Printer Friendly

The spark: Pombal, the Amazon and the Jesuits.

For the past two decades, historians--or many of them--have been downgrading the role of events and of personalities. There has also been a tendency to reject the history of ideas, or at least any easy cause-and-effect interaction between ideas and the implementation of policy. On the positive side, however, we have witnessed the growth of a more international, less Eurocentric, history. I say this at the outset, obvious as it may be, because it seems to me we are dealing here very much with an event (the expulsion of the Jesuits from Portugal and its empire in 1759); with a very dominant--not to say domineering--personality (the Marquis of Pombal, who in effect governed Portugal from 1750 to 1777); with ideas (especially in the case of the Iberian monarchies, a reinvigorated and systematic thinking about the role of the state in promoting economic development and in securing for itself a monopoly over coercion, budgets, administration and justice); and with international history (in that I will be focusing on a very remote periphery of the eighteenth-century world: the Amazon basin).

This event: the Portuguese expulsion, this personality: Pombal, and this periphery: the Amazon basin, however, provided the spark that set in motion a process throughout Catholic Europe, which brought the Society of Jesus down. In the aftermath, in Portugal, it was the Enlightenment that provided a rationale, a justification, as well as the means to remedy some of the damage done by the Jesuits' forced departure.

It is important to stress perhaps that this is where and when the expulsion began. We still tend to look out from the centre to the edges--yet it was at the very outer edges of the European world, where of course the Jesuits had always been most active, that the first decrees to suppress the Society of Jesus were enforced. Why an action in Brazil found such resonance elsewhere is a separate issue. In the space I am allotted here I am interested in the spark. Why the Amazon? Why Pombal?

There were two distinct but interrelated aspects of the intellectual environment in eighteenth-century Portugal that influenced the way Pombal thought about the problems confronting him as he took office in 1750; each of them, in different ways, had an impact on the dispute with the Jesuits. (1) First, there was the intense debate over fundamental questions concerning philosophy and education. Second, a considerable body of thought existed about various aspects of Portugal's political economy. The stimulus for the former in Portugal, as elsewhere in Europe, was the intellectual achievement of Descartes, Newton and Locke. The most important works to emerge from this intellectual school in Portugal included those of de Martinho de Mendonca Pina e Proenca (1693-1743), who attempted to adapt to Portugal some of Locke's theories, especially on education; the writings of the New Christian Dr Jacob de Castro Sarmento (1692-1762), (2) who introduced Newtonian ideas in Portugal; and the works of Dr. Antonio Nunes Ribeiro Sanches (1699-1783), another New Christian who had left Portugal in 1726, working thereafter in England, Holland, Russia, and finally in France, where (from 1747 until his death in 1783) he was a collaborator of the Encyclopedists and wrote on medicine, pedagogy, and economics. (3) Most influential of them all was the Oratorian Luis Antonio Verney (1713-92), the author of O Verdadeiro Metodo de Estudar ('The True Method of Education'), published in 1746. Luis Antonio Verney lived most of his adult life in Naples and Rome, where he studied with Antonio Genovesi (1712-69) and was a friend of Ludovico Antonio Muratori (1672-1750). In Rome he became a member of the Arcadia, as well as for a time secretary to the Portuguese envoy to the Vatican, Francisco de Almada e Mendonca, who was Pombal's cousin. (4)

The congregation of the Oratoria de S. Felipe de Nery, to which Verney belonged, had taken the lead in Portugal, as elsewhere in Catholic Europe, in the introduction of scientific experimentation and in the conflict with the Jesuits over pedagogical models. The Oratorians were strong promoters of the natural sciences, and they also stressed the importance of the Portuguese language, grammar, and orthography, which they believe should be studied directly and not via Latin. The reason the Jesuits were the butt of this criticism was obvious: they held a near monopoly of higher education in Portugal and of secondary education in Brazil. (5)

In addition to this philosophical debate, part of a Europe-wide phenomenon, there existed a second important current of thinking more specific to Portugal. This was a body of ideas and discussion about governance, economy, and diplomacy, which had emerged in the first half of the eighteenth century among a small but influential group of Portugal's overseas representatives and government ministers, a group within which Pombal was a key figure. D. Luis da Cunha, successively Portuguese ambassador to the Dutch Republic and France, was the most formidable of these thinkers and author of a comprehensive analysis of Portugal's weaknesses and the means to remedy them. D. Luis was in many respects Pombal's mentor. (6)

This debate focused on Portugal's location within the international system and confronted directly both the constraints and the options with which a small country like Portugal, part of Iberia but independent of Spain, had to live. Central to these discussions was the problem of retaining and exploiting the considerable overseas assets Portugal controlled in Asia, Africa, and, above all, Brazil; and developing at the same time a mechanism to challenge English economic domination of Portugal and its vast American colony without weakening the political and military alliance with Britain, which Portugal needed to contain Spain.

D. Luis da Cunha, in particular, had placed Portugal's problems in the context of its relation to Spain, its dependence on--and economic exploitation by--England, and what he believed were Portugal's self-inflicted weaknesses in terms of the lack of population and spirit of enterprise. This sad mental and economic condition he attributed to the excess number of priests, the activity of the Inquisition, and the expulsion and persecution of the Jews. He proposed the creation of monopolistic commercial companies on the Dutch and English model. (7)

Pombal also drew models from his interpretation of the experience of other European countries. From 1739 until 1744, he had represented the Portuguese king in London. For Pombal, the threat the British posed to Portugal's vast and rich dominions in Brazil became a major preoccupation. It was essential, he believed, to understand the origins of Britain's commercial and military superiority and of Portugal's economic and political weakness and military dependence. (8)

In London, Pombal, who had become a member of the Royal Society in 1740, set out to investigate the causes, techniques, and mechanisms of British commercial and naval power. But England was not his only foreign experience. From London, Pombal moved to Vienna. Here he was no less observant, and became involved in a long, arduous, and frustrating negotiation with the Papacy on behalf of the Austrian government, in the course of which he became the very intimate friend of Manuel Teles da Silva, a Portuguese emigre of aristocratic lineage who had risen high within the Austrian state. Manuel Teles da Silva, who had been created Duke Silva Tarouca by the Holy Roman Emperor Charles VI in 1732, was president of the Council of the Netherlands and of Italy and was a confidant of Empress Maria Theresa. Pombal had married for a second time while in Vienna, a successful and highly advantageous match with Maria Leonor Ernestina Daun, by whom he eventually had five children. The Countess Daun was a niece of Marshal Heinrich Richard Graf von Daun, the commander-in-chief of the Austrian army. The Empress Maria Theresa took a special interest in the union. The Portuguese envoy in Rome observed sourly that it was this marriage which guaranteed Pombal the position of Secretary of State in Lisbon. And it was in fact the Austrian wife Joao V, Maria Ana of Austria, Queen Regent during Joao V's final illness, who recalled Pombal from Vienna in 1749 to join the ministry in Lisbon. (9)

We possess an extraordinarily frank and intimate private correspondence between Duke Silva Tarouca and Pombal, covering the first decade after Pombal's assumption of office in Lisbon, which provides a uniquely revealing discussion of Pombal's objectives and governmental measures. Silva Tarouca, excited by Pombal's rise to power in Lisbon, wrote in 1750 to congratulate his friend and to remind him of their conversations and hopes for the future. 'We are not slaves of fashion and foreign practices',' Silva Tarouca told Pombal, 'but still less are we slaves of ancient habits and preoccupations'. He spoke of the 'great new dispositions' they had discussed together. (10) The reign of D. Joao V had of course seen a considerable strengthening of royal prerogatives largely as a consequence of the vast riches which flowed in from Brazil after the discoveries of gold. The Braganca monarchy did not need to have recourse to Portugal's ancient representative institution, the Cortes, for taxes for the whole eighteenth century, and D. Joao V used his colonial wealth to enhance his prestige in Europe and persuade Rome to grant him the title of 'Most Faithful'. Well over half of all the revenues of the state came directly or indirectly from the overseas dominions of Portugal, especially Brazil. (11)

But how did this general climate of ideas and preoccupations affect policy? What were Pombal's 'great new dispositions'? Why did they bring him so quickly into conflict with the Jesuits, particularly as there is no evidence to suggest hostility toward the Jesuits on Pombal's part prior to 1750, and Jesuits in fact may well have aided his rise to power?

In part, it resulted from the fact that it was the colonial situation that first forced itself on the attention of the new administration in Lisbon. The Treaty of Madrid between Spain and Portugal had been signed in January 1750. (12) The treaty was the first negotiated settlement between the Iberian powers to delineate the landward boundaries of their colonial territories in South America in their entirety. Portuguese claims to the Amazon were upheld, particularly the fluvial interior boundary formed by the Guapore-Mamore-Madeira rivers. (13) When Pombal took office as Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs in July 1750, therefore, he was inheriting a fait accompli, some parts of which he did not approve.

These inland frontier demarcations were of great sensitivity for the missionary orders, since the Jesuit missions in particular were strategically placed deep in the continental interior between Spanish and Portuguese territories as well as along the key river systems. The Jesuits had cooperated with Spain in the 1740s, and the use of the Jesuits' Indian neophytes as troops and labour was an indispensable part of Spanish plans to counter Portuguese frontier expansion; Spanish strategy at this point merging with the traditional goal of the Jesuits for a united, well-defended chain of missions throughout the interior of the South American subcontinent. (14) Portugal's fears as to the loyalty of the Jesuits, therefore, were not unfounded.

With the Treaty of Madrid the Portuguese ceded Colonia do Sacramento and the land immediately to the north of the Rio de la Plata to Spain in return for Spanish recognition of the western fluvial frontiers of Brazil. This included the River Uruguay, which placed the seven Jesuit missions in the region, long under Spanish sovereignty, under that of Portugal. The Madrid agreements called for the evacuation of the Jesuits and their Indian neophytes from the Uruguayan missions, as well as over a million head of cattle, and envisioned a survey of the line of demarcation between Spanish and Portuguese America by two joint commissions. The governor general of Brazil, Gomes Freire de Andrade, was appointed Portuguese commissioner for the south. To the Amazon region in the north, Pombal sent his own brother, Francisco Xavier de Mendonca Furtado. (15)

The 'very secret' letter to the Gomes Freire supplementing his general instructions revealed the full extent of Pombal's aims and hopes for Portuguese America and demonstrated how powerful the Viennese experience and his discussions with Silva Tarouca were for Pombal. 'As the power and wealth of all countries consists principally in the number and multiplication of people that inhabit it', he wrote, 'this number and multiplication of the people is most indispensable now on the frontiers of the Brazil for their defense'. As it was not 'humanly possible' to provide the necessary people from the metropolis and adjacent islands without converting them 'entirely into deserts', it was essential to abolish 'all differences between Indians and Portuguese', to attract the Indians from the Uruguay missions and to encourage their marriage to Europeans. (16) The instructions to Mendonca Furtado reflected similar objectives. In order to promote an increase in population and to deepen its commitment to Portugal, Pombal recommended that his brother emancipate the Indians from the control of the missionaries, stimulate the migration and settlement of married couples from the Azores, and greatly increase the commerce in African slaves to the region. (17)

In practice, the implementation of these ideas, as far as the Indians were concerned, meant the removal of the tutelage of the Jesuits and envisioned their assimilation into--rather than separation from--Portuguese society in Brazil. These ideas received warm commendation from Vienna: Duke Silva Tarouca wrote to Pombal in 1752, 'the kings of Portugal could come to have an empire like China in Brazil'. Great care, he said, must be taken to populate Brazil. 'Moor, white, negro, mulatto, or mestizo, all will serve, all are men, and are good if they are well governed.' Above all, the vast Amazon basin should be secured. 'Population is everything, many thousands of leagues of deserts serve for nothing'. (18) The interests of the state so defined, of course, collided with the most basic philosophical tenet of the protectionist Indian policy of the Jesuits, and in effect placed state policy on the side of the colonists with whom the Jesuits had always struggled in their efforts to protect the Indians from exploitation.

Drawing on Luis da Cunha and Pombal's ideas about monopoly companies, Pombal's brother soon after his arrival in Belem, the capital of Para at the mouth of the Amazon River, recommended that a commercial company be established to facilitate the supply of African slaves to the Amazon region; he believed African slave imports would relieve the pressure on the colonists to enslave and mistreat the native Indian population. He also wanted to see more investment in the Amazonian economy, which he believed a monopoly company would provide, to help develop its potential exports. (19)

In 1755, in response to this advice, Pombal established the Company for Grao Para and Maranhao. (20) The company was given the exclusive right to all commerce and navigation between Portugal, Africa, and these Amazonian captaincies for a period of twenty years. Simultaneously, Pombal issued decrees on 6 and 7 June 1755 suppressing the Jesuits' secular authority over the Indians, declaring them to be 'free men'. (21) In addition, he ordered the expulsion from Brazil of those itinerant traders (comissarios volantes), who acted as commission agents of foreign, mainly British, merchant houses established in Lisbon. (22)

These three decisive measures were linked. The hidden objective of the Company of Grao Para and Maranhao was in fact broader than its regional focus might indicate. In fact, Pombal began his efforts to 'nationalize' sectors of the colonial trade where the foreign merchants were least active to camouflage his wider intentions. Pombal hoped that by granting special privileges and protection to stimulate the issuance of longer credits by Portuguese merchants so that via such a mechanism national merchant houses in Portugal would be able to accumulate subcient capital to compete more effectively with British merchants in the colonial trade as a whole, and by extension in Portugal proper. In this way the Pombaline state would contain and limit the role of foreign participation in Luso-Atlantic commerce. And by striking at the itinerant traders he hoped to remove one key link between the foreign merchants in Portugal and the Brazilian producers, and, in the case of Amazonia, the Jesuits, whose trade in Amazon products he saw as competing unfairly with that of Brazilian and Portuguese entrepreneurs who he wished to encourage. Pombal told Duke Silva Tarouca that his aim in establishing the Company of Grao Para and Maranhao was 'to restore [to] the merchant places of Portugal and Brazil the commissions of which they were deprived, and which are the principle substance of commerce, and the means by which there could be established the great merchant houses which had been lacking in Portugal'. (23) Pombal also urged his brother, in private correspondence, to use 'every possible pretext to separate the Jesuits from the frontier and to break all communications between them and the Jesuits of the Spanish dominions'. (24)

Pombal's monopoly company thus met objectives on several levels--not all of them made explicit. The fundamental objective in the colonial trade was to try to diminish the influence of the British, but the methods employed to achieve this aim were subtle, pragmatic, and enveloped in subterfuge. The unavoidable problem with the British-Portuguese relationship was that it was circumscribed by treaties which, for political and security reasons, the Portuguese wanted to maintain. One way of taking action against British influence, however, while avoiding open confrontation over the terms of the treaties between the two countries, was to use a variety of techniques in Portugal and within the colonial setting to shift concessionary economic advantages from foreigners to Portuguese merchant groups. In this respect the choice of the Amazon to begin the process was a very clever subterfuge. The British did not perceive the threat to their interests until the end of the decade. In Vienna, Silva Tarouca, when informed of Pombal's actions, much appreciated the idea. (25) These were precisely the type of great new dispositions of which he approved, and surrounded by the camouflage he recommended should always disguise them.

This is not to say Pombal's intervention went unopposed. Far from it. The promulgation of the Company of Grao Para and Maranhao's monopoly privileges and Indian emancipation from mission tutelage provoked an immediate response from the dispossessed traders and Jesuits. Both found an organ for agitation in the mesa do bem comum, a rudimentary Lisbon commercial association established in the late 1720s. (26) In the face of these provocations, Pombal acted swiftly. He dissolved the commercial fraternity of Espirito Santo as prejudicial to the royal service, common interest, and commerce, and the offending deputies were condemned to penal banishment. The confiscated papers of the mesa revealed the extent of Jesuit involvement, and Pombal interpreted and dealt with the protest as if it were a conspiratorial uprising against royal power. (27)

The creation of the Company of Grao Para and Maranhao thus had several important and probably unintentional consequences. First, it linked the attempts to assert national control over sections of the colonial trade to wider geostrategic questions, arising from the implementation of the Treaty of Madrid. Second, it brought Pombal, and no less importantly his brother, into headlong conflict with the Jesuits because Grao Para and Maranhao was a stronghold of Jesuit missionary activities and a region with a history of bitter disputes between the Jesuits and the colonists.

The Jesuit Indian missions on the southern frontier had in the meantime taken up arms to defend themselves and oppose the implementation of the Treaty of Madrid, provoking a joint Spanish-Portuguese military campaign against them. (28) The image of the militarized Indians under Jesuit control opposing unilaterally the mandates of the Iberian monarchs had a significant effect on the European mind. Voltaire, in Candide, portrays a sword-wielding Jesuit riding on horseback. (29) More significantly, the events surrounding the attempted implementation of the Treaty of Madrid fortified Pombal's conviction that the presence of the Jesuits in Portuguese lands, strategically placed as the missions were throughout the border region, was an impediment to the realization of his designs for reestablishing Portugal's power and prosperity and to protecting its frontiers by encouraging population growth through the incorporation of the Indians via miscegenation and secularization into Portuguese colonial society. From Vienna Duke Silva Tarouca, reversing his earlier view on the desirability of Jesuit cooperation, observed in February 1758:

It was not evangelical spirit that armed with muskets eighty or a hundred thousand Indians, and erected an intermediate power from the River Plate to the Amazon, which one day could be fatal to the dominant powers of South America. (30)

The 1750s, therefore, marking the first decade of Pombal's preeminence, had seen Portugal embark on an ambitious plan to reestablish some measure of national control over the riches flowing into Lisbon from Portugal's overseas dominions, Brazil most especially. To do this he adapted to the peculiarities of the Portuguese position many of the techniques of economic development he had seen deployed in London and Vienna, especially the use of state power to enhance national entrepreneurial skills and the imposition of state monopolies to protect nascent national industry and commerce. He had also been faced with implementing the Treaty of Madrid, involving a major effort to delineate and survey the vast frontiers of Brazil. In both cases the Jesuits provided major obstacles to his plans. On the southern border, a military campaign had been needed to defeat forces put into the field by the Jesuit missions. In the north of Brazil, the Amazonian missions ran into a headlong conflict with Pombal's brother.

In the midst of these accumulating struggles the earthquake of 1755 struck Lisbon, propelling Pombal into virtual supreme power and opening the way for a radical reconstruction of the city. Yet the disenchantment of the old nobility with Pombal's policies was also growing. The Company of Grao Para and Maranhao had used the allurement of ennoblement as an incentive to invest. The company's statutes offered to non-noble investors certain exemptions and privileges that had previously been the exclusive prerogative of the nobility and the magistracy, and admitted them to membership in the military orders. (31) The exclusivist aristocracy was upset by the favours Pombal bestowed on the merchants and businessmen. In addition, small merchants and tavern keepers were angry at being excluded by the new monopoly company Pombal set up to protect the wine producers of the upper Douro Valley, and these reactions combined to produce a series of violent riots and assassination attempts to which Pombal reacted ferociously, not only against the popular classes but also against the high nobility and the Jesuit order. (32)

The mesa do bem comum affair, the attack on contraband, and the regulation of colonial commerce thereby forged an identity of interest between the dispossessed itinerant interlopers, their English creditors, and the Jesuits, and the favours bestowed on Pombal's collaborators produced an identity of interests between those groups and the discontented nobles. For the old aristocracy Pombal's merchant collaborators represented a potent challenge to aristocratic privilege within the Portuguese social structure and the reaction to this state sponsoring social engineering was not slow in developing.

The crisis came to a head with the attempted regicide in 1758. King D. Jose I was returning to the Palace of Belem after an evening visit to his mistress, the young wife of the Marquis of Tavora, when his carriage was fired upon. The king was wounded subciently seriously for his queen Dona Mariana Vitoria (1718-81) to assume the regency (7 September 1758) during his recuperation. There was official silence on the incident until early December, when a substantial number of people were arrested in a large dragnet operation, including a group of leading aristocrats. The most prominent prisoners were several members of the Tavora family, the Count of Atouguia, and the Duke of Aveiro. The Duke D. Jose de Mascarenhas, who was the most powerful noble in Portugal, excluding the Royal family, was president of the Supreme Court. The Marquis of Tavora was a former viceroy of India and Commander of the Cavalry. The Count of Atouguia headed the Palace Guard. (33)

The king established a Supreme Junta de Inconfidencia (9 December 1758), presided over by the three secretaries of state and seven judges, but in fact dominated by Pombal. (34) The tribunal, which was granted wide powers that denied to the defendants the usual protections in Portuguese law, acted with dispatch. On 12 January 1759, the prisoners were found guilty of attempted regicide and sentenced. The Duke of Aveiro was to be broken alive, his limbs and arms crushed and exposed on a wheel for all to see, burnt ashes thrown into the sea. The Marquis of Tavora was to suffer the same fate. The limbs of the rest of the family were to be broken on the wheel, but they were to be strangled first. The grotesque sentence, the violence of which against aristocrats shocked much of Europe, was carried out the next day in Belem.

The day before eight Jesuits were arrested for alleged complicity, among them Gabriel Malagrida, a missionary and mystic of Italian origin who had gone to Brazil in 1721, where they had worked in Maranhao. After a brief sojourn in Lisbon between 1749 and 1751, he returned to Brazil where he quickly ran afoul of Pombal's brother. Malagrida had published a pamphlet on the Lisbon earthquake, attributing the disaster to DivineWrath. Pombal had gone to great efforts to explain the earthquake as a natural phenomenon, and he personally denounced Malagrida to the Inquisition, at the head of which he had installed his other brother, Paulo de Carvalho.

A royal alvara on 3 September 1759 declared the Jesuits to be in rebellion against the Crown, reinforcing the royal decree of 21 July of the same year, which ordered the imprisonment and expulsion of the Jesuits in Brazil. By March and April of 1760, 119 Jesuits had been expelled from Rio de Janeiro, 117 from Bahia, and 119 from Recife. The order's vast properties in Brazil, Portugal, and throughout the remnants of the once vast Portuguese empire in Asia were expropriated.

On 21 September 1761, after an auto-da-fe in Lisbon, Malagrida was garrotted and burned, and his ashes thrown to the wind. About the Malagrida case Voltaire wrote, 'Ainsi l'exces du ridicule et de l'absurdite fut joint a l'exces d'horreur' ['this was the excess of the ridiculous and the absurd joined to the excess of horror']. The reaction elsewhere in Europe was strong enough to prompt Pombal to print the sentence against Malagrida with a justification in French. (35) That the last individual burned at the stake by the Portuguese authorities at the instigation of the Inquisition should have been a priest and a member of an order that had been at the very spearhead of the Counter-Reformation was heavy with symbolism, and served as a launching pad for Pombal's formidable promotion of state propaganda in the anti-Jesuit cause. The Pombaline administration thereafter stimulated and subsidized throughout Europe a virulent campaign against the order. Pombal himself was intimately involved in the writing and formulation of the remarkable piece of propaganda known as the Deducao Chronologica e Analitica. (36) The 'Chronological and Analytical Deduction' divided the history of Portugal between the useful and the disastrous, essentially linked to the influence of the Jesuits. It upheld a rigorous regalist view concerning the Church in Portugal. Professor Samuel Miller describes the work not unjustifiably as 'a monotonous repetition of all the accusations ever leveled at the Jesuits by anyone at any time'. (37) The history of the assault by the Portuguese and Spanish Crowns on the Jesuit missions along the Uruguay River in South America during the late 1750s was also encapsulated--and was for many years defined--by another piece of state-supported and financed propaganda, the Relacao Abreviada. (38) Published in Portuguese, Italian, French, German and English in Amsterdam, the Relacao Abreviada was an account of the joint Portuguese and Spanish military campaign against the Jesuit missions in what is now the southern borderlands of Brazil. Some 20,000 copies are estimated to have been distributed. It was a major weapon in the Europe-wide battle that led to the suppression of the Jesuits by Pope Clement XIV in 1773. (39) As Franco Venturi has shown, Venice and Rome in particular specialized in printing vivid accounts of the goings on in Lisbon. (40)

The expulsion of the Jesuits left Portugal virtually bereft of teachers at both secondary and university levels. Not surprisingly, the establishment of a state-sponsored school system of secondary education and the reform of the University of Coimbra drew directly on the recommendations of the old enemies of the Jesuits, the Oratorians and Luis Antonio Verney, the latter by now a paid consultant to the Portuguese government. (41) Both of these reforms were later to provide Pombal with his claim to being a proponent of an Enlightenment government. Both reforms were financed in part by expropriated properties of Jesuits and aristocrats condemned for regicide. (42)

Finally, let us return to the question posed earlier: Why Pombal, and why the Amazon? The answer lies in five key points of conflict. First was Pombal's plan for economic regeneration through the rational exploitation of the colonies. Second, there was a geopolitical conflict over frontiers and the security of the empire, in which the Guarani missions in particular opposed Portugal's decisions by force of arms. Third, the attempted regicide. Fourth, there was an ongoing conflict within the Church over education and regalism; this important schism enabled an attack on the Jesuits to proceed under the cover of Catholic tradition, in which the leading anti-Jesuit spokesmen were fellow Churchmen. Fifth and finally, the situation constituted a direct conflict between the Order and a powerful and ruthless minister who would not tolerate dissent, for whom raison d'etat was supreme policy, and who did not hesitate to act when provoked.

That these five causes served as a catalyst for the expulsion of the Jesuits from Portugal owed much, of course, to the receptivity of European enlightened opinion, Church politics, and the diplomatic acquiescence of the other European Catholic monarchies. But European opinion alone would not necessarily have been sufficient to bring about an act of expulsion, much less lead to the momentous decision of Pope Clement XIV in 1773 to suppress the Jesuit order entirely. The European Catholic monarchs in Spain, then France and Austria, were quick to follow Portugal's example in expelling the Jesuits, but it is not at all clear that any of them would have acted, had Portugal not acted first.

It is here, of course, that the currents of Enlightenment thought I outlined at the beginning conveniently provided justification for actions that at the core, as we have seen, had more prosaic motivations.

Council On Foreign Relations New York

(1) I use 'Pombal' here as a shorthand, since this is usually how he is referred to by historians. But it is an anachronistic and perhaps misleading shorthand to the extent that it anticipates his elevation to Marquis in 1769. He had become the Count of Oeiras in 1759. For details on the family background of Sebastiao Jose de Carvalho e Melo (1699-1782) see Kenneth Maxwell Pombal, Paradox of the Enlightenment (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995), especially pp. 2-4.

(2) So-called 'New Christians' were the descendants of Portuguese Jews compelled to embrace Christianity in 1497 rather than face expulsion.

(3) See Antonio Alberto Banha de Andrade, Vernei e a Cultura do seu Tempo (Coimbra: Universidade de Coimbra, 1966); also The Portuguese Jewish Community in London: 1656-1830 (London: Jewish Museum, 1992).

(4) For Muratori see Derek Beales, Joseph II: In the Shadow of Maria Theresa, 1741-1780 (Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press, 1987), p. 47; and Franco Venturi, Da Muratori a Beccaria (1730-1764), 5 vols (Turin: Giulio Einaudi Editore, 1969), I. There is a vast literature on Verney. For a brief introduction see Antonio Alberto Banha de Andrade, Vernei e a Projeccao de sua Obra (Lisbon: Instituto da Cultura Portuguesa; Biblioteca Breve, 1980), which contains an appendix with extracts from Verney's correspondence with Muratori. Also by the same author, Contributos para a Historia da Mentalidade Pedagogica Portuguesa (Lisbon: Imprensa Nacional, 1981). For a more complete account see Andrade, Vernei e a Cultura do seu Tempo. Also valuable is the broad overview by J. S. (Jose Sebastiao) da Silva Dias, Portugal e a Cultura Europeia (Seculos XVI a XVII) (Coimbra: Universidade de Coimbra, 1953), and Samuel J. Miller, Portugal and Rome, c. 1748-1830: An Aspect of the Catholic Enlightenment (Rome: Universita Gregoriana, 1978).

(5) Joao V had granted the convent of Nossa Senhora das Necessidades to the Oratorians in 1744 with the obligation to conduct classes in Christian doctrine, rhetoric and grammar, moral philosophy, and theology. Manuel H. Corte-Real, O Palacio das Necessidades (Lisbon: Ministerio dos Negocios Estrangeiros, 1983). The convent is now the seat of the Portuguese Foreign Ministry. For a comprehensive overview of the Jesuit activity in Portugal and its empire, see Dauril Alden, The Making of an Enterprise: the Society of Jesus in Portugal, its Empire and Beyond, 1540-1750 (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1996), especially pp. 597-613. For Brazil in particular see Caio Boschi, 'Jesuitas', in Histo ria da Expansao Portuguesa, ed. by Francisco Bethencourt and Kiri Chaudhuri, 5 vols (Lisbon: Circulo de Leitores, 1998-99), III, 295-300. For extent of Jesuit influence in education, Alden, pp. 31-35.

(6) For Pombal's family connection see Joaquim Verissimo Serrao, O Marques de Pombal: o Homen, o Diplomata e o Estadista (Lisbon: Edicao Camara Municipal de Lisboa, Oeiras e Pombal, 1982).

(7) See Instrucco es Ineditas de D. Luis da Cunha e Marco Antonio de Azevedo Coutinho, ed. by Pedro de Azevedo and Antonio Baiao (Coimbra: Universidade de Coimbra, 1930). For a detailed discussion of the intellectual sources of Pombal's ideas see Francisco Jose Calazons Falcon, A E poca Pombalina, Politica, Economia e Monarquia Ilustrada (Sao Paulo: Editora Atica, 1982).

(8) The contents of Pombal's London library is catalogued in several codices in Lisbon's National Library. In particular see Colecao Pombalina, Codices 165, 167, 342, 343, Biblioteca Nacional, Lisbon. Also see Sebastiao Jose de Carvalho e Melo, Escritos Economicos de Londres, 1741-1746 (Lisbon: Biblioteca Nacional, 1986).

(9) See Maxwell, Pombal, pp. 3-4. The negotiations with the Vatican were extremely vexing for the future Marquis, though they served to cement his close relationship with Silva Tarouca. His private correspondence with Lisbon was conducted via the Jesuits who were intermediaries in the most sensitive state business, given their key positions at the court of D. Joao V as confessors and de facto private secretaries to the royal family. The correspondence with the Jesuits also reveals the mutual antagonism between Pombal and the Portuguese minister in Rome and his continuing complaints about his lack of financial resources (also a theme of his correspondence in London), as well as his dependence on the English for credit lines (John Bristow of London and Lisbon). Later, when in power in Lisbon, Pombal removed the Jesuits from their positions as confessors and restored to Portuguese merchants the ability to sustain credit lines, both central planks of his policy agenda. See Antonio Lopes, Marques de Pombal e a Companhia de Jesus, Correspondencia Inedita ao Longo de 115 Cartas (Cascais: Principa, 1999), and Colleccao dos Negocios de Roma no Reino de El-Rei Dom Jose, Ministerio do Marquez de Pombal e Pontificados de Benedicto XIV e Clemente XIII, Parte I (1755-60), Parte II (1759-69), Parte III (1769-74), and Additamento a Parte III (1774-75), (Lisbon: 1874).

(10) [Manuel Teles da Silva] to [Sebastiao Jose de Carvalho e Melo], Vienna, 24 September 1750, in 'A correspondencia entre o Duque Manuel Teles da Silva e Sebastiao Jose de Carvalho e Melo', Anais da Academia Portuguesa de Historia, ed. by Carlos da Silva Tarouca S. J., 2nd series (Lisbon: Academia Portuguesa de Histo ria, 1955), VI, 277-422; citation from pp. 313-15; author's translation.

(11) Fernando Tomaz, 'As Financas do Estado Pombalino, 1762-1776', in Estudos e Ensaios em Homenagem a Vitorino Magalhaes Godinho (Lisbon: Editora Don Quixote, 1990), pp. 255-388. An important reevaluation of the reign of D. Joao V is contained in Angela Delaforce's forthcoming book on his reign, to be published in 2001 by Cambridge University Press.

(12) The classic account is Jaime Cortesao, Alexandre de Gusmao e o Tratado de Madrid (1750), 8 vols (Rio de Janeiro: Ministerio das Relacoes Exteriores, Instituto Rio Branco, 1955-1963). Also Luis Ferrand d'Almeida, 'Problemas do Comercio Luso-Espanhol nos Meados do Seculo XVIII: um Parecer de Sebastiao Carvalho e Melo', Revista Economica e Social, 8 (1981), 95-131.

(13) See especially the account by David M. Davidson, 'Rivers and Empire: The Madeira Route and the Incorporation of the Brazilian Far West, 1737-1808' (unpublished doctoral thesis, Yale University, 1970). Also 'Consolidacao do Roteiro Madeira-Guapore', in Jose Roberto do Amaral Lapa, Economia Colonial (Sao Paulo: Editora Perspectiva, 1973), pp. 23-111.

(14) The principal source on the Jesuits in Brazil remains Serafim Leite, Historia da Companhia de Jesus no Brasil, 10 vols (Lisbon and Rio de Janeiro: Livraria Portugalia, 1938-50), supplemented now by Alden, The Making of an Enterprise. For the Amazon region still valuable is Joao Lucio de Azevedo, Os Jesuitas no Grao-Para, suas Misso es e a Colonizacao: Bosquejo historico, com varios documentos ineditos.(Lisbon: Cardoso & Irmao, 1901).

(15) A Amazonia na era Pombalina: Correspondencia Inedita do Governador e Capitao-General do Estado de Grao Para e Maranhao, 1751-1759, ed. by Marcos Carneiro de Mendonca, 3 vols (Rio de Janeiro: Instituto Historico e Geografico Brasileiro, 1963). This comprehensive collection contains the obcial and private correspondence between Pombal and his brother, the governor of Grao Para and Maranhao. Padre Jose Caeiro (1712-91), provides a counterpoint to the account in the letters from Mendonca Furtado to his brother Pombal, covering many of the same events from a Jesuit perspective. For this intimate account of the expulsion from a Jesuit contemporary, see the remarkably detailed 'Sobre o Exilio das Provincias Transmarinas da Assistencia Portuguesa da Companhia de Jesus', published by the Academia Brasileira de Letras, Primeira Publicacao apos 160 anos do Manuscrito Inedito de Jose Caeiro sobre os Jesuitas do Brasil e da India na Perseguicao do Marques de Pombal (Seculo XVIII) (Bahia: Escola Tipografica Salesiana, 1936). For Portugal proper see Padre Jose Caeiro, Historia da Expulsao da Companhia de Jesus da Provincia de Portugal (sec. XVIII), 3 vols (Lisbon: Editorial Verbo, 1991-99).

(16) 'Carta Secretissima de [Carvalho e Melo] para Gomes Freire de Andrade, Lisboa, 21 September 1751', in Marcos Carneiro de Mendonca, O Marques de Pombal e o Brasil (Sao Paulo: Editora Nacional, 1950), pp. 184; author's translation.

(17) 'Instrucoes regias, publicas, e secretas para [Mendonca Furtado]...', Lisbon, 31 May 1751, in Mendonca, A Amazonia na era Pombalina, I, 26-31.

(18) [Teles da Silva] to [Carvalho de Melo], Vienna, 12 August 1752, in Anais, pp. 323-29; author's translation.

(19) [Mendonca Furtado] to Diogo de Mendonca, Corte Real, Belem, 18 January 1754, and [Mendonca Furtado] to [Carvalho de Melo], Belem, 26 January 1754, in Mendonca, A Amazonia na era Pombalina, II, 456-59, 465-70.

(20) Alvara, 7 June 1755, 'Confirma os estatutos da Companhia Geral do Grao Para e Maranhao.' For a detailed account see Manuel Nunes Dias, Fomento e Mercantilismo; a Companhia Geral do Grao Para e Maranhao (1755-1778), 2 vols (Belem: Universidade Federal do Para, 1970). Also, Antonio Carreira, As Companhias Pombalinas de Grao-Para e Maranhao e Pernambuco e Paraiba, 2nd edn (Lisbon: Presenca, 1982), which contains the statutes of incorporation of the two companies: 'Instituicao da Companhia Geral do Grao-Para e Maranhao', pp. 252-71; and 'Instituicao da Companhia de Pernambuco e Paraiba', pp. 281-302. Carreira provides a detailed evaluation of the company's monopoly privileges and slave trading, pp. 40-216.

(21) Lei, 6 June 1755, 'Restitui aos indios do Grao-Para e Maranhao a liberdade das suas pessoas, bens e comercio'. Also see discussion by Colin M. MacLachlan, 'The Indian Labor Structure in the Portuguese Amazon, 1700-1800', in Colonial Roots of Modern Brazil, ed. by Dauril Alden (Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1973); and Dauril Alden, Royal Government in Colonial Brazil; With Special Reference to the Administration of the Marquis of Lavradio, Viceroy, 1763-1779 (Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1968).

(22) Alvara, 11 December 1755, 'porque ... he servido prohibir que passem do Brasil comissarios volantes...', in Colecao Pombalina, Codex 453, fols 79-80. See discussion by Kenneth Maxwell in 'Pombal and the Nationalization of the Luso-Brazilian Economy', in Hispanic American Historical Review, 4 (1998), 608-31.

(23) [Carvalho e Melo] to [Teles da Silva], [1756?], in Anais, pp. 419-20; author's translation.

(24) 'Instrucoes regias, publicas, e secretas para [Mendonca Furtado]...', in Mendonca, A Amazonia na era Pombalina, I, 26-31.

(25) [Teles da Silva] to [Carvalho e Melo], 3 November 1759, in Anais, p. 348.

(26) See J. (Joao) Lu cio d'Azevedo, Novas Eponaforas: Estudos de Historia e Literatura (Lisbon: Livraria Classica Editora, 1932), pp. 54-56; and his O Marques de Pombal e a sua E poca, 2nd edn (Lisbon: Seara Nova, 1922), pp. 138-40.

(27) See [Carvalho e Melo] to [Mendonca Furtado], 4 August 1755, in Colecao Pombalina, Codex 626, fol. 90; also in Mendonca, A Amazonia na era Pombalina, II, 784-88.

(28) There is a vast literature on the Guarani missions and their destruction: the best starting point remains The Expulsion of the Jesuits from Latin America, ed. by Magnus Morner (New York: Knopf, 1965); and Morner, The Political and Economic Activities in the La Plata Region: The Hapsburg Era (Stockholm: Victor Pettersons; Institute of Ibero-American Studies, 1953); also the discussion by John Hemming, Amazon Frontier: The Defeat of the Brazilian Indians (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1987), pp. 1-80, and his Red Gold: The Conquest of the Brazilian Indians (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1978), pp. 441-61.

(29) Voltaire, Candide, trans. and ed. by Robert M. Adams (New York and London: Norton, 1966), pp. 30-31.

(30) [Teles da Silva] to [Carvalho e Melo], Vienna, 10 February 1758, and Vienna, 1 April 1758, in Anais, pp. 386-87, 395; author's translation.

(31) See Alvara of 5 January 1757, Colecao Pombalina, Codex 456, fol. 138.

(32) For a good discussion of the suppression of the uprising in Oporto against the Douro monopoly company, see Susan Schneider, O Marques de Pombal e o Vinho do Porto: Dependencia e Subdesenvolvimento em Portugal no Seculo XVIII (Lisbon: Regra do Jogo, 1980).

(33) See Guilherme G. de Oliveira Santos, O Caso dos Tavoras (Lisbon: Livraria Portugal, 1958), p. 15. For a good discussion of this episode also see Tarcisio Beal, 'Os Jesuitas, a Universidade de Coimbra e a Igreja Brasileira: Subsidios para a Historia do Regalismo em Portugal, 1750-1850' (unpublished doctoral thesis, Catholic University of America, 1969), p. 45. Pombal denunciation in Arquivo Nacional da Torre do Tombo, Lisbon, in Inquisition papers, no. 18, proceeding no. 8064, fols 1-6, listed in 'O Marques de Pombal e o seu Tempo', Revista da Historia das Ideias, 2 vols (Coimbra: 1982), I, 370-76.

(34) O Processo dos Tavoras, prefaciado e anotado por Pedro de Azevedo, Ineditos I, (Lisbon: Biblioteca Nacional, 1921). Padre Jose Caeiro claimed that the order to liquidate the Jesuit properties in Brazil had been given in June 1758, three months before the assassination attempt. Also Francis A. Dutra, 'The Wounding of King Jose I: Accident or Assassination Attempt?', Mediterranean Studies, 7 (1998), 221-29. On the important role played by young Brazilians and other artists, especially Jose Basilio da Gama, author of O Uruguay, in the promotion of anti-Jesuit measures and Pombaline reforms, as well as of those protected by the minister, see Ivan Teixeira, Mecenato Pombalino e Poesia Neoclassica (Sao Paulo: EDUSP, 1999), and his Obras Poeticas de Jose Basilio da Gama, Ensaio e Edicao Critica (Sao Paulo: EDUSP, 1996). Jose Basilio da Gama became private secretary to Pombal. Ivan Teixeira's books also provide an invaluable depiction of Pombaline iconography.

(35) Claude-Henri Freches, Voltaire, Malagrida et Pombal (Paris: Fundacao Calouste Gulbenkian, 1969). See also the comments on Malagrida in C. R. (Charles Ralph) Boxer, Some Contemporary Reactions to the Lisbon Earthquake of 1755 (Lisbon: Faculdade de Letras, Universidade de Lisboa, 1956) and 'Liste des personnes qui ont ete condamnees a l'act public de Foi, celebre dans le cloitre du convent des Dominiques de Lisbonne le 20 septembre 1761' (Lisbon: 1761).

(36) Deducao Chronologica e Analitica ... dada a luz pelo Doutor Joseph de Seabra da Silva . . . em Lisboa, 3 vols (1767), original manuscript with annotations and additions in the handwriting of Pombal. Colecao Pombalina, Codices 444-446. For discussion of the Deducao Chronologica see d'Azevedo, O Marques de Pombal e a sua E poca, pp. 290-91.

(37) Miller, Portugal and Rome, p. 187.

(38) First published in late 1756 and probably written mainly by Pombal, the full title is: Relacao Abreviada da Republica que os Religiosos das Provincias de Portugal e Espanha Estabeleceram nos Dominios Ultramarinos das duas Monarquias, e da Guerra que neles tem Movido e Sustentado contra os Exercitos Espanhois e Portugueses (1758), Biblioteca Nacional, Lisbon, Reservados 4.394.

(39) See discussion by Miller, Portugal and Rome, p. 53.

(40) Venturi, La Chiesa e la Repubblica dentro i loro limiti (1758-1774), II, 21, 27-29.

(41) Miller, Portugal and Rome, pp. 51, 54.

(42) See Romulo de Carvalho, Historia da Fundacao do Colegio Real dos Nobres de Lisboa, 1761-1772 (Coimbra: Atlantida; Universidade de Coimbra, 1959), and Francisco de Lemos, Relacao Geral do Estado da Universidade, 1777 (repr. Coimbra: Universidade de Coimbra, 1980); Luis de Bivar de Sousa Leao, 'Inventario e Sequestro da Casa de Aveiro em 1759' (Lisbon: Tribunal de Contos, 1952), and Luis de Bivar de Sousa Leao, 'Inventario e Sequestro das Casas de Tavora e Atouguia em 1759' (Lisbon: Tribunal de Contos, 1954). For a fuller discussion of the consequences of the expulsion of the Jesuits for the educational reforms of Pombal see Maxwell, Pombal, especially pp. 87-109.
COPYRIGHT 2001 Modern Humanities Research Association
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2001 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Author:Maxwell, Kenneth
Publication:Portuguese Studies
Date:Jan 1, 2001
Previous Article:An Asian presence in the Atlantic bullion carrying trade, 1710-50.
Next Article:Safeguarding Portugal's colonial legacies: Pernambuco's 1848.

Related Articles
A Vinha do Senhor: the Portuguese Jesuits in China in the seventeenth century.
Jesuit back in familiar spot after routing Canby.
From the editor.
Brazil's ruins of the double crosspiece: now mere remnants of a turbulent past, the missions in this nation's southeast were once bustling commercial...
South girls avenge only loss to reach state title game.
Benson rebounds with rout.

Terms of use | Privacy policy | Copyright © 2022 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters |