Pombal, Paradox of the Enlightenment

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9780521450447: Pombal, Paradox of the Enlightenment

This is the first major study in English for over half a century of one of Portugal's most important historical figures, Sebastião José de Carvalho e Melo, marquês de Pombal (1699-1782). He is best known today as the key figure in the reconstruction of Lisbon after the devastating earthquake of 1755. Pombal's achievements however went far beyond the reconstruction of the capital. An unusually single-minded and ruthless first minister, he was also one of the eighteenth century's most successful 'enlightened despots': for example, he reformed the Portugese system of education, began the process whereby the Jesuits were expelled from Portugal after their suppression by the Pope in 1773, and mounted a formidable challenge to British commercial hegemony in Portugal. Recent renewed interest in the theory of enlightened absolutism has tended to ignore developments in the Iberian peninsula. This book is therefore essential to a full understanding of the complexities and paradoxes of enlightened rulership in a southern European context.

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Book Description:

The first major study in English for over half a century of one of Portugal's most important historical figures, Sebastião José de Carvalho e Melo, marquês de Pombal (1699-1782). Best known today as the key figure in the reconstruction of Lisbon after the devastating earthquake of 1755. Was also one of the eighteenth century's most successful 'enlightened despots'.

Review:

'... well worth reading, not only for the broad view of social, economic and political trends, but also for the fascinating personalities whose family names endure among the Portuguese political and business elite and for the beautiful illustrations based on historical etchings and paintings.' Luso Americano

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Maxwell, Kenneth
Published by Cambridge University Press
ISBN 10: 0521450446 ISBN 13: 9780521450447
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