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The archives of the Portuguese government during the residency of the court in Brazil, 1808-1822

Canas da Cunha Delgado Martins, Ana Isabel Silva; (2004) The archives of the Portuguese government during the residency of the court in Brazil, 1808-1822. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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The need to understand what happened to the dispersed and previously unsatisfactorily described records of the archives of the central Portuguese administration during 1808-1822, in order to assign a provenance to the records, was the original motivating force behind this thesis. Several aspects of the rule of Portugal and Brazil and of the process of governmental decision-making were little and fragmentarily known and there was no study on the archives of the main offices during the same period. An extensive survey of the archives was undertaken, to locate and identify series and documents of the Secretarias de Estado and other state offices, mainly in Portugal and Brazil. Private papers and British Foreign Office and some French official records were also researched. The first four chapters present aspects of the political, institutional and administrative history of Portugal and Brazil as the context for the archives. First the structure of the central administration before the invasion of Portugal by the Napoleonic armies, including the offices in Brazil, is traced. This is followed by an account of the departure of the Portuguese Court to Rio de Janeiro. The forms of government and administration in Portugal from November 1807 till September 1820 are examined next, beginning with the occupation led by Junot, the Regency and its replacement and their impact on the creation of official records. The following subchapters trace the fighting against the French and the establishment juntas of government and examine the composition and working of the governors of the Kingdom, as well as studying the British military' presence and its influence on the government during the Peninsular War. Finally the governance and the continuity of the British presence after 1814 and till September 1820 are analysed. Chapter four studies the reconstruction and working of the central government and administration in Brazil for the period between March 1808 and September 1820. Chapter five examines how offices in Portugal and Brazil created records and how these circulated and were kept. Types of documents are featured and their usage explained. The arrangement of records, including systems of classification, is analysed. Special attention is paid to the archives of the Secretaria de Estado dos Negócios do Reino and Secretaria de Estado dos Negócios Estrangeiros and also of the Gabinete do Rei and to the records of the Conselho de Estado. The frontiers between private and public records as well as procedures of secrecy within public offices are examined. The sixth chapter traces the Liberal Revolution of 1820 in Portugal, the return of King D. Joâo VI to Lisbon and the independence of Brazil in 1822. The last chapter examines the transfers of records and archives of the Portuguese central administration from 1808 to 1822, especially between Portugal and Brazil, but also with reference to the repercussions of the French occupation and the Peninsular War. Aspects such as the impact of international conflicts on archives, seizure and informational value of records, safekeeping of official records, relationship between political changes, administrative practices and the management of records, evidential value of records and official memory are studied. The main issues analysed concern the custodial history and the current location of the archives of the Secretarias de Estado and other public offices. In addition, successive Brazilian and Portuguese initiatives in the nineteenth and twentieth century to identify, describe and access records produced by these offices before the independence of Brazil in 1822, are critically examined. The conclusions reached in this thesis suggest that the main change in the records was the creation of new series: namely the contas dos governadores do Reino, in consequence of the resettlement of the state apparatus in Rio de Janeiro and of the establishment of the governors of the Kingdom in Lisbon. As these worked as an intermediary body regarding the King and secretaries of state, the ways in which records circulated were often different to those prior to 1808. The bulk of the archives of the Secretarias de Estado which were transported to Rio de Janeiro returned, but not the records produced during 1808-1822 and those relating to Brazil. The location of these records and a list of them are provided for the first time. As a result of the research and findings of this thesis, it is hoped that the arrangement of the series of records of these offices and their connected departments will be simpler and more precise and the enrichment and production of new finding aids will be a natural consequence.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: The archives of the Portuguese government during the residency of the court in Brazil, 1808-1822
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: This thesis has been digitised by ProQuest.
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10091176
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