Rebellion on the Amazon: The Cabanagem, Race, and Popular Culture in the North of Brazil, 1798-1840

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The Brazilian Amazon experienced, in the late 1830s, one of Brazil’s largest peasant and urban-poor insurrections, known as the Cabanagem. Uniquely, rebels succeeded in controlling provincial government and town councils for more than a year. In this first book-length study in English, the rebellion is placed in the context of late colonial and early national society and economy. It compares the Cabanagem with contemporaneous Latin American peasant rebellions and challenges to centralized authority in Brazil. Using unpublished documentation, it reveals – contrary to other studies – that insurgents were not seeking revolutionary change or separation from the rest of Brazil. Rather, rebels wanted to promote their vision of a newly independent nation and an end to exploitation by a distant power. The Cabanagem is critical to understanding why the Amazon came to be perceived as a land without history.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521437233
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 9/13/2010
  • Series: Cambridge Latin American Studies, #95
  • Pages: 352
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Mark Harris is based at the University of St Andrews. He was awarded a British Academy postdoctoral fellowship, 1996–1999, and the Philip Leverhulme Prize in 2004. He is the author of Life on the Amazon: The Anthropology of a Brazilian Peasant Village (2000), editor of Ways of Knowing (2007), and co-editor (with Stephen Nugent) of Some Other Amazonians (2006). He has also taught at the Federal University of Pará in Belém, Brazil, and the London School of Economics.
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Table of Contents

Introduction: divergent Amazonia; 1. Pará in the age of revolution, history, and historiography; 2. Life on the river; 3. The family and its means in the lower Amazon; 4. Some of the origins of peasant rebellion and the agrarian sector; 5. Forms of resistance in the late colonial period; 6. Independence, liberalism, and changing social and racial relations, 1820–1835; 7. The United Brazilian Encampment at Ecuipiranga, 1833–1837; 8. 'Vengeance on innocence': the repression and continuing rebellion, 1836–1840; Conclusion: the making of the Brazilian Amazon.
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