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Old August 29th, 2017, 02:40 AM   #1
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Did you know that Madrid came to be occupied by the Portuguese?

Did you know that Madrid came to be occupied by the Portuguese?
The Spanish capital came to be in the hands of Portuguese troops, coordinated by António Luís de Sousa, Marquis of Minas. This episode occurred during the War of the Succession of Spain, between 1701 and 1714




A warlike conflict between Portugal and Spain seems to us somewhat distant. We have all heard of the Filipino dynasty, the House of Habsburg, the House of Bourbon, and the War of the Succession of Spain. But did you know that the Portuguese army came to occupy Madrid at that time?

To understand this episode of Portuguese and Spanish history, it is necessary to understand how the War of Succession began, between 1701 and 1714. The prince of the Austrians, José Fernando da Bavaria, was chosen to succeed his great-uncle, King Charles II Of Spain, who died without leaving heirs. However, the young prince had a fragile health and ended up dying at the age of six. This death led Philip v, grandson of Louis XIV of France, to be the figure weighted to occupy the Spanish throne.

The Bourbons would thus lead two of Europe's most powerful states - France and Spain. The other powers feared the consequences of this link. The Roman-German emperor Leopoldo i, kinsman of Charles II, decides to try to break this dynastic union and claims to be the holder of the right to the throne. Thus begins the War of Succession of Spain.

The English, Portuguese and Germanic forces unite against the Bourbon. Portugal had already recognized Philip and Spain but, under the pressure of the British, with whom our country had very close relations, Pedro II of Portugal was forced to rethink his position, thus annulling in 1702 the treaty "For which Portugal committed itself to safeguard the rights of France, with the promise of military aid in the event of a threat," reads Veríssimo Serrão's "History of Portugal." Thus, the Portuguese kingdom joins the opposing forces, recognizes Archduke Carlos, son of Leopoldo i, as king of Spain, and enters the war.

Entry into Spain The importance of Portugal in this confrontation was mainly due to its geographical position: our country becomes the base of operations of the allies.
Ciudad Rodrigo was the chosen place to attack, but this campaign was without effect and the military returned to Portuguese territory without any conquest. The beginning of hostilities began in the worst way for Portugal and its allies.

One of the main figures of the Portuguese offensive was António Luís de Sousa, Marquis of Minas. This man "will reoccupy several localities of Beira Baixa, including Castelo Branco, which the Spanish troops had occupied shortly after Portugal's entry into the conflict," reads the entry on the Marquis of Minas, written by the historian Fernando Castelo Branco , In the "Dictionary of History of Portugal".

It was thanks to the leadership of this man that, on June 28, 1706, the Allied forces eventually entered Madrid and occupied it for 40 days, making the Archduke Carlos proclaimed king by whom the allies fought.
As João Vieira Borges explains in his book "Conquest of Madrid - 1706", after 500 kilometers traveled, over three months, by more than 14,000 Portuguese and 4,200 Anglo-Dutch, the troops commanded by the Marquis de Minas penetrated the Great Spanish city and made more than 8 thousand prisoners after the clashes with the Franco-Spanish forces. The Spanish throne was thus at the mercy of the Austrian suitor.

"But the brilliant success of the Marquis of Minas will soon be annihilated, partly due to the reaction of the Spanish people, who made the other claimant, Filipe de Anjou, in Salamanca and in other cities as king of Spain," explains Fernando Castelo White. This recognition of the French suitor made it difficult to communicate between Portugal and the Portuguese army. "Soon the Marquis of the Mines is forced to leave the Spanish capital, being shortly after expelled the small garrison that left there", it says the historian.

The truth is that this incursion had little influence on the outcome of this war: Philip of Anjou continued to be king of Spain, but was obliged to yield to Great Britain the island of Menorca in the Balearics as well as the rock of Gibraltar and the Habsburgs The Spanish Netherlands. As for Portugal, little or nothing removed from this confrontation, eventually signing peace treaties with France and Spain in 1713 (1st Treaty of Utrecht) and 1715 (2nd Treaty of Utrecht), respectively.
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