New on the shelves: Brazil’s first constitution

January 25, 2012


We have just acquired an early printing of Brazil’s first constitution, Constituição politica do imperio do Brazil (Lisboa: Na impressão de João Nunes Esteves, 1826). Measuring only 10 cm. tall, it still retains its original printed wrappers; a remarkable survival. From the dealer’s description (quoted by permission):

“First edition to appear in Portugal? There are several editions with the same imprint; priority has not been established. Originally published Rio de Janeiro, 1824, this constitution was written in large part by the Emperor D. Pedro I. It served, with some modifications, until the end of the Brazilian Empire in 1889. Similar to the Portuguese Carta Constitucional, the second Portuguese constitution, written and promulgated in Rio de Janeiro in 1826 by D. Pedro I, Emperor of Brazil, in his capacity as D. Pedro IV, King of Portugal, it is no accident that the Brazilian constitution also appeared in Lisbon that year. Though liberal in its day, it was more conservative than the constitution the Brazilians would have had if D. Pedro had not intervened and their constitutional convention had had its way.” – Richard C. Ramer Old & Rare Books (Jan. 2012).

Rare Book Librarian

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