- Pedro I
known as Dom Pedroborn Oct. 12, 1798, Lisbon, Port.died Sept. 24, 1834, LisbonFirst emperor of Brazil (1822–31) and, briefly, king of Portugal.The son of John VI of Portugal, he became regent of Brazil in 1821, but in 1822 he broke with Lisbon and declared Brazil's independence. The former colony became a constitutional monarchy with Pedro its emperor. Strong opposition to his autocratic manner and impatience with parliamentary procedure induced him to abdicate in favour of his five-year-old son, Pedro II. When John VI died, Pedro I became Portugal's King Pedro IV, but he quickly abdicated in favour of his daughter, the future Queen Maria II. See also José Bonifácio de Andrada e Silva.
* * *▪ emperor of Brazilborn Oct. 12, 1798, Lisbon, Port.died Sept. 24, 1834, Lisbonfounder of the Brazilian empire and first emperor of Brazil, from Dec. 1, 1822, to April 7, 1831, also reckoned as King Pedro (Peter) IV of Portugal.Generally known as Dom Pedro, he was the son of King John VI of Portugal. When Napoleon conquered Portugal in 1807, Pedro accompanied the royal family in its flight to Brazil. He remained there as regent when King John returned to Portugal in 1821.Pedro surrounded himself with ministers who counseled independence. When the Portuguese Cortês (Parliament), preferring colonial status for Brazil, demanded that Pedro return to Lisbon to “complete his political education,” he issued a declaration of Brazilian independence on Sept. 7, 1822. Within three months he was crowned emperor.Pedro's initial popularity waned, and in 1823, when the Brazilian Assembly was preparing a liberal constitution, he dissolved that body and exiled the radical leader José Bonifácio de Andrada e Silva. On March 25, 1824, however, Pedro accepted a somewhat less liberal constitution drafted by the Council of State at his behest.Although adoption of that charter may have saved Pedro from deposition, it did not reestablish his popularity. His autocratic manner, his lack of enthusiasm for parliamentary government, and his continuing deep interest in Portuguese affairs antagonized his subjects, as did the failure of his military forces in a war with Argentina over what is now Uruguay. Strong opposition in the Brazilian Parliament and a series of local uprisings induced him to abdicate in 1831 in favour of his son Dom Pedro II, who was then five years old. Pedro I then returned to Portugal.On the death of King John VI (March 10, 1826), Pedro I had become titular king of Portugal as Pedro IV. Two months later, still in Brazil, he issued a parliamentary charter for Portugal and conditionally abdicated the Portuguese throne in favour of his daughter Maria da Glória, the future Queen Maria II. He died of natural causes in Portugal while securing his daughter's claim against that of his brother, the regent Miguel.
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