Cortes

   Under the Portuguese monarchy, an assembly of the three estates (clergy, nobility, commoners) of the kingdom. While historians debate its historical origins, its earliest form as an assembly that was more than a royal council was present before 1211. At first only clerical and noble groups were represented, and later representatives from the towns. Its business was to discuss fiscal matters (taxes), and it was convened by the Portuguese monarch. The Cortes's powers and functions varied, but its golden age of prestige coincided with the 14th and 15th centuries. As the monarchy acquired more independent wealth from the overseas expansion and empire, it depended less on the Cortes for revenue. Under King João III, as the monarchy garnered greater power and control, the Cortes was seldom consulted, and the king was asked to call the Cortes to meet at least every 10 years. While it met during the 17th century, it did not meet at all during the reigns of the absolutist kings João V (1689-1750) and José I (1750-77). The last Cortes met in 1828, in order to acclaim King Miguel I (1828-64) as an absolutist monarch. Later, under the subsequent constitutional monarchy (1834-1910), the Cortes came to be elective and was given different names: Congress, National Assembly, Assembly of the Republic.
   See also Filipe I, king; Legislatures.

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

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  • cortés — adjetivo 1. Que se comporta o se realiza según las normas del trato social: Es muy cortés con la gente que no conoce. Le dirigió un saludo cortés. Hizo un gesto cortés para ceder su asiento. Refranes 1. Lo cortés no quita lo valiente. Se usa para …   Diccionario Salamanca de la Lengua Española

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  • Cortes — Cor tes (k[^o]r t[e^]s), n. pl. [Sp. & Pg., fr. corte court.] The legislative assembly, composed of nobility, clergy, and representatives of cities, which in Spain and in Portugal answers, in some measure, to the Parliament of Great Britain.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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