Forest policies, administration, and management of the Leiria pinewood in Portugal (13th-18th centuries)
The pinewood of Leiria is the most renowned Portuguese woodland. This article aims to shed light on the forest policies, administration, and governance of the pinewood from its blurry origins in the late 1200s to the late 1700s. By the early 15th century the state (Monarchy) had established a permanent bureaucracy for its management, with the main purpose of ensuring the availability of timber for shipbuilding. Throughout the Early Modern Age, the Portuguese Monarchy carefully managed the pinewood, paving the way for 19th-century scientific forestry. The fire of 1613 marked a turning point in the management of the pinewood, further linking the fate of the pinewood to the royal navy. The pinewood of Leiria is an ecosystem that has resulted from centuries of sound management by the Portuguese state. To unravel its history, this article combines the methods and materials of history, geography, and historical cartography.
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