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The Central Zona da Mata: Rural Production and Trade with Northern Rio de Janeiro in the First Half of the 19th Century


In the early years of the nineteenth century, the opening of a road between the central part of the so-called “Zona da Mata” (Forest Belt) of Minas Gerais and the city of Campos dos Goytacazes acted as a catalyst for a process of land occupation in the region. The process was accompanied by an increase in trade between the two areas, signaling the formation of a particular economic space. This article analyzes the rural production and the circulation of goods in the central area of the Zona da Mata during the first decades of the nineteenth century, based on records of tithes and on import and export data from the Barra do Pomba customs house. It also questions the validity of the concept of economic space for the period after the decline of mining activity.

Minas Gerais; Zona da Mata; 19th Century; Campos dos Goytacazes; Rio de Janeiro

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