Economic Policies and Bankruptcy Institutions: Brazil in a Period of Transition from Colony to Independent Nation
Maria Teresa Ribeiro de Oliveira
This paper studies the legislation on bankruptcy introduced into Brazil by D.João VI (1808-1821) and shows how this legislation was used in this period as an instrument of protection for certain specific economic activities. On one hand, this work deliberately seeks to incorporate institutions into the study of Brazilian economic history, based on the assumption that the lack of interest in the role played by these institutions has hindered a better understanding of the country’s economic development during the Nineteenth Century. On the other hand, this paper introduces new material for the purpose of re-assessing the economic policies enforced in this period. In fact the study of the bankruptcy legislation suggests that one of the Government’s main concern at the time was to promote the development of activities directly related to gold and sugar exports. Therefore the general and popular acceptance of the revolutionary character of the economic policy in this period is challenged.
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