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Mentalidades e estruturas sociais no Brasil colonial: uma resenha coletiva


  • Schwartz, Stuart B.


This review essay will survey some of the recent historical production seeking to redefine or redirect the study of the Brazilian colonial past. Until recently, modern historiography on Brazil reflected heavy concentration on political economy, the colonial arrangement, the issues related to slavery, and the anomalies of a multiracial society. A consensus view emerged among historians of radically different political and methodological persuasions which envisioned Brazil as a mercantilist colony with an economy structured by its export orientation and slave-based latifundia, headed by a planter aristocracy which determined its social life in many ways, even in nonplantation regions. This consensus dominated historical reflection about Brazil for half a century but is now under serious scrutiny. The attack is being mounted by historians who still view the traditional Marxist themes of economic structure and its relation to social organization as the appropriate subject of analysis but also by a new generation of historians interested more in the attitudes and ideas that have shaped or resulted from those structures and relations than in the these phenomena per se.

Suggested Citation

  • Schwartz, Stuart B., 1999. "Mentalidades e estruturas sociais no Brasil colonial: uma resenha coletiva," Revista Economia e Sociedade, Instituto de Economia, Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP), vol. 13, pages 1-25, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:euc:ancoec:v:13:y:1999:p:129-153

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