Brazil-USA relations from Tiradentes to Barão do Rio Branco

Bruno Gonçalves Rosi


The Baron of Rio Branco is popularly known as the greatest diplomat in Brazil's history. In the literature on Brazilian Foreign Policy, the Baron is seen (along with Joaquim Nabuco) as the founder of Americanism, a foreign policy paradigm in which bilateral relations with the United States were privileged within the Brazilian diplomatic agenda. This paradigm has been adopted with little opposition by the Foreign Ministry until the 1950s, when it was gradually replaced by a globalist paradigm that defines the Brazilian foreign policy since. Without completely denying this now traditional perspective, this article makes a brief assessment of relations between Brazil and the United States in the 19th century, ie before the Baron became foreign minister of Brazil. What is observed is that Brazil and the United States had peaceful, although distant, relations during most of the 19th century. This scenario, however, went through significant changes at the end of the century. Thus, it is important to note that the Baron and Nabucco have not created a new paradigm without any precedent. The analysis provided here is intended to help better consider the role of the Baron and Nabucco in the history of Brazilian foreign policy, particularly in relations between Brazil and the United States.

Keywords: Baron of Rio Branco; Joaquim Nabuco; Brazil-USA relations

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