Cyclopædia of Political Science, Political Economy, and the Political History of the United States

Edited by: Lalor, John J.
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PORTUGAL. A kingdom situated in the southwest extremity of Europe and of the Iberian peninsula, a sixth part of whose area it occupies. Its extent is 83,162 square kilometres; the area of the adjacent islands, Madeira and the Azores, is 1,725 square kilometres; the population was, according to the census of 1864, 3,829,618 inhabitants on the continent, and 358,792 in the adjacent islands; in 1871 the total population was estimated at 4,367,882 inhabitants. At the taking of the last census, in 1878, it was found to be 4,160,315 on the continent, 259,800 on the Azores, and 130,584 on Madeira and Porto Santo; a total of 4,550,699. The total population of the kingdom leaving the colonics out of consideration, was, in 1878, 4,745,124. Its colonies have an area of 1,322,099 square kilometres and a population of 3,306,247, according to the last official returns.


—I. Constitution. At the beginning of the Portuguese monarchy public affairs were administered by the curia, an assembly of the bishops and of the nobility. The first written constitution is made to date back to the statute of the cortes of Lamégo, which, in 1843, established, it is said, the independence of Portugal and regulated the order of succession to the throne. Portugal thenceforth, like Spain, had cortes, composed of the clergy, the nobility and deputies from the cities, who defended their liberties against the kings. The Spanish domination silenced the cortes. The house of Braganza constituted them consulting bodies. The government ceased, in 1688, to ask them to vote the taxes. After the war of independence maintained against Napoleon I. by Spain and Portugal, the insurrectionary juntas demanded the convocation of the cortes. The king of Portugal had been obliged to betake himself to Brazil, and the English governed the country which they had delivered. The people rose up against English rule, and the cortes proclaimed, in 1822, a constitution very like the one which Spain had adopted in 1812, a constitution which recognized at once the sovereignty of the people and authorized the exclusive exercise of the Catholic religion. The laws were made by one assembly only, without the concurrence of the king. The king, on hearing this, returned to Europe. The cortes refused to admit Brazil to national representation. That vast country separated from Portugal, and the eldest son of the king, Don Pedro, who had remained there, was declared emperor. Another son of the king, Don Miguel, attempted in Portugal a counter-revolution with the aid of the troops; he had the ministers arrested, and put his father under surveillance. French intervention re-established the authority of the king who repealed the constitution, and replaced it by the feudal charter attributed to the cortes of Lamégo. At his death, in 1826, the emperor of Brazil relinquished his rights to the throne of Portugal, had his daughter Dona Maria proclaimed queen of the latter, and gave Portugal (April 12) about the same charter as that which he had framed for Brazil. But Don Miguel, the regent, overthrew the charter, had himself proclaimed legitimate and absolute monarch, and ordered arrests and executions, so that Don Pedro, who had abdicated in Brazil in favor of his son, returned to Portugal, re-established his daughter in power and proclaimed his charter anew, September, 1833. France, England and Spain guaranteed, a year later, by the treaty of the quadruple alliance, the independence of Portugal, which was not recognized till 1841, by the three powers of the north. We shall not relate the military insurrections which disturbed the new reign. The constitution of 1822 was re-established in September, 1836, and the charter of Don Pedro in 1842. But the insurrections continued. The most liberal chartists averted the dangers of the country by uniting with the septembrists (the authors of the revolution of 1836), and by consenting to modify the charter. This union formed the progressist party, called the regeneratory party. The sources of public law are now the charter, Carta Constitucional, of April 29, 1826, and the additional act, acta adicional, of July 5, 1852.


—The charter distinguishes four powers: the legislative, the "moderating." the executive, and the judicial; the first is exercised by the king and the cortes, which has, like him, the right to propose laws. The cortes makes the laws, and suspends the execution of them. The king sanctions the laws or rejects them. The cortes is divided into two chambers. The chamber of peers is composed of the infantas, of the bishops, and of citizens nominated at will by the king; their dignity is hereditary. There are about 100 members, but their number is not limited. The chamber of deputies is composed of 149 members, elected for four years. The session lasts three months. According to the charter, they are selected by election of two degrees. Those eligible for election and the electors of each degree (in the province and communes) were required to have an income of 400, 200 and 100 milreis respectively. The additional act of 1852 established direct election by electors aged twenty-one years (instead of twenty-five) and lowered the property qualification of those eligible for election. A new electoral law of Nov. 23, 1859, exacted that the income, theretofore indeterminate, should be territorial, but it lowered it 10 per cent., and even 100 per cent., in favor of the farming population, which renders suffrage almost universal. It is sufficient to pay about six francs or ten milreis of personal taxes or of taxes upon the honararia in the municipal chambers or in the benevolent corporations, or to be a tenant of land paying five milreis of a land tax, etc., to be an elector. The professors of the higher branches of instruction are electors, and eligible without any qualification. The number of electors was, in 1872, 438,306; the number of those eligible to office was 87,228. The same law of 1859 divided Portugal into 165 electoral districts, each of which appoints a deputy; but this number was reduced to 107 by a law of 1869. The colonies are represented in the chamber of deputies by seven deputies.


—Under the name of moderating power, the charter places in the hands of the king, the appointment of the peers, the extraordinary convocation or prolongation of the cortes, the dissolution of the chamber of deputies, the appointment or dismissal of ministers, the suspension of magistrates in cases provided for by the constitution, the exercise of the right of pardon and of the mitigation of punishments, and the right of amnesty. These prerogatives, which are found in all constitutional monarchies, are those of kings considered as mediators between the different parts of the nation; this distinction, wholly theoretical, which forms the most original of the elements borrowed by Don Pedro from the ideal constitution of Benjamin Constant, is found only in the charters of Portugal and Brazil.


—The second power of the king is the executive power; he exercises this through his ministers and with the advice of the council of state, which is rather a privy council, composed, when full, of thirteen ordinary and three extraordinary members appointed for life, and whom the king also consult when he wishes to make use of the governmental or moderating power. The privy council in 1882 consisted of twelve members. The king can not enter into any kind of concordat, agreement or treaty without the consent of the cortes; the right of declaring war and concluding a peace rests, therefore, in the last resort, in the legislative assembly.


—The judicial power is exercised by independent magistrates and by juries.


—The charter guarantees to all citizens individual liberty, inviolability of domicile and secrecy of letters, the right of petition and liberty of the press. But the exercise of all these liberties may be suspended by the government or the assemblies, by virtue of the final article of the charter, of which parties have made the greatest use. All citizens are equal before the law, without prejudice, however, to the titles left to the nobility. The hierarchy of the nobility comprises the grandeeship, the titled nobility and the simple nobility of the fidalgos. The peerage gives a right to grandeeship. Titles have been lavishly bestowed, and the revolutionary nobility is more numerous than the old nobility. A very great part of the Portuguese soil is inalienable in the hands of the nobility, descending with their titles; hence the progressist party demand that it shall be changed into allodial estates.


—II. Administrative Organization. The central administration is divided between seven ministries and a financial committee, the junta of public credit. The following are the names of the seven ministries: 1. Foreign affairs; 2. Interior (provincial and communal administration, police, health, charity, the press, public instruction and fine arts); 3. Ecclesiastical affairs and justice; 4. Public works, commerce and agricultural and manufacturing industry (created in 1852 after the triumph of the progressists); 5. Finance; 6. War; 7. Marine, and the colonies.


—The administration and administrative law are regulated by a code promulgated March 18, 1842. The kingdom is divided, according to this code, into twenty-one districts seventeen on the continent and four on the islands. They are not quite so large as the French departments. The division into provinces (Estramadura, Upper and Lower Beira, Minho, Tras os Montes, Alemtejo and Algarve) has no interest except in view of economic questions, whose study it facilitates, this division having rather to do with the configuration of the country. The districts are divided into 292 concelhas, or cantons, of which twenty-nine are on the islands, and 3,960 freguezias, or parishes, of which 172 are on the islands. Each district is administered by a governor each canton by an administrator, or mayor, appointed by the king.


—In the chief town of each district a general junta, composed of thirteen elected procuradores, meets, and a district council, composed of the civil governor as president and four councilors appointed by the king upon the proposition of the junta. In the chief place of each commune there is a municipal chamber, composed of from five to twelve vereadores and a municipal council of from five to twelve vogaes. The chamber presents the budget to the junta of the district, and directs electoral operations; the council administers and deliberates with the chamber upon the more important interests of the commune. The administrator has only a consulting voice. In each parish there is a local junta, composed of the church wardens and of the leading men, presided over by the priest of the parish, which regulates the employment of the revenues applied to the expenses of building churches, of worship and of works of charity; a regedor executes the orders of the junta relative to police matters, and represents the parish before the council of the commune. The king can dissolve the chambers of the districts and of the communes; the governor, that of the parishes.


—The duties of police are fulfilled in each parish by the regedor and certain police guards of the middle class of the place; at Lisbon and Oporto, by a municipal guard and by special police corps. The surveillance of the practice of medicine and of the public health is confided to a board of health.


—III. Finances. The administration of the finances is divided between the ministry and the junta of public credit, a committee charged with the consolidated debt, and composed of five members, one of whom is appointed by the king; the others are elected, one by the chamber of peers, one by the chamber of deputies, and two by the holders of the bonds representing the debt.


—The taxes are voted for one year, and the sums voted for each item of expense can not be otherwise applied without a special law. The transfers from one account to another are voted in the same way, by decree, with the advice of the council of ministers.


—The government may open supplementary and extraordinary credits, with the advice of the council of state. There is always a deficit in the finances of Portugal. In 1872-3 it was 3,000,000 milreis; the budget of 1873-4 estimated it at 1,054,000 milreis. The causes of the deficit are of long standing and numerous. (See note.) These causes may be set down as follows: under the old régime, emigration to the colonies, the African and Asiatic wars, the donations to the clergy, the hereditary pensions of the nobility, the exemptions from taxes, and the great landed estates; since the granting of the charter, the issues of paper money, the loans, the division of the goods of the clergy among too large a number of patriots, and political troubles.


—Various measures have been taken to arrest the deficit. 1. The salaries of all functionaries were reduced. The civil list did not escape this reduction, and the crown surrenders every year to the state nearly a third of its revenues. 2. The liquidation of the foreign debt was suspended. 3. Assured pensions are only given to magistrates and professors; the other functionaries receive pensions only when the treasury has funds on hand. A distinction is made between pensions of consideration and of non-consideration; the first are paid regularly. 4. An unpopular tax was put upon corn and flour, which has provoked many outbreaks without accomplishing the desired result.


—The collection of the taxes rests upon very many inextricable bases, certain taxes being local, others general; some are collected directly by the state, others farmed out; some subject to the previous deductions of various corporations; a great number are burdened by hypothecation. often divided among various creditors; almost all are complicated by accessory duties and additional hundredths of the monetary unit. A great number, temporarily established, have become permanent. These complications multiply the expenses of the administration of the taxes and the difficulties of control.


—The following are the receipts and expenditures for the years mentioned, in milreis:

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The following are the list and figures of the various direct taxes for 1873-4. The whole of the receipts was estimated at 23,164,104 milreis:

Land taxes 3,045,395
Sumptuary taxes 117,040
Taxes on rent 304,920
Industrial taxes 1,235,220
Bank taxes 147,000
Taxes on the interest on capitals 235,950
Taxes on pardons, etc 154,240
University registration 190,710
Taxes on mines 31,500
Various taxes 205,244
Stamps, etc 1,987,000
Licenses (sale of tobacco) 41,500
3 per cent of debts 38,000
Miscellaneous taxes 264,354
Reduction in the salaries of employés 40,400


The following is a table of the indirect taxes for 1873-4:

Duties on imports 5,182,700
Duties on exports 165,600
Duties on re-exportations 34,350
Complemental duties 320,000
Duties on tonnage, sanatory taxes, etc 138,664
Duties on consumption at Oporto and Lisbon 1,460,300
Duties on tobacco 287,000
Duties on railway transit 58,500
Duties on fish and cereals 162,000
Duties on wine and meat 1,306,000
Postoffice 511,000
Telegraphs 62,100
Railroads of the north and southeast 427,600
National printing office and official journal 116,000
Total 10,231,814

Ordinary expenditures—Milreis.
Domestic consolidated debt 6,222,620
Foreign consolidated debt 3,847,889
Ministry of finances 3,645,078
Ministry of the interior 1,852,251
Ministry of justice and ecclesiastical affairs 522,728
Ministry of war 3,406,022
Ministry of marine and the colonies 1,084,860
Ministry of foreign affairs 247,977
Ministry of public works 1,252,186
Total 21,581,611
Extraordinary expenditures 1,325,380
Total expenditures 22,906,991

(See note.) In the expenditures of the ministry of finance are comprised the civil list and the appanages, 612,000 milreis; the cortes, 92,000; the debts to be borne by the treasury, 929,110; pensions, 447,468; customs duties, 633,921; mint and stamps, 30,732; general administration, 757,531.


—The expenses of the ministry of public works comprise: administration, 579,174 milreis; roads, 170,000; railways, 22,835; telegraphs and lighthouses, 143,200; postoffice, 314,530; forests, 48,282. (See note.) The object of the extraordinary expenditures is also public works (roads, railways, ports).


—The following are the budgets of the different special funds, of local and other administrations:

Table.  Click to enlarge in new window.


—The amount of the public debt has been as follows:

1828 39,100,000
1833 26,442,000
1844 79,528,000
1852 88,211,000
1856 89,824,000
1860 125,253,216
1862 149,853,788
1864 185,435,830
1866 194,648,456
1869 293,305,978
1873 850,000,000


—IV. Military Organization. The Portuguese are obliged to serve, from the time they are twenty years of ago till they are twenty-three, in the active army, and then five years in the reserve. Recruitment takes place by conscription. Substitution is allowed. Teachers are exempt. The laws of July 17, 1855, and June 4, 1859, insured the regular practice of recruitment and the exact payment of the troops; the absence of these two conditions had formerly made the army "a danger to public order." The present organization of the army rests upon the law of June 23, 1864, modified by different decrees of 1868 and by decree of Oct. 4, 1869; also by the laws of 1875 and 1877. (See note.)


—V. Public Charity. Outside of Lisbon the public treasury is freed, by the active charity of individuals and the communes, from the necessity of all contribution to benevolent institutions. There is hardly a village in Portugal which has not one or more hospitals or asylums; and they are all magnificent. Lisbon has six. Public assistance is directed by a general board of charity. The institutions of charity have for resources their own property, contributions of the communes, subsidies of the state and the proceeds of the public lottery. But this charity does not appear to exercise a preventive influence on the mortality of foundlings, however well cared for they may be in the asylums open to them. Neither does it prevent the misery, prevalent in the countries of the south of Europe, which differs in many respects from the pauperism of industrial countries. The only escape, and that only a contingent one, from this misery, is emigration, which drives thousands of Portuguese every year to Brazil.


—VI. Public Instruction. The decree of Sept. 20, 1844, established two kinds of primary schools: some elementary, properly so called, others higher; in the latter, geometry is taught. Primary instruction is obligatory under penalty of a fine imposed on the parents or of deprivation of political rights for five years; but this law is hardly ever enforced.


—Although the communes contribute to the primary and university education by annual contributions, the grant of the state is the greatest resource of public instruction. This grant amounted in 1870 to 200,000 milreis; the share of the communes was only 50,000 milreis. In 1838, there were only 966 schools for boys, and twenty-five schools for girls; in 1870 the former numbered 1,950, with 104,000 pupils, and the latter numbered 350, with 28,000 pupils.


—Secondary instruction is given in the lyceums: there is one such lyceum in each district. The humanities, the sciences and agricultural and industrial economy are taught in them. Higher education is afforded by the university of Coimbra. Its course comprises theology, civil and canon law (with political economy), medicine, mathematics and the natural sciences. The king established at Lisbon, in 1850, at his own expense, a higher course of history, metaphysics, and ancient and modern literature. Portugal possesses, besides, three academies of medicine and surgery, at Lisbon, Oporto and Madeira; a polytechnic academy at Oporto, a polytechnic school at Lisbon, two academies of the fine arts, and a conservatory of music. The two most important non-teaching scientific institutions are: the royal academy of sciences, founded in 1778, which corresponds to the French institute, and has two branches, one for physical sciences. and mathematics, and the other for letters and moral sciences; and gremio litterario, a free institute. (See note.)


—VII. Church and State. Portugal did not escape from the reign of terror till the end of the last century, when the marquis of Pombal abolished the punishments of the inquisition and expelled the Jesuits. The Jesuits returned, but the inquisition was definitively abolished in 1820. The old Kings of Portugal were only the tools of the clergy, although one of them subordinated all the ordinances of the pope to the regio placito. The clergy possessed immense estates, paid no taxes, and had 750 monasteries and convents just before the liberal revolution. A royal decree of May 28, 1834, suppressed all the monasteries, but rather through hatred than through philosophy; for the Catholic religion has always remained the religion of the state. Other religions, however, are tolerated.


—The ecclesiastical hierarchy consists, in the mother country, of the patriarch of Lisbon, the two archbishops of Braga and Evora, and sixteen bishops, two of whom are in Madeira and the Azores; in the colonies of the archbishop of Goa, the archbishop ad honorem of Tranganor, and ten bishops. The patriarch has over the bishops an authority almost equal to that of the pope. These bishops are appointed by the king, and confirmed by the holy see. The archbishop of Goa is primate of the Indies; the struggles, which lasted for a century, between the archbishops of Goa, appointed by the king, as patron of the orient, and the missionaries sent by the pope, were terminated by the concordat of 1857, but the number of suffragan episcopal sees of Goa was reduced.


—The state grants aid only to the prelates of the continent, and all the clergy of the islands. The parish priests and their assistants in Portugal are paid by special contributions of the communes, by fees, and by the property and rents of the church. These resources were till recently so insufficient that the ecclesiastics, brought into contempt by their indigence and the ignorance which was the result of it, had no influence upon the education of the people, who could scarcely be taught except by them. But a law of April 4, 1862, ordered the sale of the real estate of the church, and their payment in bonds of the funded debt.


—VIII. Justice. The Portuguese law goes back to the ecclesiastical laws of the Visigoths, preserved during the middle ages by the toleration of the Moors, and codified by the kings; it comprises, besides, the canon law and Roman law of the renaissance. The civil code was imposed by the Spaniards. The absence of a criminal code is to be regretted; but the penal code of 1852 is relatively indulgent, having been drawn up in accordance with the principles of the charter, which established the institution of the jury, the independence of justice, the publicity of debates, oral defense, and the abolition of torture and confiscation.


—Justice is administered: 1, by the senate, when members of the royal family, of the council of state or of the two chambers, and ministers who are accused, are parties; 2, by the supreme court of justice, a court of cassation and of second appeal; 3, by five courts of appeal, two of which are for the colonies; 4, by 142 judges of law and their assessors, judges of first resort (comarcas); 5, by 809 justices of the peace; 6, by 3,938 parish justices. The last two orders of judges are elected, and may be dismissed by the courts. All the others are irremovable, and paid by the state, but they can also be remunerated by the parties to the suit. The judges of law only declare the law; the jury pronounces upon the fact. The charter provides for a jury in all criminal and civil cases; but, in civil cases, it is customary not to summon a jury, except by consent of the parties to the suit. There is a public prosecutor in Portugal.


—IX. Resources. The soil of Portugal is volcanic; earthquakes are frequent. Fertile lands, rivers and streams rest on beds of fire. The earth hides all kinds of stones and metals. The Tagus once flowed with gold, and an ancient king made his sceptre from the gold found in it. There are to be found in Portugal, mercury, lead, copper, manganese, iron, and marble of all colors. But all this was unworked until the establishment of the railways.


—The provinces of Minho, Beira and Estramadura are the richest in agricultural lands; Minho, better watered and better cultivated, produces almost as much as the rest of the kingdom. Alemtejo, an immense plain in the centre and south, has aluminous and clayey soils; it furnishes more cereals. The mountains of the south are covered with calcareous soil, mixed with iron and clay, especially in the neighborhood of Lisbon. The seashores of Portugal have sandy or silicious soils.


—The forests were formerly very considerable; but the knights gastadores destroyed them through hatred of the Moors, who exploited the wealth of the country; and the peasants of Portugal even to-day are rabidly opposed to trees, without suspecting whence they inherit such vandalism. The forests occupy only an area of 18,856 hectares, of which 18,163 are in compact masses. Almost half, 9,914 hectares, belongs to the forest of Leira, of pines and cypresses, planted upon the shores of Estramadura by an old king, to stop the invasion of the sand.


—One of the greatest sources of wealth of Portugal consists in her mines of sea salt, which constitute one of the principal objects of exploitation. Portugal has a seacoast of 600 kilometres, low, and with a sandy-clayey soil, upon which the evaporation of salt water takes place under the most favorable conditions for the production of salt. The total production of salt was estimated, in 1851, at 225,000 tons, in 1862 at 193,969, in 1864 at 249,750. The yield of salt is much more considerable in Portugal than in France; it amounts to 250 tons per hectare, while in France it is only 100 tons. The alluvial lands of the Tagus and the Sado are remarkably fertile and proportionally unhealthy. The cultivation of cereals comprises only a fourteenth of the area of Portugal. The cultivation of the vine occupies about half that space, which is relatively considerable. The wonderful fertility of the soil would allow these two branches to increase many times their extent. The total area under cultivation is only 2,500,000 hectares, much less than half the country. The production of wine, moreover, has very much increased since the laws of 1852 abolished the monopolies which Pombal had created in favor of two companies.


—The production of cereals in Portugal, continent and islands, was estimated, in 1873, at eight or nine million hectolitres, and that of wines at 3,400,000 hectolitres.


—There were in Portugal, in 1870, 79,716 horses, 50,690 mules, 137,950 asses, 520,474 horned cattle, 3,543,646 wool-bearing animals, and 776,868 hogs.


—The oils of Portugal, although poorly prepared, are very highly esteemed, and their production is considerable. The country produces also lemons, oranges, and all the fruits of temperate climates. Rice is cultivated in Algarve, upon inundated shores. Finally, attempts at silk growing have recently been made with success.


—The distant fisheries of Portugal are almost destroyed. Coast fishing alone preserves a certain importance. The absence of routes on land has made coasting an indispensable means of transport, which is carried on largely by steam navigation. The tonnage of Portuguese sailing and steam ships is about 800,000.


—The shipping in all the ports of Portugal, in 1869, amounted to: entries, 5,887 Portuguese and 4,525 foreign vessels; departures, 5,854 Portuguese and 4,428 foreign. In 1870 the total number of ships departing was 10,088, gauging 1,459,008 cubic metres.


—Portugal, having products similar to those of the south of Europe, has not much maritime commerce with the Mediterranean. It is mostly carried on with Brazil and the west of Europe. The movement of Portuguese commerce has constantly increased since 1852; the imports rose from 9,286,023 milreis in 1852 to 25,341,244 in 1870; the exports, in the same period, rose from 6,580,533 milreis to 20,293,457. (See note.)


—There were, in 1856, only two banks; in 1873, the number had increased to fifteen, four of which were established during that year. The operations of these establishments, in 1858, were represented by a sum of 11,800,000 milreis; in 1872 by 24,421,400. The amount of the deposits rose from 3,182,502 milreis to 12,167,916; that of notes from 1,855,083 milreis to 3,258,978; that of discounts from 4,333,385 milreis to 15,869,442. The activity which the ministry and the legislative chambers of Portugal have displayed in comparatively recent years, has improved the financial situation, commenced a cadastre, and abolished monopolies. The construction of roads, on which depends the success of agriculture and commerce must not be forgotten. The company of public works, founded in 1845, built roads from Lisbon to Cintra, from Oporto to Braga, and from Lisbon to Badajoz. In 1873 the length of the national highways was 2,918 kilometres, and that of district highways 569 kilometres; the communal roads, 122 kilometres, and 326 in course of construction. These roads cost the treasury about 50,000,000 francs. The clearing of the beds of rivers, the canalization of rivers, the extension of canals, and the construction of royal highways by the state, and of district and communal highways by the districts and communes, have been undertaken. The length of the principal railways was, in 1873, 804 kilometres; chiefly the one from Lisbon to the frontiers of Spain (275 kilometres), and to Oporto and Colmbra (230 kilometres). These railroads, constructed by the aid of subsidies from the state, cost the treasury about 90,000,000 francs. Many branches are projected, notably one from Oporto to Braga and Rego. The length of the system of telegraphic lines is 3,111 kilometres, and comprises the telegraph from the frontier, and that from the capital to the provinces of the north and the neighboring cities. The Spanish wires have been connected with the Portuguese wires. Up to 1866, Portugal had expended for all public works (highways, railways, telegraphs, ports, canals), 45,419,496 milreis. (For later statistics see note.) *48




Balbi, Essai statistiques sur le royaume de Portugal et d' Algarve, Paris, 1882, and Variétés politico-statistiques sur la monarchie portugaise, Paris, 1822; Eschwege, Portugal, ein Staats-und Sittengemälde nach 30 jährigen Beobachtungen und Erfahrungen, Hamburg, 1837; Heeringen, Meine Reise nach Portugal im Frühjahre, 1836, Leipzing, 1838; Minutoli, Portugal und seine Colonien im Zahre, 1854, Stuttgart and Augsburg, 1855; Vogel, Le Portugal et ses colonies, Paris, 1861, Diccionario abreviado de chorographia, topographia e archeologia dos citades, etc., de Portugal, Lisbon, 1867; Forrester, Portugal and its Capabilities, London, 1860; Pery, Geographia e Estatistisa geral de Portugal e Colonias, Lisbon, 1875; Latouche, Travels in Portugal, London, 1875; Murray, Handbook for Travelers in Portugal, London, 1876; Gebaner, Portugiesische Geschichte, Leipzing, 1759; Fortia d'Orbay and Mielle, Histoire de Portugal, Paris, 1828-9; Schäfer, Geschichte von Portugal, Hamburg and Gotha, 1836-54; Rebello da Silva, Historia de Portugal nos seculos, xvii. e xviii., Lisbon, 1860-71; S. J. da Suz Soriano, Historia da Guerra Civil, Lisbon, 1870-76; Latino Coelho, Historia Politica e Militor de Portugal, Lisbon, 1874; Barbosa de Pinho Leal, Portugal, Antigo e Moderno, Lisbon, 1873-7.


Notes for this chapter

Political History during the last decade. During the last decade the history of Portugal was more peaceful than that of Spain. A few riotous assemblies were held, and a few insignificant plots took place, but no civil war; neither did the parliamentary parties combat one another very violently, because in Portugal the republicans and social-democrats met with little sympathy among the people. The permanent financial deficit constituted the principal object of contention; it furnished to every opposition, whether conservative or liberal, both the means and occasion for opposing and overthrowing the cabinet for the time being in power. In the chambers the regeneradores (conservatives), under the counselor of state de Fontes Pereira de Mella, on the one side, were opposed by the historians under Marquis Loulé and Braamcamp, and the reformers (liberals) under the leadership of the bishop of Vizen. The historians and the reformers at times combined, forming a great progressionist party. The reformers there, as reformers in general are wont to do in other parliaments, spoke of retrenching the expenditures of the state, of reducing the taxes, of thorough reforms in all branches of the administration, and made motions to that effect, which, however, could not be entertained by a cautious and conservative government. The regeneradores tried to restore the national wealth, by going to the utmost limit of taxation, supporting industry and increasing trade, thereby gradually doing away with the deficit. One cabinet after another vainly tried to solve this difficult problem. The republican and communistic agitation, which originated in Spain after the abdication of King Amadeus, only slightly disturbed Portugal. A republican committee, consisting of Spaniards and Portuguese, in 1873, issued a manifesto to the people of Portugal, by which the latter were urged to agitate in favor of an Iberian republic. But just as in 1869, when King Lonis of Portugal, as well as his father, the titular king, Ferdinand, refused to accept the crown of Spain, which had been offered to them, the majority of the population neither felt like tying their future to revolutionary Spain, divided by exceedingly extreme parties, nor like exchanging their independence for the blessings of a Spanish province. The Portuguese press most emphatically rejected the proposition of an "Iberian Union." The cabinet of d'Avila, which by imposing new taxes had caused great dissatisfaction, was succeeded, on Sept. 13. 1871, by a conservative ministry, of which de Fontes Percira was president and minister of finances. In a conflict with the chapter of the cathedral of Braganza the ministry energetically defended the rights of the state as against the church, and in 1875 a majority of the chamber and the press expressed themselves as opposed to the intentions of the clericals. The chambers of 1876 passed the bill for suppressing the last remnants of slavery on Sao Thomé. Although slavery had been abolished there, the emancipated negroes, who had been reduced to a state of bondage to the planters, were cruelly maltreated by the latter. Notwithstanding all its exertions within the province of economy and the increase of taxation, the Fontes Pereira cabinet was unable to do away with the deficit; for which reason the cabinet was violently attached by the historians and reformers, and being unable to meet these attacks satisfactorily, the cabinet handed in its resignation March 6, 1877. Thereupon a cabinet of the coalition was formed, Marquis d'Avila e Bolams, whose supporters occupied a position midway between conservatives and liberals, becoming president of the cabinet and minister of foreign affairs and of the interior. This cabinet, formed from the moderate elements of the regeneradores and of the opposition, was only able to maintain itself as long as it did not by any measures arouse the hostile feelings of those who constituted the majority in the cortes. At the election for members of the city council in Lisbon the cabinet opposed the regeneradores, and it also appointed progressionists to the most important offices of the administration; for which reasons the regeneradores endeavored to overthrow the cabinet. In this they succeeded the more easily as the deficit had increased still more, and as the ministry had shown great weakness in dealing with the bishops. The vote of want of confidence offered by the regeneradores on the occasion of the debate on the address, and by which the ministry was accused of having violated the principles of liberalism and the rules of proper administration, was passed, Jan. 26, 1878. by a vote of 60 to 19. The cabinet thereupon resigned, and Fontes Pereira formed a new cabinet. This latter, it is true, had a decided majority in both chambers; but disagreement among the ministers themselves caused the cabinet to resign May 29, 1879. The new cabinet of the 1st of June was formed from the liberal opposition; Braamcamp, the leader of the historians, occupied the position of president and of minister of foreign affairs. But as, on the 3d of June, the conservative majority by 75 to 29 passed a vote expressing a want of confidence in the ministry, the latter dissolved the chambers and ordered a new election. The election resulted in a majority of 70 to 80 in favor of the ministry; the republican party was able to elect but one representative. The submission of the so-called Delagoa treaty, concluded with England in 1875, gave rise to severe conflicts. According to that treaty, England was to have the right to transport its goods through Delagoa Bay, a Portuguese possession in South Africa, from and to Transvaal free, also to build warehouses for goods free of duty, in the port of Lorenzo-Marques, to build a railroad from that city to Pretoria, in the Transvaal, and to operate the same on its own account. This was considered by public opinion as an abandonment of Portuguese territory and an actual repeal of the arbitration, made in 1875 by Marshal Mac Mahon in favor of the rights of Portugal to Delagoa Bay. The opponents of the Delagoa treaty, on March 8, 1881, asked to postpone the consideration of that matter until the English squadron should have left the harbor of Lisbon. The chamber of deputies, however, declined to pass this motion, and on the 10th of March sanctioned the treaty by a vote of 74 to 19: this vote was openly declared by the English press to be equivalent to a cession of Lorenzo-Marques to the British crown. The upper chamber, it is true, refused to entertain the vote censuring the government, which had been proposed, by a vote of 50 to 49; but, as there were two ministers among those who voted with the majority, the censure was in reality voted by a majority of 49 to 48. At that time great excitement prevailed in Lisbon. The republican party took the opportunity to call a meeting of the people, in which the government and even the dynasty were violently attacked. An emphatic protest against the treaty was voted, and handed to the president of the chamber by a deputation from the meeting. When the chamber, in spite of this protest, ratified that treaty, the ministers and their followers were publicly insulted by the mob, and cries of "Down with the ministry." "Long live the republic!" were heard. In view of the exasperation of the populace and of the vote of the upper chamber, the Braamcamp cabinet was unable to maintain its position, and it resigned. Thereupon Rodriguez Sampajo formed a new ministry on the 28th of March, composed of conservatives of the second class and of members of the independent party. The chamber was dissolved, and general new elections were ordered. By these elections the ministry obtained an overwhelming majority, while the reformers, who, in the previous chamber had been in the majority, had but six votes left. Nevertheless, this cabinet tendered its resignation on the 13th of November, because it had been accused of excessive indifference toward the reformist and republican agitation, and because the municipal elections resulted strictly in favor of the conservatives. In consequence thereof, Fontes Pereira, on the 14th of November, formed another conservative cabinet, which was completed on the 16th of the same month. Fontes took the presidency, the ministry of finances, and provisionally that of war. The deficit in the budget for 1882-3 still amounted to 5,622 contos; the revenues amounted to 29,654, and the expenditures (including the extraordinary expenses) to 35,276 contos. Besides the financial question, public opinion also agitated the question of reforming the constitution. The general demand was in favor of transforming the upper chamber into a senate, partly filled by election, and in favor of a change of the elections for deputies, for the purpose of facilitating the representation of the minority. Opening the cortes in January, 1883, the king declared, in his address from the throne, that the government was considering a reform of the constitution. For the purpose of securing its authority in the Congo district of Africa, threatened by France, Portugal, in March, 1883, concluded a treaty with England, promising freedom of trade and measures against the slave trade; England, in turn, acknowledging Portugal's sovereign authority. At the same time Portugal equipped an expedition for the Congo. intended to guard Portugal's interests in that part of Africa.

Late Statistics. The number of Protestants in Portugal, mostly foreigners, does not exceed 500. They have chapels at Lisbon and Oporto. The superintendence of public instruction is under the management of a superior council of education, at the head of which is the minister of the interior. Public education is entirely free from the supervision and control of the church. Within the last few years, there has been great progress in primary education. The expenditure on public education by the government amounted to 868,648 milreis, or £193,033. in 1882-3.

—The following were the estimated sources of revenue and branches of expenditure of the budget, approved by the general cortes, for the financial year ending June 30, 1883:

Direct taxes £1,348,140
Stamp and register duties 683,488
Indirect taxes and customs 3,380,171
National domains and miscellaneous receipts 572,941
Repayments and sundries 245,484
Extraordinary receipts (loans) 859,555
Total revenue £6,589,779

Public debt £2,908,738
Treasury 1,280,860
Home office 480,255
Justice 139,416
War 1,022,906
Marine and colonies 869,715
Foreign affairs 68,552
Public works, ordinary and extraordinary 1,569,413
Total expenditure £7,839,155
Estimated deficit, 1882-3 £1,249,416

As remarked above, there has been no budget for the last thirty years without a deficit. The revenue of the kingdom during the thirty years 1850-80 increased by about 60 per cent. At the end of 1881 the debt was £97,512,000, the annual interest being £3,065,285. Included in the existing debt is the "old debt," which has been nearly all converted, only about £400 000 remaining unconverted. The external debt amounts to about £50,000,000, the last loan issued being one of £5,189,000 in 1882. The funded debt of Portugal, per head of population, is nearly as large as that of the United Kingdom, the quota of debt for each inhabitant amounting to £20 11s., and the annual share of interest, at 3 per cent. to 13s. 6d. Besides the funded debt, there is a large floating debt, estimated variously at from £2,500,000 to £4,000,000. A large portion of the foreign debt of Portugal consists of loans raised between 1877 and 1882. The first of these, a foreign loan of £6,500,000 nominal, at 3 per cent, was issued at 50 in 1877. Only £4,000,000 of this loan was subscribed at the time. This was followed by the issue of another foreign loan of £2,500,000, on the same terms, in July, 1878, and by a foreign loan of £3,000,000, issued in December, 1880, and, finally, in 1882, by a loan of £5,189,000, in 5 per cent. bonds. The floating debt of Portugal has been increasing in recent years, although its gradual extinction was decreed in 1873, when the government raised a loan for this special object. The interest on the public debt has frequently remained unpaid. Portions of the national debt have also been repudiated at various periods.

—The effective strength of the army is fixed annually by the cortes, and was nominally 78,200 officers and men, in 1882, on the war footing. The actual strength of the army in 1882 was reported to consist of 26,059 rank and file, chiefly infantry, the cavalry numbering 3,241, and the artillery 2,709, officers and men. The number of troops in the Portuguese colonies amounts to 8,500 infantry and artillery, besides a reserve of 9,500 men. The navy of Portugal was composed, at the end of 1882, of thirty-one steamers and sixteen sailing vessels, most of the latter laid up in harbor. The steamers (1883) comprise: eight corvettes, of 2,300 horse power, having forty-six guns; ten sloops, of 687 horse power, having thirteen guns; nine gunboats, of 840 horse power, having thirty-one guns; two transports, of 420 horse power, having four guns; and two torpedo boats, of 600 horse power; making a total of thirty-one steamers, of 4,797 horse power, with ninety-four guns. The navy is officered by one vice admiral, ten rear admirals, forty-two captains, forty-one lieutenant captains, 149 lieutenants, and manned by 3,034 sailors. The commercial navy of Portugal consisted, on Jan. 1, 1881. of 433 vessels, including forty-one steamers, of an aggregate burthen of 88,829 tons.

—The total length of railways open for traffic in October, 1882, was 1,673 kilometres, or 1,045 English miles, with 144 kilometres, or ninety English miles more, in course of construction. All the railways receive subventions from the state.

—The number of postoffices in the kingdom, in September, 1881, was 858, besides forty-five on the islands. There were 20,338,171 letters and postal cards, and 15,276,552 packets and newspapers carried in 1881.

—The number of telegraph offices at the end of 1880, was 196. There were at the same date 4,369 kilometres, or 2,715 English miles, of telegraph wires. The number of telegrams dispatched in the year 1880 was 1,121,364, comprising 428,987 inland dispatches, and the remainder international or transit. Of the whole number, 688,065 were official dispatches.


End of Notes

849 of 1105

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