The connection between economic and legal knowledge is an important gateway to the reflection on how Cameralist perspectives traveled within the framework of continental Europe enlightened reformism during the eighteenth century. This article focusses on the Iberian context in the last decades of the eighteenth century to show how some legal sources, particularly the ones related to the interpretation and justification of police ordinances as part of the studies of direito pátrio (national law), offered important facets to understand this dissemination process. The discussion in detail of certain aspects of the Portuguese case finishes up by illustrating broader aspects of how Cameralism spread throughout Europe, showing that along with routes of influence there were also processes of convergence of ideas (i.e., ideas that experienced relatively autonomously combinations and recombination and that ended up converging more or less coincidentally in some aspects). The agents of enlightened reformism in different European monarchies and in Portugal in particular, collected a wide range of ideas and inspirations for administrative action which included, sometimes consciously, sometimes inadvertently, Cameralist sources and ended up producing, by design or chance, an interesting amalgam through the superposition these different sources.
Influences and Convergences in the Dissemination of Cameralist Ideas in Portugal: Enlightened Reformism and Police Science
Alexandre Mendes Cunha; Influences and Convergences in the Dissemination of Cameralist Ideas in Portugal: Enlightened Reformism and Police Science. History of Political Economy 1 June 2021; 53 (3): 497–514. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/00182702-8993358
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