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Foreword Michael L. Conniff Every book has a history, including this one. Sinewy lines of causality stretch like vines into the foliage of the past. The Dawsey brothers who have contributed so much to this book spent their childhoods in the interior of the state of Sao Paulo, Brazil, where their parents served as missionaries in the Brazilian Methodist Church. Their grandparents were also missionaries who, responding to the religious fervor of the early twentieth century, moved to Brazil where they remained most of their years. Grandfather Dawsey preached his first sermon in Brazil at the Campo chapel of the confederados near Santa Barbara, and Grandmother Dawsey was later buried near the tomb of Prudente de Moraes in the nearby city of Piracicaba. Auburn University, located in central Alabama, has also played a role in the development of this book. One ofits important functions as a land-grant institution has been to promote agricultural and educational development overseas-just as the Southern emigrants from Alabama and neighboring states did over a century ago. The university's main library is compiling a special collection of documents for research into this remarkable episode in American history. Thus, it was no accident that thirty to forty people who follow the story of the confederados gathered here for several days in July 1992 to share research findings and map out new directions. Nor was it an accident that the Southern emigres wound up in Brazil. That country had always fascinated observers and invited comparisons with the United States. The English writer Robert Southey, who lived in Rio de Janeiro in the early nineteenth century, predicted in his magisterial History of Brazil that the country would surpass the United States in virtually all forms of endeavor. A hundred years later, Theodore Roosevelt pointed out the similarities between the two countries and predicted that they would become great powers and allies. Both countries featured a plantation economy dependent on slaves imported from Africa, and students of race relations have created a small industry devoted to comparisons between the different ways racial groups have interacted. Thus Brazil has always fascinated and attracted Americans. The cataclysmic U.S. Civil War drove the timing of the Southern emigration : followers of the defeated Confederacy could not wait to leave, as Wayne Flynt's chapter makes clear. From the standpoint of the receiving Xl xu Conniff country, however, the timing was unpropitious. In 1865 Brazil plunged into the War of the Triple Alliance, the slave question began to heat up, and soon an economic depression deflated the boom of preceding decades. The emperor, Dom Pedro II, had done much to encourage the migration; yet by the time the Southerners arrived he was overwhelmed with the war, domestic problems, and eventually his own failing health. The confederados largely had to fend for themselves. In consolation, however, they did not have to face a hostile government, as did Southern emigres in Mexico after the execution of Maximilian. Seen in the long term, though, Brazil and Latin America as a whole were beginning to seize control of their destinies in the years of the Southern out-migration. Argentina, Brazil, Chile, and Mexico (after a few years) consolidated their nationhood and entered a period of dramatic export-led growth. They rapidly replaced the Iberian mercantilism of colonial times with industrial capitalism and became engaged in the world economy. It was a good time for Americans to get in on the ground floor, so to speak. This may account for the unusual effect that the confederados had in Brazil: their impact was amplified by the effects of rapid modernization. As LauraJarnagin makes clear, the Southern emigration to Brazil took place within a framework of world-wide proportions. Industrialism and the transportation revolution made anything seem possible, even taming the mighty Andes mountains and Amazon jungle. Science, new technologies, educational advances, and the rise of international trade made it seem that progress was inevitable. Indeed, the positivism of the age became a faith of sorts, at least for those in the core regions. No matter that the Southerners were moving from one periphery to another, they could dream of using the system for their own advancement. The emigrants did not operate in a social vacuum either. Personal acquaintances , family networks, Freemasonry, business contracts, churches, and other associations constituted a dense web of relations that encouraged emigrants to leave the United States and sustained them in Brazil. Because prominent families in both countries-like the Calhouns and Yanceys...

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Additional Information

ISBN
9780817389024
Related ISBN
9780817309442
MARC Record
OCLC
45730752
Pages
288
Launched on MUSE
2016-01-01
Language
English
Open Access
No
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