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The business of Pernambuco: financing, trade and shipping in the second half of the eighteenth century

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Felipe Souza Melo
Total Authors: 1
Document type: Master's Dissertation
Press: São Paulo.
Institution: Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Faculdade de Filosofia, Letras e Ciências Humanas (FFLCH/SBD)
Defense date:
Examining board members:
Maximiliano Mac Menz; Jesús Bohorquez Barrera; Rafael de Bivar Marquese; Rodrigo Monteferrante Ricupero
Advisor: Maximiliano Mac Menz

The second half of the eighteenth century was a time of economic growth. Industrial production and consumption of European populations have increased. In the same way, the colonies of America followed this conjuncture raising their exports of tropical goods. The research investigates one of these colonies, the captaincy of Pernambuco, which played a major role in this scenario. It was sought above all to fill two gaps that historiography had not yet interested. The aim was to reconstitute general export indicators and analyze overseas trade from the agents\' point of view in a period marked by two transformations: the installation of a monopoly company and the rise of the cotton culture, comparing the situation of a monopoly market with a free trade situation. Using documents still not used for the location and the proposed time cut - such as cargo records of more than 1,400 vessels, 753 ship passports, 1,414 notarial records, 107 sea loans and 236 legal proceedings, among others - it was possible to carry out series of export of the main products of the captaincy: cotton, sugar and leathers, as well as their prices. It enabled a vertical analysis of the ways of doing business - merchant society, resident and itinerant commissars - contributing to the survey of part of the mercantile group that operates between Pernambuco and Lisbon and also uncovered the hierarchy of ship owners. The investigation of the agents and the way they organized the colonial business led to an appreciation of the main economic regulations of the time, the sugar price and freight price regulation, and their influence in the branches of commerce and transportation. For this, the concept of transaction costs, so popular in neo-institutionalism literature, has been used and relativized. The main conclusions of the study endorse the importance of the metropolitan credit that financed part of Pernambuco\'s economic export activities and, necessarily, reinforces the substantial presence of the metropolitan merchants as active participants in the colonial business. (AU)

FAPESP's process: 14/11038-1 - The transport of commodities between Pernambuco and Portugal: quantification, hierarchies and mercantile groups in Portuguese Atlantic (1755-1807)
Grantee:Felipe Souza Melo
Support type: Scholarships in Brazil - Master