History of Early Modern Portugal (15th-18th centuries)


With this course unit the students are expected to:
a) acquire general knowledge, in the geographical, political, economic, social and cultural fields, about the development of the History of Portugal, from the 15th to the 18th century;
b) be able to situate this development in the international context;
c) know the main social and political structures and their respective changes and continuities;
(d) be able to identify the key historical moments and situations which mark out this development
e) know the explanations and interpretations of these moments and situations and the historiographical debates about them, and develop a critical spirit
g) be able to use relevant concepts from historiography and the social sciences;
h) understand how history is made, know the sources and methods used by historians, and acquire a preparation for carrying out research work.

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Jorge Miguel de Melo Viana Pedreira


Weekly - Available soon

Total - 280

Teaching language



Available soon


• História de Portugal (dir. José Mattoso), Lisboa: Círculo de Leitores, 1993, vol. III, No Alvorecer da Modernidad, e vol. IV, O Antigo Regime.
• Nova História de Portugal (dir. Joel Serrão e A. H. de Oliveira Marques), Lisboa: Presença, 1998-2001, vol. V, Portugal: do Renascimento à Crise Dinástica e vol. VII, Portugal: da Paz da Restauração ao Ouro do Brasil
• RAMOS (Rui), SOUSA (Bernardo Vasconcelos) e MONTEIRO (Nuno G.), História de Portugal, Lisboa: Esfera dos Livros, 2009.
• COSTA (Leonor Freire), LAINS (Pedro) e MIRANDA (Susana Münch), História Económica de Portugal, 1143-2010, Lisboa: Esfera dos Livros, 2011, capítulos 2, 3 e 4, pp.73-288.
• DISNEY (Anthony R.), A History of Portugal and the Portuguese Empire, from the beginings to 1807, Cambridge University Press, vol. 1, 2007 (trad. portuguesa, Lisboa, Guerra & Paz, 2010).
• História Religiosa de Portugal, vol. 2, Humanismos e Reformas, Lisboa: Círculo de Leitores, 2001

Teaching method

The unit works under in e-learning, through an electronic platform and the learning is based on the autonomous work of the student. The necessary guidelines and materials (texts, images, videos, presentations, questionnaires), specially produced for the course or accessible, namely through the Internet, will be provided. Class discussion and interaction with the instructor is intended to promote student participation and to provide feedback on learning progress.

Evaluation method

Evaluation Methodologies - a) participation in at least two "forums" for discussion of topics and problems of the contents of the course unit(15%), b) response to at least two questionnaires presented throughout the year(15%), c) completion of a synthesis essay (15 pages) on a topic chosen by the student from a list presented by the teacher(70%)

Subject matter

An orientation will be followed that conciliates and articulates the narrative of the main events, with the analysis of the demographic and economic structures and the social, political and cultural configurations.
The syllabus is organized in the following main chapters:
1. The monarchy, the conquests and the social bodies. The Counter-Reformation.
2. The Dynastic Union (1580-1640)
3. The Restoration, the war and its consequences
4. The "baroque monarchy
5. The time of the Marquis of Pombal
6. From the fall of Pombal to the collapse of the Empire.


Programs where the course is taught: