This is a detailed study of British influence in Brazil as a theme
within the larger story of modernization. The British were involved
at key points in the initial stages of modernization. Their hold
upon the import export economy tended to slow down
industrialization, and there were other areas in which their
presence acted as a brake upon Brazilian modernization. But the
British also fostered change. British railways provided primary
stimulus to the growth of coffee exports, and since the British did
not monopolize coffee production, a large proportion of the profits
remained in Brazilian hands for other uses. Furthermore, the
burgeoning coffee economy shattered traditional economic, social
and political relationships, opening up the way for other areas of
growth. The British role was not confined to economic development.
They also contributed to the growth of 'a modern world-view'.
Spencerianism and the idea of progress, for instance, were not
exotic and meaningless imports, but an integral part of the
transformation Brazil was experiencing.
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