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The Sesmarias In Brazil: Colonial Land Policies In The Late Eighteenth Century.

Author(s): Marcia Maria Menendes Motta

Journal: E-Journal of Portuguese History
ISSN 1645-6432

Volume: 3;
Issue: 2;
Date: 2005;
Original page

Keywords: Ancien Regime | Sesmarias | The Alvará Of 1795 Colonial Legislation | Francisco Mauricio De Souza Coutinho.

This article discusses the reasons for the promulgation of the Alvará of 1795, the most important of an entire series of decisions by the Crown to legalize the procedures by which sesmarias were granted. The abovementioned Alvará was the result of a consultation with the Overseas Council regarding the irregularities and unruliness which characterized the regulation of sesmarias in Brazil. Revoked the following year, the Alvará represented the effort of the Crown to stop the process of illegal land occupation. Its dispositions were object reasoning from D. Rodrigo de Souza Coutinho and Francisco Mauricio de Souza Coutinho, Para’s governor and brother of Dom Rodrigo, State Secretary of the Navy and Overseas Dominions. Francisco de Souza Coutinho interpreted the articles set in the Alvará of 1795, in an effort to propose solutions to the problems resulting from the concession and demarcation of land. This article, therefore, analyzes the limits of State action in relation to land policies in its main colony, Brazil.
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