The book The History of Brazil through its Constitutions is a comprehensive and fascinating work that traces Brazil’s trajectory from its colonial period to contemporary times, with a special focus on the different constitutions that shaped the country’s political and legal organization throughout the centuries.

Written by Rodrigo Saraiva Marinho, the book offers a profound and detailed analysis of each of the main Brazilian constitutions, revealing the social, political, and economic contexts that drove their creation and the changes they brought to Brazilian society.

Review: The History of Brazil through its Constitutions, by Rodrigo Saraiva Marinho
The History of Brazil through its Constitutions, by Rodrigo Saraiva Marinho

Throughout the pages, the reader is taken on a historical journey that begins with the Imperial Constitution of 1824, which marked the beginning of the monarchical period in Brazil. The narrative continues with the transition to the Republic in 1889, bringing to light the first Republican Constitution of 1891, which established the new form of government and its fundamental principles.

The book also addresses the Constitutions of 1934, 1937, 1946, and the country’s troubled political context during these periods, including the Vargas Era and the dictatorial regime of the Estado Novo. The author explores the different political and ideological approaches present in these constitutions, as well as their consequences for Brazilian society.

The narrative advances to the period of the Military Dictatorship (1964-1985) and analyzes the Constitution of 1967, as well as the controversial Institutional Act No. 5, which had drastic consequences for the freedom and civil rights of the Brazilian people. Then, the author examines the gradual return to democracy and the process of redemocratization, culminating in the promulgation of the 1988 Constitution, the so-called “Citizen Constitution,” which guaranteed a series of fundamental rights and consolidated the Democratic Rule of Law in the country.

In addition to explaining the text of each of the constitutions, the book also analyzes the constitutional amendments and the challenges faced by the country at different historical moments, such as the struggle for equality of rights, the issue of political representation, advances and setbacks in terms of human and social rights, among other relevant topics.

It should be noted that the small typography may not appeal to those who prefer larger letters, but it makes the book much more dynamic, both in terms of typography and the author, who wastes no time in his explanations and creates an essential book for anyone to understand the respective subjects.

Rodrigo Saraiva Marinho makes it clear that, in his opinion and based on the comparison made between the constitutions, the Constitution of 1824 is the most liberal, not hiding this at any moment, even going so far as to offer many praises to Dom Pedro I and the Constitution of the Empire.

Due to its highly dynamic reading style, the author crafts symbolic phrases around the history being told, making the complex stories that could become a thousand pages end up being expressed in just a few words with the author. Additionally, throughout the reading, the book features numerous citations from both national and foreign bibliographic references.

An extremely positive aspect of the book The History of Brazil through its Constitutions is the articles the author brings from each constitution he mentions. This provides greater clarity and facilitates understanding of the subject matter. However, in some moments of the book, due to its highly dynamic reading style, the author ends up foregoing the possibility of explaining the processes carried out on a certain subject until its conclusion.

The History of Brazil through its Constitutions is an essential read for anyone wishing to understand Brazil’s political, social, and legal evolution over the years, providing a profound and enlightening insight into the nation’s development and the central role its constitutions played in this journey.

Reference: MARINHO, Rodrigo Saraiva. A história do Brasil pelas suas constituições. Brazil: LVM Editora, 2023.

Matheus Araújo - Brazilian History
Matheus Araújo
Founder and Editor at Brazilian History | Website

Matheus is an entrepreneur at Araujo Media, where he serves as CEO and Creative Director. He shares analyses on his personal blog "" and is currently pursuing a degree in Advertising and Propaganda. Moreover, he has a passion for history, particularly that of Brazil, which led him to become the founder and editor of the Brazilian History portal.