José Juan Pérez Meléndez F'15

José Juan Pérez Meléndez
Assistant Professor
University of California, Davis

Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowships 2015
Doctoral Candidate
University of Chicago
The Business of Peopling: Colonization Companies and the Making of Imperial Brazil, 1815-1878

This dissertation examines how government formation occurred in lockstep with the emergence of colonization companies in imperial Brazil. Taking after old-regime chartered companies but not yet fully modern joint-stocks, colonization companies were an innovation in the associational life of post-independence Brazil. Like similar firms in Australia, Canada, Mexico, or Texas, these private companies were in charge of turning migration flows into profitable opportunities for businessmen and statesmen alike. This dissertation advances that, while rife with corruption and speculation, these companies’ promotion and management of “free” migrations as a niche market buttressed the organization of long-lasting policy frameworks that prepared the Brazilian government for the era of mass migrations.