Sunday, October 4, 2009

The End of the Portuguese Monarchy

It was on this day in 1910 that the Kingdom of Portugal came to an end with a military coup, supported by republican agitators that forced King Manuel II into exile in Great Britain. Having barely survived the murder plot which took the lives of his father and brother in 1908 the young Manuel II tried desperately to save the Portuguese monarchy despite being unprepared for the throne. He dismissed the previous government and tried to make a fresh start but the tide of treason had grown too strong and ultimately the Kingdom of Portugal was washed away by it. The glorious era of Portuguese history had ended; the era which had seen the country win its independence, blaze trails in the fields of cartography and exploration, build up the first global overseas empire and for a time become one of the wealthiest nations in Europe. The period that was to follow would be one of a quick succession of ineffective and failed republican governments and the continued decline of Portugal in Europe. Some did try to restore national greatness, but no government long survived. However, the monarchist cause remains alive in Portugal, bent but not broken, and with a prominent and active heir to the throne there is at least some cause for hope that the horrendous error of October 4, 1910 may someday be corrected and the Royal House of Braganza restored to its proper place on the throne of Portugal.


  1. How did he manage to survive the murder plot?

  2. Mostly thanks to luck and his very plucky mother Queen Amelie of Orleans. When the hail of gunfire came she grabbed him and started striking out with the flowers she was holding. Manuel was hit in the arm but survived, unlike his poor father who died instantly and his older brother who was badly wounded and died soon after.

  3. Brutal! His mother certainly showed alot of bravery and presence of mind.

  4. Just discovered your wonderful blog recently! Thanks for all the work you've put into it---I will be a frequent visitor from now on!

  5. She did, a display of the truth, whether royal or common, that the most dangerous place in the world is between a momma and her cub. And to Felix, you are most welcome sir.

  6. Is it just me, or did most Republics in History originate by means of Violence and death, with needless suffering and poverty to follow?

    The Bolshevick, the French, and even the American Revolutions did noting for the common man or the economy. Of all of them, only Americas Giovernment was in any way stable ( And that not as sable as some prefer to beleive it was at the time) and all fo them seem to hae been instigated by bloodthirsty men seekign to enrishch temselves with fortune and power.

  7. Very true. As to the stability of the American government, it could probably be attributed to their close adherence to the British parliamentary system with some cosmetic changes and to the fact that the loyalists fled the country so there were not two extremes contesting for power but basically two brands of liberalism.

  8. Actually some Monarchists still lingered on in the fledgling America. However, ven had they not, the Various forms of Republicanism didnt really coalesce well, as seen in both the failure of the COntenental COngress to orginise a proper state, and n the abject failure that was the Articles of Confederation. EVen the US COnstitution was widely critisised and sharply opposed. There just seemed less bloodshed. Less, though, not no.

    Shortly after the Revolution, Washington had to put down several smaller rebellions agaisnt the newly minted Federal Government, and several of the COlonists wanted to fight the other colonies, with smaller factions seekign to seperate form the revolutionaries. THe Whiskey Revolt for example, which Washingtomn britally supprssed.

    Lets not forget that the only reaosn we have Washington DC is because the original Capitol, Philidelphia, was beseiged and later penetrate dby Angry crowds of War veterans desirign thir shar of the wealth they wer epromised, causign the Congenental COngress to flee for thir lives.

    It just seems the American Revolution, while still violent ad still creating rebellions, lead to less overall instability. Washington and his men managed to suppress revolts, but they still happened, and one the new Govenment was finished, even with sharp divisions, no one seemed willign to kill over them. At least not as they did in France.

    1. Your grasp of early American History needs some work. The Whiskey rebellion was about taxes and local greed in western PA, not some sort of counter revolution. The capital was moved to site of what is now Washington, DC, as part of the compromise that brought about the Constitution. The angry war veterans episode happened in Newburgh, NY, and Washington quelled that too, asking the troops to be patient (and they listened). Moving the capital had to do with the southern states helping to pay for the war debt and the more populous northern states agreeing to move the capitol south.

      Washington was not even part of the government during the Articles of Confederation. He willinging and deliberately gave up power. It is true that monarchists reigned on in America. Alexander Hamilton was one or as close as one to not make a difference.

  9. Let us not forget Manuel's misterious death at the ripe old age of 43 of tracheal oedema, despite being in exellent health and playing tennis the previous day. The fact that he couldn't be embalmed, because in the space of 24 hours, the decomposition process was the same as if he'd been dead for seven days, is bit suspicious too. My bet on the Carbonária.

    Now, regarding the suscession. That's a difficult point between monarchists. The most famous is the Duke of Braganza, but technicaly, the throne's been barred to the descendents of D. Miguel, ever since his exile. A public reconciliation aproved by the Courts would be the only way for them to be back on the line of succesion.
    Personally, I'm a supporter of the Duke of Loulé, who has recently put forth his claim. Both are descendents of D. João VI, D. Duarte through the exiled D. Miguel, Pedro,the Duke of Loulé descends from the youngest daughter, Infanta Ana de Jesus, and have always been based in Portugal. That and the throne's not barred to them.

  10. dear mad monarchist,

    searching your blog i found this post.
    as usual, i feel related to the matter in discussion.

    this time i'll not urge you to a small review in your text, but the fact that duchessizzy be a suporter of the Duke of Loulé.

    the Duchy of Loulé was born from a marriage of a prince that was not aproved by the parliament, neither by the Cortes, the ancient portuguese parliament.

    the same way, portuguese law of the sucession of the monarchy stands that the secondary line to the throne must come from the male line (D. Miguel) and only when this one is extint, the female line (Ana de Jesus).

    two arguments that make ilegal, according to ancient portuguese law, the rights of the Duke of Loule.

  11. I'm glad to have any information presented. I am not sufficiently informed to have an educated opinion about the Portuguese succession; in fact for quite some time I never knew there was any disputes at all today. I won't get into it, but I am glad to have all cases presented.

  12. Dear Mr Monarchist,

    If I may be so bold as to give a little more information on this point. There were, historically, three royal lines of succession to the Portuguese throne. That of the Dukes of Braganza, (current Heads of the Royal House), that of the Dukes of Cadaval and that of the Dukes of Aveiro. The heads of both lineages have publicly stated their support and fidelity to Dom Duarte, Duke of Braganza (although I believe the old Duke of Cadaval is now in a "better place", and has left a messy succession...). In fact, I understand neither family has ever had any pretence to the throne, although the old Dukes of Aveiro were seen as the successors to the House of Braganza during the 17th and early 18th century. Unfortunately, the 8th Duke got carried away and was said to have attempted to kill King José and was tried and found guilty, losing his life, his lands and his titles. Interestingly, the eldest son of the the Marquis of Lavradio (the de facto Duke of Aveiro) is President of the Causa Real, the official Portuguese monarchist movement which is firecely loyal to Dom Duarte. The Duke of Loulé is from a junior, female line of the Braganzas (that had NEVER claimed a right to throne) and bases his claims on the original laws barring the succession of the throne to the descendants of Dom Miguel I, which were implicitly repealed during the monarchy and explicitly so thereafter. duchessizzy is right to say that the Duke of Braganza's claim would have to be ratified by the Courts, as would any other claim. He is wrong to say that it is a difficult point between monarchists. The Duke of Loulé's supporters are very few, even among his family, and have little credibility, given their consorting with the likes of a con artist from Italy, who also passed himself off as the "true" Duke of Braganza, and is now in prison...

    Demented Democrat


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