Tavares Bastos, Aureliano Cândido (1839–1875)

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Tavares Bastos, Aureliano Cândido (1839–1875)

Aureliano Cândido Tavares Bastos (b. 20 April 1839; d. 3 December 1875), Brazilian legislator and publicist. Tavares Bastos was Brazil's leading exponent of the precepts of nineteenth-century liberalism, promoting them in newspaper articles, books, and parliamentary speeches. Intellectually precocious, he received a doctorate in law at the age of twenty from the law school at São Paulo and was elected imperial deputy of his native province of Alagôas the following year. He served the Liberal Party in Parliament from 1861 until 1868. Tavares Bastos ascribed most of the problems of nineteenth-century Brazil to the heritage of Portuguese absolutism, which he said had bequeathed a deficiency of individual liberty and public spirit. His goal was the modernization of Brazil, based on the examples of the United States and Great Britain. He argued for individual liberty, the usefulness of competition, religious freedom, and administrative decentralization. Among the modernizing measures he advocated were the lessening of government restrictions on business enterprise, the lowering of tariffs, the gradual abolition of slavery, the encouragement of immigration (particularly from northern Europe), the reform of education at all levels, and the creation of competent statistical services. He also called for constitutional change in the form of an independent judiciary, direct elections, and a lessening of the power of the emperor. Based on familiarity with British and French liberal thought, Tavares Bastos's proposals for reform were characterized by thorough research and investigation. The most famous of the legislative measures he fostered was Brazil's opening of the Amazon river system to international commerce in 1866. Many other changes he advocated came to fruition after his premature death from pneumonia.

See alsoBrazil: 1808–1889 .


Aureliano Cândido Tavares Bastos, Cartas do Solitário, 3d ed. (1938).

Carlos Pontes, Tavares Bastos (Aureliano Cândido), 1839–1875 (1939).

Evaristo De Moraes Filho, As Ideias Fundamentais de Tavares Bastos (1987).

Additional Bibliography

Ferreira, Gabriela Nunes. Centralização e descentralização no Império: O debate entre Tavares Bastos e visconde de Uruguai. São Paulo: Departamento de Ciência Política da USP, Editora 34, 1999.

Rego, Walquira G. Domingues Leão. A utopia federalista: Estudo sobre o pensamento político de Tavares Bastos. Maceió, Alagoas, Brazil: EDUFAL, 2002.

                                        Eugene Ridings