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Fama e rEputação: the Provincial Portuguese Nobility, the Challenges of the Restoration Era, and Imperial Service in the Estado Da India, Ca. 1661-1683

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image of Journal of Early Modern History

Based on extensive archival research in Lisbon and Goa, this article examines the symbiotic relationship between the newly independent Portuguese Crown and the rising provincial nobility in Portugal during the late seventeenth century. The provincial nobility had been a prime supporter of João, duke of Braganza, in his revolution against Habsburg Spain in 1640. Thereafter, the new dynasty and the provincial nobility assisted each other in meeting the political, military, economic, and imperial challenges of the post-1640 period. By examining the careers of roughly a dozen nobles originally from the pre-1640 provincial nobility, the article shows that this relationship proved to be mutually beneficial and advantageous. The house of Braganza preserved its independence and was able to overcome many daunting challenges, in particular stabilizing the precarious position of the Asian empire, the Estado da India, during these years. At the same time, the members of the provincial nobility, through their serice to the Crown at home and in the empire, were able to rise in the social hierarchy, sometimes entering the lofty ranks of the titulares or "titled ones" in the process.

Affiliations: 1: The University of Toledo, OH


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