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Latin America perspectives a series of information and comment about Latin America with Dr. C. Harvey Gardner research professor of history at Southern Illinois University. These programs are recorded by station w s i u FM. Here now is Dr. Gardiner for decades now an odd distribution of attention in reference to the time factor has been accorded that South American giant Brazil. Many students and hurried observers are impressed by the enormity of Brazil in terms of land mass physical resources and population teeter on the brink of tomorrow with their concern about Brazil as a land of the future. Others given to a measure of historical awareness are willing to back up to the early post-World War Two years and thereby indulge the perspective of 20 years. Some even double that recourse to history and take their departure from events of the 1930 30
to period. Yes the vast majority of foreign students of Brazil presently dedicate their efforts toward understanding that area within the framework of no more than the last 40 years that despite the fact that significant Brazilian history has been accumulating for somewhat more than four hundred forty years. Rare is that foreign student with an eye on the 19th century Brazilian empire. Rarer still is he whose focus is within the colonial period. Yet we now have. And accordingly hail a major contribution to our understanding of the last half century of the Portuguese rule of Brazil. The book produced by Darrell Alton of the University of Washington and in titled royal government in Colonial Brazil is a product of the University of California
Press. The subtitle informs the reader that this study of the colonial administration of Brazil has special reference to the administration of the Marquess of the viceroy of Brazil between seven hundred sixty nine and Seventeen seventy nine. This is the first detailed analysis in the english language of how Portugal governed Brazil when it was her most important overseas colony. Although the book ranges from the 16th to the early 19th centuries it focuses particularly on the late 18th century when the controversy will Marquess of poem battle dominated the Portuguese government at home and when one of his proteges the second Marquess of love Ravi all served as the senior officer of the king in the colony. The last rodeo administration coincided with a period of military and economic crisis
in Brazil. The military dimension the climax of a century long conflict between Spain and Portugal for control of the debatable lands between the captaincy of Sao Paulo and Rio de la Plata came as an aftermath of the Seven Years War in Europe after Portuguese forces expelled Spanish troops from Rio Grande a fool presently that southernmost state of Brazil Spain responded by sending the largest naval armaments you had ever dispatched to America. That expedition commanded by one of Spain's ablest soldiers don't pay where they Saval us succeeded in capturing two vital Portuguese bastions in the New World. Santa Catarina island and the old smuggling base of Colonia to Sacramento. In spite of advance warnings by secret Portuguese intelligence sources and the
elaborate but unrealistic countermeasures devised by the Marquess of the ensuing peace settlement produced a permanent division of that disputed territory. The economic crisis on the other hand was heightened by the intensification of the military conflict as well as by the colonies declining production of gold diamonds and sugar it to be noted that Brazil in colonial years had known a number of economic cycles one of which had come at a moment when Brazil was literally the Sugar Bowl for Western Europe supplying more of that commodity to European tables than any other one producer in the world. And then there was another economic wave or part of an economic cycle which late in the 17th century found gold and then diamonds coming to dominate the colonial economy it is then to be
said that by the late 18th century years there was a decline in the cyclical nature the economic importance that these products had once known sugar gold and diamonds. The responses of Pumbaa in Portugal and his agent for audio in Brazil to the colonies worsening economic situation. They're revamping and modernization of the Portuguese fiscal system the development of new agricultural and extractive industries and the tightening of mercantile as controls to combat the contraband trade that was. Particularly easy in several respects dealing with the Spanish immediately south of Brazil and with the English who were very frequently upon the coasts of Brazil. These points comprise four of the most important chapters dealt with in Aldrin's book the author's examination of love rodeos relations with various types of civil ecclesiastical and
military officials provide convincing support for his thesis that in Brazil the Viceroy's authority was far more restricted than has generally been realized. But even as Alton makes this point it might be well to bear in mind that he is particularly treating in most of his work that interval in which the strongest of administration that Portugal was to know was present there. And some of the deepest implementation of that administration in the new world took place. In other words the relationship between a viceroy and a higher authority in Portugal is in the period of the love Roddy old poem Baal relationship not an ordinary thing. It is not the law of averages in the overall Brazilian Portuguese record the study by all then concludes with an appraisal of love for audio and the regime in which he served. Throughout the book All In compare as
the Portuguese administrative achievements and their shortcomings with those of other imperial regimes in America and not only with the neighboring Spanish but quite frequently with the Anglo world far to the north. Although the author takes into account the contributions of numerous previous scholars and their work on several themes he has relied especially upon 18th century printed and manuscript materials the latter drawn from several Brazilian archives including the personal papers of that 18th century Viceroy the Marquess of love rodeo. The extent to which that Marquess who spends 10 years 1769 779 in Brazil may be considered an enlightened administrator. Depends on precisely what is meant by that term. If it is defined as one who was highly cultured free from prejudices opposed to
tradition given to result ideas and possessed of the tenacity to see them bear fruit then he doesn't qualify. If on the other hand it is applied to one who has exhibited sincere concern for the welfare of those entrusted to his care then the Marquess of the audio merits the designation. As Viceroy he took a keen interest in the exploitation of neglected natural resources partly because their development would bring new prosperity to Brazilians. But that was distinctly a secondary consideration in his mind for he was thinking primarily since he was an agent of Portugal about the benefits of the Portuguese Kingdom particularly the royal Exchequer and what it might derive from the promotion of new products in Brazil. Nevertheless dome loise as we can on occasion call the Viceroy deserves credit for having lent the prestige of his office to the
efforts that contributed to an agricultural renaissance in Brazil. Though the degree of his active participation in the celebrated scientific society of Rio de Janeiro remains unclear. It appears that his dedication to the advancement of science has been exaggerated consistent with his willingness to encourage certain forms of economic activity that might redound to the benefit of the mother country was his opposition to Colonial manufacturing partly because the alleged harm it would do Brazilian importers. But more basically because it would compete with cloth making in the Mother Country. The Viceroy you just said never took notice of the murmurs of the people. But he did lend an attentive ear to their expressed grievances against their neighbors against Royal officials. He enjoined his subordinates to carry out his instructions with all possible suavity so as to avoid
vexing the King's subjects and their failure to do so would lead to their being called in to him. This is one of the hallmarks of his regime calling his agents in. And if you didn't like the reports he might well lodge them for a while in the dungeon while the merc with was as firmly opposed as any man of his class to popular participation in the affairs of government. He did as much as he could to benefit the colonists. This doesn't mean that he necessarily liked them or that he had a high estimate of Brazilians. His dispatches like those of his peers are full of references to the quote natural slothfulness and carelessness of the Americans. And he advised his successor that the general character of Americans in these parts is that of lethargy. Humility and obedience while they are sober in their habits they are prone to vanity and hotter. But these defects are easily overcome. They are robust and capable of all sorts of labor and do what
they are told. However if they are not given careful instructions they often remain in a state of inactivity until they are reduced to extreme poverty. Unflattering as these remarks are. The Viceroy's appraisal was shared by most Portuguese officials then and later because it is to be remembered that the Portuguese official who came out the so-called Peninsula are automatically and regularly can siddur himself disappear of any person in the colonies. Compared with the long terminal reports that Spanish viceroys left this Viceroy left a very brief statement of what he had found what he had done. His statement in regard to the defenses the various branches of government and all else this in a document called the rail authority all interspersed in his statement of what the continuing problems were were his hints concerning individuals who could be trusted and
who could not be trusted. Many English writers in the 18th and 19th centuries years have talked about the Brazils. In truth to this various day there is more than one Brazil. But in the Brazil of late 18th century years we learn of royal government in Colonial Brazil by Richard Aldington from the University of California Press. This was another programme in the series Latin America perspectives with Dr. C. Harvey Gardner research professor of history at Southern Illinois University. Join us for our next program when Dr. Gardner will comment on another interesting aspect of Latin American affairs. These programs are recorded by station WFIU FM and are made available to this station by the national educational radio network.
Latin American perspectives II
Episode Number
Episode 31 of 38
Producing Organization
WSIU 8 (Television station : Carbondale, Ill.)
Southern Illinois University at Carbondale
Contributing Organization
University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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For series info, see Item 3544. This prog.: Royal Government in Colonial Brazil
Global Affairs
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Producing Organization: WSIU 8 (Television station : Carbondale, Ill.)
Producing Organization: Southern Illinois University at Carbondale
AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Maryland
Identifier: 68-31-31 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:13:35
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Chicago: “Latin American perspectives II; Episode 31 of 38,” 1969-04-14, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed June 20, 2024,
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APA: Latin American perspectives II; Episode 31 of 38. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from