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Direitos de propriedade, agricultura e controle social: representações oficiais sobre aldeamentos de índios e colônias agrícolas da Amazônia, décadas de 1840-80


  • Francivaldo Alves Nunes

    (Universidade Nova de Lisboa)


This article aims to determine the public agents’ understanding of land rights granted to Indian settlements (aldeamentos) and settlers in agricultural colonies in nineteenth century Amazonia. A grant of the right to use the land, that is, the legal warrant granting the permanence of the Indians’ and the settlers’ rights to use the land resources allocated to the settlements and colonies was contingent on regular cultivation of the land and on agricultural activities. Based on the reports and correspondence of the provincial administrations, we will show that both the Indian settlements and the agricultural colonies were represented as model spaces for socialization, evidencing a governmental policy of institutionalizing land usage rights subject to the requirement of agricultural work. This relationship is represented as one of social stratification, in which the settlers were afforded the social status of autonomous farmers and granted individual but initially conditional property rights, while the Indians were allocated the status of apprentice labourers on collective land managed by an appointed settlement director; they could earn autonomous farmer status through gradual and conditional acquisition of the property rights of parcels of land. Finally, we offer some instances of conflict, resistance and difficulties in implementation of this policy, as found in official communications.

Suggested Citation

  • Francivaldo Alves Nunes, 2017. "Direitos de propriedade, agricultura e controle social: representações oficiais sobre aldeamentos de índios e colônias agrícolas da Amazônia, décadas de 1840-80," Historia Agraria. Revista de Agricultura e Historia Rural, Sociedad Española de Historia Agraria, issue 71, pages 79-107, april.
  • Handle: RePEc:seh:journl:y:2017:i:71:m:april:p:79-107

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    More about this item


    Agricultural colonies; colonization; indian settlements; property rights; Amazonia-Brazil; nineteenth century;

    JEL classification:

    • N46 - Economic History - - Government, War, Law, International Relations, and Regulation - - - Latin America; Caribbean
    • N56 - Economic History - - Agriculture, Natural Resources, Environment and Extractive Industries - - - Latin America; Caribbean
    • N96 - Economic History - - Regional and Urban History - - - Latin America; Caribbean


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