Monday, October 24, 2011
Monarchist Profile: Manuel Marques de Sousa
In 1851-52 Marques de Sousa saw extensive service in the Platine War, allied with Uruguay against the Argentine Confederation led by the strongman Juan Manuel de Rosas. He led the First Brazilian Division with great skill and joined with the Allied army that administered the final defeat of the Argentines. Following this conflict, the respected soldier retired from active military service but, when trouble began anew over Paraguay he again rushed to the service of his Emperor and presented himself as a volunteer for what became known as the War of the Triple Alliance or the Paraguayan War. This was a conflict that saw the Empire of Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay allied against Paraguay which had just undergone a massive military buildup. The Paraguayan republic had invaded Brazil in Rio Grande do Sul and it was Manuel Marques de Sousa who commanded the Brazilian forces which defeated the invasion and forced their surrender at Uruguaiana in the presence of Emperor Dom Pedro II.
Like many of his social set, during his retirement from the imperial army, Porto Alegre served in the political realm. He was elected to serve in the Provincial Assembly on a number of occasions and he served as Minister of Foreign Affairs and as Provincial Secretary of War. He was also awarded a number of honors throughout his career by the Emperor such as being made a Knight of the Imperial Order of St Benedict of Avis, the Imperial Order of the Southern Cross and the Grand Cross of the Imperial Order of Christ. The Count of Porto Alegre died in Rio de Janeiro on July 18, 1875 to great public mourning. Today there are numerous streets, monuments and so on named in his honor. He stands as one of the great military and political defenders of the Empire of Brazil and a man whose first loyalty was always, first and foremost, with his Emperor.