Santa Casa de Misericórdia of Cachoeira: charity and philanthropy in the context of the imperial government’s welfare policy
Abstract The constitution and operationalization of a religious brotherhood in Cachoeira, Bahia province, during the Brazilian imperial period, is investigated. Deserving of particular attention is the decree issued by Emperor Pedro I, which raised the then centennial São João de Deus Hospital, a royal institution administered by officials designated by the city council, to the status of Santa Casa de Misericórdia. The policy regulating the granting of privileges and provincial monies to all the institutions of this designation in Bahia is also analyzed. The study concludes that the financial policy adopted by the Brazilian State in Bahia constituted a significant stimulus both for the founding and for the financial upkeep of the Cachoeira brotherhood.