brazilian monarchy


November 15th 1889: Brazilian coup

On this day in 1889, a military coup occurred in Brazil and the country became a republic. The coup overthrew Emperor Pedro II and was led by Marshal Deodoro da Fonseca, who later became the first President of the Republic. The Brazilian monarchy had been unsteady for many years, since Pedro II’s son died, leaving him with only a female heir which many considered unacceptable. Whilst the monarchy was popular with the people, both Pedro and his daughter were indifferent to the continuance of the monarchy. Thus a republican minority was able to overthrow the monarchy and establish the republic.


(topPeter II of Brazil in the oppening of the General Assembly (Dom Pedro II na abertura da Assembleia Geral). Pedro Américo. Oil on screen. 288 × 205 cm.1872, Museu Imperial, Petrópolis, RJ [Brazil].

(middle) Sketch of imperial scepter and crown (Esboço de cetro e coroa imperais), Jean-Baptiste Debret.

The artist Jean-Baptiste Debret based his designs on the previous United Kingdom of Portugal, Brazil and the Algarves (existing from 1815-1822. The serpe replaces the orb while the crown gets stretched and gains distinguished symbols.

That can be easily seen on the bottom two pictures! The first, in which both sovereigns, from the United Kingdom (John VI of Portugal) and from the Empire of Brazil (Pedro I of Brasil, Pedro IV of Portugal) are put side by side. And the latter, in which the artist didactically places side by side the symbols of royalty from the United Kingdom of Portugal, Brazil and Algarves, and the Empire of Brazil. It should be noted differences in the emperial garment: the red colors gave place to the green, while the mantle becomes a poncho.