The Contestado Movement, Brazil 1912 Analytical Essay by Nicky

The Contestado Movement, Brazil 1912
An analysis of what triggered the millenarian movement known as the Contestado, and why the state reacted so harshly to repress it.
# 148352 | 849 words | 1 source | MLA | 2011 | US
Published on Oct 12, 2011 in History (Latin America)

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The paper discusses how in 1912, Brazil had just undergone a profound social and economic disruption, and this movement aimed to redefine the peasant-landlord relationship outside of the new capitalist mindset that had been imposed upon the rural society. The paper provides evidence that this movement was not a political rebellion; it was more of a local spiritual crisis of meaning. The paper then explores why, given this lack of a political program, the state reacted so violently, and goes on to highlight the culture clash of values between the rural Brazilians and the state.

From the Paper:

"When the millenarian movement known as the Contestado erupted in 1912 the nation of Brazil had just undergone a profound social and economic disruption. Brazil was shifting to a more impersonal economic system, away from the landlord and tenant relationships that had defined rural life until that point. The stakes were high for the state: there had been an infusion of foreign money to fund a massive connecting railroad. This could be greatly profitable for Brazil, of course, but it also meant the displacement of many workers from their lands and ways of life. It also meant a shift of emigrant labor to formerly isolated areas. Former peasants, once dependant for their livelihood on small plots of land and tilling the soil rose upon in the form of the Contestado movement because it gave legitimacy to the old ideals they believed in: the close relationships between patron and farmer and the religious significance of a life that transcended material profits."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Diacon, Todd A. Millenarian Vision, Capitalist Reality. Durham: Duke University Press, 1991.

Cite this Analytical Essay:

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The Contestado Movement, Brazil 1912 (2011, October 12) Retrieved June 09, 2023, from

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"The Contestado Movement, Brazil 1912" 12 October 2011. Web. 09 June. 2023. <>