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French invasions

27/10/180701/01/1810

Concerned that Britain might intervene in Portugal or that the Portuguese might resist, Napoleon decided to speed up the invasion timetable, and instructed Junot to move west from Alcántara along the Tagus valley to Portugal, a distance of only 120 miles (193 km). On 19 November 1807, Junot set out for Lisbon and occupied it on 30 November.

The Prince Regent John escaped, loading his family, courtiers, state papers and treasure aboard the fleet. He was joined in flight by many nobles, merchants and others. With 15 warships and more than 20 transports, the fleet of refugees weighed anchor on 29 November and set sail for the colony of Brazil. The flight had been so chaotic that 14 carts loaded with treasure were left behind on the docks.

As one of Junot's first acts, the property of those who had fled to Brazil was sequestrated and a 100-million-franc indemnity imposed. The army formed into a Portuguese Legion, and went to northern Germany to perform garrison duty. Junot did his best to calm the situation by trying to keep his troops under control. While the Portuguese civil authorities were generally subservient toward their occupiers, the common people were angry, and the harsh taxes caused bitter resentment among the population. By January 1808, there were executions of persons who resisted the exactions of the French. The situation was dangerous, but it would need a trigger from outside to transform unrest into revolt.

The Portuguese royal family escapes to Brazil.

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Published in 3/04/2019

Updated in 19/02/2021

All events in the topic Portugal Chronology:


22/04/1500Discovery of BrazilDiscovery of Brazil
01/01/1572Luís de Camões publishes Os LusíadasLuís de Camões publishes Os Lusíadas
01/01/1580Loss of independenceLoss of independence
01/12/164013/02/1668Portuguese Restoration WarPortuguese Restoration War
01/11/1755Great Earthquake of LisbonGreat Earthquake of Lisbon
27/10/180701/01/1810French invasionsFrench invasions
24/08/1820Liberal revolutionLiberal revolution
07/09/1822Brazilian independenceBrazilian independence
01/01/182801/01/1834Civil War between Liberals and AbsolutistsCivil War between Liberals and Absolutists
11/01/1890English ultimatumEnglish ultimatum
01/04/1903King Edward VII of England visits PortugalKing Edward VII of England visits Portugal
01/02/1908RegicideRegicide
05/10/1910Establishment of the RepublicEstablishment of the Republic
01/01/1961Outbreak of the Colonial WarOutbreak of the Colonial War
25/04/1974Democratic RevolutionDemocratic Revolution
01/01/1986Portugal joins the EECPortugal joins the EEC
13/12/2007Treaty of LisbonTreaty of Lisbon
01/01/1498Vasco da Gama reaches India by seaVasco da Gama reaches India by sea
01/01/1532Colonisation of BrazilColonisation of Brazil
04/08/1578Battle of Alcácer QuibirBattle of Alcácer Quibir
26/04/1821Return of the court to LisbonReturn of the court to Lisbon
20/09/1834Acclamation of Queen Maria IIAcclamation of Queen Maria II
18/03/1842Coup d’état by Costa CabralCoup d’état by Costa Cabral
01/01/1843Start of the construction of Pena PalaceStart of the construction of Pena Palace
01/03/1846Rebellion of Maria da FonteRebellion of Maria da Fonte
15/11/1853Death of Queen Maria IIDeath of Queen Maria II
31/01/1891Republican revolution of 31 JanuaryRepublican revolution of 31 January
09/03/1916Portugal enters the First World WarPortugal enters the First World War
01/05/1917Apparitions at FatimaApparitions at Fatima
10/06/1944Opening of the National StadiumOpening of the National Stadium
06/08/1966Opening of the bridge over the TagusOpening of the bridge over the Tagus