Jump to content

Benjamin Constant (military)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Benjamin Constant
Minister of War
In office
15 November 1889 – 12 March 1890
PresidentDeodoro da Fonseca
Preceded byViscount of Maracaju
Succeeded byEduardo Wandenkolk
Secretary of State of Public Instruction, Posts and Telegraphs
In office
19 April 1890 – 21 January 1891
PresidentDeodoro da Fonseca
Preceded byOffice established
Succeeded byJoão Barbalho (interim)
Personal details
Born18 October 1836
Niterói, Rio de Janeiro, Empire of Brazil
Died22 January 1891 (1891-01-23) (aged 54)
Rio de Janeiro, Neutral Municipality, Brazil
Political partyRepublican
Maria Joaquina Bittencourt Costa
(m. 1863)
  • Leopoldo Henrique Botelho de Magalhães (father)
  • Bernardina Joaquina da Silva Guimarães (mother)
EducationPraia Vermelha Military School
Military service
AllegianceEmpire of Brazil
Republic of the United States of Brazil
Branch/serviceImperial Brazilian Army
Brazilian Army
RankLieutenant colonel
Battles/warsParaguayan War

Benjamin Constant Botelho de Magalhães (18 October 1836 – 22 January 1891) was a Brazilian military officer and political thinker. Primarily a positivist, influenced heavily by Auguste Comte, he was the founder of the positivist movement in Brazil (Sociedade Positivista do Brasil, Brazilian Positivist Society), and later this led to his republican views. He left the Brazilian Positivist Society because of internal disagreements, but remained an ardent pupil of Comte until the end of his life.

Benjamin Constant was born in Niterói. He had a difficult childhood and attempted suicide at the age of 12. He served in the Paraguayan War, and had a large family. He felt underpaid and unhappy as a soldier. An intellectual at heart, he was a great supporter of Comte's Religion of Humanity.

His republican views led him to found the Clube Militar (or Military Club), with Deodoro da Fonseca, in May 1887.[1] It was based in the Praia Vermelha Military School, and, shortly before his death, helped to organize a coup to overthrew Emperor Pedro II and establish a republic.

The Brazilian town of Benjamin Constant, Amazonas, near the Amazon River and the Peruvian border, was named after him.

He was considered the founder of the Republic in the Constitution of 1891, having died earlier the same year in Rio de Janeiro, aged 54.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Donald Francis O'Reilly (1969). Rondon: Biography of a Brazilian Republican Army Commander. New York University. p. 26.

External links[edit]