Skip to main content

João IV of Portugal (1604–1656)

João IV of Portugal (1604–1656)

João IV of Portugal (b. 19 March 1604; d. 1656), son of the seventh duke of Bragança, Dom Teodósio, and his wife, Dona Ana de Velasco. Born in the ancestral palace in Vila Viçosa, he married Dona Luísa Francesca de Guzmán of the Spanish house of Medina Sidonia (12 January 1633). Following the success of the December Revolution (1640) against Portugal's Spanish rulers, he was acclaimed king (15 December) and became the founder of the Bragança dynasty, thereby fulfilling 60 years of dreams of his family and his nation. He inherited a government devoid of funds, an effective army, or a competitive navy, but despite these weaknesses his rule survived a serious pro-Spanish conspiracy (1641). He came to rely upon the Jesuits for advice and diplomatic service and the members of his councils, including the Overseas Council, which he created for the management of the empire. Although he was unable to save Portugal's eastern empire, beset by heavy pressure from the Dutch, or to resume the once lucrative silk trade between Macao and Japan, he supported popular Brazilian uprisings against occupying Dutch forces in northeastern Brazil and lived to learn of their definitive surrender (1654). João IV was a conscientious, prudent monarch whose interests were hunting and music and the welfare of his subjects.

See alsoBrazil: The Colonial Era, 1500–1808; Jesuits.


Joel Serrão, ed., Dicionário de história de Portugal (1971), vol. 2, pp. 620-623.

Joaquim Veríssimo Serrão, História de Portugal, vol. 5 (1980).

Additional Bibliography

Ames, Glenn Joseph. Renascent Empire: The House of Braganza and the Quest for Stability in Portuguese Monsoon Asia, c.1640–1683. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 2000.

Mello, Evaldo Cabral de. O negócio do Brasil: Portugal, os Paises Baixos e o Nordeste, 1641–1669. Rio de Janeiro: Topbooks, 1998.

Pereira, Gerardo. A restauração de Portugal e do Brasil. Rio de Janeiro: Biblioteca do Exército Editora, 2004.

Russell-Wood, A. J. R. The Portuguese Empire, 1415–1808: A World on the Move. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1998.

                                           Dauril Alden

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"João IV of Portugal (1604–1656)." Encyclopedia of Latin American History and Culture. . 16 Sep. 2019 <>.

"João IV of Portugal (1604–1656)." Encyclopedia of Latin American History and Culture. . (September 16, 2019).

"João IV of Portugal (1604–1656)." Encyclopedia of Latin American History and Culture. . Retrieved September 16, 2019 from

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

The Chicago Manual of Style

American Psychological Association

  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.