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‘Acts of Grace’: Portuguese Monarchs and their Subjects of African Descent in Eighteenth-Century Brazil

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Artículo de revistaRussell-Wood, A. J. R.  Russell-Wood, A.J.R. ‘Acts of Grace’: Portuguese Monarchs and their Subjects of African Descent in Eighteenth-Century BrazilJournal of Latin American Studies, 2000 vol. 32 no. 2 p. 307-332. Palabras claves:
Brasil
Cultura | Historia
Siglo XVIII

Resumen:

This article examines direct appeals to Portuguese monarchs and how this extrajudicial option was invoked by slaves and free persons of African descent in colonial Brazil. It also addresses the production and content of appeals and what these reflect of the lives of Afro-Brazilians, relations between slave and owner, manumissions, judicial and individual abuse of women and popular perceptions and expectations of a monarch. The pros and cons of this appellate recourse are discussed in the context of colonial governance and of how royal acts of private justice reinforced the moral authority of monarchs, the sacred quality of monarchy and those personal qualities of magnanimity and compassion associated with the ideal of kingship.

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