Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Pedro I of Brazil (SEE): Personality Type Analysis

Emperor Pedro I of Brazil, later briefly King Pedro IV of Portugal, also Regent of Portugal as the Duke of Braganza, was born in Lisbon, Portugal, in 1798. He occupies the unique historical position of being known as “The Liberator” in both a former colony, Brazil, where he is known as the father of its independence, and in the former colonial power, Portugal, where he was the leader of the liberal civil war which ended absolute monarchy. In Portugal he is also known as “The Soldier King”.

In 1807, when Pedro was 9, the whole royal family of Portugal fled Napoleon’s (SLE) invading armies, moving the capital of the Portuguese Empire to Rio de Janeiro, essentially re-founding it as the royal capital of all Portuguese dominions; an unique historical case of a colony becoming the seat of a colonial empire.  Pedro’s father, the easy-going King João VI, quickly adapted to his new surroundings and remained in Rio even after Napoleon’s defeat in 1814. The resulting chaos and revolution in Portugal led to the now-powerful parliament demanding the return of the king to Lisbon, which he did in 1821, leaving Pedro as Prince Regent of Brazil.

Growing up in Rio, the young Pedro was described as short-tempered and domineering; as “impulsive and never learned to exercise self-control or to assess the consequences of his decisions”. Although given tutors in many subjects, he ended up remaining relatively ill-educated (which he later regretted), becoming however a competent musician and composer in several instruments. But he preferred intense physical activities, like hunting, and training and riding horses. He was also an amateur farrier and carpenter, and very much inclined to womanising.  At the age of 19 he got married to Leopoldina, a daughter of the Austrian Emperor. He had seven children with her and respected her advice on state matters; but he was also notoriously unfaithful, having several short-term affairs and a couple of long-term ones, with many illegitimate children. By all accounts, he was approachable to the general population, and always remained friends with his teenage cronies from that time. Just before his father returned to Portugal, the Rio army garrison revolted; João VI and his court were paralysed in passivity, leaving the young prince Pedro to go negotiate with the soldiers on his own initiative. That led to a lifelong close relationship between Pedro and the army, with him moving among them easily and intimately (he was criticised for even defecating in the open among the soldiers) while on the march or on the battlefield, while still knowing how to make clear he was their leader, not only by virtue of his position but from his own personal soldiering skills.

What we have so far is an impulsive, active, physically confident young man who prefers athletic and manual activities to intellectual ones, and with a seemingly natural ease for personal leadership. That already points to F as a strong and valued function. His obvious ease in forming relationships in any social situation also suggests some reasonable strength on E.

Back in Portugal, the previously absolute monarch João VI was bullied by the new Parliament into accepting a constitution severely limiting his authority. The Parliament also started to introduce legislation aimed at reverting Brazil’s gains in status and autonomy since 1808, splitting the country into provinces reporting directly to Lisbon and so reducing Pedro’s power as the regent there. This led to Pedro being urged, also by his wife, into supporting the movement for independence from Portugal. Events in 1822 moved quickly with Pedro and his allies travelling through Brazil to gather support, also by promising a liberal constitution ('liberal' in its 19th century sense, i.e. as opposed to absolutism), and the Lisbon government reacting by annulling Pedro’s acts and ordering his return to Portugal, until the fed up Pedro abruptly and unilaterally declared Brazil’s independence in September 1822. Interestingly, by all accounts, he did that less out of any clear vision, thought-out plan or ideology, but because he sensed that the Lisbon parliament was demoting and insulting him personally. There were also rumours that the Lisbon parliament intended to outright ban Pedro from the succession to the Portuguese throne once he was back in Portugal (a parallel can be made with Julius Caesar’s crossing of the Rubicon).

The pro-independence forces in Brazil rallied around the young prince (he was then 23) as their leader, acclaiming him as Emperor of Brazil (rather than “king”). A 2-year War of Independence followed, with Pedro raising troops through every possible means and relying on French and British mercenaries as officers, most famously Lord Cochrane as commander of the improvised Brazilian fleet. Parallels with the American War of Independence are imperfect: Brazil was much weaker than the US militarily and economically, but then so was Portugal much weaker than Britain. On the other hand, the north of Brazil preferred to stay loyal to Portugal, needing to be beaten into submission by Cochrane and Pedro by a combination of military force as well as bluffing about non-existing fleets “just about to arrive”. In the end Portugal lacked the resources and the will to sustain a war across the Atlantic so that fighting was effectively over in less than two years. The fact that in the meantime King João VI had been restored to absolute power by an armed coup helped, as he lacked the inclination to fight his own son.

The now Emperor Pedro I had broadened his support by promising that he would not replace a Portuguese tyranny with a Brazilian one, and duly called elections for a constituent assembly in Rio. That assembly quickly got into conflict with the Emperor by questioning his undivided loyalty to the new country (as he was after all the son of the Portuguese king) and starting to clash with his cabinet and to draft a constitution that would make the emperor largely a figurehead. Again fed up and insulted, Pedro dissolved the constituent assembly by force, promising he’d write a much better constitution himself. He and his advisors did publish a constitution just a couple of months later in early 1824. That constitution was a strange mix of authoritarianism and libertarianism: while concentrating executive authority in the emperor, it also consolidated the legislative power of Congress and, most importantly at the time, cast in stone (at least in theory) the individual freedoms of property, expression and religion. Despite Pedro being personally in favour of abolishing slavery, there was no way he could keep the north of the country on board if he pushed the issue. Correctly guessing that his constitution was the best they were going to get, the city assemblies quickly ratified it. Even as it was, the northeast of Brazil tried to secede, forming the “Equator Confederacy”. Pedro characteristically saw it in personal terms: “What are the demands of the insults from [the province of ] Pernambuco? Certainly a punishment, and such a punishment that it will serve as an example for the future”. Pedro beat the rebels into submission – yet, again characteristically, of the many hundreds tried for treason, he hanged 16 ringleaders but pardoned everyone else.

Pedro I remained Emperor of Brazil for 9 years until 1831. His hyperactivity, energy, aggression and even his impulsiveness served him well in the early crises, when the goal was to establish the country’s independence and unity. But as the chief executive of an existing country, lacking a crisis to solve, he tended to political paralysis and to an erratic, indulgent personal life. The huge debts left by the wars and the independence settlement with Portugal resulted in the usual problems of inflation and the government’s inability to pay its expenses. His 'approval rate' further declined when his popular wife Leopoldina died;  Pedro’s own very public unfaithfulness to her with a long-term mistress was thought to have contributed to her death at 29. Even militarily, he started to lose prestige, failing to prevent what is now Uruguay from seceding from Brazil in 1828. But what caused him the most damage politically were the consequences of the death of his father, King João VI, in 1826. Portugal recognised Pedro as their new King as Pedro IV, putting him into the impossible position of being simultaneously the Emperor of Brazil and the (absolute) king of Portugal. Characteristically, he solved that crisis decisively in a few weeks: he abolished absolutism in Portugal at a stroke, issuing a liberal constitution – quite literally 'copied-and-pasted' from his Brazilian constitution of 1824, with just a few changes, by him and his secretary – then abdicated the Portuguese throne in favour of his daughter Maria, who became Queen Maria II at 7, leaving his own younger brother Miguel as regent in her name in Portugal.  Pedro’s renouncing of the Portuguese crown gained him some short-lived popularity in Brazil, but that also acted as a reminder that Portuguese affairs continued to draw him in, especially as he inevitably continued to be actively involved on behalf of his daughter, now the queen. He attempted a new start in 1829 by dumping his long-term mistress and marrying Amelia of Leuchtenberg from Bavaria, as well as breaking up with his most notorious Portuguese cronies from his youth. Nevertheless his political meltdown continued, with Pedro pressured to appoint ministers who would be clearly free from any Portuguese connections, rather than his own personal associates. This he refused to do, and he solved that crisis by abdicating the Brazilian throne in 1831 in favour of his 5-year old son Pedro II (EII)and leaving the country immediately afterwards – after spending a week on a British ship carefully and personally settling all his financial affairs, which had always carefully managed.

Now calling himself the Duke of Braganza, he had yet another crisis to address. In Portugal, his younger brother Miguel, after swearing to Pedro’s 1826 liberal constitution as Maria II’s regent, had assembled absolutist supporters (including the Catholic church) and proclaimed himself King Miguel I as absolute monarch. Accompanied by his wife and the young queen, the duke now gathered some political and financial support in France and Britain, and having his personal fortune, he assembled a small force of volunteers and mercenaries, landing in the city of Porto in 1832. He had sort of trapped himself, remaining besieged in Porto for over a year, surrounded by the much larger Portuguese forces. During the siege he maintained the loyalty of his army and of the Porto civilians by his close personal connection with them and sharing their burdens on the battlefield. The stalemate was ended in 1833 when he risked a stealth naval attack through the south of the country and then quickly marching on to Lisbon. Miguel’s support collapsed; he agreed to abdicate and to move into exile with a pension. Acting now as regent for the young Queen Maria II, Pedro reinstated his constitution of 1826 but died a few months later of tuberculosis, aggravated by two broken ribs from his wild Rio days. He was then 35.

As mentioned above, Pedro’s obvious hyperactivity and ease with quick, decisive action, especially when force (military force in particular) was involved, as well as his impulsiveness, point strongly to F as an ego function and an Energiser type, so F1, which is also consistent with his personal inclinations in the absence of crises. That he seemed to lack any longer-term personal or political goals, and was at his best when decisively addressing short-term crises, is a characteristic common to T5 types in the absence of a partner able to give them a longer-term purpose of higher meaning. As far as his worldview and political principles were concerned, his chief characteristics were a broad acceptance of 19th century liberal values while at the same time remaining fiercely loyal to his own family’s dynastic interests. In a letter to his son, he said he understood that they were living at a time when being born a prince was not enough to ensure loyalty from one’s subjects; it was necessary to earn leadership and respect from one’s own qualities. That understanding did not prevent him from putting a 7-year old girl and a 5-year old boy on the thrones of two countries. In the cases of Brazil’s independence, of his clashes with the constituent assembly of 1823 and of his abdication of the Brazilian throne, he was clearly insulted at the notion of his own personal leadership and loyalty being questioned; yet, once consolidating his leadership, he was unconcerned with implementing ideologies or laws that would micro-manage what ordinary people should do. It is unthinkable that Pedro would have even tried to implement his own version of the Napoleonic Code, for instance. All of that points to very unvalued L; and his own approach to abolishing Portugal’s absolute monarchy – just copy-and-paste the Brazilian constitution – is exactly the kind of thing that a L4, P6 type would do. His P6 can be observed in his opportunistic pragmatism, his personal care with his finances, his regret at his own lack of education, and – along with a hint of I3 –his eagerness for learning new practical skills and musical instruments.

Pedro’s valuing of R over L can be seen in pretty much everything in his life. For instance, while Brazil’s independence was being fought over, he was very concerned with not offending his father King João VI, with Pedro even saying privately that if his father decided to move back to Brazil, he would recognise him as emperor instead – in fact it can be argued that Brazil’s independence was eased because João VI himself privately agreed with it as long as he wasn’t too humiliated by it. This illustrates how Pedro saw policy matters largely in terms of his personal loyalties and honour, rather than any ideology or even his status or image. One unpleasant aspect of Pedro’s character is his blatant unfaithfulness to his wife the Empress Leopoldina whom he respected in state affairs; however, it is clear that he saw royal marriages as not necessarily implying personal devotion (his own parents hated each other bitterly). In his second marriage to Amelia, to whom he was deeply devoted, he remained faithful (or some ~99%).

The type that most clearly fits the Duke of Braganza is SEE.

To learn more about the SEE click here.

Sources: all quotes come from the Wikipedia article which is of high quality. A very good biography is Neil Macaulay's Dom Pedro: The struggle for liberty in Brazil and Portugal 1798-1834

If you are confused by our use of Socionics shorthand, click here.

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