Atlantic Transformations and Brazil's Imperial Independence

Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Date


Journal Title

New Countries: Capitalism, Revolutions, and Nations in the Americas, 1750-1870


John Tutino


Duke University Press




After 1750, the Americas lived political and popular revolutions, the fall of European empires, and the rise of nations as the world faced a new industrial capitalism. Political revolution made the United States the first new nation; revolutionary slaves made Haiti the second, freeing themselves and destroying the leading Atlantic export economy. A decade later, Bajio insurgents took down the silver economy that fueled global trade and sustained Spain s empire while Britain triumphed at war and pioneered industrial ways that led the U.S. South, still-Spanish Cuba, and a Brazilian empire to expand slavery to supply rising industrial centers. Meanwhile, the fall of silver left people from Mexico through the Andes searching for new states and economies. After 1870 the United States became an agro-industrial hegemon, most American nations turned to commodity exports, while Haitians and diverse indigenous peoples struggled to retain independent ways.