England and the Orleans Monarchy

By Major John Hall | Go to book overview

CHAPTER VI
TWO QUEENS AND TWO PRETENDERS

THE growing power of Mehemet Ali, and the increasing decrepitude of the Ottoman Empire were not the only subjects which, in the year 1833, engaged the serious attention of the European Cabinets. A civil war was in progress in Portugal, and Spain was threatened with the same calamity. Dom Pedro, the Emperor of Brazil, had, on the death of his father, abdicated the crown of Portugal in favour of his seven year old daughter, Donna Maria de Gloria. At the same time he had appointed his brother, Dom Miguel, to the Regency, on the understanding that he would agree to observe the Charter, and to marry his niece, the young Queen. Dom Miguel gave the required assurances, but upon his arrival at Lisbon, early in the year 1828, he proceeded to abrogate the constitution, and shortly afterwards to usurp the throne. His unlawful assumption of the crown was followed by harsh and reactionary measures against Liberals and Freemasons, which culminated in the establishment of a veritable reign of terror. It was in consequence of this state of affairs, that, in July, 1831, a French fleet had, with the full approval of the British government, been dispatched to the Tagus to exact reparation for outrages committed on French subjects.1

Meanwhile, a successful revolution in Brazil had compelled Dom Pedro to seek refuge in England,

____________________
1
Vide p. 75.

-171-

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