Aljubarrota, Battle of

(14 August 1385)
   The battle that helped ensure the independence of Portugal from Spain for nearly two centuries, presented João I as a formidable political figure, and assisted John of Gaunt as claimant of Castile's throne. Against a larger Castilian force under Juan of Castile, Portuguese and English forces under commanders such as Nun'Alvares Pereira, the Portuguese constable, triumphed. The result of the battle was to strengthen the independence and political unity of the Portuguese monarchy as it began to prepare for overseas expansion into the Atlantic and to Africa. Socially, a consequence was the weakening of certain of the aristocracy, which had backed the Castilians, and the rise of Lisbon and Oporto merchant classes, backers of King João I. In order to commemorate the famous victory of 1385 at Aljubarrota, the king ordered the construction of a monastery at Batalha.
   See also Batalha, Monastery of.

Historical dictionary of Portugal 3rd ed.. . 2014.

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