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Book, Coronelismo hoe and vote: the municipality and the regime represent[LS]

Book, Coronelismo hoe and vote: the municipality and the regime represent[LS]


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One of the inaugural landmarks of modern political science in Brazil, Coronelismo, hoe and vote remains fully valid more than sixty years after its first publication - despite the almost complete disappearance of the agrarian country that inspired it. The rigor demonstrated by Victor Nunes Leal in his interpretation of historical documents, legislation and statistical data (then new in human sciences work carried out in the country); the fluent writing, free from baccalaureate presumption and shaped according to the best tradition of nationally interpreted essayism; the unprecedented insights into the systemic structure of coronelismo, which transcended the scope of local bossism to penetrate the highest echelons of the Republic: several are the merits of this book, conceived as a competition thesis for the chair of politics at the former University of Brazil (currently UFRJ), where Nunes Leal taught between 1943 and 1969. Coronelismo, an archaic and brutal system, was the main political pillar of the Old Republic (1889-1930). According to the author, the granting of official status in the National Guard - an imperial militia created in 1831 - to large land and slave owners sealed the illegitimate alliance between public power and the private interests of these bigwigs. In the Republic, former captives and their descendants soon became part of the sphere of electoral influence of the heirs of the big house. In this way, successive state and federal governments were elected with the “halter votes” of the grotões. Although the supremacy of rural caudillos has long been just an episode in our history, its harmful consequences are still felt in the country's archaic land distribution.

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