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Title: Far from Thoreau? The struggle for environmental justice in Portugal during the first Liberal period
Authors: Guimarães, Paulo Eduardo
Keywords: Conflitos Ambientais
História Ambiental (Portugal, séculos XIX e XX)
Indústria mineira (poluição)
Issue Date: 2020
Publisher: University of Lisbon Centre for English Studies
Citation: Guimarães, Paulo Eduardo. “Far from Thoreau? The struggle for environmental justice in Portugal during the first Liberal period”. Anglo Saxonica, No. 17, issue 1, art. 12, 2020, pp. 1–9. DOI:
Abstract: The thought and works of Henry D.Thoreau have been interpreted in the reactive context of industrialization and the values underpinning it. The late diffusion of his ideas in Portugal seems to correspond with the modernization process, marked by the limited and belated industrialization that accompanies this awareness of environmental problems. This essay clarifies this interpretation and presents a picture of the early environmental consequences of economic development in Portugal by identifying a set of environmental conflicts that occurred in different contexts since the middle of the nineteenth century. Those conflicts where related to large-scale mining, metallurgical and chemical industries, practices of overfishing, commercial farming and the privatization of common land. Direct action in the form of sabotage, property invasions, and riots were frequent forms that accompanied parliamentary activity and recourse to the courts right up to the end of the republican period. Archival research has consistently shown that these conflicts were reactive and motivated immediately by the damage caused by pollution to health and incomes and which also involved the destruction of collective goods or the appropriation of community resources. This historical approach seeks, therefore, to identify the patterns of collective action in defense of the environment in Portugal.
Type: article
Appears in Collections:CICP - Publicações - Artigos em Revistas Nacionais Com Arbitragem Científica

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