This work exposes part of a master research results regarding night schools in the Rio de Janeiro's Court. It focuses on the Imperial state action to promote this kind of education. The thesis defended is that the Imperial state acts to respond to a demand made by other social actors, such as private companies and the individual initiative of teachers and students. The text outlines three key-moments in the Court action: The 1854 reform by Couto Ferraz, which only mentions the possibility to instruct illiterate adults; The 1882 Provisional Instructions of José Bento da Cunha Figueiredo, which regulated the private courses that already existed; and the decree nº 7031 by Leôncio de Carvalho, on September 6th, 1878 that established night schools. Public and private experiences to educate the working class share common characteristics: assystematicity and precariousness.
Popular education; Imperial State; Rio de Janeiro's Court