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Tue, 16 Jan 2024 00:22:26 -0800
Mark Twain Forum <[log in to unmask]>
Mark Twain Forum <[log in to unmask]>
Scott Holmes <[log in to unmask]>
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Mark Twain was mistaken. It seems that Greed and Quests for Power do not 
require a Monarchy. At the same time Jay Gould, a robber baron and 
railroad magnate, was depicted in an Connecticut Yankee illustration of 
a slave driver, Howells and Twain were celebrating the deposition of 
Emperor Pedro II of Brazil. Rather than the socialist society envisioned 
by Howells nor the popular overthrowing of a Monarchy as envisioned by 
Twain, the regime of the Republic of the United States of Brazil was 
created by coup d’etat. Brazil was now a country controlled by 
landholding oligarchies, primarily the coffee and dairy industries 
through the military. /Café com leite /indeed.

A Day By Day entry pointed me to a letter from Howells to Twain from 
December 29, 1889.

“I have just heated myself up with your righteous wrath about our 
indifference to the Brazilian Republic. But it seems to me that you 
ignore the real reason for it which is that there is no longer an 
American Republic, but an aristocracy-loving oligarchy in place of it. 
Why should our Money-bags rejoice in the explosion of a Wind-bag? They 
know at the bottom of the hole where their souls ought to be that if 
such an event finally means anything it means their ruin next: and so 
they don’t rejoice; and as they mostly inspire the people’s voice, the 
press, the press is dumb.”

The reference Howells makes to Twain’s “righteous wrath” was unknown but 
recently found by Gary Scharnhorst: "Mark Twain on the Brazilian 
Revolution: A Recovered Essay", available on JSTOR.

/*Unaffiliated Geographer and Twain aficionado*/

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Twain's Geography <>