Sebastião José de Carvalho e Melo (1699-1782)

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D. Sebastião José de Carvalho e Melo, 1st Marquis of Pombal, 1st Count of Oeiras (Portuguese pronunciation: [mɐɾˈkeʃ dɨ ˈpõbaɫ]; 13 May 1699 – 8 May 1782) was an 18th-century Portuguese statesman. He was Secretary of the State of the Kingdom of Portugal and the Algarves (the equivalent to a today's Prime Minister) in the government of Joseph I of Portugal from 1750 to 1777. Undoubtedly the most prominent minister in the government, he is considered today to have been the de facto head of government. Pombal is notable for his swift and competent leadership in the aftermath of the 1755 Lisbon earthquake. He implemented sweeping economic policies in Portugal to regulate commercial activity and standardize quality throughout the country. Pombal was instrumental in weakening the grip of the Inquisition. The term Pombaline is used to describe not only his tenure, but also the architectural style which formed after the great earthquake.Pombal, who was considered an estrangeirado, introduced many fundamental administrative, educational, economic, and ecclesiastical reforms justified in the name of "reason" and instrumental in advancing secularization. However, historians argue that Pombal’s "enlightenment," while far-reaching, was primarily a mechanism for enhancing autocracy at the expense of individual liberty and especially an apparatus for crushing opposition, suppressing criticism, and furthering colonial economic exploitation as well as intensifying print censorship and consolidating personal control and profit.

Source: dbpedia

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