REIGN OF PEDRO I.
INDEPENDENCE was the result of a plan carefully arranged by José Bonifacio and his Brazilian associates. Pedro had declared himself emperor in an access of dramatic enthusiasm. He wanted the glory of founding a great empire and he loved to think of his name as that of the first legitimate monarch who was really self-abnegating enough to establish constitutional government of his own free will. The rôle of a Washington, with the added glory of unselfishly resigning absolute power, appealed to his boyish vanity. But the cold fit came on when he undertook to perform his promises. His loud protestations of constitutionalism turned out to be mere windy mouthings. Though his reign largely assisted in maintaining Brazil's territorial unity, it cut off the promise of local self- government and helped bring on twenty years of bloody revolts. He was not exactly a hypocrite; he loved to hear sonorous periods about liberty rolling out of his mouth, but he had no idea of what they really meant.
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Publication information: Book title: The South American Republics. Volume: 1. Contributors: Thomas C. Dawson - Author. Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons. Place of publication: New York. Publication year: 1906. Page number: 421.
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