The Info List - Iberian Union

The Iberian Union
Iberian Union
was the dynastic union of the Crown of Portugal
Crown of Portugal
and the Spanish Crown
Spanish Crown
between 1580 and 1640, bringing the entire Iberian Peninsula, as well as Spanish and Portuguese overseas possessions, under the Spanish Habsburg kings Philip II, Philip III and Philip IV of Spain. The union began as a result of the Portuguese crisis of succession and the ensuing War of the Portuguese Succession
War of the Portuguese Succession
and lasted 60 years,[1][2] until the Portuguese Restoration War in which the House of Braganza
House of Braganza
was established as Portugal's new ruling dynasty. The Habsburg king was the only element of connection between the multiple kingdoms and territories, who ruled by six separate government councils of Castile, Aragon, Portugal, Italy, Flanders and the Indies. The governments, institutions, and legal traditions of each kingdom remained independent of each other.[3] Alien laws (Leyes de extranjeria) determined that the national of one kingdom was a foreigner in all the other Iberian kingdoms.[4][5]


1 Background 2 Establishment 3 Continuity in the administrative system 4 Portuguese Empire
Portuguese Empire
challenged 5 Decline of the Union and revolt of Portugal 6 Restoration War and the end of the Union 7 See also 8 References

8.1 Citations 8.2 Sources

Background[edit] The unification of the peninsula had long been a goal of the region's monarchs with the intent of restoring the Visigothic monarchy.[6] Sancho III of Navarre
Sancho III of Navarre
and Alfonso VII of León and Castile
Alfonso VII of León and Castile
had both taken the title Imperator totius Hispaniae, meaning "Emperor of All Hispania"[7] Establishment[edit] Main articles: 1580 Portuguese succession crisis
1580 Portuguese succession crisis
and Battle of Ksar El Kebir

Political map of the Iberian Peninsula
Iberian Peninsula
in 1570

The Battle of Ksar El Kebir
Battle of Ksar El Kebir
in 1578 saw both the death of the young king Sebastian and the end of the House of Aviz. Sebastian's successor, the Cardinal Henry of Portugal, was 66 years old at the time. Henry's death was followed by a succession crisis, with three grandchildren of Manuel I claiming the throne: Infanta Catarina, Duchess of Braganza (married to John, 6th Duke of Braganza), António, Prior of Crato, and Philip II of Spain. António had been acclaimed King of Portugal
King of Portugal
by the people of Santarém on July 24, 1580, and then in many cities and towns throughout the country. Some members of the Council of Governors of Portugal
who had supported Philip escaped to Spain
and declared him to be the legal successor of Henry. Philip II of Spain
marched into Portugal
and defeated the troops loyal to the Prior of Crato in the Battle of Alcântara. The troops occupying the countryside (Tercios) commanded by the 3rd Duke of Alba
Duke of Alba
arrived in Lisbon.[8] The Duke of Alba
Duke of Alba
imposed on the Portuguese provinces a subjection of Philip before entering Lisbon, where he seized an immense treasure; meanwhile, he allowed his soldiers to sack the vicinity of the capital.[9] Philip II of Spain
Philip II of Spain
was crowned Philip I of Portugal
in 1581 (recognized as king by the Cortes of Tomar) and the Philippine Dynasty
Philippine Dynasty
began. When Philip left in 1583 to Madrid, he made his nephew Albert of Austria his viceroy in Lisbon. In Madrid
he established a Council of Portugal
Council of Portugal
to advise him on Portuguese affairs. Portugal's status was maintained under the first two kings of the Iberian Union, Philip I and his son Philip II of Portugal
and Aragon, and III of Castile, generally designated, anachronistically, II and III of Spain, respectively ( Spain
was the geographical name given to the entire Iberia Peninsula at the time, not of a particular state, nationality or kingdom). Both monarchs gave excellent positions to Portuguese nobles in the Spanish courts, and Portugal
maintained an independent law, currency, and government. It was even proposed to move the Royal capital to Lisbon. Continuity in the administrative system[edit]

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The history of Portugal
from the dynastic crisis in 1578 to the first Braganza Dynasty
Braganza Dynasty
monarchs was a period of transition. The Portuguese Empire's spice trade was peaking at the start of this period. It continued to enjoy widespread influence after Vasco da Gama
Vasco da Gama
had finally reached the East by sailing around Africa
in 1497–98. Vasco da Gama's achievement completed the exploratory efforts inaugurated by Henry the Navigator, and opened an oceanic route for the profitable spice trade into Europe
that bypassed the Middle East. Due to the complexity in the management of government, the Spanish Monarch needed some auxiliary bodies, as the Councils (Consejos), dedicated to the advice and resolution of problems, and submitted to the Monarch's knowledge and dictum. This complexity needed a permanent seat, and the king Philip II of Spain
Philip II of Spain
established in 1562 the permanent capital in Madrid, seat of the Royal Court and of the administrative staff,[10][11][12][13] although transferred in Valladolid, with the whole administrative staff, during a brief period (1601–1606).[14] As for the functioning, the administrative correspondence came to the different Councils, to Madrid, then the secretary of every Council arranged the material that had to deliver for the attention of the king, and later the King assembled with the secretaries requesting the opinion of the Council. After that, the Council answered afterwards a session to treat the issue and to raise the formal consultation to the monarch. The secretary raise the consultation to the king, and was returned to the Council with his response to be executed. The meetings of the Councils took place in the royal palace, and they did not count on the presence of the king habitually. In this polisynodial system,[15] "Consejo de Estado" (Council of State) stood out for its importance. The Consejo de Estado in Madrid, entrusted to declare on the major decisions that concerned the organization and the defense of the ensemble of the Hispanic monarchy, and it had frequently that to get into Portuguese matters. Even, the Council of War (Consejo de Guerra) exercised its jurisdiction on the troops placed in the Castilian strongholds established on the Portuguese littoral. And also, there were Councils of territorial character, which functions specialized in a concrete territorial space, the Council of Castile, Council of Aragon, Council of Navarre, Council of Italy, Council of The Indies, Council of Flanders, and the Council of Portugal. The Council of Portugal, established in 1582, was integrated with a president and six (later four) counselors, and it was abolished at the end of the war in 1668, when Charles II of Spain
Charles II of Spain
gave up his title as King of Portugal. The function of the Council consists in representing close to the king the courts of the Crown of Portugal
Crown of Portugal
for the matters that depend on the justice, grace, finally, the economy of the royal Portuguese domain. Any decision of the king who concerning his Kingdom must do the object of a consultation to the Council before being transmitted to the chancellery of Lisbon
and to the concerned courts. The Council of Portugal
Council of Portugal
knows two eclipses: in 1619, for the presence of the King in Lisbon, and between 1639–1658, replaced with the Junta of Portugal. From the Restauração, the Council continued existing, since Philip IV had not recognized the independence of Portugal, and carried out the attending to the faithful Portuguese to the Spanish monarch, and the government of Ceuta.[16] Relating to the particular government of the kingdom of Portugal itself. During the union of the kingdom of Portugal
to the Spanish monarchy, the Spanish Hasburgs on the whole respected the pledges made at Thomar in 1581 to allow considerable Portuguese autonomy and to respected the territories of its empire. Public offices were reserved for Portuguese subjects at home and overseas. The king was represented at Lisbon
sometimes by a governor and sometimes by a viceroy. So, Spain
left the administration of Portugal
and its empire largely to the Portuguese themselves, under general supervision from Madrid channeled through a viceroy in Lisbon. Important matters, however, were referred to Madrid, where they came before the Council of Portugal. In the kingdom of Portugal, the polisynodial system is reinforced:

Council of State. The Conselho de Estado of Lisbon
is the King's private Council, entrusted of debating major issues related to the Crown, especially as for foreign policy. The counselors could send their remarks to the king, and the King consulted them through his Viceroy. Although the Conselho de Estado of Lisbon, worked as the great adviser Council of the King's delegate, this Council of State was without clearly defined administrative powers and actually it did not perform relevant role of coordination. The Spanish kings maintained the system of two secretaries of state, one for the kingdom and the other for "India", that is to say, for the colonies, despite several conflicts over jurisdiction, until the creation of the Conselho da Índia in 1604. In the same way, Spanish kings retained the Mesa da Consciência e Ordens, which was both tribunal and council for religious affairs and was responsible for administering ecclesiastical appintments and for the property of the military orders in the colonies as well as in the home country. Portuguese Inquisition remained independent from the Mesa da Consciência e Ordens. There were three major courts in Lisbon, Coimbra and Évora. Also preserved was the Desembargo do Paço. The pinnacle of the entire Portuguese judicial system was the Desembargo do Paço or Royal Board of Justice in Lisbon. This board, the highest court in the kingdom, controlled the appointment of all magistrates and judges and oversaw the Casa da Suplicação or Court of Appeals in Lisbon, as well as the high courts in the Portuguese overseas territories. The first function of the Desembargo do Paço was to control the recruitment of the magistrates (leitura de bacharéis) and to monitor them in the exercise of their charge, its control spreads to the whole of the juridical professions. The Desembargo do Paço had to arbitrate conflicts between other courts of the kingdom. This court granted dispensations, acts of legitimization and another relevant issues about the justice and the grace, and which on occasions advised the king on political and economic as well as judicial matters. Moreover, a commission of jurists set up to reform the legal system produced a new code for Portugal, the Ordenações Filipinas, promulgated in 1603. The Casa da Suplicação and the Casa do Cível, both are two royal courts of appeal for civil cases as criminal cases. The Casa do Cível exercised jurisdiction over the northern part of the kingdom, and the Casa da Suplicação over the rest on the realm including the islands and overseas. In 1591, the four Vedores da Fazenda (overseers of the Treasury) were replaced by a Conselho da Fazenda composed of one Vedor da Fazenda presiding over four counsillors (two of them lawyers) and four secretaries. The Conselho da Fazenda exercised a control over the officials of finance, administered the particular king's goods and exercised its jurisdiction over the customs and the arsenals, the court of accounts and the administration of the monopolistic trade with overseas. From 1604, the newly created Conselho da Índia was invested with powers for all overseas affairs, apart from matters concerning Madeira, the Azores and the strongholds of Morocco, and colonial officials were appointed and their dispatches handled by it. However, it was the Conselho da Fazenda which dealt with naval expeditions, the buying and selling of pepper and the collection of the royal revenues, in fact with all economic business. The Conselho da Índia, therefore, exercised only limited powers. As a creation of the Spanish king, it was regarded with disfavour by the Portuguese and because of the jealousy of the Mesa da Consciência e Ordens disappeared in 1614.

Nevertheless, the political conjuncture need urgent reactions, and in this context a system of meetings appeared for specific issues, as the Junta for the reform of the Council of Portugal
Council of Portugal
(1606–1607, 1610), the Junta for the classification of the debts to the treasury (since 1627) or the Juntas for the organization of the navies of succor of Brazil (since 1637)...[17] Portuguese Empire
Portuguese Empire
challenged[edit] Main article: Dutch–Portuguese War

"Map of the Portuguese liberation of the city of Salvador in Brazil in 1625", João Teixeira Albernaz, o velho, 1631

1630: Dutch siege of Olinda, located in the Brazilian captaincy of Pernambuco, the largest and richest sugar-producing area in the world.[18]

Throughout the 17th century, the increasing predations and surrounding of Portuguese trading posts in the East by the Dutch, English and French, and their rapidly growing intrusion into the Atlantic slave trade, undermined Portugal's near monopoly on the lucrative oceanic spice and slave trades. This sent the Portuguese spice trade into a long decline. The diversion of wealth from Portugal
by the Habsburg monarchy to support the Catholic side of the Thirty Years' War
Thirty Years' War
also created strains within the union, although Portugal
did also benefit from Spanish military power in helping to retain Brazil and in disrupting Dutch trade. These events, and those that occurred at the end of Aviz dynasty and the period of Iberian Union, led Portugal
to a state of dependency on its colonies, first India
and then Brazil. The joining of the two crowns deprived Portugal
of a separate foreign policy, and Spain's enemies became Portugal's. England
had been an ally of Portugal
since the Treaty of Windsor in 1386. War between Spain
and England
led to a deterioration of the relations with Portugal's oldest ally, and the loss of Hormuz. English help provided by Elizabeth I of England
in a rebellion against the kings assured the survival of the alliance. War with the Dutch led to invasions of many countries in Asia, including Ceylon (today's Sri Lanka), and commercial interests in Japan, Africa
(Mina), and South America. Even though Portuguese were unable to capture the entire island of Ceylon, they were able to keep the coastal regions of Ceylon under their control for a considerable time. Brazil was partially conquered by both France
and the Seventeen Provinces. In the 17th Century, taking advantage of this period of Portuguese weakness, many Portuguese territories in Brazil were occupied by the Dutch who gained access to the sugarcane plantations. John Maurice, Prince of Nassau-Siegen was appointed as the governor of the Dutch possessions in Brazil in 1637 by the Dutch West India
Company. He landed at Recife, the port of Pernambuco, in January 1637. By a series of successful expeditions, he gradually extended the Dutch possessions from Sergipe on the south to São Luís de Maranhão in the north. He likewise conquered the Portuguese possessions of Elmina Castle, Saint Thomas, and Luanda, Angola, on the west coast of Africa. After the dissolution of the Iberian Union
Iberian Union
in 1640, Portugal
would reestablish its authority over the lost territories of the Portuguese Empire. The Dutch intrusion into Brazil was long lasting and troublesome to Portugal. The Seventeen Provinces
Seventeen Provinces
captured a large portion of the Brazilian coast including Bahia
(and its capital Salvador) and Pernambuco
(and its capital Olinda). The whole Brazilian northeast was occupied but the Dutch conquest was short lived. The recapture of Salvador by a Spanish-Portuguese fleet in 1625 was followed by a rapid recovery of the lost territories. The Dutch returned in 1630 and captured Recife
and Olinda
in the captaincy of Pernambuco, the largest and richest sugar-producing area in the world. This began a war over Brazil, which would see the Dutch establish a colony called New Holland. However, the Second Battle of Guararapes, second and decisive battle in a conflict called Pernambucana Insurrection, ended the Dutch occupation of the Portuguese colony of Brazil. On the other hand, the Iberian Union
Iberian Union
opened to both countries a worldwide span of control, as Portugal
dominated the African and Asian coasts that surrounded the Indian Ocean, and Spain
the Pacific Ocean and both sides of Central and South America, while both shared the Atlantic Ocean
Atlantic Ocean
space. Decline of the Union and revolt of Portugal[edit]

Acclamation of John IV as King of Portugal, painting by Veloso Salgado in the Military Museum, Lisbon.

When Philip II of Portugal
(Philip III of Spain) died, he was succeeded by Philip III (and IV of Spain) who had a different approach on Portuguese issues. Taxes raised affected mainly the Portuguese merchants (Carmo Reis 1987). The Portuguese nobility
Portuguese nobility
began to lose its importance at the Spanish Cortes, and government posts in Portugal were occupied by Spaniards. Ultimately, Philip III tried to make Portugal
a royal province, and Portuguese nobles lost all of their power. Several other problems also damaged Portuguese support of their union with Spain. One of these was certainly the pressure from the center, especially from the Count-Duke of Olivares, towards uniformity and sharing the financial and military burden of Castile's wars in Europe. However, the Portuguese were hardly inclined to help with that, as Spain
had failed to prevent the Dutch occupation of several of Portugal's colonial holdings, despite the fact that both the Portuguese and the Dutch were nominally under the same crown.[19] This situation culminated in a revolution by the nobility and high bourgeoisie on December 1, 1640, 60 years after the crowning of Philip I. This revolution, while foreseeable, was most immediately sparked by a popular Catalan Revolt against the Crown. The plot was planned by Antão Vaz de Almada, Miguel de Almeida and João Pinto Ribeiro. They, together with several associates, known as the Forty Conspirators, took advantage of the fact that the Castilian troops were occupied in the other side of the peninsula. The rebels killed Secretary of State Miguel de Vasconcelos and imprisoned the king's cousin, the Duchess of Mantua, who had governed Portugal
in his name. The moment was well chosen, as Philip's troops were at the time fighting the Thirty Years' War in addition to the previously mentioned revolution in Catalonia.[20] The support of the people became apparent almost immediately and soon John, 8th Duke of Braganza, was acclaimed King of Portugal
King of Portugal
throughout the country as John IV. By December 2, 1640, John had already sent a letter to the Municipal Chamber of Évora
as sovereign of the country. Restoration War and the end of the Union[edit] Main articles: Portuguese Restoration War and History of Portugal (1640–1777) The subsequent Portuguese Restoration War against Philip III (Portuguese: Guerra da Restauração) consisted mainly of small skirmishes near the border. The most significant battles were the Battle of the Lines of Elvas
Battle of the Lines of Elvas
(1659), the Battle of Ameixial
Battle of Ameixial
(1663), the Battle of Castelo Rodrigo
Battle of Castelo Rodrigo
(1664), and the Battle of Montes Claros (1665); the Portuguese were victorious in all of these battles. However, the Spaniards won the Battle of Vilanova
Battle of Vilanova
(1658) and the Battle of the Berlengas (1666). The Battle of Montijo
Battle of Montijo
(1644) was indecisive, starting out with great Spanish success and ending with Portuguese success; the number of casualties were nearly equal. Several decisions made by John IV to strengthen his forces made these victories possible. On December 11, 1640, the Council of War was created to organize all the operations.[21] Next, the king created the Junta of the Frontiers, to take care of the fortresses near the border, the hypothetical defense of Lisbon, and the garrisons and sea ports. In December 1641, a tenancy was created to assure upgrades on all fortresses that would be paid with regional taxes. John IV also organized the army, established the Military Laws of King Sebastian, and developed intense diplomatic activity focused on restoring good relations with England. Meanwhile, the best Spanish forces were pre-occupied with their battles against the French in Catalonia, along the Pyrenees, Italy and the Low Countries. The Spanish forces in Portugal
never received adequate support. Nevertheless, Philip IV felt he could not give up what he regarded as his rightful inheritance. By the time the war with France
ended in 1659, the Portuguese military were well established and ready to confront the last major attempt of a worn out Spanish regime to reclaim control. After gaining several decisive victories, John quickly tried to make peace. His demand that Philip recognize the new ruling dynasty in Portugal
was not fulfilled until the reign of his son Afonso VI during the regency of Peter of Braganza (another son of John and later King Peter II of Portugal). See also[edit]

History of Portugal History of Spain Iberian Federalism Spanish Empire

References[edit] Citations[edit]

^ António Henrique R. de Oliveira Marques, History of Portugal. 1972, page 322. Boris Fausto, A Concise History of Brazil, page 40. ^ [http://servidormanes.uned.es/mciud/documentos/documentos_trabajo/INDICACIONES_SOBRE_IDENTIDAD_CIUDADANIA_Y_CULTURA_POLITICA_1978-2006_%5B1%5D.pdf Indicaciones sobre la investigacion "Ciudadanía, identidades complejas y cultura política en los manuales escolares españoles".Centro de Investigación MANES

there is consensus among professional historians that the most adequate term is Hispanic monarchy

] ^ The "Spanish Century"[unreliable source?] ^ La Extranjería en la Historia Del Derecho Español ^ LA CONDICIÓN JURÍDICA DE "ESPANOL" COMO PRODUCTO DEL DERECHO INDIANO ^ DEBATE SOBRE LA IDENTIDAD DE ESPAÑA. El Mundo ^ Notice that, before the emergence of the modern country of Spain (beginning with the dynastic union of Castile and Aragon in 1479, followed by political unification in 1516), the Latin
word Hispania, in any of the Iberian Romance languages, either in singular or plural forms (also rendered in English as Spain
or Spains), was used to refer to the whole of the Iberian Peninsula, and not, as in modern usage, for a country of Spain
to the exclusion of Portugal. ^ Geoffrey Parker The army of Flanders and the Spanish road, London, 1972 ISBN 0-521-08462-8, p. 35 ^ Henry Kamen, The duke of Alba (New Haven–London: Yale University Press, 2004), Pp. x + 204. ^ Madrid
- Google Libros. Books.google.es. 2006. ISBN 9781740598590. Retrieved 2010-08-22.  ^ John Horace Parry, ''The Spanish seaborne empire'', University of California Press, 1990. Books.google.es. 1990. ISBN 9780520071407. Retrieved 2010-08-22.  ^ Stephen J. Lee, ''Aspects of European history, 1494-1789'', Routledge (1984). Books.google.es. 1984. ISBN 9780415027847. Retrieved 2010-08-22.  ^ Torbjørn L. Knutsen, ''The rise and fall of world orders'', Manchester University Press (1999). Books.google.es. 1999. ISBN 9780719040580. Retrieved 2010-08-22.  ^ Alastair Boyd, ''The Companion guide to Madrid
and central Spain'', Companion Guides (2002). Books.google.es. 2002. ISBN 9781900639378. Retrieved 2010-08-22.  ^ "Stephen J. Lee, ''Aspects of European history, 1494-1789'', Routledge (1984)". Google.es. Retrieved 2010-08-22.  ^ "Santiago de Luxán Meléndez, ''La pervivencia del Consejo de Portugal
durante la Restauración: 1640-1668'', Norba. Revista de historia, ISSN 0213-375X, Nº 8-9, 1987-1988, p.61-86". Dialnet.unirioja.es. Retrieved 2010-08-22.  ^ Julio Valdeón Baruque, ''Revueltas y revoluciones en la historia'', Universidad de Salamanca (1990). Books.google.es. 1990. ISBN 9788474815863. Retrieved 2010-08-22.  ^ "Recife—A City Made by Sugar". Awake!. Retrieved 21 September 2016.  ^ Elliot, J.H. (2002). Imperial Spain: 1469-1716. New York: Penguin Books. pp. 337–338. ISBN 0-14-100703-6.  ^ Elliot, J.H. (2002). Imperial Spain: 1469-1716. New York: Penguin Books. pp. 346–348. ISBN 0-14-100703-6.  ^ (Mattoso Vol. VIII 1993)


Leslie Bethell, The Cambridge history of Latin
America, Cambridge University Press (1984) Jean-Frédéric Schaub, Le Portugal
Au Temps Du Conde-duc D'olivares, Casa de Velázquez (2001) Luis Suárez Fernández, José Andrés Gallego, La Crisis de la hegemonía española, siglo XVII, Ediciones Rialp (1986)

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Topics related to the Portuguese monarchy

Major events

Battle of São Mamede Battle of Ourique Treaty of Zamora Manifestis Probatum 1383–85 Crisis Battle of Aljubarrota Battle of Alfarrobeira Battle of Alcácer Quibir Portuguese succession crisis of 1580 War of the Portuguese Succession Iberian Union Forty Conspirators Portuguese Restoration War Transfer of the Portuguese Court Liberal Revolution of 1820 April Revolt Portuguese Civil War Municipal Library Elevator Coup Lisbon
Regicide 5 October 1910 revolution Royalist attack on Chaves Monarchy of the North

Royal houses

Portuguese House of Burgundy House of Aviz House of Habsburg House of Braganza House of Braganza-Saxe-Coburg and Gotha
House of Braganza-Saxe-Coburg and Gotha

Royal residences

Ajuda Palace São Jorge Alcáçova Belém Palace Buçaco Palace Évora
Palace Mafra Palace Necessidades Palace Pena Palace Queluz Palace Quinta da Boa Vista Rio de Janeiro Palace Ramalhão Palace Ribeira Palace São Cristóvão Palace Santa Cruz Estate Sintra Palace Vila Viçosa Palace


Kingdom of Portugal Kingdom of the Algarve Kingdom of Brazil United Kingdom of Portugal, Brazil and the Algarves Portuguese Monarchs Line of succession to the former Portuguese throne Miguelism Sebastianism Portuguese Empire Portuguese Cortes Portuguese nobility List of titles and honours of the Portuguese Crown Council of Portugal Pantheon of the House of Braganza Most Faithful Majesty Duarte Pio, Duke of Braganza
Duarte Pio, Duke of Braganza
(current pretender) Genealogical tree of the monarchs of Portugal Portuguese Crown Jewels Style of the Portuguese sovereign His Most Faithful Majesty's Council

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