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‘Living Worse and Costing More’: Resistance and Riot in Rio de Janeiro, 1890–1917

  • Teresa Meade (a1)

On 1st May 1917 m Rio de Janeiro, protesters took to the streets carrying placards and shouting slogans denouncing high prices and miserable living conditions. Over the succeeding months the May Day protest mushroomed into an unprecedented general strike of more than 50,000 workers in the federal capital. Rio de Janeiro had witnessed frequent protests and agitation against taxes, high prices, shortages, poor housing and public services and the cost of transport during the late Empire and first decades of the Republic.1 What was different about May Day 1917 was that complaints over consumer, community-based issues affecting the general populace triggered off a wave of trade-union militancy unique in the city's history.

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Sandra Lauderdale Graham , ‘The Vintem Riot and Political Culture: Rio de Janeiro, 1880’, Hispanic American Historical Review, vol. 60, no. 3 (081980), pp. 431–49

Teresa Meade , ‘“Civilizing Rio de Janeiro”: The Public Health Campaign and the Riot of 1904’, Journal of Social History, vol. 20, no. 2 (Winter 1986), pp. 301–22

Robert G. Nachman , ‘Positivism and Revolution in Brazil's First Republic: The 1904 Revolt’, The Americas, vol. 34, no. 1-2 (07, 1977), pp. 2039

Jeffrey D. Needell , ‘The “Revolta Contra Vacina” of 1904: The Revolt against “Modernization” in “Belle-Epoque” Rio de Janeiro’, Hispanic American Historical Review, vol. 67, no. 2 (05, 1987), pp. 233–69

Leo Spitzer , ‘The Mosquito and Segregation in Sierra Leone’, The Canadian Journal of African Studies, vol. 2, no. 1-2 (Spring 1968), pp. 961

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Journal of Latin American Studies
  • ISSN: 0022-216X
  • EISSN: 1469-767X
  • URL: /core/journals/journal-of-latin-american-studies
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