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Five Centuries of Change

Second Edition

Thomas E. Skidmore

Publication Date - June 2009

ISBN: 9780195374551

304 pages
6 1/8 X 9 1/4 inches

In Stock

Retail Price to Students: $54.95

Written by the foremost expert in the field, the new edition of this vivid and engaging history of Brazil offers unparalleled coverage of the twentieth century.


Revised and updated in this second edition, Brazil: Five Centuries of Change vividly traces the development of Brazil over the last 500 years. Author Thomas E. Skidmore, a preeminent authority on Brazil, provides a lively political and economic narrative while also including relevant details on society and culture. Skidmore's major revision of the colonial chapters begins with the discovery of Brazil by Pedro Alvares Cabral and includes Portugal's remarkable command of the vast country in the face of Spanish, French, and Dutch colonial interests. The text goes on to cover the move of the Portuguese monarchy to Brazil in 1808, the country's independence in 1822, establishment of the Empire within the context of expansion of the coffee trade, the importance of slavery in nineteenth-century Brazil, and the move towards abolition. This second edition offers an unparallelled look at Brazil in the twentieth century, including in-depth coverage of the 1930 revolution and Vargas's rise to power; the ensuing unstable democratic period and the military coups that followed; and the reemergence of democracy in 1985. It concludes with the recent presidency of Luiz Inacio "Lula" da Silva, covering such economic successes as record-setting exports, dramatic foreign debt reduction, and improved income distribution. The second edition features numerous new images and a new bibliographic guide to recent works on Brazilian history for use by both instructors and students.
Informed by the most recent scholarship available, Brazil: Five Centuries of Change, Second Edition, explores the country's many blessings--ethnic diversity, racial democracy, a vibrant cultural life, and a wealth of natural resources. It also looks at Brazil's historically severe problems--including political instability, military rule, chronic inflation, and international debt--and its deplorable environmental record. An ideal choice for undergraduate and graduate courses in Latin American history, this eloquent and detailed look at Brazil will be the standard history of the country for years to come.

Previous Publication Date(s)

March 1999

Table of Contents

    List of Exhibits
    Introduction: A Brief Sketch of Brazil and Its Place in the World
    Chapter 1. The Birth and Growth of Colonial Brazil
    Portuguese Arrival in the New World
    Factors Leading Up to Cabral's Voyage
    Early Consolidation of the Monarchy
    A Social Structure with a Merchant Class
    Long-standing Involvement in Trade Routes
    Too Small to Send Nationals to Settle Abroad
    Securing the Frontiers
    From Trading to Colonizing
    Brazil's Colonial Economy and Its Nexus with Portugal
    The Influence of Enlightenment Ideas
    Conspiracies against the Portuguese
    Chapter 2. Peoples and Drams in the Making of the Colony
    Hunting Indigenous People for Enslavement and the Jesuit Role
    The Portuguese Explorers and Their Expeditions
    The Role of the Mameluco
    The Concept of Race as Applied to Indians in the Colony
    The Place of African Slaves and Free Coloreds
    The Persistence of the African in Brazilian Culture
    Chapter 3. From Colony to Independence as a Monarchy
    The Portuguese Court Comes to Brazil
    Creating a New Portuguese America
    Brazilian Hierarchies
    The Tribulations of Brazil's First Emperor
    Uprisings under the Regency
    The Role of Pedro II
    The Rise of Coffee
    The Emerging Problems with Slavery as an Institution
    The Question of Abolition
    The Paraguayan War
    Chapter 4. The Making of "Modern" Brazil
    A New Generation and the Military Question
    Abolition and Its Aftermath: The Brazilian Way
    The End of the Empire
    Selling Brazil
    "Whitening" Brazil
    The Reality behind the Facade
    Coffee Fluctuations, Emerging Industry, and Urban Labor
    The Roots of Industrialization
    Worker Organization and Employers' Strategy
    Evaporation of the Oligarchical Consensus
    A Message from Below
    Economic Strains
    Chapter 5. Building to a Dictatorship and World War II
    The Shock of World War I
    The Economy after the War
    Brazil's Uneven Development
    New Currents in the 1920s
    Modernism, Brazilian Style
    Rise of Anti-Liberal Thought
    The Disintegration of the Old Politics
    The Revolution of 1930
    Swing toward Centralization
    Ideological Polarization
    Getúlio Vargas as Dictator
    The Vargas Style
    Corporatist Inroads
    A New Search for National Identity
    Juggling the International Options
    World War II and the Rise of U.S. Influence
    Collapse of the Dictatorship at Home
    Chapter 6. Returning to Democracy, for a While
    The 1945 Election and the Dutra Period
    Vargas Returns
    From Oligarch to Populist
    Vargas's Legislative Program Runs into Trouble
    Population Growth, Regional Disequilibria, and Migration
    A New President, Juscelino Kubitschek, Elected
    Political Strategy
    The Economic Development Program
    Dealing with the World Economy
    The Brief Presidency of Jânio Quadros
    The Succession of João Goulart
    Populists versus the Military
    The Economic Crisis Escalates
    Chapter 7. Rule of the Military
    The Generals Search for a Political Base
    Growing Opposition, Growing Repression: 1964-67
    Triumph of the Hard Line
    The Arrival of the Guerrillas
    Brazilian Culture and the Generals
    The Effects of Repression
    Military Rule and Questions about Brazilian Political Culture
    The Economic "Miracle" Wrought by the Authoritarians
    The Benefits and Costs of Foreign Loans
    The Winners and Losers
    The Road to Redemocratization
    Battles within the Officer Corps
    Manipulating the Electoral System
    Chapter 8. Redemocratization--New Hope, Old Problems
    An Unintended Succession
    Sarney and the New Democracy
    The Cruzado Plan
    The Debt Crisis and the Economy
    Lost Investment
    The Brain Drain
    Widening Gaps between Rich and Poor
    Education and Health Care
    Housing and Communications
    Public Health: A Success Story
    Changes Affecting Women
    Race Relations
    Contemporary Culture
    The Political Spectrum in the New Democracy
    The Collor Debacle
    The Election
    The Policies
    The End
    Another Vice President in Command
    Back to Stabilization: The Plano Real
    The Presidential Election of 1994
    The Cardoso Government's first Term
    Going for a Second Term
    Social Justice Delayed
    Selling Off the State
    Brazil in the Shadow of an Argentine Default
    Chapter 9. Brazilian Democracy Takes a New Turn: Or Does It?
    Lula Finally Becomes Legitimate
    The 2002 Presidential Campaign
    Lula's First Steps
    The PT in Power
    Exports Take Center Stage as Lula Continues to Govern
    Government Fortunes Further Reverse as the PT Tastes Scandal
    The Last Year of Lula's First Term
    The Economy in 2006
    Some Hard Lessons for Lula's Socialism
    The Landless Movement
    Riots among the Criminal Population
    Conflict with Bolivia over Natural Gas
    The 2006 Presidential Campaign
    Lula's Second Term and the Outlook Ahead
    Lula's Luck
    What's Next?
    Suggestions for Further Reading