Alexandria Digital Research Library

D. Luisa de Gusmao: Gender and Politics in Seventeenth Century Portugal

Vallance, Monique Marie
Degree Grantor:
University of California, Santa Barbara.History
Degree Supervisor:
Dutra Francis A
Place of Publication:
[Santa Barbara, Calif.]
University of California, Santa Barbara
Creation Date:
Issued Date:
Women's studies and European history
Afonso VI
Luisa de Gusmao
Pedro I
Catherine of Braganza
Joao IV

This thesis explores the relationship between gender norms and political power in seventeenth century Portugal through the regency of Queen D. Luisa de Gusmão (1656-1662). It discusses D. Luisa's use of the proscribed gender roles of the seventeenth century in order to gain political stability at court, which enabled her to conduct diplomatic relations with other European powers. Her actions are analyzed and compared against the accepted gender roles of the time to show that she manipulated the men around her by over-emphasizing the female stereotype, leading them to believe that she was behaving in manners that were expected of hber as a queen regent and mother. Instead, she used this as a cover to achieve her own agenda and fix some of the mistakes made by her late husband, D. João IV. The end result was a victory in their war against Spain, and the continuance of Portuguese independence after a brief Iberian Union (1580-1640). This fits one more piece into the puzzle of women's history, especially in relation to the power of the queen regent. It also adds to the scholarship of this period, one that has until recently been mostly neglected by Portuguese historians.

UCSB electronic theses and dissertations
Merritt ARK:
Inc.icon only.dark In Copyright
Access: This item is restricted to on-campus access only. Please check our FAQs or contact UCSB Library staff if you need additional assistance.