French Revolution
Portugal 1789-1807
Portugal 1814-1851

Portugal under British Protection, 1808-1814

KING JOHN VI. in 1807 moved his residence to RIO DE JANEIRO, where he waited out the years of the Napoleonic wars. Meanwhile, a French army lead by General ANDOCHE JUNOT. In December 1807, the French were in control of Lisbon. However, a British expedition headed by SIR ARTHUR WELLESLEY (Duke Wellington) landed in Portugal in August 1808. The French were defeated and evacuated Portugal. Although the French defeated the British in the Spanish province of Galicia, causing parts of the expeditionary corps to leave the peninsula, Portugal was held by British forces, which had to face French invasions in 1809 and 1810. The Spanish guerilla war and the English army under Wellington then tied the French forces in Spain, Portugal, for the later years of the war, was thus free from French occupation.
Napoleon was defeated in 1813 and again in 1815. King John, however, did not return to Lisbon until 1821, the year when Napoleon died on St. Helena.
Portugal had survived the troubled years of the French Revolution and the Napoleonic Wars without territorial loss. However, the reforms begun by the French Revolution also had less impact on Portugal than on other countries of western Europe. This was most manifest in the case of slave trade, which, outlawed by the British in 1807, was continued by Portuguese for years. The issue was to throw a shadow on Portugal's traditional friendship with England.

Library of Congress, Country Studies : Portugal
History of Portugal by Dark Angel
DOCUMENTS Kingdom of Portugal, from
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 in 2000, last revised on November 9th 2004

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