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History Dictionary


Populism

Name given to political action based on charismatic leaders, who generally propose to rule on behalf of the people and for the people. The peak of practice occurred in the middle of the last century in various regions of Latin America, including Brazil. These populist politicians presented fiery speeches with a strong nationalist tenor. They sought their base in the most different segments of society, from the working class to the business, waving with gains for both sides. Attracting large numbers of people, they put the party and political programs in the background, preferring direct dialogue with voters. Experts say populist practices undermine democracy by failing to encourage population organization and manipulate social movements. In Brazil, the main example of populist politician is Getúlio Vargas, who became known as the “father of the poor”.

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