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Marechal Deodoro

Manuel Deodoro da Fonseca was a Brazilian politician and military officer who served as the first President of Brazil. He took office after heading a military coup that deposed Emperor Pedro II and proclaimed the Republic in 1889, disestablishing the Empire, and stepped down little more than two years after his election in 1891, under great political pressure. He is therefore the first Brazilian President to have resigned from office.Fonseca was born the third child of a large military family in Vila Madalena, Alagoas, a town that today bears his name as Marechal Deodoro, in Northeast Brazil. He was the son of Manuel Mendes da Fonseca Galvão (1785–1859) and his wife Rosa Maria Paulina de Barros Cavalcanti (1802–1873). In the period of the Brazilian Empire, his older brother Severino Martins da Fonseca was nominated the first Baron of Alagoas. Another notable relative was the Portuguese humanist Francisco de Holanda (d. 1585), his remote uncle. Fonseca pursued a military career that was notable for his suppression of the Praieira revolt in Pernambuco in 1848, Brazil's response to the European year of failed liberal revolutions. He also saw action during the Paraguayan War (1864–1870), attaining the rank of captain. In 1884 he was promoted to the rank of field-marshal, and he later achieved the rank of full marshal. His personal courage, military competence and manly personal style made him a national figure. As Governor of Rio Grande do Sul, Fonseca was courted by republican intellectuals such as Benjamin Constant and Rui Barbosa in the café society of São Paulo. In 1886, alerted that the imperial government was ordering the arrest of prominent republicans, Fonseca went to Rio de Janeiro and assumed leadership of the army faction that was favorable to the abolition of slavery.
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