Why is Evoramonte a Place of Peace
In Evoramonte was signed on May 26, 1834 a Peace Treaty known as “The Concession of Evoramonte” which ended the only Portuguese civil war in almost 900 years of History.
In early 19th century, liberal ideas were spreading to most European Monarchies, and Portugal was no exception. The Civil War broke out in Portugal in 1831 after D. Miguel, an absolutist and traditional monarch, overwritten the Constitutional Charter, in 1828, that he had previously sworn to upheld. The Charter had been in force ever since 1826.
His older brother, D. Pedro, a Constitutional Regime’s protector, that was occupying the throne in Brazil, came to Portugal and from the archipelago of Azores he formed an army of mercenaries and exiled. In 1832 D. Pedro disembarked on the North of Portugal and took the city of Oporto, commencing a two years period of blood shedding battles, chases and of the Country’s destruction.
D. Miguel’s absolutists were decisively defeated on May 16, 1834, in the Battle of Asseiceira, in the Country’s central area, obliging this same monarch to seek refugee, along his remaining army, in the city of Évora, located 25 Km’s away from Evoramonte. On the other hand, D. Pedro’s liberal troops were taking Estremoz. With a weakened and sick army, D. Miguel is forced to ask for truce to his brother D. Pedro, after acknowledging the impossibility of continuing the War or of uniting with his cousin, Don Carlos, who was still fighting liberal ideas in Spain. Both sides agreed to the signing of Peace in Evoramonte, in the residence of the then Mayor Mr. Joaquim António Saramago.
The Concession of Evoramonte, signed on May 26, 1834, by both army leaders, led D. Miguel to exile in Italy (and later on in Austria, where he would perish) and to the giving of the Portuguese throne to his niece, D. Maria II, D. Pedro’s daughter. D. Maria II would come to re-establish the Constitutional Charter and, with the arrival of Peace, the commerce was modernized with the abolition of primogenitures, of internal dry ports and with the nationalization of convents and monasteries. Public administration, justice and army were also modernized. From this point on, Portugal undertook the same destiny of other European nations.