The writer José Veríssimo (1857–1916) was a journalist and educator who played a key role in the creation of the Academia Brasileira de Letras (based on the format adopted by the French Academy of Letters). In the final days of the monarchy and the early stages of the Republic, Veríssimo began to republish the Revista Brasileira that brought together some of the great minds of the times, such as the Viscount of Taunay and Machado de Assis, among others. Veríssimo was also unquestionably one of the great historians of Brazilian literature, together with his contemporaries Sílvio Romero and Araripe Júnior. His major work, História da Literatura Brasileira (1916), reveals his constant desire to identify a “typically Brazilian” character that could be found in all Brazilian writers.
In his review of the book Les démocraties latines de l’Amérique (Paris: Flammarion, 1912)  by Francisco García Calderón, the Peruvian diplomat who lived in France, the Brazilian writer admits that he lacks his colleague’s “robust faith” in the future of the Americas. Calderón believes that the Americas are in the process of breathing new life into European culture, but Veríssimo considers that to be nonsense, skewering theories about democracy with references to local dictatorships, such as the Porfirio Díaz regime in Mexico. The Brazilian writer finds it hard to imagine a future based on ideas and plans that are steeped in the Latin American caudillo system. Veríssimo thinks the “mass immigrations” of “European migrants” will change “the wretched conditions of our political life” that is, in his opinion, dominated by the “political-military power of local caudillos.”