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Varia Historia

Print version ISSN 0104-8775On-line version ISSN 1982-4343


CABRAL, Diogo de Carvalho. Portuguese America's economic substantivism and forest history. Varia hist. [online]. 2008, vol.24, n.39, pp.113-133. ISSN 0104-8775.

Although some important precedent works already called attention to the theme and, in a certain way, foretold a delineation of the object, it may be said that Warren Dean's With Broadax and Firebrand (1995) and Shawn Miller's Fruitless Trees (2000) are the real founders of Portuguese America's forest historiography. Dean and Miller have established the general parameters for the study of colonial Atlantic Forest from the point of view of politic-economical processes of appropriation and use of environmental resources, both concerning the forms of approach and the explicative hypotheses. Notwithstanding, these two works do not incorporate the powerful trend, observed in the last decade, of a colonial economy's approach strongly influenced by author such as Marcel Mauss, Karl Polanyi e Giovanni Levi, generating a great revision on the determinants of Luso-Brazilian economy. This article aims itself a critic of forest historiography such as sketched out by Dean and Miller from the prism of this economic-substantivist attitude.

Keywords : Forest historiography; Economic substantivism; Portuguese America.

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