When researching the subject of Brazilian independence from Portugal and the contexts surrounding its peaceful path to independence, one will find two historians standing in the foreground of the study; Kenneth Maxwell and Alan K. Manchester. Kenneth Maxwell is an expert in Portuguese and Brazilian history and currently writes a weekly column for Brazil’s Folha newspaper. Alan Manchester (1897-1983) was an expert on Latin American and South American history and was an authority on economic and political relations between Brazil and Great Britain. In February of 1951, Manchester’s article, “The Recognition of Brazilian Independence”, was published in The Hispanic American Historical Review. Nearly half a century later in April of 2000,
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Manchester likens the relationship between these countries to that of a family, “Brazil, the impatient adolescent demanding recognition of its majority; Portugal, the reluctant mother country, seeking to perpetuate the maternal bonds; and Great Britain, the traditional guardian of Portuguese affairs, striving to settle the family row...”. Manchester's article proves that the issue between Portugal and Brazil was not independence, it was the recognition of independence. Kenneth Maxwell's article highlights multiple contexts in demonstrating why Brazil was different. Rather than debating Manchester’s argument for a strong British influence on Brazilian independence, Maxwell’s article extends historians’ approach by offering new perspectives with a more complex transitions to independence that examines mutually supporting strands of diplomatic, military, and commercial pressure from Great Britain.
The author of “The Recognition of Brazilian Independence”, incorporates extensive research from primary documents, treaties, and diplomatic correspondence as evidence of Great Britain’s role as a mediator between Portugal and Brazil. The author recounts the negotiations for the reconciliation of Portugal and Brazil from the first offer, directly from Lisbon on July 22, 1823. He informs the reader of the incidents that followed leading up to an impasse between the two nations. Recognizing the issue these countries faced at the time, Manchester states, “The position