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Rebirth of agricultural or colonial decadence? Brazilian sugar exports to Portugal in the second half of the 18th Century

Abstract

The objectives of this project are: to rebuild a series of sugar exports from Brazil to Portugal from 1750 to 1800; relate the reconstructed series of exports to the Brazilian producing regions, the Portuguese and European economy; and analyze, through microdata, the ports of embarkation and disembarkation, types of sugar and names of sugar traders. The reconstitution of the series is based on data already available in the literature and, mainly, those that will be surveyed in this research to fill the gap between 1765 and 1796. As there are no such data in Brazilian archives or available on websites, we will use sources in Portuguese, comprising mainly customs documents for that period. Unpublished microdata will also be raised to allow a more in-depth analysis of the sugar trade. Thus, we will verify, more precisely, the hypothesis of the revival or not of the sugar economy in the second half of the 18th century, as it conditioned the economic dynamism of a relevant part of the colony. In addition, we will analyze the hypothesis that the most recent areas of sugar manufacturing showed greater dynamism, in contrast to the older ones, as well as assess the quality of the product from different sources. Furthermore, we will examine whether long distance trade has assumed a high degree of inequality between participants. The research seeks to understand the commercial connection of sugar on both sides of the Atlantic. (AU)

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