HomeNationsBrazilHeads of StateMorais Barros, Prudente José de
Morais Barros, Prudente José de

Prudente José de Morais e Barros

b. 4 Oct 1841, a fazenda in Itu municipality, São Paulo
d. 3 Dec 1902, Piracicaba, São Paulo

Title: Presidente da República dos Estados Unidos do Brasil (President of the Republic of the United States of Brazil)
Term: 15 Nov 1894 - 15 Nov 1898
Chronology: 22 Jun 1894, election to the office of President of the Republic of the United States of Brazil is declared upon counting popular votes (cast 1 Mar 1894), joint session of the Congresso Nacional (National Congress), Rio de Janeiro [1]
  15 Nov 1894, made an affirmation required by law at the ceremony of installation as President of the Republic of the United States of Brazil, joint session of the National Congress, seat of the Federal Senate, Conde dos Arcos Palace, Rio de Janeiro [1]
  15 Nov 1898, expiration of term
Studied at the Academy of Juridical and Social Sciences in São Paulo and graduated in 1863; moved to Vila da Constituição (now Piracicaba), where he was elected municipal councilor and president of the Municipal Chamber (1865) from the Liberal Party; in 1867 he was elected a deputy from the Province of São Paulo to the federal legislature of 1868-1869; joined the Republican Party (Partido Republicano) in 1876 and was elected to the Provincial Assembly of 1878-1879, 1881-1883, 1883-1885 and 1888-1889; in 1885 he was also elected to the federal Chamber of Deputies; after the proclamation of republic (15 Nov 1889), served as a member of the Junta of Government of São Paulo (1889) and later was appointed Governor of the State (1889-1890) by Manuel Deodoro da Fonseca; elected senator for São Paulo and served as President of the National Constituent Congress (21 Nov 1890 - 26 Feb 1891), unsuccessfully contesting the election of first President of the Republic (25 Feb 1891); upon taking his seat in the Senate, he briefly served as Vice President, acting as president (15 Jun 1891 - 23 Nov 1891); as a representative of the Federal Republican Party (Partido Republicano Federal), he won the first direct elections of President of the Republic in 1894; his installation as president marked the accession of rural aristocracy from São Paulo, Minas Gerais and Rio de Janeiro to political power in Brazil; defeated a federalist revolution in Rio Grande do Sul (1895) and granted an amnesty for those involved in uprisings against the government of Floriano Peixoto; cracked down on a religious movement in the state of Bahia starting the War of Canudos; suffering from illness, he delegated his authority (10 Nov 1896) to Vice President of the Republic Manuel Vitorino Pereira, who did not act as a mere caretaker, but attempted to interfere in policy matters, forcing the incumbent to resume the office on 4 Mar 1897 to prevent negative effects of this substitution; scarcely avoided a coup attempt and might have fallen a victim of assassination if war minister Carlos Machado Bittencourt had not stopped an assassin at the cost of his life (5 Nov 1897); with consent of the National Congress, he declared a state of emergency, closing some newspapers and arresting several opposition deputies in violation of their status of immunity; using extraordinary powers, he maintained peace and order before his successor took office; returned to Piracicaba and resumed his professional activities; ventured to organise an opposition bloc (1901), São Paulo Republican Dissident Party (Partido Republicano Dissidente de São Paulo), which sought for changing the Constitution of 1891.
Biographical sources: "Prudente de Morais," by Motta Filho C. in "Homens de São Paulo" (São Paulo: Martins Editora, 1955); História da República Brasileira (1979).

Candidate Popular vote (1 Mar 1894)
Prudente José de Morais e Barros 276,583
Afonso Augusto Moreira Pena 38,291
José Cesário de Faria Alvim 3,719
Rui Barbosa de Oliveira 3,718
José Luís de A. Couto 3,437
Lauro Nina Sodré e Silva 1,983
Gaspar da Silveira Martins 1,234
53 others 2 or more votes
Source of electoral results: Dicionário do voto (2000)

[1] Annaes da Camara dos Deputados, Primeira Sessão da Segunda Legislatura: Sessões de 1 a 30 de novembro de 1894 (Rio de Janeiro: Imprensa Nacional, 1895), 7:259-260.
  Image: business card, collection of the Republican Museum at the University of São Paulo — "Convenção de Itu", 1890 ("Prudente de Moraes 1841-1902", web site).