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Portuguese Civil War, 1828-1834
also referred to as the "War of the Two Brothers" and the "Miguelite War"

During the Napoleonic years, Portugal had, due to British protection, except for a period to brief to create a lasting impact, escaped French occupation. In consequence, feudal structures had survived, liberal reforms had not taken place, and two political camps - the conservatives, i.e. the privileged classes - landowners, the church, and the liberals, demanding an overhaul of the political-economic system, faced each other seemingly irreconcilable.
Following the death of King Joao I. (1826), his elder son Pedro, Emperor of Brazil, was the legal successor. As the reunification of Brazil and Portugal in Dynastic Union was unpopular in both countries, he abdicated in favour of his daughter Maria, under the condition that she would marry his brother Miguel. Before abdication, he signed the constitutional charter, which provided Pirtugal with a modern bicameral parliament, and which established four branches of government. Pedro then departed for Brazil.
Miguel returned to Portugal, assumed the regency, had himself proclaimed king, dissolved the parliament, called the (according to the constitutional charter defunct) Cortes (consisting of the traditional three estates), had himself recognized as king, and annulled the constitutional charter.
In Porto, the center of Portuguese liberalism, the garrison declared to recognize King Pedro and his daughter Maria; a number of cities took the same position. Miguel sent troops and suppressed dissent.
On April 7th 1831 Pedro abdicated as Emperor of Brazil, returned to Portugal, established a Provisional Government on the Açores (March), recruited volunteer expeditionary forces in Belgium. In July 1832, Pedro's forces, initially 7.500, with British and Spanish support, occupied Porto (Oporto), where they were besieged by the forces loyal to Miguel. In the besieged city, in February 1833 cholera appeared. In June 1833 the liberals won a naval victory over the conservatives; a liberal force landed in the Algarve, marched north and occupied Lisbon July 24th. By the end of the siege the Pedroist forces in Oporto numbered about 17,800 and the besieging Miguelites, about 24,000. In March 1834 the conservatives broke off the siege of Porto and marched their forces on Lisbon; they were defeated at Evora-Monte. On May 26th a peace was agreed upon, which provided Miguel with a pension; he went into exile. King Pedro IV. died Sept. 24th 1834.

De Belgische Militaire Expeditie te Portugal (The Belgian Military Expedition to Portugal), from Het Belgische Leger 1830-1914, in Dutch
War of the Two Brothers, 1828-1834, from ACED, from allrefer, from Wikipedia
Article Pedro IV, from Wikipedia
Article Miguel of Portugal, from Wikipedia, from O Portal da Historia, in Portuguese; from Portugal Dicionario Historico
HMS Orestes and the Portuguese War, from Maritime History
Duque de Terceira, from Portugal Dicionario Historico, in Portuguese
Cabo de Sao Vicente, July 5th 1833, from Batalhas e Combates da Marinha Portuguesa, in Portuguese
DOCUMENTS Andrew Jackson, 5th Annual Message, Dec. 3rd 1833, from Presidential Speeches, with reference to war in Portugal
REFERENCE David Birmingham, A Concise History of Portugal, Cambridge Concise Histories, 1993, 210 pp.

This page is part of World History at KMLA
First posted on March 12th 2004, last evised on November 19th 2004

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