Uruguai, Visconde do (1807–1866)

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Uruguai, Visconde do (1807–1866)

Visconde do Uruguai (Paulino José Soares de Sousa; b. 4 October 1807; d. 15 July 1866), Brazilian statesman. Born in Paris, Uruguai was a key spokesman for the early Conservative Party and the driving force in the diplomacy leading to the overthrow of Argentina's dictator, Juan Manuel de Rosas in 1852. Uruguai began his studies at Coimbra and completed them in São Paulo in 1831. His brilliance and character attracted support and early promotion as a magistrate in São Paulo, and then in Rio de Janeiro. His marriage into an established provincial planter clan brought political entrée through his brother-in-law, Joaquim José Rodrigues Tôrres (later Viscount de Itaboraí). In 1834, he was elected to the assembly of Rio de Janeiro Province, which in turn elected him a provincial vice president. In 1836, he was appointed president of the province; that same year the province elected him a national deputy. In the chamber of deputies, with Tôrres and Eusébio de Queirós, Uruguai led the Saquaremas. The latter were the fluminense radical reactionaries of the Conservative Party, which had been created in 1837, in an era of reaction, and was directed by Bernardo Pereira de Vasconcelos, Honório Hermeto Carneiro Leão, and Tôrres. Uruguai's role was that of jurist and orator. He and Vasconcelos formulated the positions that halted the Regency's liberal momentum and shored up the authoritarian centralization that was identified with the monarchy. His son and namesake, known as Paulino, maintained this legacy against the reformism of Uruguai's former protégé, the Viscount do Rio Branco, in the 1870s.

Uruguai, increasingly disgusted with politics, was proudest of his role as foreign minister (1849–1853). He earned his title by defending the empire's perennially insecure southern interests from Rosas's Uruguayan ambitions. It was Uruguai, aided in the field by Honório Hermeto Carneiro Leão (later Viscount de Paraná) and Viscount do Rio Branco, who secured Uruguay and the Urquiza alliance that defeated Rosas. Subsequently, Uruguai, after accepting a brief diplomatic mission to Europe, began a retreat from politics. Although meeting responsibilities as a senator (1849) and councillor of state (1853), he gradually sought the solace of study. The Ensaio sôbre direito administrativo was published in 1862 and Estudos práticos sobre a administração das provincias do império was published in 1865.

See alsoBrazil: 1808–1889; Vasconcelos, Bernardo Pereira de.


José Antônio Soares De Sousa, A vida do visconde do Uruguai (1944).

Thomas Flory, Judge and Jury in Imperial Brazil (1981).

João Pandía Calógeras, A política externa do império, vol. 3 (1933).

Ilmar Rohloff De Mattos, O tempo saquarema (1987).

Additional Bibliography

Ferreira, Gabriela Nunes. Centralização e descentralização no Império: O debate entre Tavares Bastos e visconde de Uruguai. São Paulo: Editora 34, 1999.

Needell, Jeffrey D. The Party of Order: The Conservatives, The State, and Slavery in the Brazilian Monarchy, 1831–1871. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2006.

Prado, Maria Emília. O estado como vocação: Idéias e práticas políticas no Brasil oitocentista. Rio de Janeiro: Access Editora, 1999.

                                        Jeffrey D. Needell