Article Review Paper: "The Recognition of Brazilian Independence"

Article Review Paper: "The Recognition of Brazilian Independence"

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When researching the subject of Brazilian independence from Portugal and the contexts surrounding its peaceful path to independence, one will find two historians standing in the foreground of the study; Kenneth Maxwell and Alan K. Manchester. Kenneth Maxwell is an expert in Portuguese and Brazilian history and currently writes a weekly column for Brazil’s Folha newspaper. Alan Manchester (1897-1983) was an expert on Latin American and South American history and was an authority on economic and political relations between Brazil and Great Britain. In February of 1951, Manchester’s article, “The Recognition of Brazilian Independence”, was published in The Hispanic American Historical Review. Nearly half a century later in April of 2000, Kenneth Maxwell presented a lecture at Harvard University entitled, “Why Was Brazil Different? The Contexts of Independence”. In both articles, the authors highlight the contexts within which Brazil became an independent nation. Though these historians have the same frame of reference, it is evident that over the past fifty years, historian's approach on the topic of Brazilian independence has changed significantly. The grounds for comparison of Manchester and Maxwell’s articles are the differences in their arguments for the major contributors and decisive factors involved in the struggle for Brazilian independence. In addition, the evidence these historians use to support their arguments has also changed. Time has also altered the questions historians ask about the contexts surrounding the independence of Brazil from Portugal.
Alan K. Manchester’s article, “The Recognition of Brazilian Independence”, contains a strong argument in favor of a British preeminence in Brazil’s struggle for independ...


... middle of paper ...


...drastically change the way historians approach the topic of Brazilian independence, the questions they ask, and the evidence they use to uphold their arguments. While it is clear that their hasn't been a ground-breaking revelation in the past fifty years, one can see historian's shift from a purely Euro-centric outlook on the contexts surrounding Brazilian independence and start to question other factors and offer new viewpoints to be considered.


Works Cited

Manchester, Alan K. “The Recognition of Brazilian Independence.” The Hispanic American Historical Review 31, no.1 (February 1951): 80-96.
Maxwell, Kenneth. “Why was Brazil Different? The Contexts of Independence.” Paper presented at John Parry Memorial Lecture, Harvard University, April 25, 2000, http://www.drclas.harvard.edu/files/WasBrazilDifferent-TheContextsofIndependence_0.pdf (accessed October 2, 2011).

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