John VI of Portugal

51

John VI of Portugal : biography

13 May 1767 – 10 March 1826

Among said customs, John continued in Brazil the ancient Portuguese ceremony of the beija-mão, which he esteemed greatly and which fascinated the Brazilians and became part of their folklore.. O Arquivo Nacional e a História Brasileira. In Portuguese. He received his subjects daily, except for Sundays and holidays. The long lines waiting to pay their respects and receive favors were a mix of nobles and commoners. According to painter Henry L’Evêque, "the Prince, accompanied by a Secretary of State, a Chamberlain and some household officials, received all the petitions that were presented to him; listened attentively to all the complaints, all the requests of the applicants; consoled one, encouraged others…. The vulgarity of the manners, the familiarity of speech, the insistence of some, the prolixity of others, none of this bored him. He seemed to forget that he was their master, and remember only that he was their father.""o Príncipe, acompanhado por um Secretário de Estado, um Camareiro e alguns oficiais de sua Casa, recebe todos os requerimentos que lhe são apresentados; escuta com atenção todas as queixas, todos os pedidos dos requerentes; consola uns, anima outros…. A vulgaridade das maneiras, a familiaridade da linguagem, a insistência de alguns, a prolixidade de outros, nada o enfada. Parece esquecer-se de que é senhor deles para se lembrar apenas de que é o seu pai". Carvalho, Marieta Pinheiro de. . Rede Virtual da Memória Brasileira. Fundação Biblioteca Nacional, 2008. Oliveira Lim] wrote that he "never confused the faces or the pleas, and the applicants marveled at how well he know their lives, their families, even small incidents that had occurred in the past and which they could not believe had risen to the notice of the king.""nunca confundia as fisionomias nem as súplicas, e maravilhava os requerentes com o conhecimento que denotava das suas vidas, das suas famílias, até de pequenos incidentes ocorridos em tempos passados e que eles mal podiam acreditar terem subido à ciência d’el-rei." Lima, Oliveira. Vol. II. p. 859 Throughout his stay in Brazil, John formalized the creation of a huge number of institutions and public services and boosted the economy, culture and other areas of national life. All these measures were taken principally because of the practical needs of administering a large empire in a territory previously lacking of these resources, because the predominant idea continued to be that Brazil would remain a colony, given that it was expected that the court would return to its old metropolis once the European political situation returned to normal. However, these advances became the basis for Brazil’s future autonomy.Loyola, Leandro. . In: Revista Época, nº 506, . In Portuguese. This is not to say that all was amenities and progress. A series of political crises began shortly after his arrival with the invasion of Cayenne in French Guiana in 1809, in retaliation for the French invasion of Portugal,. O Arquivo Nacional e a História Luso-Brasileira, . In Portuguese. serious economic problems, and a painful trade agreement imposed in 1810 by the British, which in practice flooded the small internal market with useless trinkets and disadvantaged exports and the creation of new national industries.Lima, Oliveira. . Vol. I. Rio de Janeiro: Typ. do Jornal do Commercio, de Rodrigues, 1908. Edição onlineGomes, pp. 186–190 The national debt multiplied by twenty and corruption was rife at large institutions, including the first Bank of Brazil, which ended up bankrupt. Also, the court was extravagant and wasteful, accumulated privileges on privileges and maintained a legion of sycophants and adventurers. British consul James Henderson observed that few European courts were as large as that of Portugal. Laurentino Gomes writes that John granted more hereditary titles in his first eight years in Brazil than had been granted in the previous three hundred years of the Portuguese monarchy, not even counting more than five thousand insignia and commendations of the honorific orders of Portugal.Gomes, pp. 169–177