John V

John V (John the Magnanimous), 1689–1750, king of Portugal (1706–50), son and successor of Peter II. Before his accession the Methuen Treaty (1703) with England had brought Portugal into the War of the Spanish Succession, but after a major defeat at Almansa (1707), the Portuguese played little part in the fighting. After the war, John sought to maintain Portugal's alliance with England and to keep peace, except in giving assistance (1716–17) to the Venetians against the Ottomans. Enriched by gold from Brazil, John was a patron of arts and letters, had a sumptuous court, and erected beautiful buildings in Lisbon. However, his wealth also made him independent of the Cortes, so he ruled with increasing absolutism. He has been criticized for subservience to the church, from which he drew most of his ministers, especially in later years. John was succeeded by his son Joseph.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

See more Encyclopedia articles on: Spanish and Portuguese History: Biographies