Miguel (mēgĕlˈ) [key], 1802–66, Portuguese prince; son of John IV of Portugal and younger brother of Pedro I of Brazil. He led an unsuccessful revolt against his father in 1824. On John's death (1826) the Portuguese succession was in dispute. The liberals supported Pedro, who was in fact recognized as King Peter IV, but the reactionary absolutists favored Miguel for the throne. Pedro abdicated in favor of his daughter, Maria II, and betrothed her to Miguel, who agreed to act as regent for her under a constitutional charter issued by Pedro. Miguel accepted this arrangement, but immediately upon taking power he convened (1828) a nonconstitutional Cortes and took the crown it offered him. The liberal leaders gathered forces and established themselves in the Azores. Pedro joined them in 1832, and they sailed to Oporto. There Miguel besieged them until an English sea force in the employ of the liberals destroyed (1833) his fleet. By 1834 his cause was lost, and he agreed to leave Portugal. He later denounced his capitulation, and although he himself took no part, there were several attempted Miguelist risings during Maria's reign.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
More on Miguel from Infoplease:
See more Encyclopedia articles on: Spanish and Portuguese History: Biographies