LXXXIV - (Re)leituras - A Inconfidência Mineira - uma síntese factual, by Márcio Jardim - Comments by André Bandeira

Which one of the attempted revolutions, before Brazil's independence, was able to set the mood for the first portuguese nation, out of Portugal? Márcio Jardim has no doubts, in this superb synthesis of the main studies and evidences available, dating back to 1885 - 1889: it was the «Inconfidência» which set the idea of an independent Brazil. A portuguese philosopher and historian of ideas, Esteves Pereira, wisely says that it is always very difficult for us to know what our ancestors really believed in, unless we could live, again, in their times. One aspect of what really moved those hundred, probably thousands of portuguese and brazilians, has also very much to do with the inception of freemasonry in Brazil. There were two proven freemasons among the conspirators, but Márcio Jardim adds a dozen more, as very plausible. On the other hand, the respected historian Oilian José excludes the only conspirator who has been executed, the «Tiradentes». This raises questions, not only about the solidarity among the pioneers of that creed in Brazil, as well as on its consistence. The myth that «Tiradentes» never existed, or that he escaped and even died peacefully in Portugal, may have something to do with it. It is clear that there was, that time, a masonic hit in a burgeoning Brazil, but so was in Portugal. Persecutors and rebels shared the same values about the future of the civilized world, some were monarchists, and some other were republicans, all of them setting secret lodges, to freely discuss among people who were bound not to disclose the subjects, outside. At the same time, some believed that the freemason framework was the only one able to guarantee them mutual assistance and communion of ideas, whereas some others believed that freemasonry gave them leverage by some world power, that including Portugal, where the autocrat Pombal had been a freemason too. Awkwardly,some of the leaders were priests with a stern jesuitic background. The Prince João decreed a perpetual silence on the lawsuit and, later, already as João, the Sixth, he set out an unified kingdom of Portugal and Brazil. But the «Inconfidência» was not a masonic movement. More than secrets, there were conflicting passions and allegiances. For the passions, freemasonry spread quickly on a «shock and awe» ideological method, inflammed with myths of «popular science», as a countervalue to the opposite bigot practices. As for the allegiances, the third President of United States, Thomas Jefferson, who was then a sybiline ambassador in Paris, decided not to help the conspirators and later became a «de facto» ally of the United Kingdom against Napoleon. By that time, some of the conjectural freemasons, once on the side of the repression, such as the Duke of Barbacena, Governor of Minas Gerais, later became allies of Napoleon, the invader and butcher of their own country.I venture to say that if the «Inconfidência» had ever managed to crack the eggshell, Brazil would have had with Portugal a much deeper and far-reaching «special relationship», than the one binding today the USA and United Kingdom.


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