Overview

This British Academy funded project looks at British entrepreneurship and investment and its impact on Brazilian economic development from 1860 to 1914. During this period, Britain was the main direct investor in Brazil, with a share of 93.6 percent of the capital invested from 1860 to 1875, and 53 percent between 1903 and 1914. British investment led to the development of key industries such as banking and land and sea transportation of people and merchandise in services, textiles and machinery in manufacturing, and primary industries such as rubber. Many of these businesses still exist today and remain in the hands of the descendants of British entrepreneurs. By tracing back the evolution of a group of these British businesses from their inception until 1914, this project identifies and explains the sources of British competitiveness and long-term survival in Brazil. The research draws on private and public archives and on the collection of original patent and trademark data.