Focusing on the major uprisings that swept through several Brazilian cities and rural areas during the imperial period, this collection seeks to examine the ways in which free poor and freed populations of color engaged with, resisted, and negotiated the often tumultuous process of state formation at the national, provincial, and local levels. While the topic of lower-class involvement in these rebellions is not new, what distinguishes this volume is the variety of geographical areas covered, the inclusion of movements from the first and second halves of the nineteenth century, and the depth of analysis of the motives, means, and meanings of popular participation in social protest as the Brazilian state built and defined the boundaries of its legitimacy.

The book rejects the traditional classification of imperial-era revolts as nativist, regional, liberal, conservative, regency, regresso, or late imperial rebellions. By centering...

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