On the surface Brazil may look very different from the United States.  Many Americans are shocked over the open sensuality of the Brazilians.  (Can you imagine topless women appearing on parade floats in the United States?)  And Brazilians often do not understand why Americans are so puritanical.  But, this is just on the surface.

In many ways Brazil and the United States are very similar.  The most important similarities stem from the long histories of slavery experienced by both nations.  The United States ended slavery in 1863 and Brazil in 1888.  Both nations have had common problems with race with blacks being on the bottom of the social ranking system in both countries.

Brazil and the United States took different approaches to the race problem.  Britain sent colonists of entire families which encouraged a definite distinction between white and black. The adoption of Puritanism as a moral code supported the defense of the color line.

Portugal mainly sent males to Brazil .  This encouraged the intermixture of the races, blacks, whites, and Indians.  Brazil makes many more distinctions based on variations in color than the two-color system of the United States. The emphasis on sensuality in Brazil reinforces their color system.

So there are definite historical reasons for the adoption of Puritanism and sensuality in the different countries.  The end results in the political and social systems of the two nations, however, are very similar.  We will just have to be more understanding of the historical and structural reasons for the superficial differences between the two peoples.  



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