Portuguese Colonial Cities in the Early Modern World: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Portuguese Colonial Cities in the Early Modern World

1st Edition

Edited by Liam Matthew Brockey


298 pages

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Portuguese Colonial Cities in the Early Modern World is a collection of essays on the cities of the Portuguese empire written by the leading scholars in the field. The volume, like the empire it analyzes, has a global scope and a chronological span of three centuries. The contributions focus on the social, political, and economic aspects of city life in settlements as far apart as Rio de Janeiro, Mozambique Island, and Nagasaki. Despite the seeming (and real) disparities between the colonial cities located in South America, Africa, and Asia, this volume demonstrates that they possessed a range of commonalities. Beyond their shared language, these cities had similar social, religious, and political institutions that shaped their identities. In many cases, the civic bodies analyzed in these essays such as the city councils or the Misericórdias (charitable brotherhoods), no less than the convents and houses of Catholic religious orders, contributed more to making these cities Portuguese than their allegiance to the crown in Lisbon. Rather than dividing the globe into Atlantic and Indian Ocean spheres, Portuguese Colonial Cities in the Early Modern World takes the novel approach of bringing together analyses of the social history of these cities in order to stress their shared aspects as well as to suggest paths for fruitful comparisons. By encouraging further scholarship in this rich, yet understudied subject, this collection will not only further comparisons between cities found within the Portuguese empire, but also raise important issues that will be of interest to historians of other European empires, as well as urban historians generally.


’This collection makes a key contribution to the historical development of urban Portuguese societies… The chapters all share a high level of historical research and writing, with the authors drawing on little known documents to illuminate aspects of Portuguese imperial history.’ Reviews in History ’Its vibrant, engaging prose and stimulating conclusions are a testament to the author’s erudition and explanatory skill, Brockey’s fine editing and (in some essays) the translating skills of Brockey and Mónica Leal da Silva.’ Journal of Urban History ’Editor Liam Brockey and his contributing authors have produced an exceptionally useful and insightful book that draws out important themes in comparative colonial studies by examining sundry Portuguese held port cities in Brazil, east and west Africa, coastal western India, southern China and Japan.’ Bulletin of Spanish Studies 'I recommend this volume to all those interested in investigating the social, political, religious, and economic organization and accompanying tensions common to all hybrid colonial environments, as well as to those specializing in the imperial history of the Iberian Peninsula.' Sixteenth Century Journal 'The book is avowedly targeted at urban historians, and hence rather specialised, but does contain material of interest to other scholarly discourses such as my own - and thus serves as an important access route to such detailed contextualisation of early forms of (colonial) urban­ism.' Cadernos de Estudos Africanos

Table of Contents

Contents: Introduction: nodes of empire, Liam Matthew Brockey. Part I Religion and Empire:: In the shadow of empire: Portuguese Jewish communities in the 16th century, José Alberto Rodrigues da Silva Tavim; The Jesuits and the political language of the city: riot and procession in early 17th-century Salvador da Bahia, Charlotte de Castelnau-L'Estoile; Nagasaki: the early years of an early modern Japanese city, J.S.A. Elisonas. Part II Cities and Commerce: Mozambique island: the rise and decline of a colonial port city, Malyn Newitt; The province of the North: continuity and change in an age of decline and rebirth, ca. 1571-1680, Glenn J. Ames; Charity, ritual and business at the edge of empire: the Misericórdia of Macau, Isabel dos Guimarães Sá. Part III Politics of Empire: The king's processions: municipal and royal authority and the hierarchies of power in colonial Salvador, Stuart B. Schwartz; Notes on a project for the city of Goa, Diogo Ramada Curto; Sol oriens in occiduo: representations of empire and the city in early 18th-century Brazil, Kirsten Schultz; Luanda: a colonial city between Africa and the Atlantic, 17th and 18th centuries, Catarina Madeira Santos; Index.

About the Editor

Liam Matthew Brockey is a specialist in early modern European history, with a focus on the Portuguese Empire and religious history. He is currently an Associate Professor of History at Michigan State University, USA. Brockey's studies have focused on Jesuit missionaries in China and India in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.

About the Series

Empire and the Making of the Modern World, 1650-2000

This monograph series seeks to explore the complexities of the relationships among empires, modernity and global history. In so doing, it wishes to challenge the orthodoxy that the experience of modernity was located exclusively in the west, and that the non-western world was brought into the modern age through conquest, mimicry and association. To the contrary, modernity had its origins in the interaction between the two worlds.

In this sense the imperial experience was not an adjunct to western modernization, but was constitutive of it. Thus the origins of the defining features of modernity - the bureaucratic state, market economy, governance, and so on - have to be sought in the imperial encounter, as do the categories such as race, sexuality and citizenship which constitute the modern individual. This necessarily complicates perspectives on the nature of the relationships between the western and non-western worlds, nation and empire, and 'centre' and 'periphery'.

To examine these issues the series presents work that is interdisciplinary and comparative in its approach; in this respect disciplines including economics, geography, literature, politics, intellectual history, anthropology, science, legal studies, psychoanalysis and cultural studies have much potential, and will all feature. Equally, we consider race, gender and class vital categories to the study of imperial experiences. We aim, therefore, to provide a forum for dialogues among different modes of writing the histories of empires and the modern. Much valuable work on empires is currently undertaken outside the western academy and has yet to receive due attention. This is an imbalance the series intends to address and so we are particularly interested in contributions from such scholars. Also important to us are transnational and comparative perspectives on the imperial experiences of western and non-western worlds.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / General