Event—Public Programming

Colonial Legacies in the Luso-Brazilian World


Opening Ceremony

2-2:15 pm Central Time

Daniel Greene, President and Librarian, Newberry Library

Benoni Belli, Consul General of Brazil

Introduction to the Brazilian Collection and Symposium

2:15-2:30 pm Central Time

Will Hansen, Curator of Americana and Director of Reader Services, Newberry Library

Panel One: "Ruptures, Continuity, and Identity"

2:30-3:20 pm Central Time

The Impact and Legacies of Brazilian Independence in Portugal (c. 1825-50), Gabriel Paquette, University of Oregon

Historians have long recognized how the formal achievement of independence in Brazil and Spanish America meant neither that the legacies of colonialism had been extirpated nor that the newly won sovereignty was unencumbered. The colonial inheritance was ubiquitous and often pernicious (e.g., the persistence of indigenous tribute and taxation labor regimes such as slavery; legal codes; the unfavorable position of the post-colonial polity in the world economy), as scholars working in the Dependency Theory, Informal Empire, and World Systems intellectual traditions have demonstrated.

Many connections between Europe and Latin America survived the disintegration of the Ibero-Atlantic empires. New links, both overtly coercive and less so, proliferated, too. The severance of the formal imperial relationship produced lingering effects on individuals, institutions, and states. Portugal’s situation in the decades following formal recognition of Brazilian independence in 1825 is an ideal case study. Portuguese statesmen grappled with numerous pressing and significant dilemmas generated by the sudden deprivation of Brazil, including those related to political organization and overseas empire, which are addressed in this paper. Brazil's independence, then, cast a long shadow on Portugal's subsequent political, economic, and cultural development.

From colony to nation: political identities before, during, and after the Independence of Brazil, João Paulo Pimenta, Universidade de São Paulo

This paper will present a panoramic perspective of the history of political identities in Brazil in the transformation from a colonial world to a national one. In this history, the process of the independence of Brazil in relation to Portugal played a central role, since out this emerged the contours of a Brazilian identity which did not exist previously. Finally, the continued relevance of the question will be discussed, to the extent that the history discussed here is still present in Brazilian identarian dynamics of the twenty-first century.

Moderator: Elisa Frühauf Garcia, Universidade Federal Fluminense


3:20-3:40 pm Central Time

Panel Two: Portuguese Authority, Republicanism, and Rebellion

3:40-4:45 pm Central Time

Republican Ideas in the age of Independence, Heloisa Starling, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais

Retrace how a republican language was formed in Brazil between the Conspiracy of Minas, in 1789, and the Revolution of 1817, in Pernambuco. This language sustained an alternative project of Independence and established a connection, in the domain of ideas, with the American Revolution.

An Atlantic History: Brazil, France, and the United States of America (1776-1792), Kenneth Maxwell, Historian

A discussion of the impact of the "Recueil des Loix Constitutives des Colonies Anglois, confédérées sous la dénomination D'Etats-Unis de l'Amérique Septentrional,” a Collection of the Constitutional laws of the United States of North America confederated under the title of the United States of North America - published in France in 1778. It was from France that two copies of this book reached Minas Gerais in 1788 and was the basis of discussions among the Minas conspirators who between late 1788 and early 1789 planned to overthrow Portugues rule in an armed uprising and establish a constitutional republic on the North American model.

The paper discusses the role of Benjamin Franklin, the American envoy in Paris, in collecting the translations and encouraging the publication of this collection of key American constitutional documents in France in 1778, as part of his effort to gain French military and political support for the American cause. It also follows the secret meeting in Nimes in Southern France in 1787 between Thomas Jefferson, who had succeeded Franklin as the American envoy in Paris, and a young Brazilian revolutionary who was a postgraduate student at the University of Montpellier. At Nimes the two men discussed details of the proposed revolt in Brazil and the possibility of support from the United States.

Moderator: Elisa Frühauf Garcia, Universidade Federal Fluminense

Closing Remarks with Daniel Greene and Benoni Belli

4:45-5 pm Central Time