Synopsis Our interest was to identify in this thesis, during a century of so many important changes in the world as was the eighteenth century, if a process of continuity or rupture occurred in Portuguese law. We found that we were unable to obtain an unambiguous answer to this question. Indeed, the national legal world was subject to varied changes that allowed us to conclude that successive continuities and overlapping ruptures occurred. We summarize those which we believe were the first and the latter. The continued prevalence of the Law was the main source of Portuguese law, which stemmed from the influence of foreign doctrines that echoed among us since the dawn of the country. The same continuity that we see in the full acceptance of our courts in the legalistic designs of some processes that we examined. A total continuity will be observed in the supra-structural reforms undertaken in the country in the eighteenth century that remote from the time of King John V and persisted after King Joseph. The same could be said of almost no opposition to these reforms, except when directly affected by the economic and physical integrity of some minority sectors, such as aristocracy and were manifested only after the removal of Pombal. The potential elements of rupture were scrutinized long before the reign of King Joseph, therefore were of much more continuity. Other aspects already seemed to be of rupture. First, before we witnessed a philosophical rather than a legal rupture, the continuity of the law as the main source of law was maintained, there was a clear break in the content of doctrinally reaffirmed, more interventional legislation after the University of Coimbra reform in 1772. In the legal-political respect, to us the same rupture seems to be complete, from the publication of Pombal’s work entitled Dedução cronológica e analítica de 1767 (Analytical and Chronological Deduction of 1767). Mello Freire represented the permanence of despotic absolutism in the controversy of the New Code of Public Law and Ribeiro dos Santos, stood in a curious crossroads in history: between a traditional politician who did not live and a liberalism that he realized was coming, but which he did not witness.
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