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[Grão Pará & Maranhão Company.]

Instituiçaõ da Companhia Geral do Graõ Pará, e Maranhaõ.  (at end):  Alvará, por que Vossa Magestade, pelos respeitos nelle declarados, ha por bem confirmar os Capitulos, e Condiçoens da Companhia do Graõ Pará . .   (Dated 6 & 7 June 1755.)


Lisbon, Miguel Rodrigues, 1755.


Folio.  20 pp. (pp. 3-9 signed Aii – Av, pp. 11-19 unsigned).    Wrappers. 

 “The Company of Grão Pará and Maranhão was given the exclusive right to all commerce and navigation of the captaincies for a period of twenty years.   Pombal also decreed the expulsion from the whole of Brazil of the comissários volantes at this time.   The establishment of the monopoly company and the banishing of the small itinerant traders were key components of an overall policy with objectives well beyond the confines of the Amazon.   Pombal hoped that by granting special privileges and protection to Portuguese entrepreneurs via such a mechanism as a monopoly company, he could help national merchant houses accumulate sufficient capital to compete more effectively with British merchants in the colonial trade as a whole and, by extension, in Portugal proper.   By simultaneously striking at the itinerant traders he sought to remove one key linkage between the foreign merchants in Portugal and the Brazilian producers.   The hidden objective of the Brazilian monopoly company was thus much broader than its regional focus might first indicate . . .   The establishment of the monopolistic company and the economic legislation of 1755 was a deliberate action by the state to rationalize the entrepreneurial structure in favor of the large established national merchants . . .   (T)he choice of the Amazon to begin the process was a very clever maneuver.   The British did not perceive the threat to their interests until the end of the decade” (Maxwell, Pombal, paradox of the enlightenment, pp. 59-61).   "(The Company’s) initial mission was to supply black slaves to the north, to offer attractive prices for colonial staples . . and to transport these commodities to Portugal via its own armed convoys.   By the early 1770s the company began to perform other functions too.   It served as a conduit through which the government conveyed large sums to maintain an expanded military presence and an augmented bureaucracy in the Amazon.   It was also expected to cultivate a lucrative illicit trade with Spanish Quito via the Amazon and Mato Grosso . . ." (CHLA II, 622).   There appear to be some three issues with 20 pp and another with 31 pp.

Borba de Moraes (1983) I, 419.  Bosch, Brasilien-Bibliothek,  208.  Maggs, Bibl. Brasilensis, 225.   Marquês de Pombal.  Catálogo Bibliográfico e iconográfico,  p. 146 (681) & p. 346 (97).  Gauz,  Portuguese and Brazilian Books in the John Carter Brown Library 1537-1839, 755/1.   Not in Rodrigues.  


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