Page:EB1911 - Volume 22.djvu/163

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HISTORY]
 149
PORTUGAL


became king. His reign (1683–1706) is a period of supreme importance in the economic and constitutional history of Portugal. The goldfields of Minas Geraes in Brazil, discovered about 1693, brought a vast revenue inThe Cortes and the Methuen Treaty. Methuen royalties to the Crown, which was thus enabled to govern without summoning the cortes to vote supply. In 1697 the cortes met for the last time before the era of constitutional government. Even more important was the change effected when the Whig ministry of Great Britain sent John Methuen to Lisbon to negotiate a commercial agreement. The Methuen Treaty, signed on the 27th of December 1703, detached Portugal from the French alliance, and made her for more than 150 years a commercial and political satellite of Great Britain. ts most far-reaching provisions were those which admitted Portuguese wines to the British market at a lower rate of duty than was imposed upon French and German wines, in return for a corresponding preference to English textiles. The demand for “Port” and “Madeira” was thus artificially stimulated to such an extent that almost the whole productive energy of Portugal was concentrated upon the wine and cork trades. Other industries, including agriculture, were neglected, and even food-stuffs were imported from Great Britain. The disastrous economic results of the treaty were temporarily concealed by the influx of gold from Brazil, the check upon emigration from the wine-growing northern provinces, and the military advantages of alliance with Great Britain. Nor was the virtual abolition of the cortes seriously felt at first, owing to the excellent internal administration of Pedro II. and his minister the duke of Cadaval.

Pedro II. had at first wished to remain neutral in the impending struggle between Philip V. and the archduke Charles, rival claimants for the throne of Spain. But Queen Marie had died in 1683, and in 1687 Cadaval had induced the king to marry Maria Sophia de Neuberg,War of the Spanish Succession. daughter of the elector-palatine. Louis XIV. of France, who had hoped through the influence of Queen Marie to secure Portuguese support for his own grandson Philip V., realized that this second marriage might thwart his policy, and strove to redress the balance by creating a strong party at the court of Lisbon. He so far succeeded that in 1700 Pedro II. recognized Philip V. as king of Spain and in 1701 protected a French fleet in the Tagus against the British. It was this incident that caused the despatch of the Methuen mission and the renewal of the Anglo-Portuguese alliance in 1703. On the 7th of March 1704 a British fleet under Sir George Rooke reached Lisbon, convoying the archduke Charles and 10,000 British troops, who were joined by a Portuguese army under D. João de Sousa, marquess das Minas, and at once invaded Spain. (For the campaigns of 1704–13, see Spanish Succession, War of the.) In 1705 Pedro II. was compelled by failing health to appoint a regent, and chose his sister, Catherine of Braganza, queen-dowager of England. On the death of the king (Dec. 9, 1706) Cadaval arranged a marriage between his successor John V. (1706–1750) and the archduchess Marianna, sister of the archduke Charles, thus binding Portugal more closely to the Anglo-Austrian cause. The strain of the war was acutely felt in Portugal, especially in 1711, when the French admiral Duguay-Trouin sacked Rio' de Janeiro and cut off the Brazilian treasure ships. At last, on the 6th of February 1715, nearly two years after the treaty of Utrecht, peace between Spain and Portugal was concluded at Madrid.

Never was the Portuguese Crown richer than in the years 1715–1755; rarely had the kingdom prospered less. The commercial and financial evils rife under the last kings of the Aviz dynasty were now repeated. More gold had been discovered in Matto Grosso,The Mon-archy and the Church. diamonds in Minas Geraes. As in the 16th century immense quantities of bullion were imported by the treasury, and were lavished upon war, luxury and the Church, while agriculture and manufactures continued to decline, and the countryside was depopulated by emigration to Brazil. John V. was a spendthrift and a bigot. He gave and lent enormous sums to successive popes, and at the bidding of Clement XI. he joined a “crusade ” against the Turks in which his ships helped to win a naval action off Cape Matapan (1717). For these services he received the title of Fidelissimus, “Most Faithful", “Majesty” had already been adopted by John IV. instead of the medieval “Highness,” and the new style was intended to place the king of Portugal on an equality with his Most Christian Majesty of France and his Most Catholic Majesty of Spain. John V. was also empowered to create a multitude of new ecclesiastical dignities, and the archbishop of Lisbon was granted the rank and style of Patriarch ex officio. To the patriarchate was appended a Sacred College of 24 prelates, who were privileged to officiate in the scarlet robes of cardinals, while the patriarch wore the vestments of a second pope. Though regiments were disbanded, fleets put out of commission and fortresses dismantled to save the cost of their upkeep, the Crown paid nearly £100,000 yearly for the maintenance of this new hierarchy, and squandered untold wealth on the erection of churches and monasteries. In the church of São Roque in Lisbon, the decoration of a single chapel measuring 17 ft. by 12 ft. cost £225,000; the expenditure on the convent-palace of Mafra (q.v.) exceeded £4,000,000.

John V. was succeeded by his son Joseph (1750–1777). Five years afterwards Portugal was overtaken by the tremendous disaster of the Lisbon earthquake (see Lisbon), which, as Oliveira Martins justly observes, was “more than a cataclysm of nature; it was a moral revolution.” It brought the Restoration period to an end (1755). Throughout that period the monarchy had occupied a precarious position, dependent until 1668 for its very existence, and after 1668 for its stability, on foreign support. Its policy had been moulded to suit France or Great Britain, while its internal administration had normally been directed by the Church. The cortes had grown obsolete; the feudal aristocracy were become courtiers. Once more, as in 1586, Portugal was governed by ecclesiastics in the name of an absolute monarch; once more, as in 1580, the chief strength of the ecclesiastical party was the Society of Jesus, which still controlled the conscience and mind of the nation and of its nominal rulers, through the confessional and the schools.

7. The Reform of the Monarchy: 1755–1826:—The unity of Portuguese history is hard to perceive in the years which witnessed the rise and fall of the Pombaline régime, the reign of the mad queen l/Iaria, the Peninsular War and the subsequent chaos of revolutionary intrigue. At first sight it seems absurd to characterize this period of despotism ending in war, ruin and anarchy as a period of reform. Nevertheless, it is possible to trace through the apparent chaos an uninterrupted movement from absolutism to representative institutions. Pombal liberated the monarchy from clerical domination, and thus unwittingly opened the door to those “French principles,” or democratic ideas, which spread rapidly after his downfall in 1777. The destruction of an obsolete political system, begun by Pombal, was completed by the Peninsular War; while French invaders and British governors together quickened among the Portuguese a new consciousness of their nationality, and a new desire for political rights, which rendered inevitable the change to constitutional monarchy.

Two days after the accession of King Joseph, Sebastião José de Carvalho e Mello, better known as the marquess of Pombal (q.v.), was appointed secretary of state for foreign affairs and war. In a few months he gained an ascendancy over the king’s mind which lasted until the end of thePombal, 1750–1777. reign, and was strengthened by the courage and wisdom shown by Pombal at the time of the great earthquake. His policy was to strengthen the monarchy and to use it for the furtherance of a comprehensive scheme of reform. Beginning with finance and commerce, he reversed the bullionist policy of his predecessors and reorganized the entire system of taxation. He sought to undo the worst consequences of the Methuen treaty by the creation of national industries, establishing a gunpowder factory and a sugar refinery in 1751, a silk industry in 1752, wool, paper and glass factories after 1759. Colonial development was fostered, and the commercial dependence of Portugal upon