A visit to the Baron

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The towering figure of the Baron of Mauá holds an indisputable place in the economic development of Brazil. His trajectory is widely analyzed not only because of his important achievements, but also because he became the symbol of an entrepreneur, whose failure in business is often blamed on an institutional context that could not understand his vision of development for the country and was hostile towards his industrialization projects and modernization of Brazil. Nevertheless, if we review his trajectory, we will see that not only can his actions in business be considered mistaken, if analyzed in the light of current concepts developed in the field of strategy, but they were also close to the governmental policies of the time. Therefore, to a certain extent, Mauá was a prisoner of the Brazilian institutional context of his day. The aim of this article is to review the position that Mauá, as a classic-style entrepreneur, was opposed to the institutional order of his day and, for that reason, would have been punished. We will actually see that on the one hand, he was opposed to it, and on the other he also trusted it and came to depend on it.

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