José Bonifácio

Bonifácio, José (zhōzāˈ bônēfäˈsēō) [key], 1763–1838, Brazilian statesman and scientist. He studied in Europe and gained international fame as a geologist before returning (1819) to Brazil. Seeking a peaceful solution to Brazilian unrest against Portuguese rule, he urged the establishment of a constitutional monarchy and influenced the prince regent to declare (1822) Brazilian independence and proclaim himself Emperor Pedro I. Bonifácio served as first minister in the new empire, but his insistence upon a liberal constitution led to his banishment from Brazil (1823–29). Many of his ideas were included in the 1824 constitution, however, and he later (1831–33) served as tutor to Pedro II. He is regarded as the architect of Brazilian independence. His full name was José Bonifácio de Andrada e Silva.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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