Portuguese statesman. He was made Minister of Foreign Affairs and War in Portugal on the accession of José I in 1750; the king's indolence gave him control of the country. He regarded the dominance of the church as the chief reason for the retardation of Portugal. He suppressed the Jesuit missions established in South America (part of the Portuguese empire), and in September 1759 expelled the Jesuits from Portugal. He also brought the Inquisition under the control of the state. In 1755 when an earthquake devastated Lisbon, Pombal organized relief work and the rebuilding of the city. Although his reduction of ecclesiastical influence was held to be part of the Enlightenment, Pombal had little interest in reform.
Subjects: World History.