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Revista Brasileira de História

Print version ISSN 0102-0188On-line version ISSN 1806-9347

Abstract

BRITTO, Ana Lucia; QUINTSLR, Suyá  and  PEREIRA, Margareth da Silva. Baixada Fluminense: Fluvial and Social Dynamics in the Constitution of a Territory. Rev. Bras. Hist. [online]. 2019, vol.39, n.81, pp.47-70.  Epub July 15, 2019. ISSN 0102-0188.  https://doi.org/10.1590/1806-93472019v39n81-03.

The territorial identity of Baixada Fluminense is marked by rivers, its name derived from the region’s physiographic configuration. In this article we look to contribute to the history of how this identity was constructed in the nineteenth century and the beginning of the twentieth, adopting a theoretical perspective situated on the interface between environmental history and the history of sociotechnical systems, thus enabling an articulation of fluvial and social dynamics. The backdrop is formed by the social and political changes in Brazil and Rio de Janeiro from the nineteenth century to the 1930s. The analysis divides into three periods: (i) from the beginning of the territory’s occupation at the end of the sixteenth century to the first half of the nineteenth century, when the rivers enabled some settlements to prosper; (ii) the region’s economic stagnation and subsequent decline in the second half of the nineteenth century and its first depictions as an insalubrious marshland area at the end of the same century, with its rivers identified as the focal point of this unhealthiness; (iii) large-scale interventions on the rivers implemented in the 1930s, undertaken by the DNOS, which prompted a new cycle of economic development of the region.

Keywords : urban rivers; Baixada Fluminense; environmental history; history of sociotechnical systems.

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