superpowers that would soon surpass the likes of North America, Western Europe and Japan. The article does mention that the Brazilian economy was recently labeled one of the “fastest-growing” in the world. One just might be inclined to think that these economic experts with their predictions are not to be believed when a country can go so quickly from racing toward the dizzying heights of prosperity to having the worst economic decline on record. It may just be that they do not actually know what they are talking about (shocking I know). Had they listened to the heir to the Brazilian imperial throne, they might have known better as he is a man who seems to have a very firm grasp on economics and the importance of private property in creating the conditions for countries to thrive.
In all likelihood though, the last thing the current Brazilian political class would want to do is remind anyone of their original independent form of government as the contrast between the Empire of Brazil and modern leftist-republican Brazil could not be more striking. The records show that under the stability that the monarchy provided, the Empire of Brazil was everything that modern economics claim republican Brazil was all set to be before it suddenly, and to them likely inexplicably, fell to ruin. The Empire of Brazil was an economic powerhouse, generating more wealth from selling goods to the rest of the world than all other Latin American countries by 1850. The Brazilian economy grew at an almost 4% rate from 1839 until the time the monarchy was abolished. From 1850 until the end of the monarchy, the same period in which the United States first surpassed Great Britain as the world’s largest economy, the Empire of Brazil had economic growth on roughly the same level as the United States, Great Britain, France and Germany. The Empire of Brazil was in the top ten of having the most productive populations in the world by 1858.
The immense success of the Empire of Brazil can also be seen in the growth of its population. Many tend to think only of the United States as the “land of opportunity” where all immigrants flocked, however for a great many people it was Imperial Brazil that seemed to offer the best prospects. From 1872 to 1890 the White population in Brazil rose from 38.1% to 44% of the population. Originally, the White population of Brazil had been entirely Portuguese but the success and the promise recognized in the Empire of Brazil meant that soon there were large numbers of Germans, Spanish, Italians as well as others living in the country. The 1870’s saw a huge surge in immigration to Brazil, including many Eastern Europeans, all because so many so such great possibilities for success in Brazil. Much like the United States at the time, Brazil was a growing country where business was booming and new advancements were being made all the time, Brazil just did it as a Catholic empire rather than a secular republic. In fact, after the horrific civil war in the United States, many southern Americans moved to Brazil, transplanting a little bit of Dixie south of the equator.
Brazil desperately needs new leadership, a new direction and a new way of thinking about politics and economics. There are few royal pretenders in the world better fitted to saving their countries than HIH Prince Bertrand of Orleans-Braganza. He has exactly the faith, the values and the grasp political and economic knowledge that Brazil is most in need of. He is exactly what the doctor ordered, so to speak, if only the people would turn to him for leadership. Were that to happen, I have no doubt that a revived Empire of Brazil would soon be rising to rival the record of the original.