Class Notes 2/6/18

Fun class music:


  • With class presentationspicking up it is important to watch timing to have enough time to accomplish everything.
  • Great Decisions Lecture was on Immigration tonight (2/6/18) with Angela Maria Kelly. She is also having a talk on DACA this Thursday (2/8/18) at 4PM.
  • There is a History major information session this Thursday (2/8/18) at 11AM. This meeting is for anyone who is interested/thinking about a History major or double major.

Cultural Blog Post: Japanese Population in Sao Paulo (David)

Class today began with a Brazilian culture blog post discussing the Japanese population in Sao Paulo. David discussed the wave of Japanese immigration to Brazil and how Japanese culture is a large part of Sao Paulo, especially in the neighborhood Liberdade. This presentation tied into class discussions about the formation of a national Brazilian identity.

Class Discussion:  Independence and Construction of Brazilian National Identity

Class today focused around the story of Brazil’s independence from Portugal and the different ways that the story is told. Discussion centered around the formation of a Brazilian national identity:  Who was included as a citizen, excluded, and who had the right to vote. Within this topic, we also looked at the implications of relying on different historical sources to understanding national identity. We began by looking at primary source photos of King Joao VI and Emperor Pedro !, shown below, while discussing the historic tale of Brazilian independence.

After discussing the historical tale of independence, Professor Holt distributed a partial copy of the 1824 Brazilian Constitution. We discussed in small groups after analyzing the document and its implications for who is defined as a citizen of the newly independent Brazil and who had the right to vote. One main aspect of Brazilian citizenship that was discussed was the focus on loyalty. The newly independent kingdom was wary of Portuguese and African populations within the country and their loyalty to Brazil. The 1824 Constitution provided a primary source document on the legal formation of Brazilian national identity during the time of independence. Class ended by looking at Kraay’s argument around the Dois de Julho Celebration versus the national September 7th independence day celebration. He argues that these celebrations showed the anti-Portuguese and anti-African sentiment that existed during the time of independence.

Key Terms:

  • Liberdade, Sao Paulo: Japanese neighborhood in Sao Paulo
  • Emperor Pedro I: First emperor of the newly independent kingdom of Brazil.
  • Household: Households were seen as the primary political unit in early Brazil. They were headed by one main male figure who held the voting rights within the unit.
  • 2 de Julho: Celebration of winning Brazilian independence from the Portuguese, primarily celebrated in Bahia
  • September 7th: Brazilian Independence Day. This day is thought of as the day that Pedro I declared independence through a declaration.

Further Questions:

  1. How have the early ideas shaped how Brazilian identity is seen today? Especially when looking at the construction of race.
  2. In what ways is the story of Brazilian Independence central to Brazilian history and how they view their history today?
  3. In what way do celebrations challenge/show the formation of national identity? Especially how do they show state identity and does that differ from national identity?

More Sources on Topic:

Roett, Riordan. “The Historical Background: Colony, Empire, and Republic.” In The New Brazil, 19-36. Washington, D.C.: Brookings Institution Press, 2011.

Kraay, Hendrik. “Between Brazil and Bahia: Celebrating Dois De Julho in Nineteenth-Century Salvador.” Journal of Latin American Studies 31, no. 2 (1999): 255-86.

Barickman, B. J. “Reading the 1835 Parish Censuses from Bahia: Citizenship, Kinship, Slavery, and Household in Early Nineteenth-Century Brazil.” The Americas 59, no. 3 (2003): 287-323.