Skip to main content

Brazil, Council of State

Brazil, Council of State

The Council of State, an institution that advised the Brazilian crown on the use of the moderate power, matters of state, general measures of public administration, declarations of war, and treaties with foreign nations. Formed in 1824, its members were party leaders who were appointed for life and who frequently were appointed to cabinet posts. During the First Empire the constitution required the crown to consult the council, whose perception as a tool of Pedro I made it increasingly unpopular.

The council was abolished during the Regency and reinstated in 1841 with modifications: Imperial consultation became optional except on the exercise of the moderate power, its membership was increased from ten to twelve permanent members, and it became a court of appeals for administrative justice. It was divided into a plenary council and four sections: empire, finances, foreign relations and justice, and war and navy. The plenary council advised the emperor, and the four sections advised the respective ministries on administrative matters. Although consultation was now optional, there developed a de facto system of decision making in which its advice was required, making the council an unofficial legislative body that influenced all areas of administration. In 1889 it was abolished by the republic.

See alsoBrazil: 1808–1889; Pedro I of Brazil.


José Honório Rodrigues, O Conselho de estado, o quinto poder? (1978).

Additional Bibliography

Fundação, Alexandre de Gusmão, and Centro de História e Documentação Diplomática. O Conselho de Estado e a política externa do Império: Consultas da Seção dos Negocios Estrangeiros, 1858–1862. Rio de Janeiro: FUNAG, 2005.

                                        Lydia M. Garner

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Brazil, Council of State." Encyclopedia of Latin American History and Culture. . 25 Mar. 2019 <>.

"Brazil, Council of State." Encyclopedia of Latin American History and Culture. . (March 25, 2019).

"Brazil, Council of State." Encyclopedia of Latin American History and Culture. . Retrieved March 25, 2019 from

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

The Chicago Manual of Style

American Psychological Association

  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.