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Eleven Conclusions Currents in Confederado Research Cyrus B. Dawsey andJames M. Dawsey The preceding chapters of this book reflect the efforts of scholars independently pursuing unique research interests. Yet their common subject is the Confederate emigrant and Brazilian confederado. Beyond adding to the overall body of historical knowledge, each contribution points the way to further investigation of independent and particular topics. Besides expanding isolated and separate research frontiers, however, the chapters also trace several common themes. We believe that three of them are especially important and represent significant new insight. The first theme relates to the motivation of the migration in the 1860s. In the second paragraph of his inaugural 1927 study of the emigration to Brazil, Lawrence Hill wondered what impelled the Southerners "to desert their native land and begin life anew in a strange country." Without hesitation he answered: "Although they [i.e., the reasons] varied greatly with the different individuals and with diverse groups, in general they can be placed under one heading-a desire to get out from under a government controlled by Brownlows, 'niggers', and Yankees. It was felt that a government in such hands could not protect 'life, liberty and property', much less 'conserve honor, chivalry and purity', that inestimable trinity without which life is not worth living and without which no community can be termed Christian .'" But perhaps Hill himself thought that he had answered too quickly, without proper reflection. For in 1935, eight years later, he no longer wrote about Confederate "exiles," but rather about the Confederate "exodus"; and he subtitled the first part of his more mature study on the subject "Romance and Strife," showing that he was keenly aware that there were other reasons driving the Southern exodus to Latin America besides the emigres' desire to flee reconstruction.2 In fact, since the 1930S there has been a growing realization among scholars that there were numerous, complex reasons leading Southerners to emigrate after the war. Several of the chapters in this book shed new C. B. Dawsey & J. M. Dawsey light on what motivated the confederados to go to Brazil. Chapters 1, 3, and 4 recapitulate earlier research by summarizing many of the conditions that pushed Southerners from one homeland and pulled them to another. Chapter 2, written by confederado Smith, confirms Hill's second opinion and indicates that the call to adventure was a powerful motive. Already in the 1980s, Daniel Sutherland had focused on the key role that economic factors played in the Southern emigration.3 Wayne Flynt begins chapter 6 by acknowledging the new poor of the South; and LauraJarnagin in chapter 4 relates the migration to world economic forces. Chapters 5, 6, and 7 remind us that several of the Southerners were driven by evangelical zeal and the goal of spreading the "pure religion" to Brazilians. But perhaps the greatest contribution of the essays to our understanding of what led the confederados to go to Brazil is the identification and exploration of the role played by personal linkages. Thus, Griggs in chapter 3 examines the relationship between Alfred Iverson Smith and Frank McMullan . Jarnagin in chapter 4 looks at the multiple family connections: on the one hand, among the emigrants and, on the other hand, among the Brazilians ; and she traces linkages between the two groups-the business interests , Protestant ideal, Masonic lodges, and so forth. Furthermore, Wayne Flynt and also Cyrus and James Dawsey examine how these personal connections helped propagate the religious beliefs and educational values of the Southerners. Thus, the influence of personal linkages in the emigration to Brazil deserves further study. These essays represent a promising current of inquiry. A second theme that marks the book and will likely be a rewarding area of study concerns an improved picture of the confederados'influence on Brazilian society. As mentioned in chapter 5, Blanche Clark Weaver set the agenda for present-day research in this area by looking at the ways in which the Southern emigres contributed to the establishment of the Presbyterian, Baptist, and Methodist denominations and the missionary schools in Brazil .4 Following Weaver's lead, Jones and others gradually shifted attention away from the technological innovations introduced in the nineteenth century and focused on the American churches and schools as the important aspects of confederado culture whose influence would persist into the twentieth century. The tendency here has been to claim too much by letting the large scope of American influence color our perception of the specific contributions of the confederados. Nowhere is...

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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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