Biography of King of Portugal Juan IV (1604-1656)

King of Portugal, first member of the House of Braganza who went to the Portuguese throne, born in Vila Viçosa 19 March 1604 and died November 6, 1656 in Lisbon; He received the nickname of the lucky. He represented the pro-independence aspirations of Portugal against the Crown of Spain. In 1640, with the triumph of the independence uprising, a meeting of nobles granted the Crown. Prior to the uprising, Juan, was the eighth Duke of the House of Braganza, the richest of the Portuguese noble families. He married Luisa de Guzmán, daughter of the Duke of Medina Sidonia.

The Portuguese independence wishes were centered on a series of grievances that had occurred since Felipe II to acquire inheritance rights to the Portuguese throne in 1581. The root causes of the uprising were: the lack of representation of Portugal in the politics of the monarchy hispanica, reflected also in practically zero stays of the monarchs in the Kingdom; the occupation of the Portuguese senior administrative positions by the nobility of Castile, while the Portuguese were banned in Castile; the loss of Portuguese Imperial possessions in Brazil and Asia against Holland; the new demands of men and money (see Union of weapons) made by olive groves to deal with the thirty years war; and finally, the bad Government of the widowed Duchess of Mantua, Margarita de Saboya, closely linked to the Royal family since she was granddaughter of Felipe II.

The attempt to raise new taxes blew up revolt in Evora in the summer of 1637, which was extended to the Alentejo and Algarve, Ribatejo and had to be stifled by the thirds sent from Badajoz. In this situation, the figure of the Duke of Braganza was growing in importance among the rebels, who increasingly saw him as the ideal person to restore the monarchy in Portugal. Olivares tried in vain to get away to the Duke of Lisbon, which offered, among others, the office of Viceroy in Milan.

December 1, 1640 again started the independence movement; that same day the nobles proclaimed the Duke of Braganza, who assumed the throne under the name of Juan IV King of Portugal. In one day the Spanish monarchy witnessed the loss of an entire Kingdom. Unable to send an army to crush the rebels was postponed this decision for a future in which both international and national situation allowed Felipe IV send troops to Portugal. That moment came a year later, in 1641, date in which the count of Monterrey entered Portugal in front of a worse organized and ill-prepared army which was defeated completely. That same year, the Archbishop of Braga directed a conspiracy to assassinate Juan IV and restore Spanish sovereignty, but the conspiracy was discovered and aborted.

After the achievement of independence, Juan IV was proclaimed sovereign of Portugal by the Cortes 15 December 1640, quickly was recognized by most powers European, eager to weaken the Spanish position in Europe. At the beginning of his reign he allied with the enemies of Felipe IV, which managed to defeat at the battle of Montijo-1644. But the threat of the Dutch merchants over the Portuguese Empire soon diverted energies and the Portuguese armies towards the defense of Brazil. Between 1649 and 1654 he defeated repeatedly to the Dutch squad in the Brazilian coast, which managed to recover some of the lost territories.

Juan IV restored the economy and public finances through a sharp rise in taxes and the seizure of the properties of all those accused of collaborating with the Spanish monarchy against the Portuguese Crown; He restored the economy and Agriculture and boosted economic life in general, revealing themselves as a good Manager. It approved a special tax on wine and bread as a means of balancing the country's finances. In the same way, thanks to his military victories managed to regain some of the prestige lost by Portugal in the previous decades. The diplomatic activity was feverish, placed their ambassadors in the major European courts. His decision to return to Portugal lost prestige led him to the end of selling their personal jewelry to cover military operations.

He cultivated with special care music, composed pieces of sacred music, and left several treaties on this art: Defense of the music against the wrong opinion of Bishop Cirules Franco; Concordance of the music; and music.

In 1656 died Juan IV; He left as the heir to a Regency Council headed by his wife, as their son, Alfonso VI, was minor. His daughter, Catherine, married the English King Carlos II on 21 May 1662.