Author ORCID Identifier

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

J.T. Way

Second Advisor

Jacob Selwood

Third Advisor

Ghulam Nadri


This revisionist study analyses the Portuguese reaction to the Dutch in Brazil (1624-1625; 1630-1654). Conventional scholarship on the early modern Atlantic world tends to cast seventeenth-century Portugal as a bit player in Spanish and Dutch imperial narratives, with the Dutch hold on the Brazilian northeast as an example of the kingdom’s declining power. However, a close and interdisciplinary read of sources indicates that this episode sparked a transatlantic Portuguese reaction and the emergence of a Luso-Brazilian consciousness. In the context of protracted war and double subsumption by Spain (to 1640) and the United Provinces (to 1654), Portuguese polyvalent discourses of prophecy, memory, faith, and loyalty reveal understudied intra-class networks and conceptions of sovereign, state, and self. As such, this work unearths an overlooked Luso-Brazilian guerilla resistance to the Dutch marked by the efforts of marginalized subjects. These men and women negotiated survival by drawing from prophecy, breaking social mores, and by demonstrating loyalty to God and Portugal. The Luso-Dutch war for Brazil resulted in the permanent ouster of the Dutch West India Company from Brazil, served as a crucible for elite and popular Portuguese self-understanding, and led to the spiritual and material salvation of the kingdom of Portugal.


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