The ‘Civilising Mission’ of Portuguese Colonialism, by Miguel Bandeira Jerónimo

By Miguel Bandeira Jerónimo

This ebook presents an old, severe research of the doctrine of 'civilising venture' in Portuguese colonialism within the an important interval from 1870 to 1930. Exploring overseas contexts and transnational connections, this 'civilising project' is analysed and assessed by means of studying the employment and distribution of African manpower.

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Extra info for The ‘Civilising Mission’ of Portuguese Colonialism, 1870–1930

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While during the first half of the nineteenth century this was essentially a consequence of the Anglo-Portuguese diplomatic game, the attacks on the administrative realities of the Portuguese colonial empire in Africa and of the country’s involvement in slavery and the slave trade came to be marked by a complex web of sources, which included explorers and missionaries such as David Livingstone, and which were intensified by the rivalry between Catholic and Protestant missionaries, and the growth of local, national and transnational interests committed to resolving the many disputes that arose in the African continent during the second half of the century.

42 In reply to these assessments, dated 31 June 1884, J. A. Corte Real, former general-secretary of the government of Macau and Timor and a member of the Lisbon Geographic Society, signed a short text denouncing the ‘intentional insidiousness or malevolent ignorance’ that dominated the exertions of the Anti-Slavery Society in association with the British government, and which, following a path that had been ‘ably’ followed in previous decades, would be readily accepted by the latter as providing legitimacy to its constant interference in Portugal’s colonial affairs.

Casal Ribeiro referred to the legislative measures as evidence. 35 One decade later, the critical assessments from non-official spheres such as philanthropic groups, humanitarian societies and missionary circles, began to multiply, largely as a result of the growth of available information sources. The extensive official correspondence between the Portuguese and British Governments, which was partially published in the Blue Books – correspondence which was generated by consular dispatches, local authority reports, and the sparse and repetitive, but nonetheless important, published testimonies of people such as Livingstone – was joined in the 1870s by contributions from such people as the British naval captain G.

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