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English mercantilist influences on the foundation of the Portuguese School of Commerce in 1759


  • Lúcia Rodrigues
  • Russell Craig


The Portuguese School of Commerce, founded in 1759, is promoted frequently as the world's first official, government-sponsored school to offer formal instruction in commerce. This paper contends that Sebastião Carvalho e Melo (1699–1782), the Marquis of Pombal, was responsible for the transfer, from England to Portugal, of the educational “know how” instrumental to the School's success. Pombal was influenced by the English mercantilism he observed as the Portuguese ambassador to England (1738–43), particularly proposals by a writer on mercantilism, Malachy Postlethwayt, for academy-based commercial education in England. Another influence on Pombal was former East India Company employee, John Cleland. Pombal's motives were to imitate the success of British mercantilism, develop trade and economic activity in Portugal, and improve and expand Portugal's merchant class. Copyright International Atlantic Economic Society 2004

Suggested Citation

  • Lúcia Rodrigues & Russell Craig, 2004. "English mercantilist influences on the foundation of the Portuguese School of Commerce in 1759," Atlantic Economic Journal, Springer;International Atlantic Economic Society, vol. 32(4), pages 329-345, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:atlecj:v:32:y:2004:i:4:p:329-345
    DOI: 10.1007/BF02304238

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