Pena, Afonso Augusto Moreira (1847–1909)

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Pena, Afonso Augusto Moreira (1847–1909)

Afonso Augusto Moreira Pena (b. 30 November 1847; d. 14 June 1909), president of Brazil (1906–1909). Born in Santa Bárbara, Minas Gerais, Pena attended the Lazarist Colégio do Caraça and received a doctorate in law at the University of São Paulo, where he was a colleague of Rodrigues Alves, Rui Barbosa, and Castro Alves. He married Maria Guilhermina de Oliveira, with whom he had one son, Afonso Augusto Moreira Pena Junior.

Pena's political career straddled both the imperial and republican years of Brazil's history. He served as a provincial deputy (1874–1878) and became a national deputy in 1879, serving for four successive legislatures. A novelty at the time, he held the post of minister of war as a civilian (1882–1883). Later, he served as both minister of agriculture in 1883 and minister of justice in 1885. In addition, he served as a member of the Civil Code Commission in 1888 and as a member of the Constitutional Convention from 1890 to 1891. Pena returned to Minas Gerais, where he served as governor from 1892 to 1895. During his administration, he moved the state capital from Ouro Prêto to Belo Horizonte and founded a school of law in the new capital city, where he also taught.

From 1894 to 1898, Pena was the president of the Bank of the Republic. He was elected vice president of Brazil in 1903, and in 1906 he was elected president, an office he held until his death. Among his more noteworthy contributions to the nation were reforms that made possible the exchange of different monetary units, expansion of the national railroad system, and establishment of telegraphic connections between Rio de Janeiro and Acre.

See alsoBrazil: 1808–1889; Brazil: Since 1889.


Additional Bibliography

Ferreira, Marieta de Moraes. Em busca da idade de ouro: As elites políticas fluminenses na Primeira República, 1889–1930. Rio de Janeiro: Editora UFRJ: Edições Tempo Brasileiro, 1994.

Topik, Steven. The Political Economy of the Brazilian State, 1889–1930. Austin: University of Texas Press, 1987.

                                IÊda Siqueira Wiarda

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Pena, Afonso Augusto Moreira (1847–1909)

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