Portugal has been an independent State since the twelfth century; until 1910 it was a monarchy. The last King was Manoel II. of the house of Braganza-Coburg, born November 15, 1889, younger son of King Carlos I. and Queen Mary Amélie, daughter of Philippe Due d’Orleans. Manoel II. succeeded to the throne on the assassination of his father and elder brother, Prince Luiz Philip, February 1, 1908. On October 5, 1910, the republic was proclaimed, after a short revolution, and a provisional government established. On August 20th, 1911, a new constitution was adopted. This provides that there shall be two Chambers. In the first, which is called the National Council, the members (164) shall be elected by direct suffrage for three years. The Second or Upper Chamber (71 members) shall be elected by all the Municipal Councils, and shall be renewable half at a time every three years.
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