Conflicts of Property Rights of Land in Brazil: The Moral Economy of Carioca Tenancies

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This research examines the major process of expropriation underlying the creation of private property. It reveals that the wave of expropriation was not entirely an external force affecting defenseless individuals but rather there was willing participation and action by members of the affected community to initiate change in property rights and ownership.


“…this book constitutes a shining example of historical analysis methodology… In essence, Pedroza makes conscious use of the concepts of ‘moral economy’ and ‘practical owners’ to good effect in countering a tendency that is all too common in the histiography: that of constructing and accepting the linear narrative that makes the capitalist economy out to be rational, superior, homogeneous and of great theoretical coherence and in which the discourses regarding ‘market’ and ‘property’ , seem more as metaphor than reality, have played an important role…Pedroza addresses realities not previously recorded…and attitudes we had forgotten ever existed.”
-Professor Maria Rosa Congost Colomer,
Department of Economic History,
University of Girona, Cataluña

"Dr. Pedroza has produced a solid scholarly work not only for the specialist but for the general reader. She has searched, in the course of her investigation, all possible material available in the field of rural economy observing in analyzing the history of Brazil. She has masterfully analyzed the Land Law of 1850 to explain the concept of practical owners in a mostly feudal society.”
-Professor Filippo M. Toscano,
Delaware State University

“Every scholar who analyses landholding and agrarian dynamic in Brazil nowadays cite Manoela Pedroza’s work. Her dialogue with its Brazilian and foreign bibliography, the variety of sources she investigates and the theoretical debates, especially Giovanni Levy and Edward Palmer Thompson, she utilizes make this book a welcomed contribution to scholarship in this field.”
-Professor Álvaro P. Nascimento,
Programa de Pós-Graduaçãem História,
Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro

Table of Contents

I. Abstract
II. Foreword by Professor Rosa Congost
III. Specific contribution to scholarship
IV. Acknowledgements
Chapter 1 – The establishment

I. A special kind of tenancy: the sítio
II. The development of a new system of land transmission in the Tropics
III. Kinship between the seigneurial class and marriage between social unequals
IV. The excluded heirs and their sítios
V. Conclusion
Chapter 2 – Maintaining traditions in the midst of economic difficulties
I. Introduction
II. Ownership of land by family businesses
III. The significance of the land remaining undivided
IV. Discovering a carioca moral economy
V. Conclusion
Chapter 3 – The outsiders
I. Introduction
II. Examining the role of arrendamento leases and arrendatário leaseholders
III. Analysing the arrendamentos in non-economic terms
IV. Paternalism and violence in the seigneurial habitus
V. Conclusion
Chapter 4 – Expropriation leading to sole ownership
I. Introduction
II. The Traditional market for land and mills
III. A new market for fictitious assets
IV. From seigneurs in decline to ‘practical’ landowners
V. Conclusion
General Conclusion

I. Documentary sources
II. Printed sources
Analytical Index

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