Minas Gerais in the Brazilian Federation, 1889-1937

By John D. Wirth | Go to book overview

CHAPTER THREE Society and Culture

ALBERTO SANTOS DUMONT: who was he, this "inventor of the aeroship who, like a victorious eagle, circled the Eiffel Tower three times in triumph to the frenetic acclaim of Parisians"? Of Henrique Dumont, the father, much was known, remarked O Diário de Minas in 1901. Diamantina-born of French parents, Paris-trained in engineering, well-married into the Paula Santos clan whose gold mine he had managed, Henrique, on his death in 1893, owned the largest coffee fazenda in São Paulo, where he raised three sons. One was a fazendeiro, another a banker, and then came the pioneer aviator about whom the Belo Horizonte daily knew little, not even his birthdate in Minas. Of the flight itself, the technology employed, the implications for Brazil, very little was said. That the event was important seemed not to need explaining, perhaps because it was recognized internationally. What mattered to the editors was to identify the inventor's Mineiro family roots. Having done so, O Diário closed on a note of regional pride. 1

Pride of family and of origin gave the Mineiro elite a strong sense of place. Their belief in a satisfying local world was more than a politician's delight, a journalist's feel for hyperbole. The extent to which this theme appears in their memoirs and creative literature shows it was a hallmark of Mineiro regionalism.

This grounding in origins and roots connotes stability, a longing for order in a changing environment. Yet the modernizing currents that were eroding localism by the 1880's were rapidly undercutting it

-65-

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Minas Gerais in the Brazilian Federation, 1889-1937
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Preface vii
  • Contents ix
  • Figures and Tables xi
  • Introduction xiii
  • Chapter One - the Minas Mosaic 1
  • Chapter Two - the Economy 31
  • Chapter Three - Society and Culture 65
  • Chapter Four - State Politics: Men, Events, and Structures 97
  • Chapter Five - the Political Elite 140
  • Chapter Six - State and Nation: Political Dimensions 164
  • Chapter Seven - Toward Integration 185
  • Chapter Eight Fiscal Federalism 204
  • Conclusion 225
  • Appendixes 235
  • Notes 267
  • Bibliography 295
  • Index 309
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