Maria II a Gloria (1819–1853)

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Maria II a Gloria (1819–1853)

Queen of Portugal. Name variations: María II da Glória. Born April 4, 1819, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; died in Lisbon, Nov 15, 1853; eldest child of Peter IV, king of Portugal (r. 1826), also known as Pedro I, emperor of Brazil (r. 1822–1831), and the Archduchess Leopoldina of Austria (1797–1826); m. Prince August of Leuchtenburg also known as Auguste Beauharnais (1810–1835), Jan 28, 1835 (died 2 months later); m. Ferdinand of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha (1816–1885), also known as Ferdinand II of Portugal, duke of Saxony, April 9, 1836; children: Pedro de Alcântara (1837–1861), later known as Pedro V or Peter V, king of Portugal (r. 1853–1861); Luis Filipe (1838–1889), later known as Luís I or Louis I, king of Portugal (r. 1861–1889); João or John (1842–1861), duke of Beja; Maria Anna of Portugal (1843–1884); Antonia of Portugal (1845–1913); Fernando or Ferdinand (1846–1861), duke of Coimbra; Augusto or August (1847–1889); plus Maria (1840–1840), Leopoldo (1849–1849), Maria (1851–1851), and Eugénio (1853–1853), who died at birth.

Ruled as a symbol of constitutional monarchy during an era of intense strife between Portuguese conservatives and liberals; father began rule as Emperor Pedro I in Brazil (1822); mother died (1826); with death of John VI (1826), father was acclaimed king of Portugal but abdicated in her favor; at 9, was sent to Europe, but father's brother Michael was acclaimed king (1828); returned to Brazil (1829); father abdicated as Brazilian emperor (1831); returned to France with father who began to wage war with Michael (1831); when Michael was finally defeated and forced into permanent exile, arrived in Lisbon (1833); declared of age to rule (1834); father died (1834), leaving her a nation devastated by intermittent warfare since 1807 and a government in financial crisis; a political moderate committed to constitutional rule, faced repeated controversy and crisis from both the right and left; during September Revolution (1836), took refuge with family in Belém; gave approval to the new constitution, which was acceptable to both Septembrists and Chartists (1838); when Septembrists resurfaced, sought support within the military to impose a new ministry against the will of Parliament, effectively polarizing the nation and touching off a bloody civil war (Oct 6, 1846); saw the beginning of "Regeneration" (1851).

See also Women in World History.

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