Abstract: Latin American religious political thought includes colonial Spanish and Portuguese ideologies that preceded independence but have survived into the post-independence era, authoritarian ideologies supportive of military governments in the twentieth century, and progressive liberation theologies. In this article, I present a distinct tradition: a version of classical liberal thought. This tradition is skeptical of big government, opposed to caste systems, supportive of a high degree of federalism, uneasy with militarism, and supportive of democratic institutions while affirming religious social norms. This ideology was developed in northeastern Brazil in the early nineteenth century by a Carmelite activist named Frei Caneca (Brother Mug), who published a newspaper titled the Typhis Pernambucano (Tiphys of the State of Pernambuco).
Keywords: Classical liberalism, Brazil, Rio, Frei Caneca, Brother Mug, Confederation of the Equator, political philosophy, federalism, regional autonomy