The Concession of Evora Monte

The Concession of Evora Monte : The Failure of Liberalism in Nineteenth-Century Portugal

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In a period when the monarch was the key figure in the Portuguese government, the struggle for the throne among members of the royal family was of crucial significance. Against a backdrop of new liberal ideas, economic conservatism, and modernization, Dom Pedro challenged his brother, Dom Miguel (the Usurper), on behalf of his young daughter (Maria II) for the throne. But this struggle for the throne, and for a workable constitution, did little to change the fundamentally agrarian economy, so that in the end neither the monarch, nor the liberal ideals of the urban elite, nor foreign pressures had any fundamental effect on society as a whole. The Concession of Evora Monte describes the economic and political problems unleashed by the Peninsular War and the evacuation of the court to Brazil; the 1820 revolution, the first Portuguese constitution, and the counter revolution; the attempt by Dom Pedro when he became king (while also emperor of Brazil) to introduce the new Constitutional Charter and pass the throne on to his young daughter; the usurpation of the throne by his brother Dom Miguel; the War of the Two Brothers in which Dom Pedro defeated Dom Miguel and forced him into exile. The signing of the Concession in 1834 marked the end of the civil war, but it did not bring peace and stability. The changes introduced by the victorious Dom Pedro did not solve the basic issues of Portuguese society, nor did the efforts of his daughter, Maria II, during the 1830s and the 1840s. Several attempts were made to impose a new liberal constitution on the country, but in the end it was the formation after 1850 of new political parties sharing the governing which brought stability. The country remained conservative despite the modernization which came to the cities but which penetrated the countryside only to a degree. This book argues that liberalism in Portugal was an urban phenomenon involving a very small minority of the people, and points to a variety of reasons for this. Portugal remained a rural, conservative society into the twentieth century and throughout the Salazar regimes until, perhaps, the Carnation Revolution in more

Product details

  • Hardback | 186 pages
  • 154 x 232 x 18mm | 379.99g
  • Lexington Books
  • Lanham, MD, United States
  • English
  • 19 black & white halftones
  • 0739193317
  • 9780739193310

Review quote

A very successful synthesis of a long period of Portuguese history, rich in domestic events and constant dramatic changes of fortune, in a country forced to fight for its survival throughout the European power struggle before, during, and after Napoleon. After skimming over the Portuguese eighteenth century period of enlightenment, Dr. Ronald Thomson addresses the country's political struggle with the two liberal projects, the revolutionary French approach and the British liberal parliamentary approach, and the violent struggle between two royal figures and brothers, embodying the romantic desire of political and social change, and the popular resistance to end the long prevailing 'Ancient Regime.' The author concludes that the social and economic characteristics in the making of Portuguese society of the time explain the democratic shortfalls in the development of a truly liberal society in Portugal, in contrast to the more advanced economic societal models already existent in Northern Europe. The work is rational and synthetic, written in a very clear style, concentrating on key events, pragmatic and scrupulously fair in its analysis; a welcome, fresh work that will enrich Portuguese historiography, so often ideologically biased. -- Pedro de Avillez, Historian and Publishershow more

About Ron B. Thomson

Ron B. Thomson is a retired fellow of the Pontifical Institute of Medieval Studies in more

Table of contents

Contents Illustrations and Maps Introduction: The Concession of Evora Monte The Houses of Braganca and Braganca-Saxe-Coburg Part One: The War of the Two Brothers 1.The Peninsular War a.The Portuguese Monarchy and Brazil b.The Peninsular War and Its Aftermath c.The Liberal Ideology 2.Joao VI a.The Structure of Portuguese Society b.Portugal (and Brazil), 1814-1820 c.Spain's 1812 Cadiz Constitution d.The 1820 Portuguese Revolution and the Return of Joao VI e.The Constitution of 1822 f.Dom Pedro and Brazil g.The Counter-Revolution h.The Death of Joao VI 3.The War of the Two Brothers a.King Pedro IV b.The Constitutional Charter, 1826 c.The Competition for Power: the International Stage d.The Competition for Power: the National Stage\ e.King Miguel I f.Dom Pedro, Duke of Braganca g.The War of the Two Brothers, 1832-1834 Part Two: The Concession of Evora Monte 4.The Concession of Evora Monte 5.1834 a.The Liberals and the Miguelists b.The Government in 1834 c.Social Reforms d.The Liberals and the Church e.Dom Miguel f.The Death of Dom Pedro Part Three: An Unstable Place 6.Maria II a.Maria II and the Portugal of 1834 b.The Frustration of the Radicals, 1834-1838 c.Constitutional Change, 1838 d.The Search for Moderation 1838-1851 e.Miguelism and the Countryside\ f.Regeneration, 1851-1856 g.The Death of Dona Maria II Conclusion: The Failure of Portuguese Liberalism a.Pedro V, 1853-1861 b.Portugal, 1861-1910 c.The Twentieth Century d.The Failure of Liberalism Appendix 1. The Constitutions of Portugal Appendix 2. The Descendants of Dom Miguel Appendix 3. Ranald MacDonell Bibliography Indexshow more