Maria I (December 17, 1734 – March 20, 1816) was Queen of Portugal and the Algarves from 1777 until her death. Known as Maria the Pious, Maria the Mad, she was the first undisputed Queen regnant of Portugal. She was the eldest of the four daughters of Joseph I of Portugal and Mariana Victoria of Spain.
On the day of her birth, her grandfather, King John V, created her the Princess of Beira. When her father, Joseph I, succeeded to the throne in 1750, Maria was declared his heiress and given the traditional title of Princess of Brazil, though not Duchess of Bragança.
Maria married her uncle, Prince Peter of Portugal, who automatically became co-monarch as Peter III of Portugal when she was crowned Queen regnant, because a child had already been born from their marriage.
In 1777, she became the first Queen regnant of Portugal, and the Algarves, and the 26th (or 27th according to some historians ) Portuguese monarch. Her husband became her co-monarch, known as Peter III.
Her first act as queen was to dismiss the popular prime minister, the Marquis of Pombal, who had broken the power of the reactionary aristocracy via the Tavora affair, partially because of Pombal's Enlightenment, anti-Jesuit policies. Noteworthy events of this period were Portugal's membership of the League of Armed Neutrality (July 1782) and the 1781 cession of Delagoa Bay from Austria to Portugal.
Queen Maria suffered from religious mania and melancholia. This acute mental illness (perhaps due to porphyria, which also may have attainted George III of the United Kingdom) made her incapable of handling state affairs after 1799. Her surviving son Prince John became regent for his widowed mother.
In 1801 the Spanish dictator Manuel de Godoy invaded Portugal with backing from Napoleon, but was forced to abandon the campaign in the same year. However the Treaty of Badajoz on June 6 1801 forced Portugal to cede Olivenza and part of Guyana to Spain.
The refusal of the Portuguese government to join the Continental Blockade of Britain culminated in the 1807 Franco-Spanish invasion led by General Junot. At the urging of the British government, the entire Braganza dynasty fled to Brazil on November 13, 1807 and established a court in exile in Rio de Janeiro. Junot was appointed governor of Portugal pending Napoleon's decision on its ultimate fate.
On August 1, 1808, the British General Arthur Wellesley (later Duke of Wellington) landed a British army in Lisbon and thus initiated the Peninsular War. Wellesley's initial victory over Junot at Vimeiro (August 21 1808) was wiped out by his superiors in the Convention of Cintra (August 30 1808). Nevertheless, Wellesley (now Lord Wellington) returned to Portugal on April 22, 1809 to recommence the campaign. Portuguese forces under British command distinguished themselves in the defence of the lines of Torres Vedras (1809-1810) and in the subsequent invasion of Spain and France.
In 1815, the regency government elevated Brazil to the status of a kingdom, and Maria I was proclaimed the Queen of the United Kingdom of Portugal, Brazil and the Algarves. When Napoleon was finally defeated in 1815, Maria and her family remained in Brazil.
The aged Queen died at Rio de Janeiro in 1816 at the age of 81; the Prince Regent succeeded her as King John VI of Portugal and Brazil.
|Maria I of Portugal|| Father:|
Joseph I of Portugal
| Father's father:|
John V of Portugal
| Father's father's father:|
Peter II of Portugal
| Father's father's mother:|
Maria Sophia of Neuburg
| Father's mother:|
Mary Anne of Austria
| Father's mother's father:|
Leopold I, Holy Roman Emperor
| Father's mother's mother:|
Eleonore-Magdalena of Pfalz-Neuburg
Mariana Victoria of Spain
| Mother's father:|
Philip V of Spain
| Mother's father's father:|
Louis, le Grand Dauphin
| Mother's father's mother:|
Maria Anna of Bavaria
| Mother's mother:|
Elisabeth of Parma
| Mother's mother's father:|
Odoardo II Farnese
| Mother's mother's mother:|
Dorothea Sophie of Neuburg
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