In this episode we explore the period from 1808 to 1831: how Brazil fared with the royal family in residence, the oblique path it took to independence, and the turbulent rule of its first emperor, Dom Pedro I.
For all their faults, without the royal family’s presence, Brazil could not have made the first steps toward economic independence so quickly nor likely remained a single country. The other side of this is that their tenure in Brazil made independence a prolonged process instead of a clean break. Although that break would be accomplished with less bloodshed than others in the Americas. At the same time tensions over the form of the government, the role of the emperor, successions issues, and resistance to independence itself would force Brazil’s firt leader to abdicate not one but two thrones.
Maria I: (1734-1816) Called the Pious in Portugual and the Mad in Brazil. Mother of João VI. She ruled as Maria I until 1799 when she was forcefully retired due to mental instability.
João VI: (1767-1826) Prince Regent and later King João VI of the United Kingdoms of Portugual, Brazil, and the Algarves. The only European monarch to set set foot in let alone rule from a New World colony.
Carlota Joaquina of Spain: (1775-1830) Wife of João VI and daughter of King Charles the IV of Spain.
Pedro I: (1798-1834) Son of João VI and later Emperor of Brazil and King of Portugal.
Maria Leopoldina: (1797-1826) Daughter of daughter of Holy Roman Emperor Francis II, Archduchess of Austria. First wife of Pedro I.
Amélie de Leutchenberg: (1812-1873) – Second wife of Pedro I. Daughter of of General Eugène de Beauharnais and Princess Augusta of Bavaria.
Isabella Maria: (1801-1876) Younger sister of Pedro I, João’s designate as regent for his “legitimate successor”.
Miguel I: (1802-1866) Younger brother of Pedro I. Exiled for wanting to restore the absolute power of the monarchy.
Maria II: (1819-1853) Maria da Gloria, daughter of Pedro I. Would become Queen of Portugal after her father’s brief reign.