John VI of Portugal


John VI of Portugal : biography

13 May 1767 – 10 March 1826

John, in contrast, was well known for his religiosity and for favoring absolutism. The crisis of succession was aggravated with the death soon after of Ignacio de São Caetano, Archbishop of Thessalonica, the queen’s confessor and a powerful political figure, who had influenced a controversial choice of Maria’s ministers that favored John, but not without encountering strong opposition from important fidalgos who had ambitions for those posts. Furthermore, the year after these deaths, John was so ill that his own survival was uncertain. He recovered, but in 1791 he again fell ill "bleeding from the mouth and intestines", according to notes left by the chaplain of the Marquis of Marialva, who added that his spirit was always depressed. This created a tense climate and uncertainty about his future reign.Pedreira e Costa, pp. 42–54


In the course of his few years living in Brazil, John ordered the creation of a series of institutions, projects and services that brought the country immense economic, administrative, juridical, scientific, cultural, artistic and other benefits, although not all went successfully, and some were downright dysfunctional or unnecessary, as Hipólito José da Costa mordantly observed.. In Portuguese. Among these, he was responsible for establishing the Imprensa Régia (the country’s first publishing house), the Rio de Janeiro Botanical GardenFernandes & Fernandes Junior, p. 39 the Arsenal de Marinha, the Fábrica de Pólvora (gunpowder factory), Rio’s fire department, Brazil’s merchant marine, and the charity hospital known as the Casa dos Expostos. He also established various educational programs in Rio, Pernambuco, Bahia and other places, teaching such subjects as dogmatic and moral theology, integral calculus, mechanics, hydrodynamics, chemistry, arithmetic, geometry, French, English, botany and agriculture, among others. He instigated the foundation of various societies and academies for scientific, literary and artistic studies, such as the Junta Vacínica (administering the smallpox vaccine, the Royal Bahiense Society of Men of Letters, the Academic Institute of Sciences and Fine Arts, the Fluminense Academy of Sciences and Arts,Varela, Alex Gonçalves. Juro-lhe pela honra de bom vassalo e bom português: análise das memórias científicas de José Bonifácio de Andrada e Silva (1780–1819)]. Annablume, 2006, pp. 75–77. In Portuguese. the Escola Anatômica, Cirúrgica e Médica do Rio de Janeiro,. Dicionário Histórico-Biográfico das Ciências da Saúde no Brasil (1832–1930), Casa de Oswaldo Cruz / Fiocruz. In Portuguese. the Royal Academy of Artillery, Fortification and Design,Caruso, Ernesto. "Ponta do Calabouço – início do século XX: berço fardado dos doutores". In: Revista do Clube Militar, ano LXXXI, n. 430, ago-set-out 2008, pp. 14–16. In Portuguese. the Academia dos Guardas-Marinhas, the Academia Militar, the National Library of Brazil,. Fundação Biblioteca Nacional the Royal Museum (now National Museum of Brazil),. Dicionário Histórico-Biográfico das Ciências da Saúde no Brasil (1832–1930), Casa de Oswaldo Cruz / Fiocruz. In Portuguese. the Teatro Real de São João (now Teatro João Caetano), as well as recruiting internationally famous soloists and patronizing other musicians of the Royal Chapel, including Father José Maurício, the leading Brazilian composer of his time,Mariz, Vasco. A música no Rio de Janeiro no tempo de D. João VI. Casa da Palavra, 2008, p. 19. In Portuguese. supporting also the coming of the Missão Artística Francesa, which resulted in the establishment of the Escola Real de Ciências, Artes e Ofícios, predecessor of the present-day Escola Nacional de Belas Artes of the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, of fundamental importance the renewal of teaching and art production in Brazil.Schwarcz, Lilia Moritz. O sol do Brasil: Nicolas-Antoine Taunay e as desventuras dos artistas franceses na corte de d. João. Companhia das Letras, 2008, pp. 176–188. In Portuguese.

John’s policies led to far-reaching economic changes, beginning with the opening of the ports and the abolition of the Portuguese commercial monopolies, with the United Kingdom being the great beneficiary. On the one hand, traders based in Brazil had to face strong foreign competition; on the other, it encouraged the creation of new manufacturing and other economic activities that were previously banned, poor or nonexistent in Brazil. At the same time, he created such high-level administrative bodies as the War Ministry, the Foreign Ministry, and the Ministry of Marine and Overseas; the Councils of State and of Finance, the Supreme Military Council, the Military Archive, the Bureaus of Justice and of Conscience and Orders, the Casa de Suplicação (Supreme Court), the Intendency General of Police, the first Bank of Brazil. Empresa Brasileira de Correios e Telégrafos. In Portuguese. the Royal Board of Commerce, Agriculture, Factories and Navigation,Lopes, Walter de Mattos. A Real Junta do Commercio, Agricultura, Fabricas e Navegação deste Estado do Brazil e seus domínios ultramarinos: um tribunal de antigo regime na corte de Dom João (1808–1821). Dissertação de Mestrado. Universidade Federal Fluminense, 2009. In Portuguese. and the General Postal Administration, as well as bringing Brazilians into administrative and staff positions, which helped diminish tensions between the natives and the Portuguese.Rocha, Antônio Penalves. "Economia e Política no Período Joanino". In: Szmrecsanyi, Tamas & Lapa, José Roberto do Amaral. História Econômica da Independência e do Império, EdUSP, 2002, pp. 42–43. In Portuguese. He also encouraged agricultural production, especially cotton, rice and sugar cane, opened roads and encouraged the development of inland waterways, stimulating the movement of people, goods and products between regions.Martins, p. 33