Manuel Marques de Sousa, Count of Porto Alegre
Sat, 2017-May-13 00:30 UTC
Length - 4:02
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The featured article for Saturday, 13 May 2017 is Manuel Marques de Sousa, Count of Porto Alegre.
Manuel Marques de Sousa, Count of Porto Alegre (13 June 1804 – 18 July 1875), nicknamed "the Gloved Centaur", was an army officer, politician, abolitionist and monarchist of the Empire of Brazil. Born into a wealthy family of military background, Porto Alegre joined the army in 1817 when he was little more than a child. His military initiation occurred in the conquest of the Banda Oriental (Eastern Bank), which was annexed and became the southernmost Brazilian province of Cisplatina in 1821. For most of the 1820s, he was embroiled in the Brazilian effort to keep Cisplatina as part of its territory: first during the struggle for Brazilian independence and then in the Cisplatine War. It would ultimately prove a futile attempt, as Cisplatina successfully separated from Brazil to become the independent nation of Uruguay in 1828.
A few years later, in 1835, his native province of Rio Grande do Sul was engulfed in a secessionist rebellion, the Ragamuffin War. The conflict lasted for almost ten years, and the Count was leading military engagements for most of that time. He played a decisive role in saving the provincial capital from the Ragamuffin rebels, allowing forces loyal to the legitimate government to secure a key foothold. In 1852, he led a Brazilian division during the Platine War in an invasion of the Argentine Confederation that overthrew its dictator. He was awarded a noble title, eventually raised from baron to viscount and finally to count.
In the postwar years, Porto Alegre turned his attention to politics, retiring from his military career as a lieutenant general, the second-highest rank in the Imperial army. He was an affiliate of the Liberal Party at the national level and was elected to the legislature of Rio Grande do Sul. He also founded a provincial party, the Progressive-Liberal Party—a coalition of Liberals like him and some members of the Conservative Party. Porto Alegre later entered the lower house of the Brazilian parliament and was briefly Minister of War. When the Paraguayan War erupted in 1864, he returned to active duty. One of the main Brazilian commanders during the conflict, his participation was marked by important battlefield victories, as well as constant quarrels with his Argentine and Uruguayan allies.
Upon his return from the war, Porto Alegre resumed his political career. He became an active advocate for the abolition of slavery and a patron in the fields of literature and science. His death came on 18 July 1875 while again serving in Parliament. He was highly esteemed until the downfall of the monarchy in 1889. Regarded as too closely associated with the fallen regime, Porto Alegre slipped into obscurity. His reputation was eventually rehabilitated to a certain degree by historians, some of whom consider him to be among Brazil's greatest military figures.
This recording reflects the Wikipedia text as of 00:30 UTC on Saturday, 13 May 2017.
For the full current version of the article, go to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manuel_Marques_de_Sousa,_Count_of_Porto_Alegre.
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