quinta-feira, 8 de maio de 2008

scottish influence


The first locomotives used in Brazil were of course English and, as was the custom in England they were baptized with the names of personages or regions. Those with formed part of the D. Pedro II railway's rolling stock at its inauguration were named "Emperor", "Empress", "Paulista", "Mineira", "Fluminense", "Brazil", "Progress" and "Industry".
Irineu Evangelista de Sousa was an entrepreneur born in 1813, on 28th December, and after the death of his father was sent to Rio de Janeiro with his uncle in order to prevent a confrontation with his mother's new husband.

He began work at nine years old, and at the age of 15 he was working for a Scot, Richard Carruthers, who made him responsible for the import side of the business, and eight years later gave him a partnership in the business. A visit to England inspired him to start up his own business and his intuition informed him what Brazil's immediate needs would be.

He founded a shipyard and foundry in 1845, and within a year was employing 300 workers. He diversified into building cranes for the construction industry. He founded the Rio De Janeiro Gas Illumination Company, and built the pipes required to convey the gas. He also saw the need for fast and convenient transportation in Brazil, and in 1852 built the first section of Brazilian railroad between Rio De Janeiro and Petropolis. For this he was made Baron of Mauá. The final section was not completed until 1883.

In a very short time he made enough money to expand into banking, investments and other engineering projects. He constructed sugar mills for the Brazilian sugar industry, and in 1873 received authorization to lay a submarine telegraph cable, starting at Copacabana, to link Brazil with Europe. This was done in 1874, and was rewarded by being promoted to viscount. The Baron of Mauá was also responsible for the first paved highway in Brazil, between Petrópolis and Juiz De Fora.

He got involved in a number of other Brazilian railroads, and if a railroad was needed in Brazil, he was involved. He founded the current second Bank of Brazil: the first bank, not his, had failed in 1829! He was also president of the McGregor and Co bank in Mauá and funded many projects that would make Brazil the modern country that it is today. Prior to his involvement, Brazil consisted of many unconnected geographical areas and towns and effective trade was difficult.

By 1867 he had amassed a vast fortune, the richest man in his country, and he also had significant financial interests in Uruguay, his company being effectively the bank of Uruguay. However, in 1864, the closing of Casa Souto generated an economic meltdown and many banks and businesses went to the wall, among them de Souza's group of companies, and he was obliged in 1875 to request a moratorium on his debts.

Although bankrupt, he was a man of extreme integrity and he paid his creditors by selling his assets and many of his personal effects such as his houses, his jewelry and other belongings. He retained his one house in Petropolis, his Mauá Palace, where he lived out the rest of his days, a sad ending for a man that had so much to develop his country.

His politics were liberal and he was an abolitionist, the Portuguese slave trade being strong in Brazil. He was also opposed to the 1864 War of the Triple Alliance against Paraguay that eventually resulted in the ruination of that country, and the death of vast numbers of its civilian population.

The man that opened up Brazil with his railroads, roads and canals died in Petropolis on October 22nd, 1889, on the spot where, fittingly, the Secretariat of Industry now stands.

Mauá - O imperador e o rei
(Drama / Nacional) DVD

  • O filme conta a história verídica de Irineu Evangelista de Souza, gaúcho que aos 9 anos - órfão de pai - vai para o Rio de Janeiro trabalhar no comércio. Com impressionante tino comercial o jovem Irineu ganha o reconhecimento do escocês Richard Carruthers, que o educa segundo as regras do liberalismo. Aos 30 anos ele é a maior fortuna do Império brasileiro e se casa com May, sua própria sobrinha. Agraciado com o título de Barão de Mauá, Irineu funda o Banco do Brasil, monta a primeira estrada de ferro brasileira e ilumina a gás o Rio de Janeiro. Aos poucos ele é considerado o homem mais rico do Brasil. Seu sucesso começa a incomodar o Imperador Dom Pedro II e seu grupo de conselheiros.

    DVD: Menu Interativo; Seleção de Cenas; Trailer; Sobre o Elenco; Sobre o Diretor; Áudio Comentários; Bastidores do Filme; Legendas: Inglês, Português, Espanhol e Francês; Idiomas: Português (Dolby Digital 2.0); Formato de Tela: Letterbox (4x3).

    Brasil, 1999. Direção: Sérgio Rezende. Elenco: Paulo Betti, Malu Mader, Othon Bastos, Antonio Pitanga , Cláudio Correia e Castro. Duração: 138 min.

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