An Economic and Demographic History of São Paulo, 1850-1950
Francisco Vidal Luna and Herbert S. Klein


Contents and Abstracts
1 São Paulo Agriculture in the Nineteenth Century
chapter abstract

Describes the origin, growth and eventual domination of the coffee economy in the state, and the role coffee production played in the entire paulista economy. How coffee was grown, the nature of the coffee plantations, their changing labor force from slave to free labor are the themes analyzed. The impact of the railroad construction in the second half of the nineteenth century is examined and its role in creating a coherent internal market and promoting foreign trade. Finally the place of São Paulo coffee production on the international market is examined.

2 Government and Public Finance in the Empire, 1850-1889
chapter abstract

The explosive growth of coffee, along with increasing sugar and cotton production, allowed the provincial government to establish a significant tax base. In turn this allowed it to create a viable provincial government which could begin providing basic infrastructural development for this province. This development would include everything from establishing a significant taxing bureaucracy and state judicial and legislative system, to providing the funds to develop the crucial infrastructure needed to export coffee. Taxes on agriculture were the key factors which allowed the state to develop roads and railroads, to begin providing potable water and public illumination for its cities and schools for its children, along with providing health and public safety for the province as whole.

3 Government and Public Finance in the Old Republic, 1889-1930
chapter abstract

The failures of the provincial government of São Paulo convinced the São Paulo elite of the need to create a more powerful and autonomous state government once the Republic was proclaimed. How this new regime was established after 1889 is the main theme of the chapter. It shows how the state government was rapidly equipped with professional administrators who in turn would develop a modern state structure in everything from education and public health to its own military force. Quickly this state government emerged as the most powerful and modern in Republican Brazil.

4 Paulista Agriculture, 1899-1950
chapter abstract

The growth of this powerful state government to 1930 would be crucial to the survival of São Paulo agriculture in the next half century. The secular growth of the coffee economy up to the end of the 19th century was spectacular. But the constant incorporation of ever more virgin lands into this coffee economy created problems of overproduction as the state alone produced more coffee than the world market could consume. The paulista planters had difficulty responding to these market signals and in the end required significant assistance from the new state government to control crop output. This direct intervention of both the state and federal governments in the coffee economy, defines paulista agriculture in the 20th century.

5 Crisis of the State and the Loss of Hegemony of the Paulista Elite
chapter abstract

This chapter analyzes the impact of the international crisis of 1930 on the Brazilian economy and Government. It shows how the liberal federalist system that was developed from 1889-1930 was destroyed and replaced by an authoritarian, centralist and interventionist regime thus breaking the power hold of the paulista elite on the central government and even reducing their control over the state government.

6 The State in National and International Commerce
chapter abstract

How the state economy was integrated into the world market is the basic question analyzed in this chapter. The rise of Santos as an international port is a key concern, as well as the impact of steamship arrivals and their role as importers of labor and goods and exporters of coffee. The nature of the state's international trade is examined in the 20th century. Also studied is the emergence of airplanes, automobiles, and trucks as a new transport within the state along with the impact and growth of the telegraph and the telephone.

7 Industrial Growth in São Paulo
chapter abstract

While the creation of a dynamic agricultural economy was explained by the extraordinary quality of the soils of the state and their excellent conditions for the growth of coffee, the same was not the case with industry. But how such industrial capital was generated and the role of native and foreign capital explains how this occurred. The existence of an educated foreign born labor force was another factor. The chapter covers all the primary industries created before 1950 and how the state's industries came to control a large share of the nation's industrial work force.

8 Infrastructure and Urbanization of the State
chapter abstract

The creation of a modern communications network, the construction of a massive hydroelectric complex and the birth of a major world metropolis from a previously undistinguished urban center are the themes examined. All of these developments were made possible by major investments of the state and of the private sector in the basic infrastructure. State public works in everything from purified water and sanitation to paved roads and higher educational institutions were crucial in developing the major urban centers.

9 Population Growth and Structure
chapter abstract

The impact of births, deaths and migration on the growth of the population of São Paulo is examined. The causes for the changing levels of fertility and mortality are studied, as well as the social and demographic integration of European and Asian migrants. The question of literacy and its change by sex and urban and rural populations are basic themes as well. Finally the rise of secondary cities as the frontier closes is also a major concern that is examined.

chapter abstract

This chapter examines the basic themes discussed in the book and the major conclusions reached which explain the rise of São Paulo to its important leadership position. We stress the importance of coffee, the role of the state in promoting the economy, the impact of immigration and the infrastructure established which enabled the state to become the leading economy in the second half of the 20th century