SOUSA, Pedro de Vasconcelos e
33rd governor-general of Brazil (1711-1714).
Pedro de Vasconcelos e Sousa was the grandson of João Rodrigues de Vasconcelos e Sousa, the 2nd Count of Castelo Melhor and the19th Governor General of Brazil.
He was general field master, Knight Commander in the Orders of Christ and Avis, military governor of the Provinces of Minho, Beira and Alentejo, ambassador in Madrid, Counsellor of War, and Master of the Horse to Princess Mariana Vitoria.
He held the office of governor-general of Brazil between 1711 and 1714.
During his rule, the colony met with economic prosperity. The increase in population, the development of manufacturing, the intensification of trade and agricultural expansion combined to paint a picture of economic growth which was fostered by mining exploitation.
European privateers were a constant threat lingering over the shores and intercepting the ships sailing towards the Old Continent. In order to prevent their aims from being accomplished, Dom João VI ordered the creation of a warships fleet intended to carry on a strict inspection of the seas. This plan comprised a great financial effort which was met with the creation of a 10% tax over the value of all imports. The traders of Bahia refused to accept this tributary strategy and held a mutiny in front of the government?s palace. João Vasconcelos e Sousa refused to scatter the crowd by force of arms, and the mutiny rose to destructive and plundering acts against houses and private property. The mutineers? enraged temper would only calm down when the archbishop walked down the streets with his canons, as in a procession, exhorting the most excited members of the crowd to retire to their homes.
CAMPO BELO, Conde de, Governadores Gerais e Vice-Reis do Brasil, Lisboa, Agência Geral das Colónias, 1935. Nova história da expansão portuguesa, dir. Joel Serrão e A. H. Oliveira Marques, vol. VII, O império Luso- Brasileiro: 1620-1750, coord. de Fréderic Mauro, Lisboa, Estampa, 1991. VARNHAGEN, Francisco Adolfo de, História Geral do Brasil: antes da sua separação e independência de Portugal, São Paulo, Ed. Melhoramentos, 4ªed., 1948.
Author: Rita Domingues
Translated by: Leonor Sampaio da Silva