História (São Paulo)
On-line version ISSN 1980-4369
CHRYSOSTOMO, Maria Isabel de Jesus. Campos: the dreamed capital of a desired province. (1835 - 1897). História [online]. 2011, vol.30, n.1, pp. 56-89. ISSN 1980-4369. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0101-90742011000100004.
This work discusses the attempts of Campos dos Goyatazes to become a political center. It will emphasize three movements, which correspond, in parallel, to three distinct moments in time: the first, developed over a long period, relates to the construction of images and representations that served as the motto for the capital build project during the 19th century; the second, in 1855, corresponds to when a project to create the province of Goyatazes was initially drafted; and, finally, the third, in 1890, coincides with Campos claiming to be the new capital of what was, then, the state of Rio de Janeiro. Within the study, I correlate the motives that led the city of Campos to recurrently fight for a change in its administrative status, to the mechanisms used by the local elites to construct, for the city, an image of geopolitical centrality and influence. I also discuss how the scheme to become the capital constituted just one of the strategies of local agents to expand their political influence, starting, literally, from a control of the "ground". This movement forged new spatialities, by using, without restrictions, any argument, which associated the themes of development with regional integration. Therefore indicating, I believe, that Campos' aspiration to become a capital merely reflected local ambitions for political dominance through the concentration of political and administrative power.
Keywords : Campos dos Goyatazes; Capital; Region; Sugarcane.