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By Antonio Almodovar, Jose Luis Cardoso

A heritage of Portuguese financial proposal deals the 1st account in English of the advance of financial proposal in Portugal. The authors undertake a comparative method of examine how monetary doctrine, theories and regulations were disseminated and assimilated by means of Portuguese economists in several sessions. They check the effect on Portuguese financial considered significant economists corresponding to Adam Smith, Keynes and Hayek.

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Extra resources for A History of Portuguese Economic Thought (Routledge History of Economic Thought)

Sample text

One of the first and most basic differences is to be found in the fact that Severim de Faria makes practically no reference to the political and military context of the Restoration period (from 1640 to 1668), during which time Portugal was basically consolidating its definitive separation from the Spanish monarchy. But the change in perspective that most interests us here has to do with the way in which the different factors and instruments of economic progress were assessed. For Severim de Faria, the fundamental problem was to find the most suitable remedies for the kingdom’s lack of people, so he chose to make the question of population the central theme of his analysis.

Among their main concerns were the discovery of gradual solutions for easing the burden of the still existing seigneurial structure of land use and property, the removal of barriers to the unification of the internal market and the reform of the tax system of the ancien régime. Conventional wisdom in the Portuguese historiography of economic thought takes it for granted that the Memórias Económicas exemplify the influence and assimilation of physiocratic ideas. However, this claim must be qualified, because the spread of physiocracy outside France cannot be regarded as a simple diffusion of ideas and doctrines based on the overwhelming importance of land and agriculture.

The somewhat tardy protagonist of this receptive spirit was Joaquim José Rodrigues de Brito. By studying the work of this author (Brito 1803– 1805), it is also our intention to point out certain peculiarities behind the belated emergence of political economy in Portugal. The philosophy of natural law and the political doctrine of legal despotism are two indissociable ingredients of the rhetoric that both identifies physiocratic thought and accounts for its fame. The idea that man possesses a natural right ‘to the things pertaining to his own enjoyment’ is the opening motto of the text which François Quesnay devoted to this issue (Quesnay 1765).

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