Deodoro da Fonseca

Article

August 12, 2022

Manuel Deodoro da Fonseca (August 5, 1827 in Alagoas da Lagoa do Sul – August 23, 1892 in Rio de Janeiro) was a Brazilian soldier and politician, the first president of Brazil and one of the central figures in the Proclamation of the Republic in the country. After studying artillery at the Escola Militar do Rio de Janeiro between 1843 and 1847, he participated in some military campaigns during the Empire, including the Praieira Revolution, the siege of Montevideo and the Paraguayan War. In 1885, he became vice president of the province of São Pedro do Rio Grande do Sul; the following year, with the resignation of then president Barão de Lucena, Deodoro became president of Rio Grande. Due to his involvement in what became known as the Military Question — clashes between the armed forces and the imperial civil government — he returned to Rio de Janeiro. Appointed to the military command of the province of Mato Grosso in 1888, he resigned from the position the following year, due to the appointment of the last ministerial cabinet of the Empire, headed by the President of the Council of Ministers Viscount of Ouro Preto. In the midst of several crises that ravaged the Brazilian monarchy, Deodoro led the coup d'état that deposed the Empire and proclaimed the republic in the country. Republic. The first changes of his government involved the creation of the Brazilian Penal Code, the reform of the Commercial Code of Brazil and measures that made official the separation of Church and State, such as the institution of civil marriage and the secularization of cemeteries. At the economic level, the so-called Encilhamento crisis occurred, characterized by a large speculative bubble and high inflation, due to the economic policies of its Minister of Finance Ruy Barbosa. In 1891, the country's first republican constitution was promulgated and Deodoro was elected president by indirect suffrage. His constitutional government was marked by strong political tension between his centralizing tendencies and the federalist inclinations of civil society and part of the military, which led to the dissolution of the National Congress. Under the threat of the First Armada Revolt, Deodoro resigned from the presidency on November 23, 1891. The following year, he died on August 23, victim of a severe attack of dyspnea.

Origin and training

Family

Manuel Deodoro da Fonseca was born in Alagoas da Lagoa do Sul on August 5, 1827. He came from an essentially military family. His father, Manuel Mendes da Fonseca Galvão, born in Anadia (now Alagoas), joined the Portuguese Army in 1806, in Recife, as an infantryman (from 1822 onwards he became a member of the nascent Brazilian Army), and gradually rose all the subordinate posts of the career, retiring in 1842 in the rank of lieutenant colonel. Deodoro had two sisters and seven brothers. All the men were military and six of them fought in the Paraguayan War. The eldest, Hermes Ernesto da Fonseca, father of the also President of the Republic and Marshal Hermes da Fonseca, reached the rank of army marshal and was president of the provinces of Mato Grosso and Bahia. Afonso Aurino da Fonseca, the youngest , ensign of the 34th Battalion of the Volunteers of the Homeland and Major Eduardo Emiliano da Fonseca died in the Battle of Curupaiti. Captain Hipólito Mendes da Fonseca died while crossing the Itororó bridge. Field Marshal Severino Martino da Fonseca and General Severiano Martins da Fonseca also served in the war. Severiano received the noble title of baron of Alagoas and was director of the Military School of Porto Alegre. An honorary colonel in the Brazilian army, Pedro Paulino da Fonseca was governor of Alagoas, when the republic was proclaimed, and also a senator for the same state. In addition, he was the father of Orsina da Fonseca, wife of the son of another brother of his, t