Charles I, 1863–1908, king of Portugal (1889–1908), son and successor of Louis I. A cultured man, learned in language and oceanography, Charles had little opportunity to display his administrative talents in a reign beset by political stagnation and financial troubles. Portuguese and British ambitions clashed over Africa, and in 1890, Great Britain issued an ultimatum demanding that the Portuguese cease attempts to expand their African empire. The Portuguese complied, but the issue raised strong feeling against Charles's rule. Financial affairs grew worse, and Germany sought to obtain part of the Portuguese African empire. After a revolt in 1906, Charles empowered João Franco, head of the Regenerator (conservative) party, to establish a dictatorial government. This provoked another revolt in 1908, in the course of which Charles and his eldest son were assassinated in a public square in Lisbon. Charles's second son, Manuel II, succeeded to the throne.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
See more Encyclopedia articles on: Spanish and Portuguese History: Biographies