Embodying Public Opinion: From Petitions to Mass Meetings in Nineteenth-Century Portugal

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Title
Embodying Public Opinion: From Petitions to Mass Meetings in Nineteenth-Century Portugal
Contributors
Palacios Cerezales, Diego (author)
Doi
10.26300/wgdc-2v15
Date Issued
Summer 2011
Abstract
The establishment of representative government in Portugal implied the free participation of the citizenry in the formation of public opinion. The right to petition was initially understood as an individual form of participation, but soon it would be practiced through public gatherings, marches and other displays of the collective will of a multitude. Initially, most of those forms of popular participation were identified with riots and insurrections, but during the second half of the nineteenth century, the public meeting became institutionalized. This paper explores the process whereby political campaigns based on drafting petitions, collecting signatures, and holding public meetings became a legitimate political form.
O estabelecimento do governo representativo em Portugal implicou a participação livre dos cidadãos na formação da opinião pública. O direito de petição foi inicialmente entendido como uma forma individual de participação, mas rapidamente passou a ser praticado através de reuniões públicas, marchas e outras manifestações através das quais as multidões expressavam o seu sentir. Inicialmente, a maior parte destas manifestações populares eram dificilmente distinguíveis dos motins ou dos movimentos insurrecionais mas, durante a segunda metade do século XIX o meeting ou comício ficou institucionalizado. Neste artigo estuda-se o processo que permitiu que as campanhas políticas baseadas no uso do direito de petição, a recolha de assinaturas e a organização de comícios se tornassem uma forma política legítima.
Keywords
Public opinion
19th century
Citizenship
Social movements
Petitions
Public meetings
Extent
pp. 1-19

Citation

Palacios Cerezales, Diego, "Embodying Public Opinion: From Petitions to Mass Meetings in Nineteenth-Century Portugal" (2011). e-Journal of Portuguese History. Brown Digital Repository. Brown University Library. https://doi.org/10.26300/wgdc-2v15

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