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John IV

John IV, 1604–56, king of Portugal (1640–56). He succeeded as duke of Braganza in 1630. Descended from Manuel I and in illegitimate line from John I, he had the strongest claim to the Portuguese throne when a revolution was planned to cast off the rule of Philip IV of Spain. In 1640 the revolution was successfully carried out, and John became king of independent Portugal. John's policy was to secure foreign alliances, especially with France, in order to consolidate his position against Spain (which did not recognize Portuguese independence until 1668). During his reign the Dutch were expelled (1654) from Brazil, where they had seized territory during the period of Spanish rule. John was unwarlike himself and was devoted to hunting, music, and the arts. The first king of the Braganza line, he was succeeded by his son Alfonso VI. His daughter Catherine married Charles II of England.

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

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