Louis I of Portugal
Louis, (1838-1889), king of Portugal whose reign saw the the adoption of economic and political reforms, smooth operation of the constitutional system, the modernization of many aspects of Portuguese life, and the completion of the railway network.
He was the second son of Ferdinand II and Queen Maria II . Louis succeeded to the throne in 1861 when his elder brother, Peter V died. He married Maria Pia, daughter of the King of Italy, in 1862. The reign began inauspiciously amidst financial difficulties.
In 1868 the question of the Spanish succession caused a crisis when Napoleon III favoured the succession of King Louis or his father Ferdinand. Louis weakly allowed Marshal Saldanha to seize power, but the aged hero was soon forced to resign. Unlike his predecessor, Louis preferred the conservative Regenerator Party, which, under the minister António Maria de Fontes Pereira de Melo, pursued a policy of economic development and deficit financing. The Progressists accused the King of partisanship and thus favoured the emergence of republicanism. King Louis took a hand in treaties with Britain concerning Mozambique and India and helped to settle other territorial disputes through arbitration. He translated Shakespeare and other works into Portuguese.
Luís was mostly a man of the sciences, with a passion for oceanography. He invested great amounts of his fortune in funding research boats to collect specimens in the oceans of the world. He was responsible for the establishment of one of the World's first Aquariums, Aquário Vasco da Gama in Lisbon, which is still open to the public with its vast collection of maritime life forms, including a 10 meter long squid. His love for sciences and things new was passed to his two sons.