An Introduction to 19th century
António Manuel Hespanha
1.1. 19th-century constitutional texts have been published several times from Lopes Praça (Praça, 1893, the most interesting and complete text) to Jorge Miranda, although this work does not systematically include the constitutional proposals.2 Recently, I supervised the publication of a DVD with the sources for Portuguese constitutional history, which brings together not only the constitutional texts, but also the known constitutional proposals, the parliamentary discussion of the constitutions and the subsequent legislation to the Constitutional Charter, the integral versions of the texts of 19th-century Portuguese constitutional doctrine, including not only university lectures on the subject, and other relevant doctrinal works. Altogether, this amounts to roughly 30,000 pages of texts, with contextualizing introductions and search instrument3. The indispensable daily parliamentary gazettes are also being published with their full texts on the website of the Portuguese parliament (http://debates.parlamento.pt/monarquia.asp). Their history, however, with some references to the context of their appearance, is much poorer. In short, it was made by Marcelo Caetano (Caetano, 1965), based on older materials (Praça [J.L.], 1878, 1893; Laranjo [J. F.]. 1895). The best existing text is definitely that of Joaquim Gomes Canotilho, with some very interesting details of historico-constitutional interpretation (Canotilho [J. G.], 2002; summarized with some changes in Torgal [L. R.], 1998, 125-141).4 In the work Portugal contemporâneo (Reis [A.], 1988), I attempted (in collaboration with Johannes-Michael Scholz) to make a synthesis of what I understood to be the structure of the liberal state (Hespanha [A. M.], 1988a, 1988b). A much more exhaustive treatment of constitutional and State history was made by me in Guiando a mão invisível. Direitos, Estado e Lei no Liberalismo monárquico Português, [Guiding the invisible hand. Regulations, State and the Law of Portuguese Liberal Monarchism], Coimbra, Almedina, 2004, a work in which, besides more current aspects in the bibliography of constitutional history, other aspects are also touched upon that are normally considered to be less current in this context, ranging from the dogmatic aspects of constitutional law – which historians tend to minimize, but which are enormously important for the image and exercise of power – to the “logistical” aspects of power – to which jurists, on the other hand, unfortunately do not pay much attention. Mention should also be made of the respective chapter in História do direito português, by Nuno Espinosa Gomes da Silva (Silva [N. E. G.], 2000, 403-444), as well as the synthesis by Mário Reis Marques of 19th-century Portuguese law (Torgal [L. R.], 1998, 141-154).
Detailed points regarding the history of constitutional texts have been (infrequently) touched upon by other historians. The constitutional proposals of the first liberal period have been dealt with by Paulo Merêa (1967), myself (1982) and Henrique Dias (1987). There is also a recent work by António Pedro Ribeiro dos Santos (Santos [A. P. R.], 1990) that gives a comprehensive view of power in the constitutionalism of this period.
1.2. Some aspects of constitutional dogma has been dealt with by legal historians and jurists;5 however, attention must be paid when reading them to possible contaminations by modern-day dogmatic viewpoints. When all is said and done, the best contributions towards a history of constitutional dogmatics continue to be the actual doctrinal texts of the period, complemented with the reading of parliamentary debates, in which questions of juridico-constitutional doctrine were frequently discussed: the theory of constituent power (its limits and contradistinction in relation to legislative power), contents of the constitution (“constitutional matters”), theory of civil and political rights, control of constitutionality (laws and acts of government), theory of dictatorship and of the bill of indemnity, division and limits of powers, ministerial responsibility, responsibility of the State and civil servants, discretionarity of the acts of the executive and its limits, etc. At this level of constitutional dogmatics, it is frequently necessary to resort to the history of ideas, although it is not always clear that this approach produces reliable results at the level of juridico-constitutional history, since jurists do not always passively accept the ideas originating from political theory. Here too – as is suggested by the theory of reception – the received sense is more influential than the original sense. In any case, the following texts should be consulted: Araújo [F.], 2001 (on freedom); Ribeiro (M. M. T), 1990b; Sobral (M. R. R.), 1985 (all of them about political, civil and economic rights); Santos (M. H. C.), 1982b (on happiness); Ribeiro (M.M.T), 1984; Tengarrinha (J.), 1992, 1993; Costa (J.R.), 1976; Machado [J. E.], 2002; Montes (J. B. C.), 1988; Castro (Z. M. O.), 1993; Rebelo (O.S.O.V.), 1987 (all of these texts are about freedom, in its various aspects); Pereira [J. E.], 1991; Vargues (I. N.), 1997 (on nationhood).
2. However, constitutional history is not only a history of texts or a history of concepts and doctrines. It is also a history of political practices, from which normative models for the constitutional organization of society are derived. So that it therefore has to be seen in the context of: (i) the general history of the period; (ii) its political history; (iii) its institutional history. In relation to this latter aspect, the distinction between institutions of public law or private law is not very relevant.7
2.1. For the general history of the 19th century in Portugal, the best contributions to date are the respective volumes (vols. V and VI) of História de Portugal, edited by José Mattoso (respectively, Torgal (L. R.), 1998; Ramos (R.), 2001; to mention the most accessible edition); volumes I to III, of Portugal contemporâneo, edited by António Reis (Reis (A.), 1988); volumes VII to IX, of História de Portugal, by Joaquim Veríssimo Serrão (Serrão [J. V.], 1984); volumes IX to XI, of Nova história de Portugal, edited by Oliveira Marques (Marques [A. H. O.], 1989); and História de Portugal, edited by João Medina (Medina [J.], 1993). The História da história em Portugal (Torgal [L. R.], 1996) is also useful, especially for understanding the political and ideological context of 19th-century history. Older texts, such as the so-called História 'de Barcelos'7, or even História de Portugal, by Manuel Pinheiro Chagas8, continue to be useful for checking factual details.
As a work of reference, the Dicionário de História de Portugal, edited by Joel Serrão (Serrão [J.], 1961) is irreplaceable and is now complemented by the work of António Barreto and Filomena Mónica (Barreto [A.], 1999), or there is the less complete and up-to-date Dicionário ilustrado de história de Portugal, which has some good articles for this period (Pereira [J. C.], 1982). The old Enciclopédia Portuguesa e Brasileira also continues to provide good service, especially at the level of biographies. More specialized is the Dicionário do vintismo e do primeiro cartismo (1821-1823 e 1826-1828) [Dictionary of vintismo and early Chartism], edited by Zília Osório de Castro (Castro [Z. O.], 2001).
Bibliographical research can be facilitated through recourse to the Repertório Bibliográfico da Historiografia Portuguesa 1974-1994 (Coelho [M. H. C.], 1995), with the precious help of the bibliographies of contemporary political history compiled by Paulo Jorge Fernandes (et alii) (Fernandes [P.J.], 2002, 2003a and 2003b), or through consultation of the websites on Portuguese history, of which the following are the most interesting: http://www.fcsh.unl.pt/silveira/html/main.html (edited by Luís Espinha da Silveira), http://www1.ci.uc.pt/bahp/bahp90.top.html (Instituto de História das Ideias, Faculdade de Letras de Coimbra: bibliography compiled by years) and http://maltez.webhs.org/ (ed. José Adelino Maltez). For the press of the period, see Guedes [G. R.], 1998; for the legal press, see Chorão (L. B.), 2002.
Information can be obtained about sources available at the main central archives from the Roteiro de fontes da história portuguesa contemporânea (Serrão [J.], 1984) [Guide to the sources of contemporary Portuuese history], which has been only partly superseded by the publication of more recent guides by the Arquivo Nacional da Torre do Tombo). Interesting methodological guidelines can be found in Monteiro [N. G.], 1989) or in Amadeu de Carvalho Homem’s report about the programs, contents and methods of contemporary history (Homem [A. C.], 1997). An important collection of sources for the vintista period was published in Santos (C. J.), 1883.
2.2. 19th-century political history has recently enjoyed a remarkable renewal of interest. Although the respective volumes (6th vol.: 1640-1815, 768 pp., 1934; 7th vol.: 1816-1918, 799 pp., 1935; by Ângelo Ribeiro) of the old História de Portugal, the so-called `History of Barcelos’, continue to be useful at the factual level, it is not possible nowadays to ignore the valuable contribution of a series of recent works, some of which are general syntheses, whilst others deal with certain specific periods.
Of the general syntheses, I suggest that the most notable is the small book by Fátima Bonifácio, O século XIX português [The Portuguese 19th century] (Bonifácio [M. F.], 2002), which – from a personal viewpoint – seeks to extract the main directions taken by Portuguese politics in the 19th century.9 The volume by Rui Ramos, from the História de Portugal collection, edited by José Mattoso, fulfils the same guiding role very well, although only for the end of the century. There are also other individual or collective works of a general nature that cover various periods, and which should be mentioned because they are seminal: the collection of articles or summary texts by Miriam Halpern Pereira (one of the first historians to adopt a modern approach to 19th-century political history) (Pereira [M. H.], 1994, 1997); the proceedings of two conferences that paved the way for fundamental areas of discussion (Pereira [M. H.], 1982; Reis [J.], 1981).
The book by Manuel Villaverde Cabral, Portugal na Alvorada do Século XX- Forças sociais, Poder político e crescimento económico de 1890 a 1914 [Portugal at the Dawn of the 20th Century – Social Forces, Political Power and Economic Growth from 1890-1914] Lisbon, Editorial Presença, 1988, was an influential book in its time and made an important contribution to the historiographical debate on the changes that occurred in the last decades of the 19th century, particularly in relation to the State’s sphere of influence.
Next, it is important to mention the historiography that covers shorter political periods.
For pre-liberalism, the following texts are important. On the vintista legacy of 18th-century reformism, Ramos, 1973, 1984; Castro [Z. O.], 1983, 1993; Hespanha [A. M.], 1982; Pereira [A. J.], 1976, 1979; Pereira [J. E.], 1982, 1983; Neto [V.], 1988; on the Masonic component, Dias [J. S. S.], 1980; Marques [A. H.], 1990; on the external influences of the 1820 revolution, Ramos [L. O.], 1978, 1984, 1991; Vicente [A. P.], 1990; Pina [A. M. F.], 1988; Pereira [J. E.], 1989; Tengarrinha (J.), 1994, as well as the proceedings of the conference A recepção da Revolução Francesa […] [The reception of the French Revolution], 1982; Alves [J. A. S.], 1992; [A. C. B.] 1993. On the question of society and power in this transitional period, seen from a regional viewpoint, Capela [J. V.], 1987, is an important text.
For the political conjuncture of the vintista period, the following works are considered important. Of a general nature, but also comprising specifically institutional aspects: Pereira (M. H.), 1991, Vieira (B. M.), 1992a. With a lesser scope: Tengarrinha (J. M.), 1982; Castro (Z. N. O.), 1985, 1986; Vicente (A. P.), 1990. Biographical aspects, which may be very enlightening, are also touched upon: most immediately in the Dicionário do vintismo …, by Zília Osório de Castro (Castro [Z. M. O.], 2002); but, there are also some partial biographical studies and some works combining the biography of the persons involved with the study of their ideas (with a variety of emphases): Alves (A. L.) 1918; Cardoso (J. L.), 1983; Castro (Z. M. O.), 1990; Dias (J. H. R.), 1988; Pinheiro (M.), 1992; Boisvert (G.), 1987, 1992; Mogarro (M. J.), 1990. On the regional aspects of the vintista epoch, see Capela (J. V.), 1987.
On particular aspects of the political conjuncture: Azevedo (J. S. De ); Santos, (F. Piteira ) (prosopography); Faria (A. M.), 1988 (clergy); Sousa (F.), 1979 (clergy); Marques (F. P.), 1981 (army); also on the military, Ferreira (J. M), 1990, and Valente (V. P.), 1997; Pereira (M. H.), 1981 (industrial environment); Vargues (I. N.), 1991 (academic environment); Vieira [B. M. D.], 1992b (justice). But, naturally, it is the ideological aspects that have given rise to a more abundant bibliography: Castro (Z. O.), 1979 (concept of sovereignty); Ribeiro (M. M. T.), 1997 (concept of sovereignty); Castro (Z. O.), 1993 (idea of the liberal State); Costa (J. R.), 1976 (concept of freedom); Vargues (I. N.), 1997 (idem); Pina [A. M. F.], 1989 (anarchy); Pina [A. M. F.], 1988 (influence of Rousseau). The following study comes closer to specifically constitutional history: Araújo (A. C. B.), 1992 (on the United Kingdom of Portugal, Brazil and Algarves). The vintista terminology, as a whole, was studied by Telmo Verdelho, in a most interesting work (Verdelho [T.], 1981).
As far as the absolutist reaction is concerned, the most important contribution is that of Maria Alexandre Lousada (Lousada, 1987, 1989, 1996). Traditionalist thinking was studied by Reis Torgal (Torgal [L. R.], 1973; for the traditionalist reaction to vintismo, see Id., 1978) and António da Silva Pereira (Pereira [A. J. S.], 1976, 1979). Other detailed studies are: Silva (A. B. M.), 1987 (on the reaction of the clergy); Silva (N. E. G.), 1999 (on the promise of a constitution by Dom João VI); Valente (V. P.), 1995 (on Miguelist uprisings).
The political situation of the First Chartism period has not aroused much attention, but in any case, see the interesting synthesis by Neto (V.), 1988; the doctoral thesis by Maria Helena Carvalho dos Santos on the constitutional charter of 1826 (Santos (M. H. C.), 1988), which is extensive in terms of data, but somewhat superficial in its analysis; and Valente (V. P.), 1993, a very suggestive overall view. The work of Mouzinho da Silveira was the subject of a publication in a critical edition (Silveira, 1989); about him, there is Pereira [M. H.], 1983, 1989. For the traditionalist group, the fundamental work today is that of Maria de Fátima Sá e Melo Ferreira (Ferreira [M. F. S. M.], 1995), which, by extending as far as the mid 1840s, provides a broad view of the resistance to Chartist liberalism; by the same author, see also Ferreira (M. F. S. M. F.), 1998; and Cavalinhos (J. B.), 1997 (for a later period).
The political conjuncture of the Septembrist and post-Septembrist period has attracted much more attention. After the pioneering studies of Albert Silbert, Vítor de Sá (Sá [V.], 1969b), and Miriam Halpern Pereira (cf. Pereira [M. H.], 1988, 1996), the most substantial studies are those of Fátima Bonifácio (Bonifácio [M. F.], 1982, 1988, 1993). Sacuntala de Miranda has an interesting article on the electoral geography of the period (Miranda [S.], 1982). Benedita Duque Vieira (Vieira [B. M. D.], 1987, and Júlio Rodrigues da Silva (Silva [J. J. C. R.], 1988, 1992) touched upon questions of constitutional history; whilst Magda Pinheiro studied the figure of Manuel da Silva Passos (Pinheiro [M.], 1996).
For the political period of Cabralismo, the most important studies are those of Fátima Bonifácio (cf. Bonifácio [M. F.], 1992, 1993a, 1993b, 2002a), Maria Manuela Tavares Ribeira (cf. Ribeiro [M. M. T.], 1985, 1987a, 1988, 1989a, 1989b, 1990, 1998), Manuel Filipe Canaveira (Canaveira [M. F.], 1988) and Benedita Duque Vieira (Vieira [B. M. D.], 1987). José Viriato Capela’s studies are very useful for the history of Patuleia (cf. Capela [J. V.], 1996, 1999).
For the political period following the Regeneration, the most recent and important works are those by José Miguel Sardica (Sardica [J. M.], 1997a and 1997b), which renew earlier perspectives (cf. Ravara, 1976). The general introductions to the period, by Jorge Borges de Macedo (Macedo [J. B.], 1981) (on the appearance of the concept of political programs) and Amadeu Carvalho Homem (Homem [A. C.], 1998) (on parliamentary rotation), have retained their importance. More particular studies are those by: Miriam Halpern Pereira (Pereira [M. H. P.], 1998) (on Oliveira Martins and Fontismo); Filomena Mónica (Mónica [M. F.], 1997) (on Fontes) and José Tengarrinha (Tengarrinha [J.], 1962) (an introduction to the political work of José Estêvão). The exemplary article by Fernando Catroga on the first generation of positivists (Catroga [F.], 1977) is a fine introduction to one of the most important components of political thought in the last three decades of the century. Closer to the constitutional theme is J. J. C. R. Silva, 1992 ("Debate constitucional e reforma da Carta no início dos anos setenta (1871/1873)”) [Constitutional debate and reform of the Charter at the beginning of the ‘70s (1871/1873)], and who supplies factual information.
The political context of the last period of the Monarchy – dominated by the ideas of decadentismo and, consequently, of political renewal – has recently been treated with originality and accentuated revisionism, by Rui Ramos (Ramos [R.], 2001b), in continuation of his quoted volume História de Portugal, edited by José Mattoso). Also important is the book by José Miguel Sardica on franquismo (Sardica [J. M.], 1994). It is most interesting to study the ideological continuities with the authoritarianism of the 20th century, at least as they were seen roughly 40 years ago (cf. Azevedo [A.], 1966). Also part of this political conjuncture is a more radical program for the renewal of the regime, identified with republicanism, in this new sense of a model for a regime. Apart from the older and more classical works on the theme – (namely, Joaquim de Carvalho, Oliveira Marques) invariably referred to by the authors mentioned here – there are important novelties. Above all, there is the work by Fernando Catroga, O republicanismo em Portugal […] (Catroga [F.], 2000), which is best combined with his founding article on the importance of positivism in the genesis of republicanism (Catroga [F.], 1977a); the same author has other works with a more restricted subject-matter, but always of the highest quality (1977, 1985, 1990); but there are also important works by Amadeu Carvalho Homem on the genesis of republicanism (Homem [A. C.], 1991, 1997a, 2000).10 Yet more radical was the socialist ideal, which was also chronologically related to republicanism, and has similarly been the subject of a well-known historiography, particularly since the 1970s (e.g. Sá (V. de), 1969a). Once again, some important studies should be mentioned: Mónica (M. F.], 1981, 1985, 1986; Silva (A. S.], 1979; Medina (J.), 1972, 1974, 1984).
3. Before attempting to list the available bibliography, one fairly obvious remark should be made. In the history of institutions – as in other branches of history and, generally speaking, of the humanities as a whole – good answers are provided when good questions are asked. In the case of the history of institutions, asking good questions depends upon a clear understanding of the logic of the system of politico-institutional representation, as well as on the way in which one expects this system to respond to the politico-social problems that form part of the agenda of a particular period. All this presupposes a sufficient knowledge of the political, constitutional and legal models that took their place on the cultural horizons of 19th-century central and western Europe. I should like to suggest some explanatory readings: Fioravanti (M.), 1999, 2001, Mannori (L.), 2001, van Caengem (R. C.), 1995, and, as a summarized guide to the main questions, Hespanha (A. M.), 2003.
Under the thematic scope of constitutional and state history, the monographs on political and institutional mechanisms should be mentioned first of all.
3.1. So far, there has been no satisfactory overall work on the evolution of institutions in 19th-century Portugal. Some contributions may be mentioned in this area, ranging from História de Portugal contemporâneo: político e institucional, written by João Medina for the Universidade Aberta (Medina (J.), 1994), to my articles in Portugal contemporâneo, edited by António Reis (Hespanha [A. M.], 1988a, 1988b). There are, evidently, other works of a general nature on the State and administration, which provide helpful information for a global institutional history. Amongst these, I should like to highlight Manuel Pinto dos Santos’ useful factual enumeration of the sequence of governments and rulers (Santos [M. P.], 1986), the reflections of Miriam Halpern Pereira (Pereira [M. H.], 1983, 1997), Manique [A. P.], 1989) and Fernando Piteira Santos (Santos [F. P.], 1987) on the 19th-century state, in its genesis and evolution, as well as Luís Espinha da Silveira’s valuable synthesis (Silveira [L. E.], 1998) on the same theme. From a more juristic perspective, there are the works of Barata (A.), 1989; Caupers (J.), 1994; and Miranda (1988). Already paying more attention to the 20th century, but providing a very original and not totally inappropriate approach to the problems of the 19th century – namely the social functions of the State – is the study by Guibentif (P.), 1985. In the translator’s notes to John Gilissen’s book, Introdução histórica ao direito [Introduction to the History of Law], Lisbon, Gulbenkian, 2002 (2nd ed.), I myself sketched out the general outlines in the evolution of some significant institutions.
In spite of everything, those who come closest, albeit indirectly, to writing an overall history of the workings of formal institutional structures are the historians of bureaucracy, or the historians of finance.
Amongst the former, there is, unfortunately, only one to be mentioned for the time being: Pedro Tavares de Almeida, who, in his doctoral thesis (Almeida [P. G. T.], 1995) and later articles (e.g. Almeida [P. G. T.], 2003), provides a very interesting, although as yet incomplete, perspective of the state machine.
Amongst the latter group, attention is drawn, for an overall understanding of the State, to those writers who provide a more comprehensive view of the “State in numbers”, by studying the structure of public finance. Hence the interest of several articles on the structural aspects of public finance: Carvalho (J. B.), 1982; Costa (F. D.), 1992; Franco (A. S.), 1983; Mata (M. E.), 1986; Valério (N.), 1979, 2003; Pereira (M. H.), 1979; Pinheiro (M.), 1983; Reis (A. J.), 1993), Ruiz (J. M.), 1982; Silva (A. M.), 1993; Pinto (A. C.), 2000. Amongst this group, it is not unreasonable to highlight the importance in this particular aspect of the studies of Nuno Valério and Maria Eugénia Mata, as well as the work (with greater focus on the 20th century) of António Sousa Franco, for they make it possible to understand both the way in which the State was financed and the financial importance of its various sectors of activity.11
3.2. The institutional question that undeniably aroused most attention – even because it was also the war-horse of the authors themselves, who, at the time, wrote about the administration – was that of centralization or decentralization; which was basically transformed into a fight between municipalists (of varying political colors) and statists (also displaying a variety of hues).
An introduction is provided to the perspective of the precise field of administrative law by Marcelo Caetano, in his classic work on administrative codification (Caetano [M.], 1934).
Good introductions are provided to the theme of decentralization through the articles by Manuela Tavares Ribeiro (Ribeiro [M.M. T.], 1990a); Neto [V.], 1988 (both of them about the ideological aspect that has more recently been touched upon by Fernando Catroga, in what are as yet unpublished texts); Luís Espinha da Silveira (Silveira [L. E.], 1997, 1997a, 1997b) (on the institutional aspect in particular); Maria Alexandre Lousada (Lousada [M. A.], 1991) (on the territorial aspect); José António dos Santos (Santos [J. A.], 1985); Almeida [J. M. P.], 1991 (idem); Tengarrinha [J.], 1995 (a comparative perspective); Cunha (P. F. ). Further developments may be found in História dos Municípios e do poder local: dos finais da Idade Média à União Europeia, [History of the Munipalities and Local Power: from the end of the Middle Ages to the European Union] edited by César de Oliveira. A good account is given of the historical legacy of the period in Capela (J. V.), 1995; and Silva (A. C. N.), 1996. João Serra (Serra (J. B.), 1988) deals well with a more restricted period; Medeiros Ferreira (Ferreira [J. M.], 1996) deals with a more limited area (Azorean autonomy). José Tengarrinha provides almost the only study on an intermediate administrative region – the distrito or district (Tengarrinha [J.], 2002).12 Rui Miguel Branco (in Branco [R. M. ], 2003) reveals decisive aspects of the process leading to the territorialization of the State, in relation to one particular body of the Central Administration – the Direcção-Geral dos Trabalhos Geodésicos (Directorate-General of Geodesic Studies).
In some way or other, those who have dedicated themselves to local institutions have also ended up touching upon this question, sometimes with much more color, which is a particular feature of case studies. This is the case, above all, with José Viriato Capela, who has produced quite a remarkable body of work in this field (Capela [J. V.], 1983, 1995, 1997, 2000b and his new synthesis, 2000a). There are many municipal monographs focusing on political and administrative aspects. But I should nonetheless like to highlight Ananias (M. L. L.), 2000; Fernandes (P. J.), 1997; and Manique (A. P.), 1989 (touching on local financial aspects that are as interesting as they are generally unexplored, which he had already touched upon in his master’s thesis). In any case, nobody has yet delved into the practical legal aspects, nor into the administrative jurisprudence that is formed about them, of this difficult relationship between the center and the periphery, as, for example, arises from the resolutions of the Conselho de Estado (State Council) (published in Ribeiro (S.), 195413).
The central administration is almost completely untouched. José Subtil’s work (Subtil [J.], 1996) on the Ministry of Finance is an exception14.
3.3. The history of the juridical models of the liberal State greatly exceeds its strictly constitutional history, as I have tried to show in various articles (Hespanha [A. M.], 2002, 2003). It also involves the history of public, in other words administrative, law; but also the history of private law. And, in a more demanding perspective, the history of the mechanisms of power scattered throughout the so-called “civil society”. But let us follow the established hierarchizations.
Enough has already been said at the beginning of this text about the state of constitutional history, seen in terms of a history of texts. But these texts also include the texts of constitutional doctrine. Something has already been said about these.
The next task is to assess what has been done in regard to the history of constitutional practices. In this area, two main aspects have aroused attention.
3.3.1. One of these aspects – drawn there by the history of the themes to which social and political history is most sensitive, such as caciquismo – is electoral history. The most important work is that of Pedro Tavares de Almeida (Almeida [P.T.], 1991 and 1991, 1997), besides other more partial studies (1985, 2001) and the articles that he published with José Manuel Sobral (Sobral [J. M.], 1982). Luís Vidigal (Vidigal [L. A.], 1988) and Júlio Joaquim da Costa Rodrigues da Silva (Silva [J. J. C. R.], 1994), have presented syntheses of the theme, linked to that of caciquismo. Luís Filipe Colaço Antunes wrote on the electoral problem in its ideological context (Antunes [L. F. C.], 1981). Pedro Tavares de Almeida organized and prefaced a collection entitled Legislação eleitoral portuguesa: 1820-1926, [Portuguese electoral legislation], 1988, publishing from the already mentioned pioneering studies on electoral history. Maria Antonieta Cruz has devoted various articles to the electoral history of the second half of the 19th century (Cruz [M. A], 1991, 1992, 1996). A catalogue of an exhibition curated by A. H. Oliveira Marques (Eleições para Assembleias Constituintes 1820-1836-1911, Lisbon, Biblioteca Nacional, 1975) [Elections for Constituent Assemblies, 1820-1836-1911] contains information about sources; but there is much more material at both the national archives at the Torre do Tombo and the parliament’s historical archives. The analysis of the papers and of the discussions of the reports of the Committees responsible for the vetting of powers, as well as of some decisions taken by the Conselho de Estado are highly elucidatory about the frequent electoral anomalies. After this, there are naturally monographs about particular cases: Manique (A. P.), 1988, Miranda (S.), 1982, Ramos (L. A. O.), 1976, Santos (M. J. P.), 1983, Sobral (J. M.), 1982, 1982a, Vasconcelos (P. C. B.), 1999 (edition of sources), Fernandes (P. J.), 1998, 2002b.
3.3.2. The theme of parliamentary practices – which is central from the viewpoint of constitutional history – is in need of a systematic and consistent institutional (or even political) study. A few monographs have not managed to overcome this lack. The contribution of António Pedro Manique (Manique [A. P.], 1992) is relevant, but has a limited chronological scope. The work by Isabel Vargues and Manuela Tavares Ribeiro provides a synthesis (Vargues [I. N.], 1998)15. There are some short monographs about the Câmara dos Pares (Chamber of Peers): Paixão (V. M. B.), 1979, Silveira (L. E.), 1992, Mónica (M. F.), 1994. As far as the political parties are concerned, see, today, Sardica (J. M.), 1997c. José Tengarrinha made one of the first inroads into the important theme of political and parliamentary oratory, which has recently been brought into the spotlight in Spain, through an important book by Carlos Petit, who imbues it with a very complex importance, as a typical style of a new orality and, at the same time, as a manifestation of the syncretism of the sources of political rhetoric, ranging from law to poetry, from the topics of antiquity and national history to the newly appearing social sciences. There is a lot missing: parliamentary prosopography16, the decision-making process in the chambers, the equilibrium between them and with the other organs of sovereignty, the concrete geometry of parliamentary voting, a theme broached by Benedita Vieira (B. M. D.), 1987, although it does perhaps require more elaborate statistical methods (such as multi-factorial analysis or cluster analysis)17 18.
3.3.3. In the area of government, there was a need in Portugal to make the agonizing distinction between moderating power and executive power. Historians did not bother much about this. The same thing happens with this specificity of the Constitutional Charter of 1826, in the introduction of a fourth estate, imagined by Constant and Silvestre Pinheiro Ferreira. Neither its theory (namely, the question of dynastic privilege or of the monarchic principle) nor its practice (for example, the question of the use of [or the threat to use] the veto, or the royal support [or lack of it] for governments in difficulties) have been studie19. The constitutional monarchs themselves, all of them – at moments of both greatness and distress – worthy of a political study, have not yet had one, apart from some work on the king that was almost the most ephemeral monarch of them all, Dom Pedro V (cf. Queirós [F. F.], 1979).
The government’s constitutional activity still remains to be studied, both in its relations with the other organs of sovereignty, and in the use (or abuse) of its constitutional powers and duties.20 We are therefore forced to have recourse to the old literature of the period, namely the university textbooks of Marnoco e Sousa and José Tavares, or to the extremely useful one by Clemente José dos Santos, in order to find out something about the theory and practice of dictatorship, the theory of legislative competence, the way in which the clear deficit of government powers in this field was circumvented, the (much debated) question of ministerial responsibility. Linked to government is administration, on which all studies are lacking in information. The models might be the magnificent Italian historiography under the auspices of the ill-starred R. Ruffilli, of Sabino Cassese, but above all, today, of Guido Melis.21 From Germany, there is the example of the Jahrbuch für europäische Verwaltungsgeschichte, edited most efficiently by Erik-Volkmar Heyen. For the time being, we must be grateful for the old studies of António Justino de Freitas22, Guimarães Pedrosa23, Marnoco e Sousa24 and José Tavares.25
3.3.4. There have also been few studies dedicated to the colonial administration. Only one specific title on the theme comes to mind: Oliveira (M. A. F. de), 1981. The old book by José Hermano Saraiva (Saraiva (J. H.), 1963) (to which might be added others by Marcelo Caetano, Silva Cunha and others) belong to a view of colonial policies (and their constitutional and institutional expression) that is currently benefiting from a careful revision by Cristina Nogueira da Silva. Good general frameworks can be found amongst the vast work produced by Valentim Alexandre (namely in Alexandre (V.), 1998).
3.3.5. In general, there has been little treatment of the history of justice. Some sources for its study have been inventoried by me and José Subtil (Hespanha [A. M.], 1991). For the beginning of the liberal period, there are two monographs: Vieira (B. M. D.), 1992b and Homem (A. P. B.), 2003) (this latter work is, above all, about the Old Regime, although it allows for the appreciation of continuities); mention should also be made of a note that is very rich in information (Silva [N. E. G.], 2000a). An attempt at a possible summary was made by Luís Eloy de Azevedo (Azevedo [L. E.], 2001).
Maria da Glória Garcia dedicated an important monograph to administrative justice (Garcia (M. G. R. P. D.), 1994).
Criminal justice has aroused more interest. José Subtil studied the question (considered to be central for understanding the socially differentiated models of state repression) of the relationship between the police and criminal justice in the first period of liberalism (Subtil [J.], 1986, 1989, 1991, 1994). José António Barreiros attempted a synthesis (Barreiros [J. A.], 1980); works with a broader scope are: Vaz (M. J.), 1999; Marques (T.), 2002; Anica (A.), 2003. But the most abundant works are studies of a local nature on criminality – some of them with interesting empirical data: Porto (N.), 1991; Roque (J. L.), 1987a, 1987b; Santos (M. J. M.), 1991, 1999; but, above all, there are the studies of Irene Vaquinhas (Vaquinhas (I.), 1990, 1992, 1993, 1997).
3.3.6. In its way, legal history is also constitutional history, especially if we realize that many of the elements that made up the political system were not to be found in the Constitution, but in the codes.26
The general historiography of law for the 19th century is not in itself a particularly rich one. Besides the information that is to be found in general textbooks, which normally pay less attention to the contemporary period,27 I draw attention to the multiplicity of data (unfortunately rather difficult to consult) contained in Cruz [G. B.], 1968. Paulo Ferreira da Cunha sought to highlight the constitutional aspects of law (Cunha (P. F.), 1995); but his treatment of the 19th century is incomplete. Mário Reis Marques wrote a summarizing article, which is useful (Marques [M. R.], 1998). Models for a substantial treatment, even in this case, could also be the ones originating from Italian28 or German29 legal historiography. As this paper does not seek to sketch out a bibliography of legal history, we restrict ourselves to a central problem for institutional history, that of codification, or the constitutional role of codes in liberal society.30 The fundamental study is the one by Mário Reis Marques (Marques [M. R.], 1987), although the notes by Silva [N. E. G.], (2000b, 2000c) should also be taken into account.
3.3.7. The relationship between the new State and the old competing powers is also a decidedly “constitutional” theme.
On the relationship between the Church and the State, there is a vast bibliography, with the highlights being the works by José Eduardo Horta Correia (1974), Manuel Augusto Rodrigues (1980, a summary comparing the situation with that of the rest of Europe), Manuel Braga da Cruz (1982), Maria Manuela Tavares Ribeiro (1987), Amadeu Carvalho Homem, Vítor Neto (1988b, 1998 [his most comprehensive work], 1989, 1999), Zília Osório de Castro (1987), Jónatas Machado (1996, from a more clearly juridical perspective), Maria de Fátima Ferreira (1997), Luís Dória (2001), on the political and ideological aspects. The social and economic aspects of this relationship have been studied, above all, by José Viriato Capela (1984), Ana Mouta de Faria (2001) and António Martins da Silva, in the context of the disamortization of the lands of the church (i.e. bringing them into the public domain) which we shall deal with shortly. Civil marriage was studied by Samuel Rodrigues (1984, 1987 [the most substantial work on the theme]).
Indeed, the question of the disamortization of the lands of the church – which, at the same time, involves the relationship between the State and the two old privileged orders – has been given a great deal of attention, especially since the contemporary studies of Luís Espinha da Silveira (1980, 1988 [his doctoral thesis], 1989, 1990, 1993 [summaries in English and Spanish] and António Martins da Silva (1984, 1985, 1989 [his most voluminous work], 1996, 1997). But we should also add the names of other authors to these, such as Maria de Fátima Ferreira (1982, 1989), Margarida Sobral Neto (1981) and José Tengarrinha (1993).
Connected to this, to some extent, is the question of the abolition of the seigniorial regime. Here, attention is drawn to the studies of Nuno Monteiro (1985, 1988), which develop or correct the views of Albert Silbert (1968). Joaquim Caetano Ferreira (1986) is the author of an overall study of the question of charters, from the time of the Marquês de Pombal to vintismo, and Fernando Dores Costa is the author of an intelligent article on the parliamentary debates of the 1832 decree (Costa [F.D.], 1987). Yet I believe that it is still worth reading the old work of Silva Ferrão (1848).
4. In short, it can be said that the Portuguese institutional, legal and constitutional history of the 19th century still remains largely to be written. The lack of interest in the formal institutions – most immediately, the administration of the State, in its various domains and at its various levels of analysis (from the prosopographic to the political, from the symbolic to the legal) – is compounded by the difficulty of distancing ourselves from the time. In fact, we have extended into our own age many of the ideas and much of the imagery that the liberal State created for itself and have difficulty in ridding ourselves of them in order to create a more intelligent history of the breaks (in various senses) and continuities. On the other hand, the state of the sources – which has greatly improved in recent years – is still rather chaotic, with many documents being stored under extremely precarious conditions or included amongst intermediate archives of the administration, closed to the public and still remaining to be dealt with, indispensable sources that frequently cannot be compensated for by a printed literature that is also difficult to approach.31
1 For broader meanings of the purpose of constitutional history, cf. Hespanha (A. M.), 2003. On the methodological question of a history of categories (in this case, of juridico-institutional categories), see Hespanha [A. M.], 2004a; Kosellek (R.), 1990; Tully (J.), 1989.
Bibliography (organised in alphabetical order by author)
2004, ISSN 1645-6432