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Emigration to Brazil in the Vila Real district
Afonso Henrique Carvalho Cunha's master's thesis in history, presented to the University of Minho in 2019, on Portuguese emigration to Brazil from the district of Vila Real between 1838 and 1860, under the supervision of Francisco Azevedo Mendes.

Title  Emigration to Brazil in the Vila Real district (1838-1860)
Author  Afonso Henrique Carvalho Cunha
Advisor  Francisco Azevedo Mendes
Year  2019
Institution  University of Minho
Degree  Masters
Area  History
Keywords  Brazil, emigration, history, Trás-os-Montes



Emigration has long been a constant feature of Portuguese society, and can be traced back to the beginning of maritime expansion when, from the middle of the 15th century, the Portuguese began to spread out across the different continents. However, the most significant emigration in terms of significant numbers of people leaving the national territory, both mainland and island, took place from the 18th century onwards and gained greater importance during the 19th century, as part of the European migrations of the 19th century, which were mainly directed towards territories in the New World. In the 1800s, Portuguese emigration was dominated by the attraction of Brazil, where the bulk of the people who temporarily or permanently left the country headed, looking for a solution to the national economic difficulties that were being felt due to various circumstances, while at the same time responding to the growing need for labor that was being felt in Brazil, due to the progressive extinction of the slave trade and the economic growth of the young nation. The great Portuguese emigration to Brazil began in the 18th century in the northwest of Portugal, in the region of Entre Douro and Minho, and then spread to the more inland regions of the country from the 1850s onwards.The aim of this paper is to study emigration from the district of Vila Real to Brazil between 1838 and 1860, based on the main source, which is the passport records held in the Vila Real District Archive, covering a period of time marked initially by the first existing record of a passport to Brazil up to the year 1860, preceding the period in which emigration to Brazil became massive. The aim of this study is to assess the spread of legal emigration to this inland region of the country, to analyze its characteristics in terms of population numbers and the socio-demographic aspects of the emigrant population, to describe the migratory strategies that can be observed, as well as other aspects that can be explored in the main source, such as some somatic and health characteristics of this population.


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