Maria Da Fonte War

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Maria Da Fonte War


(movement of María da Fonte), a popular (primarily peasant) uprising in Portugal in 1846-47.

The revolt was caused by the measures taken by the prime minister, A. B. Costa Cabral, who was hated by the common people and whose measures violated established traditional religious customs (for example, he banned burials within churches). After beginning in April 1846 in northern Portugal (the province of Minho), the uprising spread to the southern part of the country. The insurgents seized landowners’ lands and created juntas.

The leader of the uprising was considered to be Maria da Fonte (no reliable information about her has been preserved). Some detachments of the rebels were led by gentry liberals who opposed Costa Cabral. The uprising was crushed by the forces of the Portuguese Army and foreign interventionists (Spanish troops invaded Portugal in June 1847, and a British squadron and French and Spanish warships were operating off its shores). However, the powerful popular movement forced Costa Cabral into retirement.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.