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The economic debate in the process of independence and state consolidation in Brazil (1808-1831)

Grant number: 18/04642-0
Support type:Regular Research Grants
Duration: October 01, 2018 - September 30, 2020
Field of knowledge:Humanities - History
Principal Investigator:Nelson Mendes Cantarino
Grantee:Nelson Mendes Cantarino
Home Institution: Instituto de Economia (IE). Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Campinas , SP, Brazil

Abstract

The Portuguese Empire was not immune to the crisis of the Old European Regime. The establishment of the Crown in Portuguese America, the Opening of the Ports (1808) and the end of the commercial exclusive were the subject of intense debate in Portuguese society on both sides of the Atlantic. Is it necessary to reform the economic institutions of the Monarchy? What would be your trade policy? Was taxation still efficient? Should they maintain slavery? How to finance the war effort in the Kingdom of Portugal? What would be the legal character of the Monarchy: constitutional or absolutist?The crisis of the Portuguese Old Regime is a historic moment in which the political, legal and institutional debate leaves court halls and arrives on the streets. Impact of the liberal ideology, the dispute for public opinion will be one of the instruments of legitimation of interest groups that seek to impose their projects on society. In the period that marks the arrival of the royal family in Rio de Janeiro (1808) until the formal recognition of the independence of the Empire of Brazil by Lisbon (1825) it is possible to follow a flood of printed and periodicals and a fierce public debate around the destinations of the Portuguese-Brazilian society.Already in the Brazilian Empire, the political languages and the universe of literate culture of the Brazilians are gradually moving away from the Luso-Brazilian tradition to the format of a new discourse of national character. Old dilemmas, slavery, British influence, landlords' interests remain, but their justifications and criticisms are now based on new ideas and discourses. The Political Economy and its governing practices guided the performance of several agents in the first decades of the imperial regime.Through the reading and critique of the published periodicals, parliamentary discourses, and texts disseminated with the economic theme in this context it is possible to reconstitute the objectives and arguments of the interest groups of society. Which institutions did they defend? What economic arguments underpinned their speeches? What objectives were in their horizons: the maintenance of the Portuguese-Brazilian Empire? The independence of Brazil? A new Brazilian imperial monarchy?Our objective, from pre-selected sources, will be to identify these groups, analyze their economic arguments and bring their action closer to the process of dissolution of the Old Portuguese Regime and its Atlantic Empire and the consolidation of the new Brazilian Imperial State. (AU)