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Maria I

Maria I, 1734–1816, queen of Portugal (1777–1816), daughter of Joseph I. She was married (1760) to her uncle, who assumed joint rule with her as Peter III. Neither of them was much interested in affairs of state, but they did immediately bring about the fall of Joseph's powerful minister, Pombal. Many of the intellectuals and personal enemies of Pombal who had been imprisoned or exiled returned, and Portugal experienced a mild intellectual revival. The deaths of her husband (1786) and eldest son, Joseph (1788), and, reputedly at least, fears over the revolution in France helped to unhinge Maria's mind. Her second son (later John VI) assumed power in 1792 (though he did not formally become regent until 1799). In 1807, Maria fled with the rest of the court to Brazil, where she died.

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