THE “RIGHT OF NOBILITY” IN LEGAL-POLITICAL CULTURE OF IMPERIAL BRAZIL

Álvaro Monteiro Mariz Fonseca About the author

Abstract

This paper aims at explaining the legal-political architecture of titles, honors, military orders, distinctions, and pecuniary mercies, about the alleged right of nobility in nineteenth-century Brazilian legal-political culture. In this sense, it seeks to understand how Brazilian law proposed these honorific rewards, and if they were bound to some kind of legal privilege. The main sources are the Constituição Política do Império do Brasil (1824), the doctrinal comments to the constitutional text, and the Anais do Parlamento Brasileiro. The interpretation of these sources allows us to conclude that, in fact, the imperial constitutional system disliked the existence of birth privileges, without, however, being able to completely prevent any remnants of Ancien Régime rights from resisting for some time in the ordinary rule of the Empire.

Keywords:
Legal History; honorific rewards; nobility; Brazil; Empire

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