To fathom this Civil War, we need to go back to 1807 and to the Napoleonic Wars. With French armies marching on Lisbon, the King and his court fled to Brazil. And then they stayed there – after the defeat of the French, after the Congress of Vienna. As an absolute ruler, King D. João VI was able to do what he wanted, thus Portugal became an effective colony of Brazil, and suffered not only the legacy of the war against the French, but also a military occupation by the British.
Who was Admiral Sir Charles John Napier?
Napier served in the Royal Navy for 60 years and was a brave yet controversial commander; he became one of the most popular naval officers in Britain for his role in many battles during the Napoleonic, Anglo-American, Syrian and Crimean wars. In this two-volume work, originally published in 1836, Napier gives his first-hand account of the Portuguese Civil War (or Miguelite War); this conflict of succession occurred between two brothers, the progressive constitutionalist Don Pedro and the authoritarian absolutist Don Miguel. In 1833, Napier led the Liberal fleet which defeated Don Miguel at the fourth Battle of Cape St. Vincent. He remained in Portugal for some time after the surrender to fight pockets of Miguelite resistance.