SciELO - Scientific Electronic Library Online

vol.32 issue63A Cultural Diplomacy Project for the Republic: Revista Americana and the building of a new continental visionHotels in São Paulo City in the first decade of the 20th century: diversity in their size, location and services author indexsubject indexarticles search
Home Pagealphabetic serial listing  

Services on Demand




Related links


Revista Brasileira de História

On-line version ISSN 1806-9347

Rev. Bras. Hist. vol.32 no.63 São Paulo  2012 



Civism, the Republic and textbooks1



Cleber Santos Vieira

Departamento de Educação, Escola de Filosofia, Letras e Ciências Humanas, Universidade Federal de São Paulo (Unifesp) – Campus Guarulhos. Estrada do Caminho Velho, 333, Pimenta. 07252-312 Guarulhos – SP – Brasil.




The article analyzes aspects of civility at the dawn of the Brazilian Republic, with emphasis on research dealing with two school textbooks: História do Brasil ensinada pela biografia de seus heróis (History of Brazil taught by the biographies of its heroes) by Silvio Romero (1890) and A História de São Paulo pela biografia de seus nomes mais notáveis (A History of São Paulo according to the biographies of its most notable names) (1895), published by Tancredo Amaral. On the one hand, the nuances of Magistra Historia Vitae present in these objects of material culture are looked at. Second, I highlight the extent to which these stories were punctuated by disagreements about education or civic instruction, the affirmation of regional civism and the history of conflicts between the protagonists of São Paulo republicanism.

Keywords: Civism; schoolbooks; Republican Brazil.


O artigo analisa aspectos do civismo no alvorecer da República brasileira, com ênfase na pesquisa sobre dois livros escolares: História do Brasil ensinada pela biografia de seus heróis, de Silvio Romero (1890); e A História de São Paulo pela biografia de seus nomes mais notáveis (1895), publicado por Tancredo Amaral. Por um lado, trata-se de apresentar nuances da Historia Magistra Vitae presentes nestes objetos da cultura material. Por outro, de destacar em que medida suas histórias foram pontuadas por divergências em torno da questão educação ou instrução cívica pela afirmação de um civismo de coloração regional, bem como palco de conflitos entre protagonistas do republicanismo paulista.

Palavras-chave: civismo; livro didático; Brasil República.



Teaching and learning notions of civism through biographies is based on the assertion Historia Magistra Vitae. Coined by Cicero, this history, the master of life “is a crucible containing multiple different experiences, from which we appropriate a pedagogical objective.”2 Remembering the deeds and words of great characters has the aim of providing examples of moral, ethical and political conduct. This history like a ‘necklace of examples’ played an important role in the civic formation of citizens in the classical world.

Over time Historia Magistra Vitae underwent many metamorphoses. In the nineteenth century, as Fernando Catroga has identified, the scientism disseminated among historians provoked a scientist version of Historia Magister Vitae: “the study of the past (or of a certain past) is a fundamental condition to understand the present and to perceive the direction of the future.”3 Still relying on Catroga, “rites of remembering, which biographies of national heroes are a part, creational functions of sociabilities. The biographies of figures considered to be most important inserts the example of the action in the act of remembering” (p.58).

The civic liturgy of remembering is projected into teaching in the form of hagiography, in which the aim of studying the achievements of certain persons continued to be that of training apt individuals to repeat heroic acts, now however, to insert them in the context of the imagined political community.4 As a result, as in liturgies of remembering, in biographic reports “there always exists a tension between cordiality, or better, between affectivity and knowledge, as well as between memory and normativity, antitheses which tend to be resolved through messages; and these act as pulsating currents which act as duties” (Catroga, 2001, p.27). The lives of some people are narrated in order to construct national identity, which is molded by regularity and linearity existing in the civic practice of its actors. In this rite the temporal and spatial dispersion which conditions the steps of those whose biographies are produced is forgotten. In its place a national unity is constructed recognized in the adventures, challenges and conflicts confronted in these biographies.

Recomposing the arguments of Allain Choppin, it is necessary to take into account that in the contemporary world the pedagogical tools concerned with the civic education of citizens were consolidated after the French Revolution. These tools, since they are composed of irreconcilable elements and objectives, contain ambiguous traits. For Choppin the question extends to the differentiation between teaching and civic education and is based on the distinction of the purposes, objectives and content that are part of the teaching of civism, which oscillates between the presentation of given objectives (teaching) and the concern with ensuring adhesion to a value system (education). According to Choppin:

 it oscillates between two objectives that had difficult to reconcile: on the one hand, should it model individuals in accordance with social norms? Or give them information that will allow them freely exercise their critical spirit in urbanity? The manual which constituted the concrete preparation of the aims of learning necessarily fluctuates between two functions: disseminate an ideology, a value system, or present objective knowledge.5

In this way, aimed at educating citizens, developing patriotic sentiments, transmitting value systems or offering knowledge necessary for the free practice of liberty by citizens in public life, civism was brought into schools. In this trajectory school books assumed different discursive forms: reading books, adapted and commented constitutions, short stories, poems, narrative biographies, in short a broad range of narrative genres which sometimes privileged patriotic themes and sometimes emphasized looking at laws relevant to the political organization of countries.

This paper analyzes the presence of Cicero’s concept of history in two school manuals for civic education published between the ending of the nineteenth century and the dawning of the twentieth. More precisely, it will investigate the dimension of Historia Magistra Vitae prepared in the heat of the commemorations of the Brazilian republican advent, with the following subjects of analysis: 1) História do Brasil ensinada pela biographia de seus heroes (ensino cívico) – livro para as classes primárias, (History of Brazil taught by the biographies of its heroes (civics education) – a book for primary classes) written by Silvio Romero in 1890; 2) A História de São Paulo pela biografia de seus nomes mais notáveis, (A History of São Paulo according to the biographies of its most notable names) published in 1895 by Tancredo do Amaral.6 Special attention will be given to the prefaces of the books studied, seeking to highlight this object as the category of analysis for the book.7

In História do Brasil ensinada pela biographia de seus heroes (ensino cívico) – livro para as classes primárias, Silvio Romero and the author of the preface to the book, João Ribeiro, projected the debate about the best form of awakening the patriotic spirit and notions of citizenship. They show the broader debate that accompanied the process of introducing civism in schools throughout the modern world: should civics education be introduced in schools through teaching, i.e., in a set of data and information that allow students to get to know the structures of the nation-state (the constitution, rights and duties, concepts and definitions of the patria, patriotism, national sovereignty, etc.), or should civics teaching prepare them for the assimilation of  values, taking as an example the protagonists who contributed to the formation of society?

To the contrary of historic republicans, such as Ennes de Souza, and republicans of the last minute, such as Domingos Jaguaribe Filho,8 for example, Silvio Romero and Júlio Ribeiro criticized the predilection for the idea of civics teaching. Although many nurture admiration of the political and cultural advances existing in modern societies, where the civics texts had a more instructional nature, as was the case of Switzerland, they diverge from the model of civism teaching based predominantly on the study of the laws of the country. Ribeiro’s argument is as follows:

What is instruction in Civics?

We will rapidly study the documents that refer to the legislation in question in the more advanced countries. Neither effort nor erudition is needed. Everything is complied, described with lucidity and without disorder.

In Switzerland, where the novelty penetrated at the cost and without the character of the obligatory study of Freiburg, this appears in Vaud completely reduced to summary notion so that what faces us is an essential study of political geography: in other words, it is reduced to notions of the forms of government, society family and tribes.

In Belgium constitutional law only appears in adult schools.

In the United States, according to Buisson there is still a trop pretentieux program of science of governemment in some schools, which even today no one knows what it is.

Where did this Gongorian stubbornness come from, as Herculano called them, these new men enchanted by the vocabulary of modern science, by the brilliant technique of resuscitated antiquities?

It came with so many other trivialities of democracy from the amazing torrent of the French Revolution. The declaration of the rights of man brought to primary schools this monopoly of politics over all other activities of common life. (Ribeiro, Júlio. Prefácio. In: Romero, 1893, p.II-IV)

Enthusiastic and committed following the creation of the Republic, Silvio Romero and Júlio Ribeiro produced a book in which they sought to engender patriotic feelings and political participation at the same time. Against the sacred history that prevailed in teaching until 1889, they proposed the teaching of profane history, in which “the hero appeared as a constructor of the patria concerned with authors in composing biographies which could cover a history of the entire country with a common past, explained within a pedagogical concern, the division of large periods marked by territorial conquests and independence.”9

However, to achieve this task the authors considered it more relevant to write history privileging the conduct of the great names of national history. In this way they produced and reproduced the introduction of civism in schools, adopting as a model Historia Magistra Vitae, while they moved away from the idea of instruction:

Civics teaching in the same way as the ancient Rhetoric in preparatory courses, only tolerated thanks to tradition, is a scarecrow that will be created in modern legislation to embarrass the future. Effectively, as Pestalozzi says, the education of men should principally take into account humanity and not the state. Furthermore, the teaching of civics will educate as many citizens as rhetoric has educated orators. (Ribeiro, ibidem, p.V)

The best manner of educating citizens, Júlio Ribeiro stated in the preface to Silvio Romero’s work, was to substitute instruction in civics with the teaching of civics focused on biographies, since “in this way the Patria can be reconstructed by patriots, anonymous history by autographic documents, and synthesizing the species by the clearest examples of individuals” (ibidem).

Silvio Romero followed the script and provided biographies of Columbus, Cabral and Anchieta; Vidal de Negreiros, Fernandes Vieira, Camarão, Henrique Dias, Tiradentes, Claudio M. da Costa, Alvarenga Peixoto and T. Gonzaga; Alexandre Ferreira and Conceição Velloso; J. Bonifácio, Evaristo da Veiga, Feijó, Luiz Alves de Lima e Silva; Gonçalves Dias; Deodoro da Fonseca, Benjamim Constant and Botelho de Magalhães.

Five years later, the model of civics teaching defended by Silvio Romero and Júlio Ribeiro to praise the republic and Brazilian republicans becoming the principal source of inspiration for another author, Tancredo Amaral, praised the São Paulo republicans. The connections between the two authors (and books) were explained early on in the dedications where his friend Silvio Romero was presented as “as one of the most industrious and renowned Brazilian writers.”

However, Silvio Romero’s presence in the book went much further than acknowledgements. He was the great source of inspiration, whose influence was clear in the structure of Amaral’s book. In A história de São Paulo na biografia de seus nomes mais notáveis, the line of argumentation previously traced by Júlio Ribeiro in the preface to Silvio Romero’s manual was reissued in the form of chapters: what had previous been called by Romero “Livro primeiro – Ideias Preliminares Como se deve entender a História do Brasil (Book One – Preliminary Ideas of How the History of Brazil Should be Understood)”, was repeated in Tancredo do Amaral as “Livro primeiro – Ideias Preliminares Como se deve ser estudada a História (Book One – Preliminary Ideas of How History Should Be Studied).” What was the reading protocol for teaching Brazilian’s civics reappears diluted in the body of the preliminary text of the history of São Paulo state:

What is the history of a people, however, but the history of their great men, their most notable deeds, who have been working for the human ideal, which is the ever growing perfection, progress in one word?

What is the history of a country but the individual efforts of each person, employing their intelligence and their labor in the various branches of human activity to raise their native earth, their patria to honor humanity. (Amaral, 1895, p.17)

It should be noted that the book was produced in the context of the problems engendered by the affirmation of the idea of the federative republic of Brazil. The manual can thus be understood as structured and structuring structure, using the concept coined by Pierre Bourdieu,10 of a provincial tinted civism. Civics education centered on the biographies of São Paulo republicans, thus, corresponded to regional civic representations in light of the cultural policy articulated around the policies of governors.

In this context the recently inaugurated Republican regime was marked by instabilities, attempts at political stabilization and above all, by the ascension of São Paulo republicans to the command of the United States of Brazil. After the promulgation of the 1891 Constitution, the question of the institutionalization of the Republic remained latent: military hiccups, Jacobin actions and principally the economic and political strength of regional oligarchs hindered the stability of the new regime. As soon as he took office Campos Salles took the decisive step that would mark the Brazilian political panorama until 1930: the reform of the regulations of the Chamber of Deputies altered the composition of the Verification Commission, a bulwark of the oligarchic group that guaranteed the functioning of governors’ policies and made the institutionalization of the republic feasible.11 The strength of states at the national level, nonetheless, did not end, but rather was articulated to the new republican order.

However, this state of affairs did not survive by itself alone. In the background of the deep-rooted feelings of love for the autonomy of states propagated by local and regional leaders were economic and political interests.12 Its survival depended to a great extent on the symbolic forms of production and preproduction of this sentiment over time. It is in this scope that one should interpret the appropriation of the civics teaching model defended by Romero and Ribeiro on the part of Amaral.

Tancredo Leite do Amaral Coutinho was born in São Paulo in 1866.13 He was a student and teacher at the Escola Normal, graduating in law in 1906; public prosecutor in Capivari and Batatais, Judge of Santa Isabel, School Inspector, and Inspector General of Teaching, as well as a collaborator with various newspapers (Diário Popular, Jornal da Tarde, O Intransigente, O Federalista, A Platéia, O Mercantil and Gazeta do Povo, amongst others); teacher at Escola Normal and member of the Institute of History and Geography of São Paulo (Instituto Histórico e Geográfico de São Paulo).14 His dedication to the republican cause dates from the 1880s, when he was appointed teacher in Salto do Itu, and founded the newspaper Correio de Itu (1887), a periodical that was widely engaged in the campaign. He believed that the unconditional defense of the republic and of popular teaching was the inheritance of Silva Jardim. According to Amaral:

I, who was his disciple on the school benches, friend, and soldier in the ranks, where I only admitted one leader – him – I who had admired his young talent and his sincere democratic soul, leave in these lines, as an expression of my deepest sorrow, a sincere and respectful tribute.15 (Amaral, 1893, p.31)

He was also responsible for famous phrases in relation to education: “Tell me how many schools you have and I will tell you what type of people you are,” or “the people who possess the best schools are the best people.” The source of inspiration was the same as the other São Paulo republicans, in other words French writers, Jules Simon in particular. We can find references to these authors in various passages by Tancredo do Amaral, as well as in the private library of President Prudente de Moraes.16 The book that seems to have found favor with educators was L’Instruction Populaire en France, published in 1877.

In Tancredo Amaral, as with other authors, there can be noticed a certain harmony in relation to educational discussions in Europe. In commenting on the lamentable organization of publication education and the lack of a reading public in Brazil, he justified the insufficient reception of school books produced with a modern perspective by Brazilian authors, such as Cartilha da Infância by Thomas Galhardo and Aritmética Escolar by Ramom Docca.17 Amaral also stated:

We regret that we are not a people interested in education as much as Switzerland, for example, because then their work would be received with greater applause, and the illustrious professor would have more stimuli for new productions.

If we concern ourselves a little more with education, if we had a school on each street, a library in each municipality, and a municipal lyceum in each city, if we were concerned with creating schools instead of creating universities, school books using modern methods would have another sort of acceptance. (p.68-69)

The insertion of the regional question in the production of school books was part of the strategies launched by the editorial marker into order to expand business. Tancredo Amaral not only participated in the market expansion process of school books in São Paulo, but published in the press ‘critical judgments’ to defend his school books (Correio Paulistano, 7 abr. 1897, p.3; 15 abr. 1897, p.2; Razzini, 2007, p.34). In addition, the Provisional Government of São Paulo was concerned with civics education as shown in the decree published on 12 March 1890, which reformed teaching and establish republican directives for the so-called Ensino Normal in São Paulo. In the framework prepared by the reformers – led by Caetano de Campos, Rangel Pestana and João Kopke – the study plan for the ‘Normal’ course included the discipline Civics and Political Economy in the third year.18

In the same year he published A história de São Paulo pela biografia dos vultos mais notáveis, Tancredo Amaral prepared the preface for another school book in which he indicated the importance of the regional question for the civics education of children. In O Estado de São Paulo (ensino cívico) – livro de leitura destinado às classes primárias (São Paulo State (civics teaching) – a reading book for primary classes), Tancredo do Amaral showed his source of inspiration, as well as the justification for the primacy or regional as opposed to national. The option for the regional, Amaral explained, took as a reference the pedagogical ideas proposed by Pestalozzi.

To my readers,

Preparing this work, it was my intention to provide the children of São Paulo with a book which in its use for the exercise of reading would at the same time serve to enrich the spirit of young students with knowledge related to the progress of our state. Instead of looking for subjects foreign to our environments, or translating or adapting French tales or short histories, without any practical value, I have preferred to give them notions about our climate, our flora and fauna, our business and industry, our railways, our administrative organization, etc. thereby educating the children in civics, who should first learn about their state and afterwards the republic.

In this way I following the thinking of Pestalozzi: move from the simple to the complex; from the particular to the general; from the part to the whole.

São Paulo, 6-6-1895. (n.p.) 19

In this, as in the other prefaces, the author included himself in a wider sociability network, centered on the civilization ideal constructed by São Paulo republicans.20 In presenting the characteristics of public education in the state, he fulsomely praised the conduct of President Prudente de Moraes, highlighting the concern with the formation of teachers and the initiative of founding Escola Normal, stating the following: “it was Dr. Prudente de Moraes, first governor of S. Paulo, who open a new era for our public teaching in 1890, authorizing the construction of the Normal School in Praça da República, an establishment that is admired by all those who visit us and is perhaps the only example of its kind in America” (Amaral, 1895, p.3).

The book was dedicated to Cesário Motta Júnior, an important member of Partido Republicano Paulista (the São Paulo Republican Party), secretary of the interior during the provisional government, a position that defined the guidelines for public education. The federalists passions which expressed political and economic interests, when seen from the angle of regional civic representations, revealed hasty nuances.21 Thus Cesário Motta, a politician involved in the implementation of reforms in the São Paulo educational system, was among the illustrious biographies presented by Tancredo Amaral. The life and political trajectory of Cesário Mota are examined, highlighting his role as Secretary of the Interior in São Paulo state and his achievements in education and public health. At a certain point Tancredo Amaral provoked Rio de Janeiro, proving the superior civility of Paulistas in the question of public sanitation. He discussed a long report published by the press in the Federal District praising Cesário Mota administration in the public health area. In a phrase full of irony he drew a conclusion, making a diagnosis:

For now we will limit ourselves to casting a supplicant eye on public sanitation in Rio de Janeiro and ask instantaneously: we will imitate São Paulo.

It is his greatest praise. (Amaral, 1895, p.319)

The book A história de São Paulo pela biografia de seus vultos mais notáveis is divided into four parts, distributing the people in accordance with the chronological development of the history of Brazil. The proclamation of the Republic, like all the other events in São Paulo history, had as a guiding wire the biography of Paulistas who had been important in the construction of Brazil. According to the author:

The state of S. Paulo now occupies a distinct place among the federated states of the hopeful Republic of the United States of Brazil.

Much have you to learn in the following pages, about that which in the colonial times already exercised hegemony among the different captaincies. Ours, that of S. Vicente, was the most important and the most sought after because of the fertility of its soil, its climate and its geographical position. A notable Paulista, the much lamented José Feliciano Fernandes, Visconde S. Leopoldo, said: ‘The history of the captaincy of S. Vicente will be the History of Brazil.’

It was a prophecy! (Amaral, 1895, p.20)

While the matrix for civics came from Silvio Romero and Júlio Ribeiro, the biographies were selected by Tancredo Amaral in Linhas esparsas, a collection of texts published in the Correio Paulistano newspaper between 1877 and 1893. Dedicated to Rui Barbosa, the set of excerpts principally covered the period of the republican campaign. The column was entitled Berlinda and signed using the codename ‘Eu.’ The texts reveal the moment Amaral adered to the cause, the tensions and pressures because he was a public employees (a teacher at the Escola Normal) and an anti-monarchist, as well as presenting certain caricatured images of many who would in the future be well known figures in São Paulo civism. In the first part of the book, there is a section called ‘Instantaneous Biographies,’ a type of riddle in which Amaral described some physical characteristics, daily habits, and political positions leaving the reader to guess their identity. By way of example we can mention the biography of Antônio Bento de Souza e Cosmo, lawyer, freemason, judge, the partner of  abolitionism, president of the Abolitionist Association of the Province of São Paulo and founder of the Caifazes movement, a radical emancipation organization that defended the liberation of blacks that would be more than formal and legal:

This one has a great virtue.

He always says what he thinks, even though it may go against him.

When he gives out to any mortal, this person is always broken down, and takes with him his name stretched out at the end of the long talk …

He thinks like the much missed Julio Ribeiro.

Truth has to be said without shame, hurt who has to be hurt, offend who has to be offended.

The readers should avoid having any unresolved business with the man, since he is terrible to get his way …

Regular stature, moustache, a great black moustache and a long beard.

He is a member of the Brotherhood of the Remedies and according to what has been said to me, president of the same religious association...

He was a great abolitionist and did much work to free the captives.

Now he is sad and missing his Caifazes and the good times of combat, when he would lash out at the slave owners and on the capitães do matto who would be pushed out and would spend years with the rain and sun, in the morning and in the afternoon…

I do not need to say any more.

The reader already knows who he is.

Remembering the Redemption and the time in which the illustrious abolition leader, somehow cautious for having suffered continuous threats, was always found seriously enwrapped in a large Spanish cape, under which the malicious tongues say he always had a good Smith and Wesson and a pair of pistols.

I will finish this now because here he comes into the office with his broad brimmed hat, his overcoat, his frankness and... his love for the Brotherhood of Mount Carmel. (Amaral, 1893, p.88)

The person chosen to write the preface of Tancredo Amaral’s book was Cannon Valois de Castro, whose credentials clearly showed the proximity between the author and the elite of the Republican Party: he was a PRP federal deputy in the 1898-1900 legislature. Elected to the São Paulo Senate in 1916, he had a position in the first formation of the Council of Public Instruction of São Paulo. His political activities allowed him enter the coffee elite with free transit among the Catholic hierarchy. He was part of the first IHGSP directorate representing the Church. He was present in the municipal chamber of Taubaté in 1906, being one of the signatories of the Letter that sealed the protectionist agreement known as the Taubaté Accord. He was also one of the orators present at the mass held to honor the soldiers who defeated Antônio Conselheiro and the sertanejos of Canudos.

He considered that the progress of a people was based on the combination of material and moral elements. For him the importance of the captaincy of São Vicente, the role played by the bandeirantes and the strength of the coffee economy was proof that material progress was advancing at full steam. Popular teaching and civics education would come to fill the absence in the spiritual field. The preface has a certain ambiguity about the idea of patria. Coherent with the purpose and content of the prefaced book, the idea of patria written by Valois de Castro reinforces the values appreciated by Paulistanidade (the identity of São Paulo), which at that time seem to impose themselves on national issues:

It is necessary that the good will of true patriotism has the loyal and uninterested contribution of all the ruling classes in order to raise the intellectual level of our people, multiplying the foci of education and good didactic works.


History taught through biographic studies of great men who knew how to leave to their patria the precious legacy of a life consecrated to the most pulsating interests of humanity, the influx of the youth into education is of uncontestable value and benefit.

Concerned with the history of our great state of S. Paulo, the author sketches the lives of men who have stood out with their self-sacrificing civism and the elevation of their characters. (Castro, Valois de. Prefácio. In: Amaral, 1895, p.9)

An illustrious figure, with a flawless civic image for the standards of the Paulista republic at the end of the nineteenth century, years later Valois de Castro was considered unpatriotic by sectors of the Republican Party. This arose out of an episode involving Brazilian ships and Germany in 1918. This was in another context, a period in which the nationalist call awoken by the First World War would redefine the relationship between state and society. The nationalist vogue had repercussions in the formation of various movements, notably Liga de Defesa Nacional (the National Defense League) and Liga Nacionalista (Nationalist League), the best known member of which was Olavo Bilac. Discussion appealing for the consolidation of public teaching as an obligatory item in national sovereignty multiplied, so that the struggle for its establishment became an act of profound patriotism.

Marta Maria Chagas de Carvalho22 calls attention to the need to analyze the type of discourse spread by these movements. In the case of the National Defense League, created in 1916, the triumphalist questions represented only one aspect of its actions. Part of the internal structure of entity was the Civics Education Commission, composed of Luis Barbosa da Gama Cerqueira, Plínio Barreto, Rui de Paula Souza, Antônio Sampaio Dória. The latter was given the mission of writing a civics education manual, published in 1919 with the title O que o cidadão deve saber (What the citizen should know). In its preface the president of the Nationalist League, Frederico Vergueiro Steidel, outlined the motives for the publication of the book:

The benefit that will arise from this book for the development of the ideas of nationalism is incalculable, as in it in clear language and without pretentions to a doctrinaire sectarianism, he outlines our constitutional system.

The people should and need to know the organization of political powers, which are created in their name and as representatives of their will; and more than this they should be aware of their rights and duties.

The reality is that among us there are many Brazilians who see themselves as patriots, but who have still not read our Political Constitution, and who have rudimentary ideas about sovereignty, political powers, and even the ‘rights of man.’

This ignorance is ignorance of themselves, of their value, their strength, and their rights...

I do not know of any book in our country aimed at spreading among the people the basic constitutional principles, since the compendiums, commentaries and books are only accessible to the intelligentsias already prepared for them, and the pockets that can support their high price.23

The importance of the Civics Education Commission in the National League and Sampaio Dória’s book idealized by it was overvalued in function of Brazil declaring war on Germany. This resulted in an episode which put the Nationalist League on a collision course with members of the Paulista republican elite, in particular Cannon Valois de Castro, who had written the preface of the civics manual published by Tancredo Amaral. The German attack on Brazilian vessels, according to Brasil Bandecchi, resulted in the attack on the Deutsche Zeitung newspaper. Its owner, Rodolfo Troppmair, was a friend of Cannon Valois, who immediately offered support to the German. For this attitude he was accused of being a bad patriot and a Germanophile.

As highlighted by Elias Thomé Saliba, the episode had great repercussions, becoming amongst other things, the theme of the satirical pamphlet “Galabaro [calabar]: libro di saniamento suciali”, published by two great humorists of the period, Juó Bananére and Antonio Paes, the latter being the pseudonym of the journalist and writer Moacyr de Toledo Piza. The book was written in ‘macarrônico’, a mixture of two linguistic universes obtained not only from written registers, but also and most of all from unstable oral registers.24

In vista tuto istus fattimo, io co Antonio Paes, Che fumos banderanti giunto nu tempo Du Pietro gaporale, com paura chi a Storia conceda um abras-corpo p’ru Galabáro di saia preta, arisovemos, p’ra garantia da onra anazionale, insgugliambá mediantamente co tale. Istu livro será p’ru padri Valuá fon choppmais a porta per dove a di entrá na Storia da Patria, nu govile dus traidore e na galeria dus troxa. Dissi. (Saliba, 2002, p.203)

As a result when he launched his candidacy for a place in the São Paulo senate, Valois de Castro faced the opposition of the Nationalist League, presided by Frederico Vergueiro Steidel (who had written the preface to the book by Sampaio Dória) who supported Luis Pereira Barreto. This was only one of the parts of the opposition network which formed in Barreto’s favor. The politically organized segment of students in São Paulo’s third level institutions publically manifested their firm opposition to Valois:

Young men cannot be indifferent to the candidacy of Cannon Valois. Although without the minimum personal prejudice against this politician, whose acts never interested the youth, it is impossible for them not to make their opinion known in an irrepressible impulse of their outraged patriotism. The anti-national convictions of Cannon Valois de Castro are well known, and there is no need to insist on this, since now rewarded by the movement that is developing, Your Excellency is limiting himself to make declarations whose dubiousness fully confirms what the public already knew.

It was thus that there was born in the youth the idea of the candidacy of the eminent Luis Pereira Barreto on behalf of whom we solicit the support and the votes of Brazilians who love their patria.25

Signing this document were people such as Prudente de Moraes Neto, Afonso Pais de Barros, José Freitas Guimarães Júnior, Joaquim de Abreu Sampaio Vidal, and Paulo Nogueira Filho, amongst others. The protest of the young students against the supposed anti-nationalism of Valois de Castro reverberated in important segment of Paulista elites. The political, religious, cultural and economic circles that supported him confirmed their faith in the patriotism of Luis Pereira Barreto, nosily launching a manifesto in his support. Also with their names on the document were João Arruda, Spencer Vampré, Mário Pinto Serva, Julio de Mesquita Filho, and Vicente Rao, as well as other important public figures. The effort only failed to have an effect in the PRP and in the electoral machine it controlled which assured the victory of Valois de Castro.

The skirmishes between those who wrote the prefaces to civics education books at the turn of the century suggests that the introduction of civism in schools occurred in the context of accentuated conflicts including within the groups which exercised hegemony in the political scenario from 1891 onwards. In its way each book, or group, tried to set in the history of the republic the biographies of exemplary republicans by using school books. The restricted network of lettered sociability at the beginning of the century reserved heavy internal fights. Prefaces, since they were instances of protocol which indicated the history and the contexts of the production of the book, were integral parts of this conflictual circuit.



1 Este artigo é parte da tese de doutorado Entre as coisas do mundo e o mundo dos livros: prefácios cívicos e impressos escolares no Brasil Republicano, defendida no Programa de Pós-Graduação da Faculdade de Educação da USP, sob orientação do prof. dr. Nelson Schapochnik.         [ Links ]

2 KOSELLECK, R. História Magistra Vitae – sobre a dissolução do topos na história em movimento. In: _______. Futuro passado, contribuição à semântica dos tempos históricos. Rio de Janeiro: Contraponto; Ed. PUC-Rio, 2006. p.42.         [ Links ]

3 CATROGA, Fernando. Memória, história e historiografia. Coimbra: Quarteto, 2001. p.58.         [ Links ]

4 ANDERSON, Benedict. Comunidades imaginadas. Lisboa: Ed. 70, 1991.         [ Links ]

5 CHOPPIN, Alain. Os manuais escolares na França e a formação do cidadão. Veritas, Porto Alegre, v.43, nº especial, 1998. p.185.         [ Links ]

6 ROMERO, Silvio. A história do Brasil ensinada pela biographia de seus heroes (Ensino cívico). Rio de Janeiro: Alves, 1893; AMARAL, Tancredo do. A história de São Paulo pela biographia de seus vultos mais notáveis (Educação Cívica). São Paulo; Rio de Janeiro: Alves & Cia, 1895.         [ Links ]

7 A utilização do prefácio como categoria de análise do livro baseia-se em Gérard Genette, ou seja, considero prefácio "toda espécie de texto liminar (preliminar o pos liminar) autoral o alógrafo que constituye un discurso producido a propósito del texto que sigue o que precede" (GENETTE, Gérard. Umbrales. México: Siglo Veintiuno, 2001, p.137). Outros autores enquadram prefácios na categoria 'protocolos de leitura'. Ver: SHOLES, Robert. Protocolos de leitura. Lisboa: Ed. 70, 1991; CHARTIER, Roger. A história cultural: entre práticas e representações. Lisboa: Difel, 1990; DERRIDA, Jacques. La dissémination. Paris: Éd. du Seuil, 1972.         [ Links ]

8 VIEIRA, Cleber Santos. A tradução como ato político: Dr. Domingos Jaguaribe e o Manual de Instrução Cívica, de Numa Droz. Revista de História, n.161, 2º sem. 2009, p.165-189.         [ Links ]

9 BITTENCOURT, Circe Maria Fernandes. Livro didático e conhecimento histórico: uma história do saber escolar. Tese (Doutorado) – FFLCH, USP. São Paulo, 1993. p.226-227.         [ Links ]

10 Muito embora Bourdieu não tenha empregado a categoria para analisar os livros, entendemos que o arcabouço teórico-metodológico é extensivo a esse tipo de objeto, já que se inserem no campo da produção cultural e simbólico de uma sociedade. Sendo assim, como afirmou Bourdieu "os sistemas simbólicos, como instrumentos de conhecimento e de comunicação, só podem exercer um poder estruturante porque são estruturados" BOURDIEU, Pierre. O poder simbólico. Lisboa: Difel; Rio de Janeiro: Bertrand Brasil, 1989.         [ Links ]

11 LESSA, Renato. A invenção republicana. 2.ed. Rio de Janeiro: Topbooks, 1999. p.226.         [ Links ]

12 Dentre os autores que trabalham o tema merece destaque MELLO, Evaldo Cabral de. A outra independência: o federalismo pernambucano. São Paulo: Ed. 34, 2004; e _______. A ferida de Narciso: ensaio de história regional. São Paulo: Ed. Senac, 2001.         [ Links ]

13 MELO, Luis Correia de. Dicionário de autores paulistas. Comissão do IV Centenário da Cidade de São Paulo. São Paulo, 1954. p.169.         [ Links ]

14 Sobre o IHGSP e outras instituições que moldarão a invenção da paulistanidade, ver FERREIRA, Antonio Celso. A epopéia bandeirante: letrados, instituições, invenção histórica (1870-1980). São Paulo: Ed. Unesp, 2002.         [ Links ]

15 AMARAL, Tancredo do. Linhas esparsas (1887-1893). São Paulo: Typ. Edelbrock & Moreira, 1893.         [ Links ]

16 Ver: GLEZER, Raquel (Coord.). Catálogos do Gabinete de Trabalho de Prudente de Morais. São Paulo: Pólo, 2003.         [ Links ]

17 No artigo "Livro Didático e expansão escolar em São Paulo (1889-1930)", a pesquisadora Márcia Razzini situou as duas publicações de Tancredo Amaral no contexto de aproximação entre editoras, autores paulistas e políticas educacionais executadas no Estado. Essa aproximação possibilitou, em 1894, a assinatura do contrato entre Tancredo do Amaral e a Livraria Francisco Alves. Cf. RAZZINI, Márcia de Paula Gregorio. Livro didático e expansão escolar em São Paulo. Revista Língua Escrita, n.1, p.19-43, jan.-abr. 2007. p.34.         [ Links ]

18 REIS FILHO, Casemiro. A educação e a ilusão liberal. São Paulo: Cortez; Autores Associados, 1981. p.38-46.         [ Links ]

19 AMARAL, Tancredo do. O Estado de São Paulo (Ensino Cívico). Livro destinado à leitura das classes primárias adiantadas. Rio de Janeiro: Francisco Alves, 1896.         [ Links ]

20 MONTEIRO, Regina Maria. Paradigma da nacionalidade. Cadernos do Cedes, Campinas (SP), n.51, p.50-65, 2000.         [ Links ]

21 VIEIRA, Cleber Santos. Transfigurações cívicas: A terra fluminense, Contos pátrios e A pátria Brasileira. Revista do IEB, n.50, p.79-102, set.-mar. 2010.         [ Links ]

22 CARVALHO, Marta Maria Chagas de. Molde nacional e forma cívica: higiene, moral e trabalho no projeto da Associação Brasileira de Educação (1924-1931). Bragança Paulista (SP): Edusf, 1998. p.137.         [ Links ]

23 STEIDEL, Frederico. Prefácio. In: DÓRIA, Antônio de Sampaio. Que o cidadão deve saber: manual de instrucção cívica. São Paulo: Olgário Ribeiro, 1919.         [ Links ]

24 SALIBA, Elias Thomé. Raizes do riso no Brasil: a representação humorística na história brasileira: da Bele Époque aos primeiros tempos do rádio. São Paulo: Companhia das Letras, 2002. p.203.         [ Links ]

25 Citado em BANDECCHI, Brasil. Liga Nacionalista. São Paulo: Parma, 1980. p.69-70.         [ Links ]

Creative Commons License All the contents of this journal, except where otherwise noted, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License