Kingdom of the Algarve

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1666 coat of arms of the Algarve

The Kingdom of the Algarve (Portuguese: Reino do Algarve, from the Arabic Al-Gharb al-Andalus), later the Kingdom of the Algarves (Portuguese: Reino dos Algarves) was a nominal kingdom within the Kingdom of Portugal.

It was the second dominion of the Portuguese Crown and supposedly[clarification needed] a kingdom apart from Portugal, though in fact the Algarvian kingdom had no institutions, special privileges, or autonomy. In actuality, it was just an honorific title for the Algarve based on its history and was very similar to the rest of the Portuguese provinces.[1]

The title King of Silves was first used by Sancho I of Portugal after the first conquest of Silves in 1189. As this conquest did not take all of the Algarve, D. Sancho never used the title King of Portugal and the Algarve, but instead it was adopted by his grandson Afonso III of Portugal as a part of the titles and honours of the Portuguese Crown.[citation needed]

History[edit]

The Arch of Rest in Faro, where Afonso III of Portugal legendarily rested after the "end of the Reconquista".

First conquest[edit]

The city of Silves was first conquered by King Sancho I of Portugal in 1189. Portuguese control over Silves would be short, with the Moslems conquering the city again in 1191.

Reconquista[edit]

During the Reconquista, Portuguese and Castilian conquests went south, to take lands from the Moslems that they claimed as theirs. During the reign of King Sancho II of Portugal, Portugal conquered and secured much of its modern day borders in its south.

The King of Niebla and the Emir of the Algarve, trying to counter the achievements made by the Portuguese in their territories, became vassals of Alfonso X of Castile (who, because of his vassals, titled himself the King of the Algarve). Through his vassals, Alfonso X had dominion over the Algarve not yet conquered by the Portuguese. The entitlement of Afonso III of Portugal as King of Portugal and the Algarve would serve as a reaction to Alfonso X of Castile's claim to the Algarve and was designed to demonstrate the rights of the Portuguese monarch on the region concerned.

The issue was eventually settled between the sovereigns of Castile and Portugal, by the Treaty of Badajoz (1267), where King Alfonso X gave up his claims of the Algarve, making his grandson Dinis the heir to the throne of the Algarve, which dictated the term its incorporation into the Portuguese crown. The treaty, though, allowed the use of the title of King of the Algarve for King Alfonso X and his descendants, since King Alfonso X had acquired the territories of Al-Gharb Al-Andalus on the other side of the Guadiana river. The kings of Castile, and then Spain, would add the title to their repertoire of titles until the ascent of Queen Isabel II of Spain to the throne.

Age of Discoveries[edit]

A map from 1561, showing the distinction between the Kingdom of Portugal and the Kingdom of the Algarve.

During the Age of Discoveries, the Kingdom of the Algarve served as the location for the embarkment for many voyages, mainly those funded by the Infante D. Henrique. Prince Henry also set up his famous school of navigation at Sagres Point, though the idea of a real school building and campus is highly disputed. Most of the voyages set sail from Lagos.

The Algarves of either side of the sea in Africa[edit]

The name of the Algarvian Kingdom suffered some minor changes due to the Portuguese North African conquests, which were considered an extension of the kingdom of Algarve. John I of Portugal added to the title of King of Portugal and the Algarve, the title Lord of Ceuta, and his grandson Afonso V of Portugal, in turn, styled himself Lord of Ceuta and Alcacer-Ceguer in Africa (after 1458). The 1471 conquest of Asilah, Tangiers and Larache, together North African previous holdings, lead to the creation of the title of the Algarves from either side of the sea in Africa, leaving the European Algarve to be the Algarve behind the sea.

Thus, it was not until 1471 that the Kingdom of the Algarve led to the Kingdom of the Algarves, due to increase of Portuguese possessions in Northern Africa, which were made as possessions of the Kingdom of the Algarve. The Portuguese monarchs therefore adopted the title that they would use until the fall of the monarchy in 1910: Kings of Portugal and the Algarves of either side of the sea in Africa. The title would continue to be used even after the abandonment of the last North African holding in Mazagan (Portuguese: Mazagão; lost by Portugal in 1769).

19th century conflicts[edit]

A caricature showing the clash between Miguel I of Portugal and Pedro IV of Portugal, which caused turmoil in the Algarve

During the 19th century, a serious clash between liberals and Miguelites, caused an exodus of people from the Algarvian inlands to the coastal cities. José Joaquim Sousa Reis, the Remexido, and fought in the inlands and attacked the coastal cities, bringing the urban population into turmoil. The turmoil of the Algarve intensified in the years between 1834 and 1838, when the Algarve saw battles on a level it had never seen before. On November 26, 1836, Miguel I of Portugal named Remexido Governor of the Kingdom of the Algarve and Acting Commander in Chief of all the Royalist Troops, Regular and Irregular Armies, and the Operations in the South. Remexido, however, was shot in Faro on August 2, 1838.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Censuses at the time just refer to "Portugal" (1864 and 1878) or the "Kingdom of Portugal" (1890 and 1900), without any reference to the existence of any special statue of the Algarve, which appears as just another province of Portugal.