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History talk: The violent death of D. Carlos I

D. Carlos was the penultimate king of Portugal, and the only Portuguese king to have suffered a successful attempt at assassination.

His birth had been greeted with relief as the succession was assured. He ascended the throne in 1889, at the age of 25, and was almost immediately engulfed in a national crisis; a crisis which was to weaken the monarchy and which led eventually to his own assassination.

The story of the British Ultimatum of 1890 is still seared in the national memory, and the government’s immediate surrender gave an immense boost to republican activity in Portugal.

The country teetered on the brink of bankruptcy and, despite D. Carlos visiting and being visited by many European heads of state, he could never recapture the goodwill of his people.

Criticised for his monarchical spending, he tried to shortcut the democratic process by appointing a dictator, and he paid the ultimate price for his mistake. Was he just unlucky, or could he have avoided his fate?

Peter Kingdon Booker analyses his reign and the events leading up to his assassination.

The talk will be given on Friday, November 25 at 11am in the Municipal Library in Tavira and on Tuesday, November 29 at 6pm in the Convento de São José in Lagoa. There is no charge for the talks but organisers Algarve History Association welcome voluntary monetary contributions to help with its running.

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