Trade and Gunboats: The United States and Brazil in the Age of Empire

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A hundred years ago, the United States first projected itself onto the international stage, hoping to stake out a sphere of influence in Latin America just as the largest of Latin American countries, Brazil, ending a 67-year-long monarchical regime, struggled to redefine its relationship to the world economy. Debates raged between liberals and corporatists, between free traders and protectionists. When the trajectories of these two unequal giants collided, their interaction revealed much about the international economic and political affairs of their day that bears upon the debates surrounding today's new world order. The book begins by examining the Blaine-Mendonca Accord of 1891, the first commercial pact ever signed between Brazil and the United States, thus beginning a special relationship that lasted into the 1970's. This is the first study of U.S.-Brazilian relations that seriously examines the internal politics and economics of both countries and how they played themselves out in the late nineteenth century. The author attempts a new kind of international history, comparative political economy, that examines not only internal dynamics but also the nature of the international regime at the time.