Population Tables in Grao-Para captaincies: consolidation of a colonial population in the final half of the XVIIIth century

2017-09-01T02:46:48Z (GMT) by André Augusto da Fonseca
<p></p><p>Abstract As of the mid-eighteenth century, in the context of the so-called Pombaline Reforms, Indian Freedom Laws incorporated a large region in northern Portuguese America into civilian administration, transforming more than sixty missionary settlements into Portuguese villages and sites with predominantly indigenous population. This paper seeks to research into the demographic evolution of “aldeado” (subject to compulsory labour) indians and the free non- “aldeado” population under this new regime. For some historians, the population of Indian villages under the Directorio (1757-1798) was artificially maintained by the constant influx of new contingents of native peoples through descimentos. However, the analysis of population tables produced since 1773 shows a slow but consistent growth of all population groups in the captaincies of the State of Grão-Pará, even suffering frequent epidemics and harm from compulsory work to which by the majority of the indigenous population was subject.</p><p></p>