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All history is comparative. The judgments historians make are derived from some explicit or implicit standard of comparison.

Thus, when historians describe the antebellum South in the United States as technically backward, rural, nonindustrial, socially retrograde, and paternalistic, they mean to say that it was so in comparison with the North. When historians of nineteenthcentury Brazil describe it in the same terms, they compare it either to the hegemonic capitalist areas of that period, including the United States North, or to Brazil itself at later periods in its history.


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I presented an earlier version of this study before the Latin American Studies Association in April Berkeley : University of California Press , , — Comparisons have also been made between the coffee exporting southeast and the sugar and tobacco regions of the northeast: e. But it has been an implicit if not explicit tenet of many studies that slavery was principally to blame: e. In this article I wish to draw attention to other aspects in the history of economic development that need to be examined.

Cotton was planted in new areas of the South after slavery, but not with the same impact as in Brazil. Boston : Ticknorand Fields , , For lack of financial resources governments did little then or later to construct locks and canals to make these rivers navigable; cf.

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Goodrich , Carter , ed. Berkeley : University of California Press , , — , n. The oxcart had long been used in Brazil but, having a fixed axle, was not suitable for the steep inclines of the coffee region. Some wagon roads traversed the flat sugar regions of northern Rio de Janeiro province.

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Lynn , Brazil: People and Institutions , 3d ed. It is well known that slaves worked cotton gins and compresses as well as coffee hulling and drying equipment much of which, in both cases, meant working with complicated steam-driven equipment. Starobin , Robert S. Allen , , —21; Smith , Herbert H. Brazilian authors have argued that the use of slaves slowed the introduction of such machinery or that the use of the machinery underminded the slave system.

A comparative study of processing machinery has yet to be made. It is probably true that technical improvements were not as essential to the growth of a slave system as they were to a capitalist ofle based on salaried labor. The precise extent to which scientific practices were used in the South is the subject of some debate among North American historians, partly because they have not firmly decided what the comparative standard will be, that is, how much is a lot? Genovese , Eugene , The Political Economy of Slavery: Studies in the Economy and Society of the Slave South New York ; Pantheon , , 85 — 99 , has convincingly denied that there was widespread use of fertilizer in the South, but my point here relates to a comparison with Brazil.

See also Smith , A. Gorender , , Escravismo colonial , , relying too heavily on Genovese, also fails to consider the difference in degree between Brazil and the American South.

More research in Brazil may uncover a use of fertilizer there greater than my estimate. Manure was used systematically on tobacco fields in the colonial South and in colonial Brazil. Gainesville : University Presses of Florida , , 33 , 55 , 67 — There is also some evidence that sugar planters in nineteenth-century Campos used manure. Richmond : Southern Historical Publications Society , , —35, esp. Greenwich, Conn. Parker , William N. Were the sources available in Brazil, I am sure no list equivalent in size could be compiled.

New York : Augustus M. Kelley , , esp. See references to these same themes among the United States historians cited by Engerman , Stanley L. Unfortunately, Starobin did not make the essential distinction on size of factories, but see p. Other sources on the use of slaves in industries include Smith , A. On one point evidence from the South supports the views advanced for Brazil: Sabotage and other forms of resistance were a distinct possibility. In nineteenth-century Brazil, perhaps even more than in the South, slaves often hired themselves out, finding their own work to do for a wage and returning a fixed sum to their masters.

These slaves, like those of southern cities, acted virtually as free men, arranged their own work and wages, often secured their own housing, and sometimes acted as contractors, hiring free laborers or employing other slaves. Although the practice was widespread in both southern and Brazilian cities, it was eventually outlawed in the South, whereas it was licensed in Brazil. Freyre , Gilberto , Sobrados e mucambos 3d ed. I have found no evidence that skilled whites in Brazil objected to the self-hire system, as they did in the United States South.

Surely the relationship between employer and employee is qualitatively different from that between owner and owned; in the hiring-out system, both relationships existed simultaneously, with wide implications for the growth of capitalism which also need to be explored comparatively.

Whether immigrants in Brazil joined abolitionist ranks in large numbers and whether they did so for fear of competition from slave labor is not yet known, but seems doubtful. Rio de Janeiro : Pallas , , — , makes the point that international dependence and slavery together explain underdevelopment, and criticizes those, especially North American historians, who stress only one half of the formula.

The country as a whole did not focus as much on the production of exports as did Brazil, but the South did. Graham , , Britain , — More attention needs to be paid in both areas to where agricultural equipment and industrial machinery were manufactured. Perhaps the secessionists were right. Huertas , Thomas F. North chooses a base year in the midst of the cotton boom, while Leff uses a period —30 which lies closer to the beginning of the surge in coffee exports; thus comparisons between these two indices are precarious.

Fred , British Investments in Latin America, — New Brunswick, N. Linden agrees p. But Gallman , Robert E. If for coffee, as for cotton, harvesting took more workers than any other operation on the plantation, then there would have been excess labor available to grow food during the remainder of the year. Woodman , Harold D. Richardson thus strives to "give voice to the voiceless" through an examination of government correspondence, judicial records, police proceedings, ecclesiastical records, and newspaper accounts of the revolt.

Richardson locates his work in relation to Hamilton de Mattos Monteiro's and Richard Graham's studies of the politics of the second empire, however he does not differentiate his own approach from Monteiro's work on the revolt itself nor Armando Souto Maior's and Roderick Barman's treatments of the revolt, both of which emphasize economic causes and popular grievances.

In chapter one Richardson provides a detailed narrative overview of the revolt, analyzing each popular uprising according to peasants' motivations taxes, the metric system, military recruitment, and religion , and discusses the revolt's lack of overall leadership. Richardson then turns to a more detailed analysis of causes. Chapter two examines the economic context of the revolt, especially the declining profitability of sugar production, changing demands for land and labor due to cotton production, and increased municipal and provincial tax burdens.

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Richardson effectively shows how decreasing government revenues from exports led to a desperate implementation of new taxes, some fourteen in Pernambuco alone from to , to support municipal and provincial budgets. These new taxes threatened peasant livelihood and were a fundamental cause of the revolt. Here Richardson focuses on general economic factors rather than the ways in which individual peasants were impacted by larger economic forces or how economic concerns drove them to participate in the revolt.

Chapter three examines the role of church-state conflict in the revolt, focusing on the ways in which popular support for the Church as the Religious Question unfolded provided a moral justification for participation in the revolt.

Quebra-Quilos and Peasant Resistance: Peasants, Religion, and Politics in Nineteenth-Century Brazil

Here Richardson takes a different approach than Todd Diacon and argues that the symbols of "material crisis" such as taxes and metric standards, rather than perceived threats to traditional religious practices, remained the focus of peasant protest. Richardson provides a detailed history of the conflict between the Brazilian state and the Vatican over precedence in religious and church matters and the role of Jesuit and Capuchin priests in the revolt.

He argues that while [End Page ] economic factors were paramount, that "religious reasons gave the peasants moral incentive to resist its payments and break the law" p. In chapter four Richardson examines popular resistance to the Recruitment Law of , arguing that peasants showed their opposition to involuntary military service by destroying tax and notorial records that were used to identify potential recruits. Project MUSE promotes the creation and dissemination of essential humanities and social science resources through collaboration with libraries, publishers, and scholars worldwide.

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