Gustavo César Machado Cabral
Jahrbuch für Geschichte Lateinamerikas – Anuario de Historia de America Latina
– The main purpose of this paper is to discuss the exercise of jurisdiction in Colonial Brazil, especially during the initial settlement of America. Portuguese strategy of occupying the New World was based on a late medieval institute, the seignory (senhorio), wherewith a personal and direct connection between Portuguese Crown and a noble man (donatary) was stablished. This connection was formalized by a donation chart (carta de doação) which contained the powers and rights granted by the king, and the most important of them was the jurisdiction over these areas. In the following pages the jurisdictional powers of donataries shall be largely examined, and this analysis shall include an attempt of reconstruction of the practice of jurisdiction in the Donatary Captaincies.