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History Dictionary

History Dictionary


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Cangaço

Characteristic social phenomenon of the Northeastern backlands in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. They were groups formed by people outside the law, usually for reasons of revenge, family quarrels, murders or petty theft crimes. On the one hand, they were considered heroes by many, for facing the power of the colonels and helping various communities. On the other hand, however, they were seen as having a significant portion of the population due to violent actions. Numerous landowners still offered guns and ammunition to the cangaceiros, in exchange for security and support against the enemies. The biggest cangaceiro leader was Virgulino Ferreira da Silva, the lantern. True myth, there were stories about him that roamed the backlands fighting injustices, fleeing with skill of the authorities. In his pack were no less legendary figures like Corisco, who succeeded him after death, and Maria Bonita, his mate.

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Oligarchy

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