Ph.D., University of Florida
Jeffrey Mosher teaches Latin American History and World History. His most recent publications are Political Struggle, Ideology, and Statebuilding: Pernambuco and the Construction of Brazil, 1817-1850 and “The Struggle for the State: Partisan Conflict and the Origins of the Praieira Revolt in Imperial Brazil” in the Luso-Brazilian Review. In January of 2006 he presented “Political Stuggle, Race and The Construction of the New State: Pernambuco, Brazil, 1817-1824” at the annual meeting of the American Historical Association. Dr. Mosher´s current research interests focus on religion in modern Brazil. In the spring, 2010 term he taught a new undergraduate class, "Global Buddhism." In the spring, 2011 term he will teach a new graduate class, "Historical Studies of Religion: Latin America."
The collapse of the Portuguese empire in the Americas in the early nineteenth century did not immediately or easily translate into the formation of the independent nation-state of Brazil. While "Brazil" had geographic meaning, it did not constitute a cohesive political identity that could draw on basic loyalties. The tumultuous struggle to nationhood in Brazil was marked by the interplay of differing social groups, political parties, and regions. A series of violent revolts in Pernambuco, a large slaveholding, sugar-producing province in northeastern Brazil, exposed the tensions accompanying state and nation building. Political Struggle, Ideology, and State Building delves into the complex and engaging history of the contested province of Pernambuco, providing better understanding of the interplay between local and provincial social and political struggles and the construction of the nation-state.
Jeffrey C. Mosher reevaluates political parties, institutions long assumed to be mere facades for elite factions with identical interests. He demonstrates the importance of both formal political institutions and ideology, as well as the efforts of the lower classes to assert their own visions and values. Resentment of the Portuguese provided common ground for some elite factions and lower-class groups and figured importantly in defining the nation. Mosher's analysis clarifies how the lower class's assertiveness—in a society sharply divided by slavery, race, and class—frightened various elite groups into embracing both exclusionary discourses on race and the need for authoritarian, centralized political institutions, a development that proved to be an enduring legacy of the period.
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