The History of Brazil

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Greenwood Publishing Group, 1999 - 208 pages
Brazil is a vast, complex country with great potential but an uneven history. This engaging study will introduce readers to the history of Brazil from its origins to today. It emphasizes current issues and problems, including the country's return to democracy after more than two decades of harsh military rule and the economic consequences of adopting free-market policies as part of the creation of the global marketplace. Levine, a noted Brazilianist, explains the legacy of slavery on race relations, the stubborn persistence of barriers to upward mobility, and the characteristics of Brazil's exuberant culture. The author draws not only from a broad array of traditional sources but from oral histories and postings on the Internet. The history of Brazil unfolds in narrative chronological chapters beginning with the Portuguese conquest, then moving on to the colonial period, Independence, the nineteenth-century monarchy--the only one in Latin America--the Republic, the nationalist regime under Vargas, the eclipse of democracy under military rule in the 1960s and 1970s, and the current democratically elected government under Cardoso, who was elected in 1998 to his second term. Short biographical sketches of 40 prominent Brazilians, a glossary of Portuguese terms, and a bibliographical essay add reference value to this work. This is the only up-to-date history of Brazil, current through 1999.

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The history of Brazil

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With over 3 million square miles of territory and 4,600 miles of shoreline, Brazil is the fifth largest nation in the world. In this impressively concise history, Levine, the director for the Center ... Read full review

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Contents

An Earthly Paradise
1
Early Brazil 15001822
31
Independence and Empire 18221889
55
The Republic 18891930
77
The Vargas Era 19301954
97
Dictatorship and Democracy 19541998
121
Political Culture
147
Social and Economic Realities
167
Notable People in the History of Brazil
185
Glossary of Selected Terms
191
Bibliographic Essay
195
Index
203
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Page 37 - Christians, nobles, and people of Maranhao, do you know what God wants of you during this Lent? That you break the chains of injustice and let free those whom you have captive and oppressed. These are the sins of Maranhao; these are what God commanded me to denounce to you. Christians, God commanded me to clarify these matters to you and so I do it. All of you are in mortal sin; all of you live in a state of condemnation; and all of you are going directly to Hell. Indeed, many are there now and you...
Page 40 - King, by the Grace of God, of Portugal, and of the Algarves, both on this side the sea and beyond it in Africa, Lord of Guinea and of the Conquest, Navigation, and Commerce of Ethiopia, Arabia, Persia, and India.
Page 37 - Indian will be your slave for the few days that he lives; and your soul will be a slave for eternity, as long as God is God. This is the contract that the devil makes with you. Not only do you accept it but you pay him money on top of it. Christians, nobles, and people of Maranhao, do you know what God wants of you during this Lent? That you break the chains of injustice and let free those whom you have captive and oppressed. These are the sins of Maranhao; these are what God commanded me to denounce...
Page 35 - ... biting of certain poisonous animals. And in consequence of this many lose their organs which break through lack of attention, and they remain eunuchs. They have no cloth either of wool, linen or cotton, since they need it not; neither do they have goods of their own, but all things are held in common. They live together without king, without government, and each is his own master.
Page 50 - Without severe punishment against the blacks it could happen one day that this captaincy shall become a pitiable stage for their evil deeds and that which occurred at Palmares in Pernambuco will be repeated; or even worse for the freedom which the blacks of this captaincy have [is] unlike that in other parts of America, certainly it is not true slavery the manner in which they live today as it more appropriately...
Page 80 - Canudos, or Belo Monte, was a religious settlement founded by a pious lay Catholic mystic, Antonio Vicente Mendes Maciel (1830—1897), known to his followers as Antonio Conselheiro (the Counsellor). Belo Monte took form on the grounds of an abandoned cattle ranch owned by the Jeremoabo clan in the parched backlands interior of the state of Bahia. The region was afflicted by a severe climate and generally barren terrain that intimidated visitors.
Page 81 - ... had been traumatized by deprivation and by the vicissitudes of drought, disputes between clans, and economic uncertainty. Many ordinary citizens of the backlands questioned the secularized republican order. It is untrue that the backlands residents of Canudos were driven by crazed religious fanaticism.
Page 50 - ... Without severe punishment against the blacks it could happen one day that this captaincy shall become a pitiable stage for their evil deeds and that which occurred at Palmares in Pernambuco will be repeated: or even worse[,] for the freedom which the blacks of this captaincy have [is] unlike that in...
Page 83 - When Canudos finally capitulated, after months of resistance, the community's 5,200 homes were burned to the ground. The few surviving women were evacuated to the coast, where they were made servants (and in some cases, prostitutes); some of the surviving children were 'adopted' by some of the onlookers or otherwise .taken as trophies of war.

About the author (1999)

Robert M. Levine is director of Latin American Studies at the University of Miami, Coral Gables. He has written more than 20 books on Latin American history, has produced several original documentary videotapes on Latin American subjects, and is coeditor of the Luso-Brazilian Review.

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