Date of Award

Spring 2001

Project Type


Program or Major


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

First Advisor

Frank McCann

Second Advisor

J William Harris


The present dissertation undertakes a comparative-historical analysis of the impact of the American Civil War and the Paraguayan War on the American and the Brazilian populations. It investigates how both war's dynamics interfered with the social orders existent in both countries. It underlines the impact of recruitment to show how the pronounced growth of each national state during wartime interfered with the lives and customs of the populations subjected to the draft.

War mobilization is always a dramatic event in any society. Increasing government intervention during wartime normally leads to a temporary invasion of local prerogatives through recruitment and mobilization. The remarkable political centralization established during these processes frequently resulted in a reduction of local autonomy. Many of these problems were similar in both countries although they found very different solutions in the postwar period. The long-term results were very dissimilar, both for the patterns of state organization and for the place of racial and socially oppressed groups. These solutions affected the distribution of power, the place of the races and the historical memory of war events in the decades following the ends of the two wars.