Sá da Bandeira, the Marquis of

(1795-1876)
   Famous 19th-century career soldier turned politician, colonial reformer and planner, and statesman. Bernardo de Sá Nogueira de Figueiredo, later named the Marquis of Sá da Bandeira, was a soldier from the young age of 15 who fought against the armies of Napoleon in the Peninsular Wars. The historian Alexandre Herculano described him as "the most illustrious Portuguese of his century." Among the people, he was nicknamed "Sá-the one-handed or "one-armed," since he had lost his right arm in battle. Trained in engineering and mathematics, and with residence abroad, he first made a reputation as an outstanding military leader in the campaigns against the French in Portugal (1811) and in the civil wars of 1828-34.
   Devoted to the cause of King Pedro IV of maintaining Pedro's young daughter, Maria da Glória, on Portugal's throne, Sá da Bandei-ra's image and style seemed to be in conflict with those of a general more typical of the age of romanticism. Spare in body, methodical and frugal, and serene in spirit, he achieved the highest offices in government, following the triumph of the cause of constitutional monarchy by 1834. Concerned with Portugal's overseas empire, severely weakened by the loss of Brazil in 1822, Sá da Bandeira relentlessly pursued colonial reform plans and efforts to create for Portugal "another Brazil in Africa." Active in politics into his old age, in the 1870s, he worked to bring about reforms of the colonial economy, to move from an economy based on slave trade and slavery to one based on legitimate trade and industry, especially in Angola and Mozambique. This soldier and politician became, in effect, the heart and soul of Portugal's first modern colonial movement, 1835-75.

Historical dictionary of Portugal 3rd ed.. . 2014.

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