This essay, part history of ideas and part history of international relations, examines Brazil's relationship with Latin America in historical perspective. For more than a century after independence, neither Spanish American intellectuals nor Spanish American governments considered Brazil part of ‘América Latina’. For their part, Brazilian intellectuals and Brazilian governments only had eyes for Europe and increasingly, after 1889, the United States, except for a strong interest in the Río de la Plata. When, especially during the Cold War, the United States, and by extension the rest of the world, began to regard and treat Brazil as part of ‘Latin America’, Brazilian governments and Brazilian intellectuals, apart from some on the Left, still did not think of Brazil as an integral part of the region. Since the end of the Cold War, however, Brazil has for the first time pursued a policy of engagement with its neighbours – in South America.