The story

Muscat War

Muscat War


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The Muscat War took place in 1710 in Pernambuco and apparently was a conflict between Olinda's planters and Recife merchants. The latter, called "peddlers", were mostly Portuguese.

Prior to the Dutch occupation, Recife was a small settlement. The main urban nucleus was Olinda, to which Recife was subordinate.

However, after the expulsion of the Dutch Recife became a commercial center, thanks to its excellent port, and received a large influx of Portuguese merchants.

Olinda was a city traditionally dominated by the planters. The development of Recife, a city controlled by the merchants, testified to the growth of commerce, whose importance was the sugar industry's agroindustrial productive activity, to which the Olindense planters were dedicated.


Economic inequality and the sugar crisis: fundamental reasons for the Muscat War.

The pride of these gentlemen had put the sugar production of the northeast in crisis. But they were still powerful, since they controlled the City Hall of Olinda.

As Recife grew in importance, the merchants began to claim their political and administrative autonomy, seeking to free themselves from Olinda and the authority of its City Council. The claim of the reefs was mainly met in 1703, with the conquest of the right of representation in the Olinda Chamber. However, the strong control exercised by you over the House has in effect made this right a dead letter.

The great victory of the reefs came with the creation of its City Council in 1709, which definitively freed the merchants from Olinda's political authority. Disagreeing, the Olinda planters, using various pretexts, such as the demarcation of the boundaries between the two municipalities, for example, decided to use force to sabotage the claims of the reefs. After much struggle, with the intervention of the colonial authorities, finally in 1711 the appointment of a new ruler whose main mission was to establish an end to the conflict.

The one chosen for this task was Félix José de Mendonça, who supported the Portuguese peddlers and stipulated the arrest of all Olindan landowners involved in the war. In addition, in order to avoid future conflicts, the new governor of Pernambuco decided to transfer the administration to each of the cities every six months. Thus, there would be no reason for a city to be politically favored by Felix José, so Recife was equated with Olinda and thus ended the Muscat War.

In 1714, King D. João V, decided to amnesty all those involved in this dispute, retained the political-administrative prerogatives of Recife and promoted the city to the capital post of Pernambuco.



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