Madureira, Antônio de Sena (1841–1889)

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Madureira, Antônio de Sena (1841–1889)

Antônio de Sena Madureira (b. 1841; d. 1889), Brazilian military leader. Sena Madureira graduated from the military academy with a degree in science and mathematics. He was training in Europe when the War of the Triple Alliance (1864–1870) broke out, and served in the war with distinction. An abolitionist and a republican, Madureira's historical significance stems from his launching, in 1884, of the famous "military question," concerning the civil rights of the military. This occurred when his command gave a hero's welcome to the celebrated abolitionist Francisco de Nascimento. The minister of war labeled the episode a breach of discipline and censured Madureira. A related incident followed when a liberal colonel cited some irregularities in a command headed by a captain with conservative leanings. The captain felt aggrieved and turned to a conservative deputy, who verbally attacked the colonel in the Chamber of Deputies. The colonel responded in the press and was censured by the minister of war. Madureira joined in the debate by writing provocative articles in a republican newspaper. The minister of war sought to administer discipline but found that Madureira was under the direct command of General Deodoro da Fonseca, the most prestigious military officer in the army. Fonseca refused to censure his subordinate, since the matter involved Madureira's criticism of civilian authority, and not a breach of military hierarchy. The affair centered on the rights of the military to express their political views publicly. The Supreme Military Tribunal ruled in favor of the officers, and Madureira's punishments were revoked. The split between military and monarchist leaders remained, however, and the monarchy was overthrown by a military coup in 1889.

See alsoMilitary Question of the 1880sxml .


Robert A. Hayes, The Armed Nation: The Brazilian Corporate Mystique (1989).

João Pandiá Calógeras, A History of Brazil, edited and translated by Percy Alvin Martin (1939).

Nelson Werneck Sodré, História Militar do Brasil (1965), esp. pp. 143-153; Dicionário de História do Brasil (1976).

Additional Bibliography

Alves, Claudia Maria Costa. Cultura e política no século XIX: O exército como campo de constituteção de sujeitos políticos no Império. Bragança Paulista, Brazil: CDAPH, 2002.

                                           Robert A. Hayes