happened to the French Jesuits anticipate salient features of the French Revolution's dissolution of contemplative orders along with the whole clergy as a property-owning corps.
However singular, France was not the first Catholic country to act against the Jesuits - a dubious distinction that belongs to the Portugal of Joseph I and his mighty first minister Sebastiao Jose de Carvalho e Melo, later the conde d'Oeiras before ending his career as the marques de Pombal. Becoming a royal minister with the accession of Joseph I in 1750, Carvalho was the archetypical Catholic 'Enlightened' reformer who set out to enhance state power at the expense of the international authority of the post-Tridentine papacy symbolized by the papal nuncio and the regular orders - above all, the Jesuits - perceived as a cause of the country's cultural isolation and economic stagnation. For nowhere indeed were the Jesuits more strongly entrenched than in this Iberian laboratory of the Tridentine reformist policy where they acted as royal confessors and preachers, largely staffed the missions in Goa, Macao, and South America, and governed a university and ten colleges as well as having access to the professional faculties of the University of Coim-bra by means of its college of arts which they dominated directly. Although the Portuguese monarchy already enjoyed the right to name to most secular benefices via the right of Real Padroado granted to it by the Renaissance popes, the post-Tridentine papacy had reasserted control over the mission field by means of the mendicants and the Jesuits, while, in Portugal itself, the Jesuits' hold on higher education enhanced their credit within the Portuguese nobility in the form of favourable court factions.
The Jesuits began to impinge upon Carvalho's annoyed attention around 1756 by way of reports from his brother Mendonca Furtado, governor of Maranhao, who blamed Jesuit missionaries in South America for native resistance to the implementation of the Treaty of Madrid. Negotiated by Portugal and Spain in 1750, this treaty settled the territorial disputes between the Iberian colonial powers in South America, incidentally dispossessing more than 30,000 Guarani Indians in Jesuit missionary 'reductions' by transferring Uruguayan territory from Spanish to Portuguese control. The discovery of gold and diamonds in southern Brazil had opened the area to further exploration - and the converted Indians to exploitation. Thus began a trickle of individual Jesuits to the metropolis to face charges ranging from profiteering to sedition. In Portugal, the case of the Jesuit missionaries intersected with growing jurisdic-tional jockeying for position between the Curia represented by the nuncio on one side and secular royal prerogative courts championed by Carvalho on the other.
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