Conciliação, the program of conciliation and unity adopted by the ministry of the Marquês de Paraná (1853–1856). Two developments motivated the conciliação program. First, party politics established in Brazil during the 1840s generated a factionalism that polarized and corrupted public life while stultifying the administrative system. Second, industrialization and the growth of infrastructure in Europe and the United States had created a sense of backwardness among educated Brazilians. Abolition of the slave trade with Africa and a burgeoning coffee economy generated a sense of optimism and a willingness to experiment. As interpreted by the Paraná ministry, conciliação meant a government willing to employ all men of talent, regardless of previous party allegiance. The associated term melhoramentos (improvements) referred to the construction of a modern infrastructure both physical (e.g., railroads) and social (e.g., mass education). This twofold program proved difficult to implement. The political goals were too vague to generate broad and solid support, while the creation of a national infrastructure required a mobilization of resources and a reordering of society more sweeping than the ministry could accept. The personal prestige and authority of the Marquês de Paraná alone kept the cabinet and its policies functioning, so that his death in September 1856 effectively ended this experiment in conservative reformism.
See alsoCoffee Industry .
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Roderick J. Barman