History of Portugal

History of Portugal

terça-feira, 30 de março de 2010

Christian Reconquest - Dinasty of Burgundy

Afonso Henriques Becomes King

After the peace of Tuy, Afonso Henriques temporarily turned his attention to the Muslim threat in the south. In 1139 he struck deep into the heart of Al Andalus and defeated a Muslim army at Ourique, a place in the Alentejo. After this battle, Afonso Henriques began to be referred to in documents as king.

In 1140 he renewed his claim on southern Galicia, which he invaded. This again sparked a reaction by Alfonso VII who, in return, marched on Portugal. The two armies met at Arcos de Valdevez and engaged in a joust won by the Portuguese knights.

Afonso Henriques's self-proclamation as king was finally recognized in 1143 at the Conference of Samora when Alfonso VII recognized him as such, although, because he was an emperor, Alfonso VII still considered Afonso Henriques his vassal

Afonso Henriques was a brilliant military commander and during his reign reconquered more Muslim territory than any other of the Christian kings on the peninsula. He established his capital at Coimbra, and as early as 1135 he built a castle at Leiria. In 1147 he took advantage of a series of religious rebellions among the Muslims, and, with the help of a passing fleet of English, Flemish, and German crusaders bound for Palestine, captured Lisbon after a seventeen-week siege.

Continued internecine fighting among the Muslims, Lisbon's strategic location, and additional help from passing fleets of crusaders eventually allowed Afonso Henriques to advance across the Tagus and capture and hold large sections of the Alentejo. As a result of this vigorous prosecution of the reconquest, the pope officially recognized Afonso Henriques as king of Portugal in 1179 and granted him all conquered lands over which neighboring kings could not prove rights.

At his death in 1185, Afonso Henriques had carved out an officially recognized Christian kingdom that extended well into Muslim Iberia.

Sancho I - The Populator (r.1185-1211) and Afonso II (1211-23)
Sancho I (r.1185-1211), Afonso Henriques's son and heir, continued to enlarge the realm. In 1189 he captured the Muslim castle at Alvor, the city of Silves, and the castle at Albufeira. These territories however, were retaken by the Muslims and had to be reconquered by his son and heir, Afonso II (r.1211-23). With the help of his brother-in-law, Alfonso VIII of Castile, Afonso retook territory in the Alentejo, fighting major battles at Navas de Tolosa in 1212 and Alcácer do Sal in 1217.

Sancho II (r.1223-48) and Afonso III (1248-79)

Conquered additional territory in the Alentejo and carried the reconquest into the Algarve, where Muslim armies were defeated at Tavira and Cacela in 1238. The reconquest was completed by Afonso III (r.1248-79) in 1249 when he attacked and defeated an isolated enclave of Muslims ensconced at Faro in the Algarve. This last battle, which extended Portuguese territory to the sea, established the approximate territorial limits Portugal has had ever since .

The rapid advance of Afonso Henriques from Coimbra to Lisbon created a vast, relatively uninhabited tract of land between north and south. The repopulation of this deserted territory with Christian settlers began immediately. Afonso Henriques invited many of the crusaders to remain after the siege of Lisbon and granted them lands, especially at Atouguia and Lourinhã, as payment for their help. In addition, Sancho I directed most of his time and energy to settling the new monarchy, for which he is known as The Populator (O Povoador).

He sent agents abroad, especially to Burgundy, the land of his ancestors, to recruit colonists, who settled at various places, but especially at Vila dos Francos (present-day Azambuja). Such communities spread rapidly throughout the realm thanks to the protection of the king, who saw in them not only a way to populate the kingdom but also a way to diminish the power of the nobility.

The vacant territory between north and south was also filled by various monastic orders, including the Franciscans, Dominicans, and Benedictines. The Roman Catholic Church granted charters to the orders to build monasteries and cultivate the surrounding land. The most successful of these orders were the Benedictines, who built a monastery at Alcobaça and planted the surrounding land in orchards that remain to this day. This monastery grew to over 5,000 monks and occupied a huge territory stretching from Leiria in the north to Óbidos in the south, including the port-town of Pederneira (present-day Nazaré).

In the valley of the Tagus and to the south, settling communities of unarmed colonists was too dangerous; therefore, early Portuguese kings called upon religious-military orders to fortify, cultivate, and defend this territory. Founded in the early twelfth century to wage war against infidels and protect pilgrims, these religious orders of knights had become powerful in the Holy Land and in many areas of Europe.

Several orders of knight-monks were given huge tracts of land in the Tagus Valley and the Alentejo as recompense for their military service to the king at a time when he had no standing army on which to rely. The most successful of these knight-monks was the Order of the Templars, which was granted territory on the Zêzere River (Rio Zêzere), a tributary of the Tagus, where they built a fortified monastery in Templar fashion at Tomar.

The Templar domain gradually grew to encompass territory from Tomar in the north to Santarém in the south and as far west as the lands of the Benedictines at Alcobaça. As more territory in the Alentejo was reconquered, additional orders were granted tracts of land to defend and cultivate. The Order of the Hospitallers was given land surrounding Crato; the Order of the Calatravans (later Avis) was established at Évora; and the Order of the Knights of Saint James was given lands at Palmela.

Political and Social Organization

Afonso Henriques and subsequent Portuguese kings ruled by divine right until a constitutional monarchy was established in the early nineteenth century. The early kings were assisted by a royal council composed of the king's closest advisers and friends from among the higher nobility and clergy. The royal council was staffed by a number of functionaries, such as the chancellor, who kept the royal seal and was the highest official in the land; the notary, who gave advice on legal matters; the scribe, who wrote the king's letters and documents (many early kings were illiterate); and the majordomo, who commanded the king's household guard.

When questions of exceptional importance arose, the king would convoke the cortes, an expanded royal council that brought together representatives of the three estates of the realm: nobility, clergy, and commoners. The first such cortes was called in 1211 at Coimbra in order to legitimate the succession of Afonso II, Afonso Henriques's grandson, to the throne, as well as to approve certain laws of the realm.

After the Cortes of Leiria, which was convoked in 1254 by Afonso III, representatives of the self-governing settler communities began to attend. Cortes were convoked at the king's will and were limited to advising on issues raised by the king and presenting petitions and complaints.

Resolutions passed by the cortes did not have the force of law unless they were countersigned by the king. Later, the cortes came to limit the power of the king somewhat, but gradually the monarchy became absolute. The cortes was convoked less and less frequently, and in 1697 it stopped being called altogether.

As to territorial administration, northern Portugal was subdivided into estates (terras), each a quasi-autonomous political and economic unit of feudal suzerainity governed by a nobleman (donatário) whose title to the land was confirmed by the king. Religious administration was carried out by the Roman Catholic Church, which divided the north into bishoprics and parishes. In the south, administration was the responsibility of the military orders: Templars, Hospitallers, Calatravans, and Knights of Saint James. In the center, administration fell to the monastic orders: Benedictines, Franciscans, and Dominicans.

The towns and communities of settlers, as well as a certain amount of land around them, were owned by the king, who was responsible for regulating them. The settler communities (concelhos) were each recognized by a royal franchise, which granted local privileges, set taxes, specified rights of self-government, and controlled the relationship among the crown, the concelho, and the donatário, if the community was located within a terra. Each concelho governed itself through an assembly chosen from among its resident "good men" (homens-bons); that is, freemen not subject to the jurisdiction of the church, the local donatário, or the special statutes governing Muslims and Jews.

Each concelho was administered by a local magistrate, who was assisted by several assessors selected from among the homens-bons of the assembly. The tutelary power of the king was represented by an official (alcalde) appointed by the king, who was empowered to intervene in local matters on the king's behalf when necessary to ensure justice and good administration. The degree of self-government of these communities gradually declined as the monarchy became increasingly centralized. During its formative stages, Portugal had three social classes: clergy, nobility, and commoners.

By virtue of the religious fervor of the times, the clergy was the predominant class. It was the most learned, the wealthiest, and occupied the highest office in the realm: the chancellorship. The clergy comprised two categories; the bishops and parish priests of the regular church hierarchy and the abbots and monks of the religious and military orders. These two categories were divided into the higher clergy (bishops and abbots) and low clergy (priests and monks). The clergy enjoyed various privileges and rights, such as judgment in ecclesiastical courts according to canon law, exemption from taxes, and the right to asylum from civil authorities within their churches.

The next social class, the nobility, owed its privileged position above all to its collaboration with the king in the reconquest. The highest level among the nobility was made up of the "rich men" (homens-ricos) who owned the largest feudal estates, had private armies, and had jurisdiction over great expanses of territory. Below them were the lesser nobility, who held smaller estates and were entrusted with the defense of castles and towns but did not have private armies or administrative jurisdiction.

Below the lesser nobility were the highest class of free commoners, the villein-knights, who maintained their own horses and weaponry, serving the king as required. These knights were often encouraged to settle in or near the colonial communities of the frontier where they were granted special privileges and organized raids against the Muslims for their own profit.

The commoners formed the bottom of the social strata. Among them the serfs were the lowest group. The most numerous group, they were bound by heredity to the estates of the crown, nobility, and clergy, where they were occupied in agriculture, stockraising, and village crafts. Serfs could become free by serving as colonists in the underpopulated territories in the south.

The second lowest group consisted of the clients, that is, freemen who did not own property and received protection from an overlord in exchange for service. Above the clients were the villein-knights, who formed a stratum that merged the commoners with the nobility.
Finally, outside the basic social structure were the slaves, usually Muslim captives, who tilled the lands of the military orders in the Alentejo.

Control of the Royal Patrimony

Disputes over land ownership became an increasing source of conflict between the crown and the upper nobility and clergy. Land ownership was important because the crown's main source of revenue was taxes from the great estates and tithes from lands owned directly by the king. But in medieval Portugal, hereditary title to land did not exist in any developed legal form.

As the original grants of land were obscured by passing years, many of the upper nobility and clergy of the church came to believe that they held their land by hereditary right. Thus, each time a new king ascended the throne, the crown had to review land grants and titles in order to assert its authority and reclaim land removed from the king's patrimony.

The first king to confront this problem was Afonso II, who discovered when he ascended the throne in 1211 that his father, Sancho I, had willed much of the royal patrimony to the church. In 1216, after a lengthy legal battle between the crown and the Holy See over various provisions of Sancho's will, the pope recognized Afonso II's right to maintain the royal patrimony intact. From 1216 until 1221, the Portuguese crown asserted this general right by requiring those who had received donations from previous kings to apply for letters of confirmation.

The crown thus created the power to review grants to nobles and ecclesiastical bodies. The process of confirmation was carried a step further when the king appointed royal commissions authorized to investigate land ownership, especially in the north where much of the feudal land tenure predated the creation of the monarchy. These inquiries, as they were called, gathered evidence from the oldest, most experienced residents in each locale without consulting local nobles or church officials. They revealed a large number of abuses and improper extensions of boundaries, as well as conspiracies to defraud the crown of income.

The first inquiry found that the church was the biggest expropriator of royal property. The archbishop of Braga, angered by the activities of the commissions, excommunicated Afonso II in 1219. The king responded by seizing church property and forcing the archbishop to flee Portugal for Rome. In 1220 the pope confirmed the king's excommunication and relieved him of his oath of fealty to the Holy See. This dispute between church and crown ended temporarily when the excommunicated king died in 1223 and his chancellor arranged an ecclesiastical burial in exchange for the return of the seized church property and the promise that future inquiries would respect canon law.

Dinis (r.1279-1325)

The conflict between the church and crown concerning property was finally resolved during the reign of King Dinis (r.1279-1325). In 1284 Dinis launched a new round of inquiries and in the following year promulgated deamortization laws, which prohibited the church and religious orders from buying property and required that they sell all property purchased since the beginning of his reign. For this action against the church, Dinis, like his father and grandfather, was excommunicated. This time, however, the king refused to pledge obedience to the pope and established once and for all the power of the Portuguese crown to regulate and control the royal patrimony.

This power allowed Dinis to nationalize the most powerful and wealthy of the military-religious orders. The Calatravans, founded in Castile, had in effect become Portuguese when the town of Avis was bestowed upon them by Afonso and they became known as the Order of Avis. In 1288 the Knights of Saint James, also of Castilian origin, became Portuguese when the order elected its own master.

In 1312, as the result of an investigation into the activities of the Templars, Pope Clement V suppressed this order and transferred their vast properties in Portugal to the Hospitallers. Dinis was able to prevail upon the pope to give this wealth to a newly founded Portuguese military-religious order called the Order of Christ, which was initially situated at Castro Marim but was later moved to Tomar.

After nationalization, most of these orders became chivalric bodies of quasi-celibate landowners. The Order of Avis, however, remained on a war footing and contributed significantly to Portugal's independence from Castile. The Order of Christ also remained a military-religious order, and its wealth was later used by Prince Henry the Navigator to pay for the voyages of discovery.

Development of the Realm - King Dinis the Farmer
Having established the boundaries of the national territory, asserted their authority over the church and nobility, and gained control over the resources of the military orders, Portuguese kings began to turn their attention to the economic, cultural, and political development of the realm. This was especially true of King Dinis, who is referred to by the Portuguese as The Farmer (O Lavrador) because of his policies designed to encourage agricultural development. He decreed that nobles would not lose their standing if they drained wetlands, settled colonists, and planted pine forests. The pine forests were to produce timber for the shipbuilding industry, which Dinis also encouraged, the crown having already at that time begun to look toward the sea for future fields of conquest.

Dinis chartered many settlements of colonists on lands conquered from the Muslims and authorized the holding of fairs and markets in each of these, thereby creating a national economy. He laid the basis for Portugal's naval tradition by bringing the Genoese, Emmanuele Pessagno (Manuel Peçanha in Portuguese) to Portugal in 1317 to be the hereditary admiral of the Portuguese navy. Maritime commerce was encouraged when Dinis negotiated an agreement with Edward II of England in 1303 that permitted Portuguese ships to enter English ports and guaranteed security and trading privileges for Portuguese merchants.

Dinis provided the impetus for the development of Portuguese as a national language when he decreed that all official documents of the realm were to be written in the vernacular. Finally, Dinis stimulated learning when, in 1290, he founded an academic center similar to the "General Studies" centers that had been created in León and Aragon. In 1308 this center was moved to Coimbra where it remained, except for a brief time between from 1521 to 1537, and became the University of Coimbra, Portugal's premier institution of higher learning.

Afonso IV (r.1325-1357) Pedro I (

Afonso IV (r.1325-1357) continued his father's development policies. He also improved the administration of justice by dismissing corrupt local judges and replacing them with judges he appointed. When a large Muslim army landed on the peninsula in 1340, Afonso IV allied himself with the king of Castile, Alfonso XI, and the king of Aragon in order to do battle against this threat to the Christian kingdoms.

Afonso sent a fleet commanded by Manuel Peçanha to Cádiz and marched overland himself to meet the Muslim army, which was destroyed at the Battle of Salado.

Fernando I (r. 1367-83)

When Afonso's grandson and heir, Fernando I (r.1367-83), ascended the throne, the economic productivity of the country had been so greatly disrupted by the plague that ravaged the country in 1348 and 1349 that he found it necessary to take measures to stimulate food production. In 1375 he promulgated a decree, called the Law of the Sesmarias, which obliged all landowners to cultivate unused land or sell or rent it to someone who would. The law also obligated all who had no useful occupation to work the land.

This decree had its intended effect and led to the rebuilding of the country's wealth. Fernando also stimulated the development of the Portuguese merchant fleet by allowing all shipbuilders who constructed ships of more than 100 tons to cut timber from the royal forests and by exempting the owners of these ships from the full tax on the exports and imports of their first voyage. He also established a maritime insurance company into which owners of merchant ships of more than fifty tons paid 2 percent of their profits and from which they received compensation for shipwrecks.

segunda-feira, 29 de março de 2010

The house of avis (1385 - 1580)


When Fernando died in 1383, he left no male heir to the throne. His only daughter, Beatriz, was married to Juan I, king of Castile. The marriage writ stipulated that their offspring would inherit the Portuguese crown if Fernando left no male heir and that, until any children were born, Portugal would be ruled by a regency of Fernando's widow, Leonor Teles. When Fernando died, Leonor assumed the regency in accordance with the marriage writ. The assumption of the regency by the queen was badly received in many Portuguese cities because Leonor was a Castilian and considered an interloper who intended to usurp the Portuguese crown for Castile and end Portugal's independence.

Leonor's principal rival for control of the throne was João, the master of the Order of Avis and illegitimate son of Fernando's father, Pedro I (r.1357-67). On December 6, 1383, João broke into the royal palace and murdered Count Andeiro, a Galician who had been Fernando's chancellor. Leonor Teles fled to the town of Alenquer, the property of the queens of Portugal. She appealed to Juan I for help, and he invaded Portugal in January 1384. Leonor abdicated as regent. In Lisbon the people proclaimed João to be the governor and defender of the realm. João immediately began to prepare an army and sent a mission to England to recruit soldiers for his cause.

Wars with Castile

The bourgeoisie of Lisbon, enriched by commerce, decided to support João and donated substantial sums for war expenses. Money also arrived from the bourgeoisie in Porto, Coimbra, and Évora.

The majority of the nobility, among whom national sentiment was not well developed and feudal customs based on oaths of vassalage were still obeyed, took the side of Juan of Castile, which gave him the support of fifty castles. A few nobles, however, including Álvaro Pais, João Afonso, and Nun'Álvares Pereira, were more attuned to national sentiment and sided with João.

King D. João I - (1385-1433) - "O de Boa Memória"

In March 1384, Juan marched on Lisbon, which he besieged by land and sea. In April, in the Alentejo, Nun'Álvares Pereira defeated the Castilians at the Battle of Atoleiros, a victory that resulted from the new military tactic of forming defensive squares from dismounted cavalry because the Portuguese had far fewer troops than the enemy. The siege of Lisbon was broken after seven months by an outbreak of the plague in the Castilian camp, and Juan retreated to Seville to prepare another invasion the following year.

The retreat of the Castilians gave João an opportunity to legitimate his claim to the throne. In March 1385, a cortes was summoned to resolve the succession. João's case was argued by João das Regras, who attacked the claims of the various pretenders to the throne. On April 6, the opposition ended and João was proclaimed king as João I (r. 1385-1433). The new king named Nun'Álvares Pereira constable of Portugal. At the same time, a contingent of English longbowmen began to arrive.

Nun'Álvares Pereira marched north in order to obtain the submission of Braga, Guimarães, and other places loyal to Juan, who responded by sending an army to attack Viseu. The Portuguese routed this Castilian force at Rancoso using the same new military tactic that brought them victory at Atoleiros. Juan, nonetheless, was still intent on besieging Lisbon and led his army southward.

João I and Nun'Álvares Pereira decided to engage Juan's army before it arrived in the capital. The two armies met on the plain of Aljubarrota about sixty kilometers north of Lisbon on August 14, 1385. Using the same tactic of defensive squares of dismounted cavalry that had brought them success in previous battles, a force of 7,000 Portuguese annihilated and scattered a Castilian army of 32,000 in little more than thirty minutes of combat. Although additional battles were fought and final peace was not made with Castile until October 1411, the Battle of Aljubarrota secured the independence of Portugal for almost two centuries.

Battle of Aljubarrota

Social Revolution

The crisis of 1383-85 that brought João I to the throne was not only a dynastic revolution; it was a social one, as well. João I distrusted the old aristocracy that had opposed his rise to power and promoted the growth of a new generation of nobility by confiscating the titles and properties of the old and distributing them to the new, thus forming a new nobility based on service to the king.

João rewarded the urban bourgeoisie that had supported his cause by giving it positions and influence and by allowing it to send representatives to the king's royal council. Artisans grouped themselves according to professions into guilds and were permitted to send delegates to the governing chamber of Lisbon, where they were actively involved in the administration of the capital and other cities.

The king also surrounded himself with skilled legalists who professionalized royal administration and extended royal jurisdiction at the expense of the old aristocracy. This new class of bureaucrats, having studied Roman law at the university, defended the Caesarist principle that the will of the king had the force of law. This belief encouraged the later development of absolutism in Portugal and pitted the king against the landed nobility, especially the old aristocracy that wished to regain its lost power and privilege.

Intradynastic Struggle

The future of the House of Avis seemed assured by the presence of João's five legitimate sons, but the king also provided for his illegitimate children as he had been provided for by his father. João conferred on his bastard son Afonso the hereditary title of duke of Bragança and endowed him with lands and properties that amounted to the creation of a state within a state supported by a huge reserve of armed retainers.

The House of Bragança accumulated wealth to rival that of the crown and eventually assumed the leadership of the old aristocracy in opposition to Avis

D. Duarte I " O Eloquente"(1433- 1438)

When João I died in 1433, the crown was assumed by his eldest son, Duarte, who died five years later of the plague. Before his death, Duarte convoked a cortes in order to legitimate the compilation of Portuguese royal law, but the work was not completed until the reign of his son, Afonso, and is, therefore, named the Afonsine Ordinances.

He also declared that the grants of land so lavishly awarded by his father to his supporters would have to be confirmed, as was the custom at the start of each reign.

D. Afonso V ( 1438 -1481 ) - "O Africano"

Afonso was six years old when his father died and his mother, Queen Leonor of Aragon, assumed the regency. There was opposition to the assumption of all authority by a woman, and Leonor agreed that Duarte's brother, Pedro, should become regent.
This was opposed by Afonso, duke of Bragança, the eldest illegitimate son of João I. Both men aspired to gain influence over the young king by marrying him to their daughters. The populace of Lisbon strongly favored Pedro and acknowledged him as regent.

Pedro received confirmation for his regency by summoning the cortes at Évora and paved the way for his continuance in power by arranging the marriage of his daughter Isabel to the young king, who, when he reached his majority in 1446, agreed to the match and asked his uncle to continue the regency

The duke of Bragança reasserted his ambitions and was able to influence the young king to dismiss Pedro by convincing him that his uncle was plotting to seize the throne. Pedro was banished to his estates. When rumors of a plot against him surfaced, he decided to resist and marched on Lisbon, where he had the support of the populace.

Pedro was met by the troops of the king and the duke of Bragança at the Battle of Alfarrobeira on May 24, 1449, where he was killed and his army defeated. This battle resulted in the enlargement of the property and wealth of the illegitimate line of the House of Avis, which allowed it to enjoy enormous influence over the pliable Afonso V until his death in 1481.

Assertion of Royal Supremacy

D. João II (1481-1495)- "O Príncipe Perfeito"

When Afonso's son and heir, João II (r.1481-95), assumed the throne, the power of the Braganças and their supporters had reached its height. The new king, who was more resolute than his father, convoked a cortes at Évora, where he imposed a new written oath by which nobles swore upon their knees to give up to the king any castle or town they held from the crown.

At Évora commoners complained about the abuses of the nobility and asked for the abolition of private justice and the correction of abuses in the collection of taxes. The king ordered that all nobles present their titles of privilege and that his constables be admitted to their estates in order to investigate complaints concerning administration.

These measures provoked a reaction by the nobility led by the powerful Fernando, duke of Bragança, who conspired against the king with the help of the king of Castile. Upon learning of the intrigues of Fernando, the king accused the duke of treason and tried him at a special court in Évora. He was sentenced to death and beheaded in the main square on June 29, 1484.

The king confiscated his properties and those of his accomplices, some of whom were also killed, while others fled Portugal. A second conspiracy was hatched by the duke of Viseu, but it, too, was discovered, and the duke was killed, perhaps by the king himself, in Setúbal. These events established the supremacy of the crown over the nobility once and for all

The maritime expansion of Portugal was the result of the threat to Mediterranean commerce that had developed very rapidly after the crusades, especially the trade in spices. Spices traveled by various overland routes from Asia to the Levant, where they were loaded aboard Genoese and Venetian ships and brought to Europe. Gradually, this trade became threatened by pirates and the Turks, who closed off most of the overland routes and subjected the spices to heavy taxes. Europeans sought alternative routes to Asia in order to circumvent these difficulties.
The Portuguese led the way in this quest for a number of reasons.

First, Portugal's location on the southwesternmost edge of the European landmass placed the country at the maritime crossroads between the Atlantic and the Mediterranean.

Second, Portugal was by the fifteenth century a compact, unified kingdom led by an energetic, military aristocracy, which, having no more territory on the peninsula to conquer, sought new fields of action overseas.

Third, Portuguese kings were motivated by a deeply held belief that their role in history was as the standard-bearers of Christianity against the Muslims.

Fourth, Portugal's kings had, since the founding of the monarchy, encouraged maritime activities. Dinis founded the Portuguese navy, and Fernando encouraged the construction of larger ships and founded a system of maritime insurance.

Finally, Portugal led the world in nautical science, having perfected the astrolabe and quadrant and developed the lantine-rigged caravel, all of which made navigating and sailing the high seas possible.

Prince Henry the Navigator

Portugal's maritime expansion began in 1415 when João I seized Ceuta in Morocco, the western depot for the spice trade. The military campaign against Ceuta was launched for several reasons. First, war in Morocco was seen as a new crusade against the Muslims that would stand Portugal well with the church. Second, there was a need to suppress Moroccan pirates who were threatening Portuguese ships.
Third, the Portuguese wanted the economic benefit that controlling Ceuta's vast market would bring to the crown. Finally, the campaign against Ceuta was seen as preparatory to an attack on Muslims still holding Granada. The possession of Ceuta allowed the Portuguese to dominate the Straits of Gibraltar.

After the conquest of Ceuta, Prince Henry the Navigator, who had participated in the campaign as an armed knight, settled at Sagres on the extreme end of Cape St. Vincent, where in 1418 he founded a naval school. He continued to direct Portugal's early maritime activity. As the master of the Order of Christ,

Prince Henry was able to draw on the vast resources of this group to equip ships and pay the expenses of the early maritime expeditions. Prince Henry was motivated by scientific curiosity and religious fervor, seeing the voyages as a continuation of the crusades against the Muslims and the conversion of new peoples to Christianity, as well as by the desire to open a sea route to India.

Shortly after establishing his school, two of Prince Henry's captains discovered the island of Porto Santo, and the following year the Madeira Islands were discovered. In 1427 Diogo de Silves, sailing west, discovered the Azores archipelago, also uninhabited. Both Madeira and Porto Santo were colonized immediately and divided into captaincies. These were distributed to Prince Henry's captains, who in turn had the power to distribute land to settlers according to the Law of the Sesmarias.

Prince Henry's plan required the circumnavigation of Africa. His early voyages stayed close to the African coast. After repeated attempts, Gil Eanes finally rounded Cape Bojador on the west coast of Africa in present-day Western Sahara in 1434, a psychological, as well as physical, barrier that was thought to be the outer boundary of the knowable world. After passing Cape Bojador, the exploration of the coast southward proceeded very rapidly. In 1436 Gil Eanes and Afonso Baldaia arrived at the Senegal River, which they called the River of Gold when two Africans they had captured were ransomed with gold dust. In 1443 Nuno Tristão arrived at the Bay of Arguin off the coast of present-day Mauritania.

These voyages returned African slaves to Portugal, which sparked an interest in the commercial value of the explorations, and a factory was established at Arguin as an entrepôt for human cargo. In 1444 Dinis Dias discovered the Cape Verde Islands, then heavily forested, and Nuno Tristão explored the mouth of the Senegal River. In 1445 Cape Verde was rounded, and in 1456 Portuguese arrived at the coast of present-day Guinea. The following year, they reached present-day Sierra Leone. Thus, when Prince Henry died in 1460, the Portuguese had explored the coast of Africa down to Sierra Leone and discovered the archipelagoes of Madeira, the Azores, and the Cape Verde Islands.

During the reign of João II, the crown once again took an active role in the search for a sea route to India. In 1481 the king ordered a fort constructed at Mina de Ouro to protect this potential source of wealth. Diogo Cão sailed further down the African coast in the period 1482-84. In 1487 a new expedition led by Bartolomeu Dias sailed south beyond the tip of Africa and, after having lost sight of land for a month, turned north and made landfall on a northeast-running coastline, which was named Terra dos Vaqueiros after the native herders and cows that were seen on shore. Dias had rounded the Cape of Good Hope without seeing it and proved that the Atlantic connected to the Indian Ocean.
In the meantime, João sent Pêro da Covilhã and Afonso de Paiva, who were versed in warfare, diplomacy, and Arabic, on a mission in search of the mythical Christian kingdom of Prester John. Departing from Santarém, they traveled to Barcelona, Naples, and the island of Rhodes, and, disguised as merchants, entered Alexandria. Passing through Cairo, they made their way to Aden, where they separated and agreed to meet later in Cairo at a certain date.

Afonso de Paiva went to Ethiopia, and Pêro da Covilhã headed for Calicut and Goa in India by way of Ormuz, returning to Cairo via Sofala in Mozambique on the east coast of Africa. In Cairo he learned from two emissaries sent by João II that Afonso de Paiva had died. One of the emissaries returned to Portugal with a letter containing the information Pêro da Covilhã had collected on his travels. Da Covilhã then left for Ethiopia where he was received by the emperor but not allowed to leave.

He settled in Ethiopia, married, and raised a family. The information provided in his letter complemented the information from the expedition of Bartolomeu Dias and convinced João II that it was possible to reach India by sailing around the southern end of Africa. He died during preparations for this voyage in 1494.

D. Manuel I (1495-1521) "O Afortunado"

Manuel I assumed the throne in 1495 and completed the preparations for the voyage to India. On July 8, 1497, a fleet of four ships commanded by Vasco da Gama set sail from Belém on the outskirts of Lisbon. The expedition was very carefully organized, each ship having the best captains and pilots, as well as handpicked crews.
They carried the most up-to-date nautical charts and navigational instruments. Vasco da Gama's fleet rounded the Cape of Good Hope on November 27, 1497, and made landfall at Natal in present-day South Africa on December 25.

Vasco da Gama

The fleet then proceeded along the east coast of Africa and landed at Quelimane in present-day Mozambique in January 1498, followed by Mombasa in present-day Kenya. An Arab pilot directed the fleet to India.

After sailing for a month, the fleet reached Calicut on the Malabar coast in southwest India. In August, after sailing to Goa, the fleet left for Portugal, arriving in September 1499, two years and two days after the departure

In 1500 Manuel organized a large fleet of thirteen ships for a second voyage to India. This fleet was commanded by Pedro Álvares Cabral and included Bartolomeu Dias, various nobles, priests, and some 1,200 men. The fleet sailed southwest for a month, and on April 22 sighted land, the coast of present-day Brazil. Cabral sent a ship back to Lisbon to report to Manuel his discovery, which he called Vera Cruz.
The fleet recrossed the Atlantic and sailed to India around Africa where it arrived on September 13, 1500. After four months in India, Cabral sailed for Lisbon in January 1501, having left a contingent of Portuguese to maintain a factory at Cochin on the Malabar coast.

Colonization of Brazil

The growth of Portuguese interests in the Americas was slow, the king being absorbed with establishing Portuguese hegemony in Asia. In addition, the Treaty of Tordesillas of 1494, arranged by Pope Alexander VI, divided the unexplored world between Spain and Portugal and forbade Portugal from exploring beyond a meridian drawn 1,600 kilometers miles west of the Cape Verde Islands. In 1502 Fernão Noronha was given a three-year commercial monopoly on dyewood in return for exploring 300 leagues (about 1,500 kilometers) of the Brazilian coast each year.

During the last years of Manuel I's reign, the first colonists were sent to Brazil to establish a sugar industry. Additional colonists were sent during the reign of João III, and, in 1530, Martim Afonso de Sousa was named major captain of Brazil and invested with the power to distribute land among captains or donatários, much as had been done in Madeira when it was colonized a century before. These captaincies were large strips of land that extended from the coast into the interior. The captains settled colonists in their respective captaincies and were required to provide them protection and justice.

As the captaincies were independent of one another, they were unable to defend themselves from foreign pirates. Consequently, João III appointed a governor general with authority over the captaincies. The first governor general, Tomé de Sousa, was appointed in 1549 and established his capital at São Salvador da Baía. He defeated French pirates in a naval engagement in the bay of Rio de Janeiro. Intensified colonization under de Sousa began in the form of coastal settlements and spread to the interior. The colonists cultivated indigenous crops, especially manioc, and introduced new ones such as wheat, rice, grapes, oranges, and sugarcane from Madeira and São Tomé. Sugar soon became Brazil's most important export.

Empire in Asia

Having discovered the sea route to India, Manuel organized successive fleets to that region in order to establish Portuguese commercial hegemony. In 1505 Francisco de Almeida left Lisbon with a fleet of 22 ships and 2,500 men, 1,500 of whom were soldiers. Invested with the title of viceroy of India, Almeida was instructed to conclude alliances with Indian rulers, set up factories, and build forts on the east coast of Africa, which he did at Mombasa and at Kilwa in present-day Tanzania before arriving in India.

After his arrival, he fortified the island of Angediva and Cochin. He imposed a system of licenses on trading vessels that threatened to ruin the Muslim traders, who reacted by seeking spices in Malacca in present-day Malaysia and the Sunda Islands in the Malay Archipelago and sailing directly to the Persian Gulf, bypassing India.

Almeida sought to suppress this trade and secure Portuguese commercial hegemony. He was joined in this effort by two more fleets sent from Lisbon, one under the command of Tristão da Cunha and the other under Afonso de Albuquerque, who had been appointed Almeida's successor as viceroy. Cunha explored Madagascar and the coast of east Africa, occupied the island of Socotra (now part of Yemen), and built a fort at the mouth of the Red Sea, before sailing to India. Albuquerque ravaged the Oman coast and attacked Ormuz, the great entrepôt at the mouth of the Persian Gulf, where he began constructing a fort.

The great sea battle of Diu

The activities of the Portuguese motivated the Muslims to take military action. The sultan of Egypt, allied with the Venetians and Turks, organized a large armada that crossed the Indian Ocean to Diu, where it was engaged by a Portuguese fleet. On February 2, 1509, a great sea battle was fought and the sultan's armada destroyed. This victory assured Portuguese commercial and military hegemony over India and allowed Portugal to extend its empire to the Far East.

Afonso de Albuquerque "The Great"

Albuquerque established his capital at Goa, which he attacked and occupied in 1510. In 1511 he departed for the conquest of Malacca, the emporium for the spice trade and trade with China, which he accomplished in August of that year.
After returning to Goa, Albuquerque made plans to occupy strategic positions in the Persian Gulf and Red Sea.

On his first expedition, he failed to take Aden and returned to Goa. His second expedition, which was to be his last, attempted to reduce Ormuz and Aden, as well as conquer Mecca.

During this expedition, Albuquerque fell ill and returned to Goa, where he died in 1515.

Ferdinand Magellan

(Portuguese: Fernão de Magalhães, (Spring 1480 – April 27, 1521, Mactan Island, Cebu, Philippines) was a Portuguese maritime explorer who, while in the service of the Spanish Crown, tried to find a westward route to the Spice Islands of Indonesia. He thereby became the first person to lead an expedition across the Pacific Ocean. This was also the first successful attempt to circumnavigate the Earth in history. Although he did not complete the entire voyage (he was killed during the Battle of Mactan in the Philippines), Magellan had earlier traveled eastward to the Spice Inslands, so he became one of the first individuals to cross all of the meridians of the Globe.

Magellan was the first European to enter the Pacific from the eponymous Strait of Magellan, which he discovered. He was also the first European to reach the archipelago of what is now known as the Philippines, which was unknown to the western world before his landing. Arab traders had established commerce within the archipelago centuries earlier.

Of the 237 men who set out on five ships to circumnavigate the earth in 1519, only 18completed the circumnavigation of the globe and managed to return to Spain in 1522. They were led by the Basque navigator Juan Sebastián Elcano, who took over command of the expedition after Magellan's death. Seventeen other men arrived later in Spain, twelve men captured by the Portuguese in Cape Verde some weeks earlier, and between 1525 and 1527 five survivors of the Trinidad.

Counter-Reformation and Overseas Evangelization

The eruption of the Protestant Reformation in the first decades of the sixteenth century brought forth a Roman Catholic response, the Counter-Reformation, a determined campaign to strengthen the Roman Catholic Church and restore religious unity to Europe. One of Rome's key instruments to purify doctrine and root out heresy was the Inquisition. The Counter-Reformation soon reached Portugal and Joao III was granted permission to establish the Court of Inquisition in 1536.

The court did not began its work until 1539 when the first inquisitor general was replaced by a religious zealot, the archbishop of Évora, who stood for public confession and immediate execution. As elsewhere, the Inquisition in Portugal dealt with all forms of heresy, corruption, and disbelief, but its main victims were the so-called New Christians, Jews who had converted to Christianity after Manuel I had ordered in 1497 the expulsion from Portugal of all Jews who refused to accept the Christian faith.

Many Portuguese believed that the New Christians secretly practiced Judaism at home and the Inquisition was used to stop such an "abomination." Courts of the Inquisition functioned in larger settlements around Portugal. The first auto-da-fé, or public burning of a heretic, took place in 1540 in Lisbon. In the next 150 years, an estimated 1,400 people perished in this manner in Portugal.

Another of Rome's strongest weapons in the CounterReformation was the Society of Jesus, a religious order founded by Ignatius de Loyola in 1539. The order was dedicated to furthering the cause of Catholicism and propagating its teachings in missions among nonbelievers. In 1540 three of Loyola's followers, Simão Rodrigues, who was Portuguese; Paulo Camerte, who was Italian; and Francisco Xavier, who was Spanish; arrived in Portugal. Simão Rodrigues became the tutor of the king's son and later founded Jesuit schools at Coimbra and Évora. By 1555 the Jesuits had control of all secondary education in the realm and by 1558 had established a university in Évora.

João III invited the Jesuits to carry out their apostolic mission in the lands of Portugal's overseas empire. Francisco Xavier left Portugal in 1541 for India as a result of the king's request. He arrived in Goa in 1542 and immediately began prosletyizing among the indigenous inhabitants, converting many thousands. From Goa he went to Cochin and Ceylon; in 1545 he traveled to Malacca, and in 1549, to Japan, where he stayed for two years. After returning to Goa, in 1552 he went to China, where he died.

Evangelization began in Brazil in 1549 with the arrival of six Jesuits led by Father Manuel de Nóbrega, who accompanied Tomé de Sousa, the first governor general. They built a church at São Salvador da Baía, as well as schools at Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo. They evangelized northern and southern Brazil. In the south, Father José Anchieta opened a school for Indians and authored the first grammar in a native language, Tupí-Guaraní. The Jesuits built churches, schools, and seminaries. They settled the indigenous inhabitants in villages and defended them against attempts to enslave them.

D. João III - (1521- 1557)

When Manuel I died in 1521, his son and heir, João III, sent expeditions to the islands of Celebes, Borneo, Java, and Timor, all part of the Malay Archipelago.

Relations were established with Japan after the visits of Francisco Xavier and Fernão Mendes Pinto in 1549. Portuguese captains founded factories in China and took possession of Macau in 1557


Portugal's empire in Asia made its monarchy the richest in Europe and made Lisbon the commercial capital of the world. This prosperity was more apparent than real, however, because the newfound wealth did not transform the social structure, nor was it used to lay the basis for further economic development. The country's industry was weakened because the profits from Asian monopolies were used to import manufactured goods.

As the empire in Asia was a state-run enterprise, no middle class or commercial sector independent of the crown of any consequence emerged as it had in other parts of Europe. Moreover, the persecution of the Jews, who possessed vital technical skills, robbed the country of an important force for modernity and reinforced feudal elements. Adding to the drain on the economy was the large amount of money spent on sumptuous palaces and churches.

Because the wealth from the discoveries did not produce a middle class of competent, trained individuals to whom the affairs of state gradually fell, leadership in Portugal remained in the hands of the king and the military aristocracy. Moreover, the imperial system had intensified the already centralized system of government, which meant that the quality of national policy was closely tied to the abilities of the top leadership, especially the king himself. Unfortunately, the House of Avis did not produce a king of great merit after João II, and Portugal entered a long period of imperial decline.

Dynastic Crisis

When João III died in 1557, the only surviving heir to the throne was his three-year-old son, Sebastião, who took over the government at the age of fourteen. Sickly and poorly educated, Sebastião proved to be mentally unstable, and as he grew to young manhood he developed a fanatical obsession with launching a great crusade against the Muslims in North Africa, thus reviving the Moroccan policy of Afonso V.

In 1578, when he was twenty-four years old, Sebastião organized an army of 24,000 and assembled a large fleet that left Portugal on August 4 for Alcázarquivir. Sebastião's army, poorly equipped and incompetently led, was defeated, and the king, presumed killed in battle, was never seen again. A large number of the nobility were captured and held for ransom.

This defeat, the most disastrous in Portuguese military history, swept away the flower of the aristocratic leadership and drained the coffers of the treasury in order to pay ransoms. Worse, it resulted in the death of a king who had no descendants, plunging Portugal into a period of confusion and intrigue over the succession.

With Sebastião's death, the crown fell to his uncle, Henrique, the last surviving son of Manuel I. This solved the succession crisis only temporarily because Henrique was an infirm and aged cardinal who was unable to obtain dispensation from the pope to marry. There were several pretenders to the throne, one of whom was Philip II of Spain, nephew of João III.

When Henrique died in 1580, a powerful Spanish army commanded by the duke of Alba invaded Portugal and marched on Lisbon. This force routed the army of rival contender, António, prior of Crato and the illegitimate son of João III's son Luís. Portugal was annexed by Spain, and Philip II was declared Filipe I of Portugal.

domingo, 28 de março de 2010

Third Dinasty - House of Austria


Iberian Union

After Philip was declared king of Portugal, he decreed that his new realm would be governed by a six-member Portuguese council; that the Portuguese cortes would meet only in Portugal; that all civil, military, and ecclesiastical appointments would remain Portuguese; and that the language, judicial system, coinage, and military would remain autonomous. Philip supported the two institutions in Portugal that he believed might unite the two countries: the Jesuits and the Inquisition. One result was that New Christians were persecuted even more severely.

3ª Dinasty - House of Austria

Philip I - (1580-1598) - Philip II of Spain The incorporation of Portugal into the Iberian Union was accepted by the Portuguese nobility without much difficulty. The royal court had used the language and etiquette of Castile since the fifteenth century, and much serious work had been done in Castile by Portuguese writers, who were conscious of belonging to a common Iberian culture. In the countryside, however, there developed a current of resistance that took the form of a messianic cult of the "hidden prince," Sebastião. Members of this cult believed that Sebastião did not actually die at Alcázarquivir but would return to deliver Portugal from Spanish domination.

This cult became deeply rooted, and over the years a number of impostors appeared and sparked rebellions, all of which were easily put down. To this day, Sebastianism (Sebastianismo), or the nostalgic longing for the unattainable, is a continuing feature of Portuguese life. During the reign of Philip II, the terms of the proclamation of the union of the two crowns were generally upheld. With Philip's death in 1598 and the ascension to the Spanish throne of his son, Philip III, much less respect began to be paid to the provision that preserved Portugal's autonomy.

Philip II (1598-1621)- Philip III of Spain

Philip III did not visit Portugal until 1619, very near the end of his reign, and he began to appoint Spaniards to the six-member governing council as well as to lesser posts. His son and heir, Philip IV, had no interest in government and consequently turned over the administration of Portugal to the duke of Olivares.

The duke alienated Portuguese of all classes, including the hispanophile elite. In order to prop up the waning power of the Spanish monarchy, he levied excessive taxes and troop requisitions on Portugal to support Spanish military activities, especially against France.

Moreover, he sought to unify Portugal with Spain.

Philip III (1621-1640) - Philip IV of Spain

In 1637 a rebellion broke out in Évora when the Spanish attempted to collect these taxes by force. Portuguese nobles were summoned to Madrid and ordered to recruit soldiers for war against France.

The Portuguese nobility, encouraged by Cardinal Richelieu of France, who promised to support a Portuguese pretender with soldiers and ships, began to conspire against the Spanish. During the 1637 rebellion, the populace acclaimed João, duke of Bragança, as king. The duke, who was the nearest noble to the House of Avis, was Portugal's leading aristocrat and largest landowner.

The choice of the populace was supported by the nobility, which conspired to make João king. The duke, who was cautious, initially resisted accepting the Portuguese crown, but eventually began to equip a private army. In 1640 the Catalans rebelled against Philip IV, and, thus encouraged, João's supporters went into action on December 1.

sábado, 27 de março de 2010


RestorationD. João IV (1640 - 1656)João IV was proclaimed king by a cortes convoked in 164l. Faced with the general ruin of the realm and threats to his crown from Spain, his first act was to defend the kingdom.

He immediately created a council of war, appointed military governors in the provinces, recruited soldiers, rebuilt forts, and constructed an arms foundry.

At the same time, he vigorously sought diplomatic recognition of his monarchy and Portugal's independence from Spain. On June 1, 1641, João IV signed an alliance with Louis XIII of France and soon made peace with Holland and England.
By the time of his death in 1656, João IV had consolidated and restored the monarchy by making peace with former enemies, recouped some lost colonial possessions, and defeated Spanish attempts to reincorporate Portugal into the Iberian Union.

Afonso VI (1656 -1683)

When João died, his queen, Luísa de Gusmão, became regent because the royal couple's oldest son, Teodósio, had died three years before his father and their youngest son, Afonso, was only ten years old. Although a disease in infancy had left Afonso partially paralyzed and had impaired his intelligence, his mother succeeded in having him proclaimed king. Afonso VI (r.1662-67) grew into a degenerate who preferred riding, coursing bulls, and watching cockfights.

His marriage to Marie-Françoise Isabelle of Savoy was annulled, and, in 1667, aware of the need for a successor, Afonso consented to his own abdication in favor of his brother, Pedro. During this period, the Portuguese managed to fight off the last attempt by Spain to reincorporate them into the Iberian Union by defeating the Spanish invaders at Ameixial near Estremós. In 1666, three years after this victory, Spain at last made peace and recognized Portugal's independence.

Pedro II ( 1683 - 1706)

When Afonso abdicated, he was banished to Terceira Island in the Azores and his brother, who had married Marie-Françoise, assumed the regency of the throne until Afonso's death in 1683, after which he ruled in his own right as Pedro II until 1706. During his regency,

Pedro had given the task of producing a coherent economic policy to Luís de Menenses, count of Ericeira, who was appointed head of the treasury. Known as the "Portuguese Colbert," Ericeira implemented mercantilist policies in Portugal similar to those of France. These policies sought to protect Portuguese industries against foreign competition. He published laws to enforce sobriety and criticized luxury. Ericeira organized the textile industry and imported looms from England. He stimulated the national production of wool and silk by decreeing that only Portuguese woolens and silks could be worn.

Development of Brazil

Having lost the empire in Asia, Portugal's policy makers turned their attention to Brazil, where they intensified the cultivation of sugar, cotton, and spices. This expansion of agriculture required a great deal of labor, which led to the importation of slaves from Angola and Guinea. Amerindians were saved from this fate by the Jesuits, who protected them from enslavement.

The southern part of Brazil was occupied first, and the north, later, owing to resistance put up by Amerindians allied with French pirates. In 1580 the Portuguese conquered Paraíba, and, later, Sergipe. In 1603 they penetrated to Ceará and, later, to Pará, where they founded the city of Belém. In 1637 Pedro Teixeira launched a daring expedition into the Amazon Basin, following the river to its headwaters near the Pacific coast. During the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, various expeditions were sent into the interior, especially at the end of the seventeenth century when gold was discovered.

These expeditions were made up of adventurers known as bandeirantes (after the Portuguese word for flag) because they traveled under the flag of their leader, who took with him kin, friends, slaves, and friendly Amerindians. These expeditions, which followed rivers into the interior, lasted years. The most notable bandeirantes were Pais Leme, who traveled for seven years throughout present-day Minas Gerais, and his son-in-law, Manuel Borba Gato, who discovered several sources of gold on the Rio das Velhas. In addition to gold, diamonds were also found in abundance.

The discovery of gold and diamonds sparked a gold rush from all over the world to Brazil and from the central zones to the interior, which devastated Brazilian agriculture. The gold and diamonds enriched the Portuguese crown and allowed it to spend lavishly on imported goods and baroque palaces, thus destroying once again the initiatives previously taken for indigenous economic development.

Brazilian gold also encouraged England to update its commercial relations with Portugal. The Methuen Treaty of 1703 allowed the Portuguese a preferential duty on wine exported to England, in return for which Portugal removed restrictions on the importation of English-made goods. The Portuguese market was soon absorbing 10 percent of the English export trade, which represented an increase of 120 percent above the quantity of goods imported to Portugal before the treaty. Portuguese exports to England, mainly wine, rose by less than 40 percent. Gold from Brazil was used to pay for this trade imbalance.

D.João V - O Magnífico (1706 - 1750)

Pedro II was succeeded by João V (r.1706-50), a youth of seventeen. He was an energetic king who introduced absolutist rule into Portugal, copying the style of the royal court of Louis XIV of France. Brazilian gold allowed João V to spend lavishly on major architectural works, the greatest being the royal palace at Mafra, begun in 1717, which sought to rival the Escorial in Spain.

He also endowed the University of Coimbra with an elegantly decorated library, and built the Aqueduct of Free Waters (Aqueduto das Águas Livres) that brought water to Lisbon. João encouraged the development of decorative arts such as furniture design, clockmaking, and tapestry weaving.

He pursued mercantilist policies to protect indigenous industries, including papermaking at Lousã, glassmaking at Marinha Grande, and textile weaving at Covilhã . He subsidized the publication of notable works such as Caetano de Sousa's História Geneológica da Casa Real. All in all, João V animated what has been called Portugal's second renaissance.

Royal Palace of Mafra
D. José I (1750 -1777)

João V died in 1750 and was succeeded by his son José I (r.1750-77) who was indolent and placed the reins of government into the hands of Sebastião José de Carvalho e Melo, later the Marquês de Pombal. A petty noble who managed to surmount Portugal's rigid class system by a combination of energy, intelligence, good looks, and a shrewd marriage, Pombal became the veritable dictator of Portugal. Once Portugal's ambassador to Britain and Austria, Pombal had been influenced by the ideas of the Enlightenment. Realizing how backward Portugal was, he sought through a ruthless despotism to reform it and create a middle class.

On the morning of November 1, 1755, a violent earthquake shook Lisbon and demolished most of the city. Thousands were killed in the subsequent fire and tidal wave. Pombal, who was at Belém at the time, energetically took appropriate measures. He improvised hospitals for the injured, controlled prices for various services, requisitioned food from the countryside, and organized public security. He decided to rebuild the city after a survey of the ruins. Under the direction of the architect Eugénio dos Santos and the engineer Manuel da Maia, a master plan for a new city was drawn up.

The old city center was cleared of rubble and divided into squares of long avenues and cross streets. New buildings conforming to a standard architectural style were quickly erected using the latest construction techniques. Lisbon thus emerged from the earthquake as Europe's first planned city. Flanked by the Praça do Rossio at one end, and the Praça do Comêrcio at the other, this quarter of the city is known today as the Baixa Pombalina.

Marques de Pombal

For his prompt and efficient action, Pombal was elevated to chief minister, which allowed him to consolidate his power. Desiring to destroy all forces within the society that could oppose his plans for modernizing Portugal, he began to systematically annihilate them, beginning with the nobility. An attempt on the life of the king on September 3, 1758 provided Pombal with a pretext to take action against the nobility. He accused many nobles of responsibility for the attempt and arrested about 1,000 individuals. Many confessed under brutal torture and were executed.

Pombal also attempted to rid Portugal of the Jesuits, whom he accused of taking part in the attempt on the king's life. He searched the houses belonging to the Jesuits, confiscated their belongings, closed their schools, and, in 1759, expelled them from the kingdom and its overseas possessions. In an effort to restrain the church, Pombal broke diplomatic relations with the Holy See in 1760 and imprisoned the bishop of Coimbra.

Pombal's economic policies were inspired by the protectionist doctrines of Colbert, which gave royal companies monopolies in certain fields. Following the initiatives in this regard established by the count of Ericeira, Pombal prohibited the export of gold and silver. In order to increase cereal cultivation, he prohibited the growing of grape vines in certain areas of the country. He protected the winemaking industry by founding, in 1756, a company with a monopoly on exporting port wine.

Pombal created other companies with exclusive rights to commercial activities in various regions of Brazil, as well as a fishing and processing company for sardines and tuna in Portuguese waters. He transformed the silk industry into a textile industry and turned over the operation of the glassmaking factory at Marinha Grande to a British manager, who introduced new manufacturing techniques.

Pombal also made notable changes in the area of education. After expelling the Jesuits and confiscating their schools, he took the first steps toward establishing a system of public instruction. He founded a commercial school and established schools, paid for with a special tax, in the major cities.

In addition, Pombal instituted numerous reforms of the university, whose decline he blamed on the Jesuits. He created two new departments--mathematics and philosophy--and increased the number of professors in the already existing departments. He put forward new methods of instruction based on the writings of Luís António Verney and António Nunes that stressed observation and experience, and set up laboratories, a natural history museum, a botanical garden, and an observatory.

D. Maria I (1777-1816)- A Piedosa - A Pia ou a Louca

José I died in 1777 and was succeeded on the throne by his daughter Maria I (r.1777-92), who dismissed Pombal and banished him to the village of Pombal. She immediately freed hundreds of prisoners, restored the old nobility to it former status, reestablished relations with the Holy See, revoked laws against the clergy, abolished many of the state companies, and generally dismantled Pombal's dictatorship. The strong, secular society that Pombal hoped to create did not materialize, and the old social and economic order quickly restored itself

Peninsular Wars

The events of the French Revolution, especially the regicide of Louis XVI and the Terror, made the rest of Europe's monarchs fear for their lives. The Portuguese monarchy, like others, took measures to prevent the infiltration of revolutionary propaganda into the kingdom. Maria I, who suffered nightmares
and fits of melancholy, imagined that she was damned.

In 1792 she turned the reigns of government over to her second son, Joã o, who was prince of Brazil. As the situation in France deteriorated, Portugal signed treaties of mutual assistance with Britain and Spain in 1793. In the same year, the Spanish army, reinforced by 6,000 Portuguese troops, attacked France across the Basque frontier. In 1794 the French launched a major counterattack, which forced the combined Spanish-Portuguese army to retreat from French territory. The French army reached the Ebro River and threatened Madrid.

In 1795 Spain made peace at Basel with France without consulting the Portuguese. Despite having fought with the Portuguese against France, the Spanish now allied themselves with the French and signed a secret treaty at San Idelfonso in 1800. In 1801 France and Spain sent the Portuguese an ultimatum threatening to invade Portugal unless it abandoned its alliance with Britain, closed its ports to the British and opened them to French and Spanish ships, and handed over one-quarter of its territory as a guarantee for Spanish territories held by Britain.

The Portuguese refused to comply, and the Spanish marched into the Alentejo in May. After two weeks of fighting, the "War of the Oranges," as it is known, was concluded in 1801 at Badajoz. According to the terms of the peace treaty, Portugal agreed to close its ports to British shipping, granted commercial concessions to the French, paid an indemnity, and ceded Olivença to Spain.

When Napoleon became emperor in 1804, he renewed his struggle with Britain. The British declared a naval blockade of France, and, in retaliation, Napoleon decreed that all nations of Europe should break relations with Britain. Portugal declared itself neutral in the struggle. Napoleon ordered the Portuguese to close their ports to the British, which they were prepared to do if they could without breaking relations with their old ally. In October 1807, Napoleon signed a treaty with Spain at Fontainebleau, according to which France and Spain agreed to invade Portugal and partition the country, one-third going to France, one-third to Spain, and one-third to Spain's chief minister, Manuel de Godoy.

On November 17, 1807, an army of French and Spanish soldiers under the command of the French general Andoche Junot entered Portugal and marched on Lisbon. The British were in no position to defend their ally; consequently, the prince regent and the royal family left for Brazil. On November 27, Junot's army took control of Lisbon.
French occupation eventually sparked rebellions among the populace, and provisional juntas were organized in several cities.

The junta in Porto, to which other local juntas finally pledged obedience, organized an army and, with British help, was able to defeat a strong French force at Lourinhã on August 21, 1808. After this defeat, the French opened negotiations with the Portuguese and signed the Convention of Sintra, which provided for the evacuation of Junot's forces. The government was placed in the hands of the juntas. In January 1809, the prince regent designated a British officer, William Carr Beresford, to reorganize the Portuguese army, granting him the rank of marshall and commander in chief.

In March 1809, French troops under the command of General Nicholas Soult invaded Portugal once again. Entering the country from Galicia, they occupied Chaves and marched on Porto. A combined Portuguese-British army, commanded by Sir Arthur Wellesley, pushed Soult back to Galicia and defeated another French army at Tavera in Spain, after which Wellesley was made the duke of Wellington.

The expulsion of Soult's forces gave the Anglo-Portuguese army time to prepare for Napoleon's third invasion, which was ordered in 1810. The third French army under the command of General André Masséna entered Portugal at Guarda and marched to Viseu. Because Wellington's forces held the main roads, Masséna took his army across the Buçaco Mountains and marched on Coimbra, which he sacked.

Wellington withdrew his army southward, luring Masséna into positions he had prepared at Tôrres Vedras. Finding the positions impenetrable, Masséna, far from his source of supply and short of food, withdrew his forces. Wellington pursued Masséna and overtook him at Sabugal where his army was defeated. Masséna retreated from Portugal.

Revolution of 1820

D. João VI ( 1816 - 1826 )In 1816 Maria I, after twenty-four years of insanity, died and the prince regent was proclaimed João VI (r.1816-26). The new king, who had acquired a court and government in Brazil and a following among the Brazilians, did not immediately return to Portugal, and liberals continued to agitate against the monarchy.

In May 1817, General Gomes Freire Andrade was arrested on treason charges and hanged, as were eleven alleged accomplices. Beresford, who was still commander in chief of the Portuguese army, was popularly blamed for the harshness of the sentences, which aggravated unrest in the country. The most active center of Portuguese liberalism was Porto, where the Sinédrio was situated and quickly gaining adherents. In March 1820, Beresford went to Brazil to persuade the king to return to the throne.

His departure allowed the influence of the liberals to grow within the army, which had emerged from the Peninsular Wars as Portugal's strongest institution. On August 24, 1820, regiments in Porto revolted and established a provisional junta that assumed the government of Portugal until a cortes could be convoked to write a constitution. The regency was bypassed because it was unable to cope with Portugal's financial crisis, and Beresford was not allowed to enter the country when he returned from Brazil.

After the Vilafrancada, as the uprising is known, Miguel was made generalíssimo of the army. In April 1824, Miguel led a new revolt--the Abrilada--which sought to restore absolutism. João, supported by Beresford, who had been allowed to return to Portugal, dismissed Miguel from his post as generalíssimo and exiled him to France. The constitution of 1822 was suspended, and Portugal was governed under João's moderate absolutism until he died in 1826.

In December 1820, indirect elections were held for a constitutional cortes, which convened in January 1821. The deputies were mostly constitutional monarchists. They elected a regency to replace the provisional junta, abolished seigniorial rights and the Inquisition, and, on September 23, approved a constitution. At the same time, João VI decided to return to Portugal, leaving his son Pedro in Brazil. Upon his arrival in Lisbon, João swore an oath to uphold the new constitution. After his departure from Brazil, Brazilian liberals, inspired by the independence of the United States and the independence struggles in the neighboring Spanish colonies, began to agitate for freedom from Portugal. Brazilian independence was proclaimed on October 12, 1822, with Pedro as constitutional emperor.

The constitution of 1822 installed a constitutional monarchy in Portugal. It declared that sovereignty rested with the nation and established three branches of government in classical liberal fashion. Legislative power was exercised by a directly elected, unicameral Chamber of Deputies; executive power was vested in the king and his secretaries of state; and judicial power was in the hands of the courts. The king and his secretaries of state had no representation in the chamber and no power to dissolve it.

Two broad divisions emerged in Portuguese society over the issue of the constitution. On the one hand were the liberals who defended it, and on the other, the royalists who favored absolutism. The first reaction to the new liberal regime surfaced in February 1823 in Trás-os-Montes where the count of Amarante, a leading absolutist, led an insurrection. Later, in May, Amarante once again sounded the call to arms, and an infantry regiment rose at Vila Franca de Xira, just north of Lisbon. Some of the Lisbon garrison joined the absolutists, as did the king's younger brother, Miguel, who had refused to swear to uphold the constitution.

War of the Two Brothers

Pedro I - 1º Imperador do Brasil e Pedro IV de Portugal

Pedro I of Brasil

João's death created a problem of royal succession. The rightful heir to the throne was his eldest son, Pedro, emperor of Brazil. Neither the Portuguese nor the Brazilians wanted a unified monarchy; consequently, Pedro abdicated the Portuguese crown in favor of his daughter, Maria da Glória, a child of seven, on the condition that when of age she marry his brother, Miguel. 

In April 1826, as part of the succession settlement, Pedro granted a new constitution to Portugal, known as the Constitutional Charter. Pedro returned to Brazil leaving the throne to Maria, with Miguel as regent. The Constitutional Charter attempted to reconcile absolutists and liberals by allowing both factions a role in government. Unlike the constitution of 1822, this document established four branches of government. The legislature was divided into two chambers.
The upper chamber, the Chamber of Peers, was composed of life and hereditary peers and clergy appointed by the king. The lower chamber, the Chamber of Deputies, was composed of 111 deputies elected to four-year terms by the indirect vote of local assemblies, which in turn were elected by persons meeting certain tax-paying and property-owning requirements. Judicial power was exercised by the courts; executive power by the ministers of the government; and moderative power by the king, who held an absolute veto over all legislation.

D. Miguel I

The absolutists, however, were not satisfied with this compromise, and they continued to regard Miguel as the legitimate successor to the throne because he was Portuguese whereas Pedro was Brazilian. In February 1828, Miguel returned to Portugal to take the oath of allegiance to the charter and assume the regency. He was immediately proclaimed king by his supporters. Although it initially appeared that Miguel would abide by the charter, pressure mounted for a return to absolutism.

A month after his return, Miguel dissolved the Chamber of Deputies and the Chamber of Peers and, in May, summoned the traditional cortes of the three estates of the realm to proclaim his accession to absolute power. The Cortes of 1828 assented to Miguel's wish, proclaiming him king as Miguel I and nullifying the Constitutional Charter.

D. Maria II ( 1834 - 1853 )

This usurpation did not go unchallenged by the liberals. On May 18, the garrison in Porto declared its loyalty to Pedro, Maria da Glória, and the Constitutional Charter. The rebellion against the absolutists spread to other cities. Miguel suppressed these rebellions, and many thousands of liberals were either arrested or fled to Spain and Britain. There followed five years of repression.

In Brazil, meanwhile, relations between Pedro and Brazil's political leaders had become strained. In 1831 Pedro abdicated in favor of his son, Pedro II, and sailed for Britain. He organized a military expedition there and then went to the Azores, which were in the hands of the liberals, to set up a government in exile in March 1831.

D. Maria II
In July 1832, Pedro occupied Porto, which was subsequently besieged by the absolutists. In June 1833, the liberals, still encircled at Porto, sent a force commanded by the duke of Terceira to the Algarve. At the same time, a liberal squadron defeated the absolutists' fleet near Cabo São Vincente. Terceira landed at Faro and marched north through the Alentejo to capture Lisbon on July 24.

A stalemate of nine months ensued. The absolutists controlled the rural areas, where they were supported by the aristocracy and the peasantry. The liberals occupied Portugal's major cities, Lisbon and Porto, where they commanded a sizeable following among the middle classes. Finally, the Miguelists lifted their siege of Porto and marched on Lisbon, but they were defeated at Évora-Monte. Peace was declared in May 1834, and Miguel, guaranteed an annual pension, was banished from Portugal, never to return. Pedro restored the Constitutional Charter.

Moderate vs. Radical Liberals

Pedro survived his victory by less than three months. After his death, fifteen-year-old Maria da Glória was proclaimed queen as Maria II (r.1834-53). Despite their victory over the absolutists, the liberals were themselves divided between moderates, who supported the principles of the charter, and radicals, who wanted a return to the constitution of 1822. Maria's first government was made up of moderates headed by the duke of Palmela, whose government collapsed in May 1835.
He was succeeded by the duke of Saldanha, whose government fell in May 1836. In July 1836, radicals were elected from Porto by advocating a return to the constitution of 1822 as a way of resolving Portugal's economic crisis.

When these deputies arrived in Lisbon, they were met by demonstrations supporting their cause. The following day, the moderate liberal government collapsed and, in September, the radicals, led by Manuel da Silva Passos, formed a new government. The radicals nullified the Constitutional Charter and reestablished the constitution of 1822 until it could be revised by a constituent cortes to make it more compatible with changed social and economic circumstances.

The actions of the radicals resulted in a violent reaction from the moderates, who saw their power threatened and considered the charter the symbol of the liberal victory in the War of Two Brothers. As a compromise, the Constituent Assembly, convoked in March 1838, attempted to reconcile the constitution of 1822 and the Constitutional Charter. In April 1838, Portugal's third constitution was approved. The document abolished the royal moderative power and returned to liberalism's classical tripartite division of government into legislative, executive, and judicial branches.

It reaffirmed, as did the 1822 constitution, that sovereignty rested with the nation. It abolished the Chamber of Peers and substituted a Chamber of Senators, and it established direct election of the Chamber of Deputies, although only selected citizens were allowed to vote. The monarch's role was enhanced and the Chamber of Senators was restricted to leading citizens, or notables.
The radicals, now called Septemberists after the September 1836 revolution, held office until June 1841.

On that date, they were replaced in a bloodless coup d'état by moderates, who abolished the 1838 constitution and restored the charter. António Bernardo da Costa Cabral, who organized and led the revolt, took various measures designed to reform Portugal's political, economic, and social systems. Some of these measures, especially new sanitary regulations that prohibited burials in churchyards, stirred the rural countryside, still Miguelist, into active resistance against the liberal government in Lisbon.

The women of the Minho region, who had traditionally played an important role in churchyard burials, began to demonstrate against the authorities. Supported by the rural nobility and clergy, the Maria da Fontes, as this movement was called, spread throughout the rural north. Unable to suppress it by force, the government of Costa Cabral fell on May 20, 1846. The new government, a confusing hodgepodge of radicals and moderates, rescinded the cemetery regulations.

The government divided when the duke of Palmela, who was its prime minister, called for new elections in October, hoping to unite the moderates, themselves divided into two factions. This sparked a reaction by the Septemberists, who were particularly strong in Porto, where they rebelled and set up a provisional junta. The duke of Saldanha, Palmela's replacement, attempted without success to suppress the Septemberist rebellion, which by now had spread beyond Porto to other areas.

With the country on the brink of a second civil war, Queen Maria sought help from the Quadruple Alliance, consisting of Britain and France, as well as Spanish and Portuguese liberal elements. After the alliance imposed a naval blockade and sent troops, the Septemberists capitulated, Saldanha resigned, and a peace agreement was signed on June 29, 1847. Costa Cabral returned to power.


D. Pedro V ( 1853 - 1861 )

In 1851 Saldanha staged a revolt and, supported by the garrison in Porto, gained control of the government and sent Costa Cabral into exile. Saldanha and his followers were called Regenerators because they recognized the need to modify the charter to make it more compatible with the social and political situation. These modifications appeared as amendments, the first of which was a new electoral law that made the franchise more acceptable to the Septemberists. Gradually, government became stabilized. The Septemberists began to be referred to as Historicals and, later, Progressives.

Pedro V
The Regenerators and Progressives were not political parties in today's sense of the term. The electorate comprised less than 1 percent of the population; therefore, the Regenerators and Progressives were essentially loose coalitions of notables, or leading citizens, based on personal loyalties and local interests. Elections were held after a change in governing factions to provide the new faction with a majority in the legislature.

By tacit agreement, one faction would govern as long as it was able and then turn over power to the other. After 1856 this practice of alternating factions at regular intervals, called rotativismo, was all but institutionalized and produced relatively stable government until the end of the nineteenth century.

D. Luís I ( 1861 - 1869 )Portuguese Africa

With the advent of rotativismo and subsequent political stability, the attention of Portugal turned toward its colonial possessions in Africa. In East Africa, the chief settlement was Mozambique Island, but there was little control over the estates of the mainland where Portuguese of mixed ancestry ruled as feudal potentates. In West Africa, the most important settlements were Luanda and Benguela on the Angolan coast, linked to Brazil by the slave trade conducted through the African island of São Tomé. It was during this period that the Portuguese began to send expeditions into the interior.

In 1852 António Francisco Silva Porto explored the interior of Angola. In 1877 a scientific expedition led by Hermenegildo Capelo and Roberto Ivens, two naval officers, and Alexandre Serpa Pinto, an army major, departed from Luanda and traveled to the Bié region in central Angola, where they separated. Serpa Pinto explored the headwaters of the Cuanza River in Angola and followed the course of the Zambezi River to Victoria Falls in present-day Zimbabwe. Exploring areas now part of South Africa, he crossed the Transvaal and arrived in Natal in 1879.

In 1884 Capelo and Ivens departed from Moçamades on the coast of Angola and crossed the continent through entirely unexplored territory, arriving at Quelimane on the east coast of Mozambique in 1885. In the same year, Serpa Pinto and Augusto Cardoso explored the territory around Lake Nyassa. Various Portuguese, such as Paiva de Andrade and António Maria Cardoso, explored the interior of Mozambique. Despite Portugal's historical claim to the Congo region, the colonial ambitions of the great powers of the day--Britain, France, and Germany--gave rise to disputes about its ownership. Portugal therefore proposed an international conference to resolve the disputed claim to the Congo.

This conference, which met in Berlin in 1884-85, awarded the Congo to the king of Belgium and established the principle that in order for a claim to African territory to be valid, the claimant had to demonstrate "effective occupation," not historical rights. The Berlin Conference, as it is known, resulted in the partition of Africa among the European powers, and awarded Portugal Mozambique, Angola, and Guinea. In 1886 Portugal signed two treaties that delimited the boundaries between Portuguese territories and those of France and Germany. France and Germany recognized Portugal's right to exercise sovereignty in the interior territory between Mozambique and Angola.

This claim was represented on a map, annexed to the treaty with France, on which the claimed territory was colored red. In order to validate this claim, the Portuguese published the "rose-colored map" and organized successive expeditions into the interior between Mozambique and Angola. Meanwhile, the British were also exploring the territory from south to north under the auspices of Cecil Rhodes, who had designs on the territory for the construction of a railroad that would run from Cape Town through central Africa to Cairo.

Portugal protested against the activities of the British in what they considered to be their territory. The British, having signed a number of treaties with African chiefs, claimed that the territory was under their protection and refused to recognize the rose-colored map. Moreover, they said the territory was not Portuguese because Portugal had not effectively occupied it as required by the terms of the Berlin Conference. Portugal proposed that the conflicting claims be resolved through arbitration. Britain refused and sent the Portuguese an ultimatum, on January 11, 1890, demanding the withdrawal of all Portuguese forces from the disputed territory. Portugal, faced with the armed might of the British, complied.

The ultimatum of 1890 caused astonishment and indignation in Lisbon. As a result, the Progressive government fell and a non-party government came to power. The ultimatum was strongly denounced by Portugal's growing band of republicans, who had organized themselves into a formal party in 1878. The republicans based their appeals on crude nationalism and played on the fears of many that a continuation of the inept government of the liberals would make Portugal either a British colony or a province of Spain. Teachers, journalists, small-business persons, clerks, and artisans were drawn to republicanism, with its appeals to nationalism, universal suffrage, separation of church and state, and the abolition of the monarchy and nobility, which were seen as irrational institutions that sapped the strength of Portugal.

The appeal of republicanism was also enhanced by the collapse of rotativismo. After 1890 the system ceased to function smoothly. Conflicts between the Regenerators and Historicals, formerly settled in secret, were brought into the open in an effort to generate public support for the system. But open debate proved to be unsettling in Portugal's depoliticized society.

By 1906 neither faction could attain a parliamentary majority. In that year, the republicans managed to elect from Lisbon four deputies who proceeded to create tumultuous scenes in parliament. In May 1907, the situation came to a standstill.

D. Carlos I ( 1889 - 1908 )

The king, Carlos I, dissolved parliament and gave to João Franco, a conservative reformist who had bolted from the Regenerators to form his own party, the power to govern by decree. João Franco's dictatorship was condemned by all political parties, and the republicans attempted an unsuccessful coup d'état. A crackdown on the republican movement followed.

On February 1, 1908, the king and the royal family were attacked by two disgruntled republicans as they crossed the Praça do Comêrcio by open landau. The king and his youngest son were killed, and his oldest son, Manuel, survived a bullet wound in the arm. Manuel, who was eighteen at the time, became king as Manuel II (r.1908-10).

In an effort to salvage the monarchy, João Franco stepped down as prime minister and went into exile. New elections were held, but factionalism among the Regenerators and Historicals prevented the formation of a stable government even after six attempts.

D. Manuel II ( 1908 - 1910 )

On October 1, 1910, the appearance in Portugal of the president of the Brazilian republic after a visit to Germany provided a pretext for extensive republican demonstrations.

On October 3, the army refused to put down a mutiny on Portuguese warships anchored in the estuary of the Tagus and took up positions around Lisbon.

On October 4, when two of the warships began to shell the royal palace, Manuel II and the royal family fled to Britain.

On October 5, a provisional republican government was organized with the writer Teófilo Braga as president.