The Popular Support to Monarchy in the Context of Liberal Revolutions: Brazil and Portugal (1820-1834)
Abstract The aim of this article is to discuss the use of popular royalism as a category to study popular support for kings, both in Brazil and Portugal, in the context of the crisis of modern empires in the 1820s and 1830s. The purpose is to show how the support of Indians, mixed race people, and slaves for monarchies in the New World, as well as the support of poor peasants and uprooted people in the former metropolis, do not seem to correspond to the current historiographical interpretation of them as naive, pre-political or fanatic adherents to monarchs. On the contrary, the popular support for kings might represent the possibility of enlarging the gains of the subaltern groups. The Luso-Brazilian case is peculiar because both the counterrevolution, represented by D. Miguel, and liberalism, represented by D. Pedro, had broad popular support. In Brazil, the figure of the first emperor, which had been associated with the Old Regime by his political enemies, was appropriated by the underclass in their struggle for freedom. Likewise, there were also indications of support for Prince, later King D. Miguel, in some Brazilian provinces. In Portugal, although broad popular support for Miguelism can be partly attributed to the repressive nature of the regime, the lower classes were able to take advantage of the contradictions of a monarch who lacked internal and external legitimacy in order to achieve their interests.