Giving voice to citizens: Electoral debate in the drafting of the Vintista (”twentist”) Constitution
The establishment of liberalism and the consecration of the principle of national sovereignty through the
mechanisms of political representation meant not only the involvement of citizens in the governance of each country by
essentially electoral means - in the choice of representatives mandated to exercise power in the name of collective interest
- but also as the egalitarian consideration of the civic condition, attesting simultaneously to the passage of the subject to
citizen and the assumption of the latter as an individual bearing equal rights and duties. It is in this theoretical context that
we will frame the analysis of the electoral problem in the initial period of Portuguese liberalism (1820-1823), focusing on the
parliamentary discussion that led to the elaboration of our first Constitution (1822) and the determination of social scope
of the right to vote.
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