The paper analyzes some factors that contributed to social hierarchies in Brazil’s borderland with Uruguay, more specifically in the area of Santana do Livramento, a city founded exactly on the borderland between these two countries. Within a context filled with wars and the settling of the monarchic state, it is highlighted the actions of Brigadier David Canabarro, an officer that became an army commander at the borderland, an essential post for the defense of the imperial territory. By compiling a set of varied document sources, the paper emphasizes that that border society had a complex social stratification and that the success of those that sought to exert their political and military authority depended on a broad negotiation with all social strata, i.e. rich farmers, small cattle ranchers, estancia workers, indigenous, free, and slaved peoples.
Borderland; social hierarchies; cattle ranchers; Brazil Empire