Online Encyclopedia

JOHN II

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V15, Page 444 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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JOHN II. (145 1495), the Perfect, king of Portugal, succeeded his father, Alphonso V., in August 1481. His first business was to curtail the overgrown power of his aristocracy; note-worthy incidents in the contest were the execution (1483) of the duke of Braganza for correspondence with Castile, and the murder, by the king's own hand, of the youthful duke of Viseu for conspiracy. This reign was signalized by Bartholomeu Diaz's discovery of the Cape of Good Hope in 1488. Maritime rivalry led to disputes between Portugal and Castile until their claims were adjusted by the famous treaty of Tordesillas (June 7, 1494). John II. died, without leaving male issue, in October 1495, and was succeeded by his brother-in-law Emmanuel (Manoel) I. See J. P. Oliveira Martins, 0 principe perfeilo (Lisbon, 1895). JOHN III. (1502-1557), king of Portugal, was born at Lisbon, on the 6th of June 1502, and ascended the throne as successor of his father Emmanuel I. in December 1521. In 1524 he married Catherine, sister to the Emperor Charles V., who shortly after-wards married the infanta Isabella, John's sister. Succeeding to the crown at a time when Portugal was at the height of its political power, and Lisbon in a position of commercial importance previously unknown, John III., unfortunately for his dominions, became subservient to the clerical party among his subjects, with disastrous consequences to the commercial and social prosperity of his kingdom. He died of apoplexy on the 6th of June 1557, and was succeeded by his grandson Sebastian, then a child of only three years.
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