Portuguese Restoration War

Portuguese Restoration War

Infobox Military Conflict
conflict=Portuguese Restoration War

caption="", by Francisco Goya (1814)
date=1 December, 1640 – 13 February, 1668
result=Portuguese victory; Treaty of Lisbon
combatant1=flagicon|Portugal|1640 Portugal
combatant2=flagicon|Spain|1506 Spain

Portuguese Restoration War ( _pt. Guerra da Restauração) was the name given after the 19th century by romantic historians to the war between Portugal and Castile after the revolution of 1640, that ended the sixty years period of the Dual Monarchy between Portugal and Castile under the House of Habsburg. As Spain was not formally unified, and only Castilian money, power and soldiers fought against Portugal,Fact|date=April 2008 it is not accurate to define it as a war between Portugal and Spain. A Spanish state and a Spanish King would officially start to exist just after the French-inspired Bourbonic reforms of the 18th century.

In the 17th century and afterwards, it was simply known in Portugal and elsewhere as the Acclamation War, as it simply restored the independence of Portugal's ruling dynasty, the House of Braganza, deposing a tyrant king under constitutional Portuguese Law, and acclaiming (or electing) another one more suitable to the country. This had been done already several times before in Portuguese history.

The bloodless Acclamation Revolution began in Lisbon on 1 December 1640, and was soon supported throughout the country and its colonies, bringing Portugal to the Thirty Years War scene till peace was finally settled, after 28 years of war with Castile in Europe, and with the Netherlands in Asia, America and Africa, in 1668.

Cardinal Richelieu, then chief adviser to Louis XIII of France, at war with Castile at that time, had to control internal rebellions (within France) supported and financed by Madrid, and had to send French armies to fight the Spanish Habsburgs on three different fronts, as Philip IV of Spain, former Philip III of Portugal, reigned also (under various titles) in Flanders and Franche-Comté, to the north and east of France respectively. Additionally, Philip IV controlled large territories in Italy, which could open up a fourth front at the will of the King of Spain.

Therefore, the statesman Richelieu decided to force Philip IV to look to his own internal problems, and supported the claim of João IV of Portugal during the Acclamation War, in order to divert the Spanish troops, which were still said to be the best in Europe, a reputation they had gained with the introduction of the arquebus. This was done on the reasoning that a Portuguese war would drain Spanish resources and manpower. The alliance between Portugal and France led to the marriage of Afonso VI of Portugal to a French Princess, Marie Françoise of Nemours, cousin of Louis XIV. But Richelieu abandoned his Portuguese and Catalan allies, to sign a separate peace with Madrid, the Treaty of Pyrenees, in 1659, under the terms of which France recognised Philip IV as the legitimate King of Portugal.

War between the Dutch and the Portuguese continued all over the Portuguese Empire after the Acclamation, from Asia to America, and Africa - until the final expulsion of the Dutch from Brazil, Angola, and São Tomé and Príncipe. The Dutch signed a European truce with Portugal, helping each other somewhat against their common enemy, Castile. The Dutch resumed buying salt in the Setúbal salt factories, restarting commerce in Europe between the two countries, which had ended in 1580 when the Habsburgs, against whom the Dutch were in revolt (see Dutch Revolt), had come to the Portuguese throne via the "Struggle for the throne of Portugal".

England was, at this time, embroiled in civil war during the English Civil War. Problems in dealing with England arose from the fact that the Parliamentarians won the war while Portugal's court had received and recognized English princes. These problems persisted during the short-lived Commonwealth of England, the republic which had deposed Charles I of England. After the restoration of Charles II of England, it became possible for Portugal to compensate for the loss of the (limited) French support, by renewing the traditional alliance between England and Portugal, via the marriage of Charles II to Dona Catarina de Bragança, restoring outside support for the Portuguese in their conflict with Castile. It was largely due to the English alliance that peace with Spain was possible at the end of the war, as Spain had been drained by the Thirty Years' War, and had no stomach for further warfare with other European powers.

Militarily, the Acclamation War consisted mainly of ongoing border skirmishes, combined with destructive annual invasions and counter-invasions; one major Castilian invasion of Portugal, ordered by Philip IV after the peace with France had been signed and commanded by his most accomplished general (the Marquis of Caracena), and was marked by five decisive battles:

*the Battle of Montijo on May 26 1644,
*the Battle of the Lines of Elvas on January 14 1659,
*the Battle of Ameixial on June 8 1663,
*the Battle of Castelo Rodrigo on July 7 1664, and
*the Battle of Montes Claros on June 17 1665.

The Portuguese were victorious in all of these battles and peace was concluded, with English mediation, in the Treaty of Lisbon in 1668.


*1640, December 1: a small group of conspirators storms the Palace in Lisbon and deposes the Spanish Governor, the Duchess of Mantua. The Duke of Bragança, head of the senior family of the Portuguese nobility accepts the throne as Dom João IV of Portugal. His entire reign will be dominated by the struggle to establish and maintain independence from Spain. A first counter-revolution mounted by the inquisition fails, quelled by Francisco de Lucena, who has the ringleaders executed, but it initiates a 28-year-long war of independence against Spain punctuated by frequent internal threats to the stability of the new regime.
*1644 - Elvas withstands a nine-day siege by Spanish troops.
*1654 - Anglo-Portuguese treaty between João IV and Oliver Cromwell signed at Westminster. Joao agrees to prevent the molestation of the traders of the English Protector; they are allowed to use their own bible and bury their dead according to Protestant rites on Catholic soil.
*1656 - Death of João IV after a reign of 15 years. His Queen now reigns as Regent for their son, Afonso VI of Portugal. She seeks an accommodation with Spain.
*1659 - The Treaty of the Pyrenees ends Spain's long war with France, and Spanish troops are freed once more to suppress the Portuguese ‘rebellion’. The Spaniards besiege Elvas and are driven off by the Marquis of Marialva, Dom António Luís de Meneses.
*1660 - On the restoration of Charles II in Britain, the Queen-Regent re-negotiates the treaty of 1654. Portugal is allowed to recruit soldiers and horses in England for the fight against Spain; and to seek out 4,000 fighting men in Scotland and Ireland and charter 24 English ships to carry them. The expeditionary force is to be issued with English weapons on arrival in Portugal and guaranteed religious freedom of worship.
*1661 - Castelo Melhor initiates the final, successful phase of the Portuguese Acclamation War of with the aid of the Franco-German Marshal Schomberg, who brilliantly commands an international mercenary army against the Spanish forces. Castelo Melhor plans to prosecute the war to take Galicia at the end of it to the Portuguese crown as war indemnities, and the fact contributes to the deposition of King Afonso VI, and his exile into France.
*1665 - 17 June, Portugal is again victorious at the Battle of Montes Claros, in which Marialva and Schomberg defeated the Spanish army under the Marquis of Caracena; Spain ceases to make war, but peace will not be signed for another three years.
*1668 - Peace Treaty of Lisbon with Spain ends nearly 29 years of war. Spain finally recognizes the independence of Portugal and the legitimity of its monarch. Portugal keeps all of its overseas colonies, with the exception of Ceuta in Africa.

ee also

*Struggle for the throne of Portugal
*History of Portugal
*History of Spain
*History of France
*History of the Netherlands
*History of England
*Iberian Union

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