Feijó, Diogo Antônio (1784?–1843)

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Feijó, Diogo Antônio (1784?–1843)

Diogo Antônio Feijó (baptized 17 August 1784; d. 10 November 1843), Brazilian statesman and regent. Feijó's upbringing, career, style of life, and outlook personified the nativist, anti-Portuguese current in Brazilian affairs in the years after independence. A foundling, born in São Paulo, Feijó was educated for the priesthood and ordained in 1808. A deputy from São Paulo province to the Lisbon Cortes in 1822, he made his mark in the Chamber of Deputies elected in 1826 and 1830 as a prominent opponent to Pedro I.

Absent from Rio de Janeiro, Feijó played no role in the crisis preceding Pedro I's abdication in April 1831. In July 1831, he accepted the key portfolio of justice. Defeating several armed risings and organizing the National Guard, Feijó served as bulwark of the new regime. Losing patience, he resigned in July 1832. He was a prime mover in the ensuing and abortive parliamentary coup, designed to turn Brazil into a federation of states. Despite this failure, Feijó remained the preeminent figure in liberal, nativist politics, becoming senator from Rio province in 1833. In the elections for a single regent, instituted by the constitutional amendment enacted in 1834 (the Ato Adicional), he was the Moderado party candidate and gained a plurality of votes cast. Worsening health and his own doubts about his suitability delayed his taking office until 12 October 1835.

Feijó's two years as regent proved as barren as he had feared, due in part to his foes' unrelenting hostility but also to his intransigence, belligerence, and, above all, failure to take drastic action against regional revolts. Reduced to impotence, he resigned on 18 September 1837. He stayed active in politics but no longer played a central role. Despite a paralytic stroke in 1840, Feijó actively supported the São Paulo revolt of 1842. Deportation to Espírito Santo and then a trial before the Senate probably hastened his death.

See alsoBrazil, The Regency .


Octavio Tarquino De Sousa, História dos fundadores do império, vol. 1, Diogo Antônio Feijó (Rio de Janeiro, 1957).

Novelli Júnior, Feijó: Um paulista velho (Rio de Janeiro, 1966).

Additional Bibliography

Ricci, Magda. Assombrações de um padre regente: Diogo Antônio Feijó, 1784–1843. Campinas: Editora da UNICAMP: CECULT; São Paulo: FAPESP, 2001.

                                             Roderick J. Barman

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