História (São Paulo)
On-line version ISSN 1980-4369
PEREIRA, José Flávio and PEREIRA, Lupércio Antônio. Juridical institutes, agrarian property and economic development in José da Silva Lisboa's thought (1829). História [online]. 2006, vol.25, n.2, pp. 192-213. ISSN 1980-4369. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0101-90742006000200010.
The aim of this article is to analyze the political position of José da Silva Lisboa, the Viscount of Cairu, on the debate that took place in the Brazilian Parliament in 1829 concerning to the abolition of two feudal juridical institutes that were inherited from Portugal: the law of primogeniture and the entail. According to Cairu, such institutes, which have made compulsory the transmission of the land property to the first-born male child keeping him from breaking the property into small parcels by alienation, have a very weak existence in Brazil, which has not endangered, therefore, neither the agriculture development nor the property democratization. However, when this matter was discussed by the Senate, Cairu has articulated the victorious election against the extinction of them, apparently denying his liberal ideas. We think that the reason for such paradox would be in Cairu's pragmatism and political prudence, who had always been against radicalism when he faced the social reform. This apparently antiliberal position is due to the fact that he considered those institutes important symbols for the maintenance of the enlightened monarchy in Brazil, which was a regime closer to the English political system, that Cairu thought should be followed, than to the radical French republican regime, that he believed should be avoided.
Keywords : Cairu; agrarian property; primogeniture right; Brazil.