Book Chapter

The military and the (colonial) policing of mainland Portugal (1850–1910)


Palacios Cerezales D (2017) The military and the (colonial) policing of mainland Portugal (1850–1910). In: O’Reilly C (ed.) Colonial Policing and the Transnational Legacy: The Global Dynamics of Policing Across the Lusophone Community. Farnham: Ashgate, pp. 35-54.

First paragraph: Policing the countryside was the main task of the Portuguese army during the second half of the nineteenth century. The military also had a crucial role in the policing of the Portuguese colonies, especially after the occupation campaigns of the 1890s. In order to understand how they approached that task in the colonies, it is essential to have a clear picture of the centrality of the army as police in metropolitan Portugal. This chapter assesses the nature and extent of these policing duties from the 1850s (when the constitutional monarchy became a stable regime) to the 1920s (when the republican reforms changed the picture), underlining the links between the military policing of both European and colonial Portugal. In addition, as both the civilian and the military elite depicted the rural and illiterate populations that they policed as a savage other, this chapter also sketches the quasi–colonial appreciation of the metropolitan rural poor that guided the military’s policing actions. Michel Foucault’s insights on the continuities between colonial and internal governance led to a new approach to the history of policing during the 1980s and Mike Brogden (1987) made the case for the colonial undertones of the British new police in the nineteenth century. This chapter situates Portugal within these debates, also stressing that the military fully belong to the history of policing, both in the colonial and in the metropolitan contexts.

Publication date24/08/2017
Publisher URL…ok/9781409465300
Place of publicationFarnham