Afonso V (Portuguese pronunciation: [ɐˈfõsu]) was born in January 15, 1432 and died on August 28, 1481. Afonso was born in Sintra, the eldest son of King Edward of Portugal by his wife Eleanor of Aragon. Afonso V was only six years old when he succeeded his father in 1438. During this time, Afonso was placed under the regency of his mother and Queen in accordance with a will of his late father. As both a foreigner and a woman, the queen was not a popular choice for regent.

In 1439, the Portuguese Cortes (assembly of the kingdom) decided to replace the queen with Peter, Duke of Coimbra (Dom Pedro), the young king's oldest uncle. In 1442, the king made Afonso the first Duke of Braganza. With this title and its lands, he became the most powerful man in Portugal and one of the richest men in Europe. To secure his position as regent, Peter had Afonso marry his daughter, Isabella of Coimbra, in 1445. But on June 9, 1448, when the king came of age, Peter had to surrender his power to Afonso V.

As King of Portugal and of the Algarves, he was often called the 'African'. By 1471, he was the first king to claim dominion over a plural "Kingdom of the Algarves," instead of the singular "Kingdom of the Algarve." The "Algarves" then were considered to be the southern Portuguese territories on both sides of the Strait of Gibraltar.

In 1475, he married his niece Joanna and proclaimed himself King of Castile and León. After the indecisive Battle of Toro in 1476 against King Ferdinand II of Aragon (the husband of Isabella I of Castile), Afonso V went to France to obtain the assistance of King Louis XI, finding none, he returned to Portugal. Disillusioned, he eventually abdicated his throne for a time to his son John II in November 1477. He soon retired to a monastery in Sintra, where he died in 1481.


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