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Faculdade de Ciências Sociais e Humanas

History of Colonial Brazil - 1st semester



Academic unit

Faculdade de Ciências Sociais e Humanas





Teacher in charge

Pedro Almeida Cardim

Weekly hours


Teaching language



Students are expected to:
1. Identify the main stages of the Portuguese settlement and colonization of South America from the early sixteenth century until independence (1822).
2. Acquire an understanding of the history of colonial Brazil as the result of the dynamic interaction of political, economic and social conditions, in the context of the Portuguese political sphere.
3. Acquire knowledge of the most influential historiographical approaches of the subjects under analysis.
4. Be able to analyze and interpret historical documents and understand them in their historical context.
5. Improve skills to communicate orally and in writing, integrating the vocabulary and concepts specific to this field of studies.



Subject matter

1.The native peoples of South America before the arrical of the Europeans.
2. The foundations of the Portuguese colonization (1500-1548).
3. Brazil within the Iberian union.
4. The increasing use of African slave and the birth of an Atlantic system.
5. The Dutch Brazil.
6. Portuguese America between 1654 and 1700.
7. The political-administrative reforms of the first half of the 18th century.
8. Brazil under the marquis of Pombal.The monopolist companies.
9. Conspiracies, plots and revolts in the turn of the century.
10. The road to independence.


LANGFUR, HAL (ed.), Native Brazil. Beyond the convert and the cannibal, 1500-1900, Albuquerque, University of New Mexico Press, 2014.
PAQUETTE, Gabriel, Imperial Portugal in the Age of Atlantic Revolutions. The Luso-Brazilian World, c. 1770-1850, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2013.
RUSSELL-WOOD, A. J., A World on the Move: The Portuguese in Africa, Asia, and America, 1415-1808, London, Carcanet Press, 1992.
SCHWARTZ, Stuart, Sugar Plantations in the Formation of Brazilian Society: Bahia, 1550-1835, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1986.
SCHULTZ, Kirsten, Tropical Versailles. Empire, monarchy, and the Portuguese royal court in Rio de Janeiro, 1808-1821, Nova Iorque-Londres, Routledge, 2001.

Teaching method

Lectures play an important role in this course, though not exclusively. Students will be asked to engage actively during classes and encouraged to analyze and comment written sources or other teaching resources.

Evaluation method

The structure of marks and the nature of assignments is the following: two written tests (each one counts for 50% of the final grade); the oral participation of students will also be taken in account of the final grade.