Barbara Weinstein is the Silver Professor of History at New York University. She is the coeditor of
The Middle Class in Arms?: Fighting for São Paulo
Leaders and chroniclers of the Constitutionalist Revolution claimed that paulistas from all walks of life supported the uprising but imagined the typical paulista soldier as white, male, and middle-class. This chapter examines the participation and opposition of various segments of paulista society, arguing that the uprising had significant popular support but at the same time reinforced a regional identity that was white and middle-class. Working-class paulistas were more divided in their loyalties, but large numbers of Afro-paulistas joined the Black Legions fighting for São Paulo, and most of the key modernist intellectuals and artists ardently supported the movement. It concludes with the argument that the uprising not only had special appeal for those paulistas who identified as middle-class, but was a major force in shaping middle-class identity.