The Confederados: Old South Immigrants in Brazil
Of all the colonies founded by former Confederates in Latin America, the most important was established by William Norris at Americana in southeastern Brazil. For 125 years the people in Americana have held on to their language and customs, while prospering within and contributing to the larger Brazilian economy and society. The original settlers came from Alabama, Texas, Louisiana, Georgia, and South Carolina, and some of them returned home for visits from time to time.
Much has been written about these people, but there has been relatively little scholarly inquiry into the historical context and the events of the migration itself, the cultural impact that these confederados exerted on their host country, and the ways in which the original settlers and their descendants fit into the larger Brazilian society. Most immigrant nationalities arriving in Brazil were quickly absorbed by the surrounding culture. Although the Confederates numbered but a few thousand and appeared earlier than most of the groups from other nations, they maintained distinctive traits, and many of their descendants still speak English as a first language.
The editors provide an excellent scholarly examination of the confederados that is unique in its approach. This volume focuses on the Norris settlement, near present-day Americana, and makes clear the ways in which the Americans influenced Brazilian culture beginning in the 1860s and continuing to the present.
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