The History of Brazil

History 143

Spring 2013
Day & Time: 
MWF 1-2P

This course provides undergraduates with an introduction to modern Brazilian history from the arrival of the Portuguese court in 1808 through the triumph of the Workers Party in 2003. Two centuries after João VI elevated his colony to a kingdom, Brazil continues to straddle the first and third worlds. The course traces the historic contradictions characterizing the nation’s economic, political and social development. Drawing on sources such as contemporary accounts, government documents, novels, films and music helps students understand how Brazil currently accounts for the region’s largest economy and one of the world’s worst distributions of wealth. Topics include the enduring importance of Brazil’s agricultural economies, slavery and abolition, transition from Empire to Republic, industrialization and urbanization, paternalism and patriarchy, immigration, ethnicity and a national culture, the economic miracle, and populism, authoritarianism, and the return to democratic rule.