Afonso Pena

Afonso Augusto Moreira Pena (Portuguese: [aˈfõsu awˈɡustu moˈrejrɐ ˈpenɐ]; 30 November 1847 – 14 June 1909) was a Brazilian politician who served as President of Brazil between 1906 and 1909. Before his political career, Pena had been an attorney and legal scholar.[1] He was the first president to die in office.

Afonso Pena
Afonso Pena.jpg
6th President of Brazil
In office
15 November 1906 – 14 June 1909
Vice PresidentNilo Peçanha
Preceded byRodrigues Alves
Succeeded byNilo Peçanha
Vice President of Brazil
In office
17 June 1903 – 14 November 1906
PresidentRodrigues Alves
Preceded byRosa e Silva
Succeeded byNilo Peçanha
Personal details
Born(1847-11-30)30 November 1847
Santa Bárbara, Minas Gerais, Empire of Brazil
Died14 June 1909(1909-06-14) (aged 61)
Catete Palace, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Political partyConservative Party (1874–1889)
Mineiro Republican Party (1889–1909)
Maria Guilhermina de Oliveira
(m. 1875⁠–⁠1909)
; his death
Alma materUniversity of São Paulo
Other offices held
  • 1900–1902:
    President of the Belo Horizonte Deliberative Council
  • 1895–1898:
    President of the Bank of Brazil
  • 1900–1902:
    State Senator, Minas Gerais
  • 1892–1894:
    President of Minas Gerais
  • 1891–1891:
    State Senator, Minas Gerais
  • 1885–1885:
    Minister of Justice
  • 1884–1884:
    Minister of War
  • 1883–1884:
    Minister of Agriculture and Transport
  • 1882–1882:
    Minister of War (interim)
  • 1882–1882:
    Minister of the Navy (interim)
  • 1878–1889:
    General Deputy for Minas Gerais
  • 1874–1878:
    Provincial Deputy, Minas Gerais

Pena began his political career in 1874 with an election to the Imperial General Assembly. In the succeeding years, Pena reconciled legislative work with some periods occupying secretariats—secretary of Agriculture (1882), Commerce and Public Issues (1883) and Justice (1885). As president of the provincial assembly of Minas Gerais, Pena inaugurated the new capital Belo Horizonte .

After the proclamation of the Republic, he was governor of Minas Gerais between 1892 and 1894. It was during his administration that Belo Horizonte was set for the future state capital (which at that time was Ouro Preto). He ran in the presidential election of 1894, but lost by a large margin to Prudente de Morais.

In 1902 Pena became Vice President to Francisco de Paula Rodrigues Alves. As Vice President, he also served as the President of the Senate.[2] He was elected president in 1906 and served until his death in 1909, a few days after the passing of his son Álvaro Pena.

Afonso Pena was the first Brazilian president to advocate intervening in the coffee economy. The federal government started to buy production surplus, thus maintaining the high price of coffee in international markets. Pena also promoted the expansion of railroads.

The reorganization of the Brazilian army was done by Hermes da Fonseca during the Pena administration. The president also supported Cândido Rondon's expeditions in the Amazon Rainforest.



  1. ^ Afonso Pena - BrasilEscola (in Portuguese)
  2. ^ "República Velha (1889 - 1930) - Senado Federal".

External linksEdit

Political offices
Preceded by
Eduardo Ernesto da Gama Cerqueira
Governor of Minas Gerais
Succeeded by
Chrispim Jaques Bias Fortes
Preceded by
Francisco de Assis Rosa e Silva
Vice President of Brazil
Succeeded by
Nilo Peçanha
Preceded by
Francisco de Paula Rodrigues Alves
President of Brazil