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Bicentenary of the 1820 Revolution

Bicentenário da Revolução de 1820

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Published on Tuesday, March 05, 2019


The Bicentenary of the 1820 Revolution presents both an opportunity and a challenge to revisit and better understand a crucial period in contemporary Portuguese history. The international congress marking this event is designed to indicate the main lines of interpretation that are to be found in the abundant historiography currently existing on this subject, as well as to encourage the presentation of new approaches and perspectives of analysis.


Lisbon, 12-14 October 2020


The 1820 Revolution was the founding event of liberalism in Portugal and Brazil. It was part of a broader movement that spread across Southern Europe and the two Latin American empires of the Atlantic region. In all cases, the epicentre consisted of political constitutions, inspired by the Spanish model of the 1812 Cadiz Constitution. The Nation, understood as a new political pillar of the constituent power of parliament, lay at the foundations of the broad concept of national sovereignty that characterised the first Portuguese Constitution of 1822. National independence was an aim that was inscribed in the goals of the 1820 revolution, as was also the case in other southern countries. The parallel outbreak of the movement for independence in the colonies of Latin America resulted in conflicts that would subsequently reveal the imperialist nature of Iberian liberalism.

The liberal movement in Southern Europe was counter-cyclical in relation to the political situation of Central and Northern Europe, namely France and England, which were now incorporated into the Holy Alliance, formed to guarantee the political stability of Europe after Napoleon. It was against this unfavourable international background that the complex process of the independence of the South American colonies first began to unfurl. The programme of this Congress seeks to reflect upon this geopolitical perspective of the revolutionary movement.

One of the characteristics of the revolutionary movement was its formal prudence. Frequently, the word “regeneration” was preferred to the term “revolution”, since it suggested moderation. The spectre of the violence of the French Revolution hung over both sides, those who wished for a change and those who defended the conservation of the status quo. The desire for moderation and the fear of unleashing conflicts were visible features of all the activity of the Cortes of 1821-22. However, the mere proclamation of the Basis of the Constitution and the rights of citizenship represented a profound shock to the existing society. The very concept of citizenship was revolutionary in itself and represented a major innovation in the relationship between the individual and the State, calling into question the corporative society of orders. A constitution defining the newly-established powers also represented a rupture with the pre-existing concept of royal power. This was how its enemies immediately understood things. Revolution and counter-revolution were the two different faces of this time, within which the thematic axes that form the structure for the programme of this Congress are also to be found intertwined.

Different generations of essayists and historians have turned their attention to the 1820 Revolution. Despite the considerable bibliography already existing about this event and its time, the commemoration of the bicentenary represents a challenge for reviewing the subject in the light of present-day historiography, as well as providing a stimulus for the presentation of new approaches and new perspectives of analysis. Accordingly, we now present the academic community with the programme for the Congress, setting out the thematic panels that seem to us to be the most relevant. In each case, the presentation of the themes is the responsibility of the coordinators who were invited to organise the respective sessions.

Submission guidelines

Those interested in submitting a proposal for a paper to be presented at the International Congress of the Bicentenary of the 1820 Revolution must complete the form available HERE and send it to the Congress secretariat cbr1820@gmail.com

by 30 June 2019.

The proposals must indicate the thematic panel under which the paper is to be presented. The description of the thematic panels is available HERE.

Each applicant may present only one proposal for a paper.

All decisions relating to the acceptance of papers will be taken by the coordinators of the thematic panels, and applicants will be informed of the respective decision by 31 October 2019.

The authors of accepted papers must deliver the text of their papers (in accordance with rules to be established in due course) by 31 May 2020.

The final programme for the Congress will be established once the texts of the approved papers have been received.

Languages for the Congress: Portuguese, Spanish and English.

Informations: cbr1820@gmail.com

Organising Committee

  • Miriam Halpern Pereira (ISCTE-IUL), Presidente;
  • Jorge Fernandes Alves (UPorto/FL);
  • Ana Cristina Araújo (UCoimbra/FL);
  • José Luís Cardoso (ULisboa/ICS);
  • Zília Osório de Castro (NOVA FCSH);
  • Maria Alexandre Lousada (ULisboa/FL);
  • Luís Espinha da Silveira (NOVA FCSH)

Scientific Committee

  • José Viriato Capela (UMinho);
  • Fátima Sá e Melo Ferreira (ISCTE-IUL);
  • Sérgio Campos Matos (ULisboa/FL);
  • Maria Fátima Nunes (UÉvora);
  • José Miguel Sardica (UCP/FCH);
  • Cristina Nogueira da Silva (UNL/FD);
  • Maria Beatriz Nizza da Silva (USP);
  • Susana Serpa Silva (UAçores);
  • Luís Reis Torgal (UCoimbra/FL);
  • Isabel Vargues (UCoimbra/FL);
  • Telmo Verdelho (UAveiro)


  • Assembleia da República
    Lisbon, Portugal


  • Sunday, June 30, 2019


  • revolução, liberalismo


  • Miriam Halpern Pereira
    courriel : cbr1820 [at] gmail [dot] com

Information source

  • Diana Barbosa
    courriel : comunicacao [dot] ihc [at] fcsh [dot] unl [dot] pt


CC0-1.0 This announcement is licensed under the terms of Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal.

To cite this announcement

« Bicentenary of the 1820 Revolution », Call for papers, Calenda, Published on Tuesday, March 05, 2019, https://calenda.org/575042

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