Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


This study traces the two traditional Brazilian foreign policy objectives of securing recognition as an important member of the international community, and friendship with the United States, during the period 1905-1908. These two objectives are examined in the light of Brazilian concern for status and prestige at the personal, national, and international levels. The themes of gaining international recognition, and Brazilian-American friendship are interwoven with the interpersonal relations that developed on the occasion of the Second Hague Peace Conference. The Second Hague Conference (1907) was the first global meeting in which Brazil was represented. It was an opportunity for Brazil to distinguish herself from lesser powers and to enhance her image as a leader in Latin America. An aspiration for great power status led to the cultivation and projection of an image of Brazil as a nation that was European in culture and orientation in spite of its geographic isolation. To support her claims, Brazil mounted an impressive public relations campaign. Furthermore, economic and political considerations fostered a special relationship with the United States. The world conference was the stage upon which the emerging nation made its debut. Baron Rio-Branco, Joaquim Nabuco, and Rui Barbosa were the principal Brazilian actors on stage and behind the scenes at the conference. The search for status was the principal motivation for Brazil's attendance at the Hague Conference and played a role in the selection of her delegate, her stance on the conference issues, and her relationship with the United States. Brazil's unrealistic goal of becoming the ninth world power and her conference stance, jeopardized her special relationship with the United States. During this period these two traditional Brazilian foreign policy objectives were not mutually exclusive, despite some incompatibility. Through the tenacious efforts of Nabuco, the Brazilian-American relationship was salvaged in spite of the hostility of Rui, and the indifference of Rio-Branco. Despite the conflicts over status, the Second Hague Conference did gain for Brazil the reputation of a cultured and cosmopolitan nation able to give a respectable showing in a meeting with the powerful nations of the world.