The “American City” in Brazil:Revealing Some Aspects of One Cultural Relationship, 1876 – 1945.
This paper aims to explain the making of a relationship between Brazil and the UnitedStates between 1876 - when the Emperor Pedro de Alcantara went to the United Statesto participate of the Centennial Exhibition held in Philadelphia - and 1945 - when theWorld War II was finished, and the presence of goods, equipments and the way of lifefrom the United States got the most relevant levels in the whole world. The paper’sobject can be understood like a plural one: not only the architecture, but also the wholeurban culture in that time. The Brazilian enthusiasm for the American City is analyzedby the trajectory of architects, engineers and intellectuals and prove the importance of the United States for the construction of a Modern City in Brazil, following theAmerican example.
1 – An
not so far from here.
“I received a magazine from SãoPaulo and I would like to thank it.The name of this magazine isKlaxon. In beginning, I thought that it was a magazine advertising for any brand of American cars. I wascertain about it, because a publication with this weird name just could be invented by Americanmerchants to sell their product.” Lima Barreto, 1922 .
As pointed by Jeffrey W. Cody in the book
Exporting American Architecture: 1870 - 2000
the first milestone of the U.S. assertion in the commercial relations between thecountries of America and even Europe, was the Centennial Exposition of Independenceof the United States. The International Exhibition of Arts, Manufactures and Products of the Soil and Mine, known as
The Centennial Exhibition
, held in Philadelphia, from May1876 to mid-1877, is a key point for this paper. The initiative, more to celebrate theindependence of the US, had, also, the goal of exposing Americans inventions to severalcountries of the world (PESAVENTO, 1997). Imbued with the character of the
"Celebration of the Progress",
as pointed by Sandra Jatahy Pesavento, the Centennialwas a follower of the ideology started with the Great International Exhibition, emergedin 1850 in England. In fact, the Centennial Exposition of American Independenceshowed, with preponderance, the creations of United States and revealed theexpansionist intentions of manufacturers of that nation. The Centennial, accordingPesavento:
"Was accompanied by the publication of many works illustrative and explanatory of the nation’sdevelopment during one hundred years of its independent life. The meaning was clear laudatory,and America was presented as the land of the Promise, the greatest example of democracy on the planet, the nation that, from a modest home was able to match, after a century, with the major powers of the world. (...) According to their self-assessment, the United States not only had giventhe world a demonstration of his genius as America has proven to be a nation in the first world (...) [that exceeded the old countries of] Europe by its mass production and the ingeniousinventions that made it easier and more comfortable everyday life (PESAVENTO, 1997: 149,152).