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First Republic 1889–1930 Brazil declared its independence from Portugal in 1822 but main­ tained the monarchy, under the rule of the Bragança dynasty. Slavery lasted until 1888. On November 15, 1889, members of the army established the republic.The Constitution of 1891 stipulated that the new republican state would be democratic,presidentialist, federalist, and secular.The military dominated the first two pres­ idential administrations, but as of 1894, civilian political groups held sway.State oligarchies with ties to commodity production,es­ pecially coffee, relied on election fraud to control the presidency and Congress. Because illiterate persons were denied the right to vote, much of the population was excluded from formal political life, and social inequality remained strong. Although this period of Brazilian history is often viewed negatively—and pejoratively called the Old Republic—it was also a time of industrialization, urban growth, immigration, the formation of a working class and labor movement, the rise of cultural and intellectual movements, and the firm demarcation of the nation’s borders. Timeline of Brazilian History (1889–1945) 162 Timeline of Brazilian History (1889–1945) Revolution of 1930 1930 This armed movement began on October 3, 1930, when dis­ contented dissident oligarchs joined forces with pockets of the middle classes and with young army officers (the latter known as tenentismo). All were critical of what they saw as the excessive liberalism of the First Republic, corrupt elections, and the gov­ ernment’s weak response to the country’s problems. Victorious on November 3, 1930, the movement carried Getúlio Vargas into power and put in place a nationalist, centralizing, and interven­ tionist state. It was a watershed in the history of the Brazilian re­ public, inaugurating economic nationalism under the strong arm of the state.Historians have long debated whether the movement should in fact be labeled a “revolution.”Some contend it was just the opposite: a strategic rearrangement by the ruling elites meant to contain the leftist revolutionary proposals espoused both by anarchist unions, since the 1910s, and by the Brazilian Commu­ nist Party,founded in 1922. Provisional Government 1930–1934 Under the Provisional Government, Vargas ruled by so-called decree-laws.The new government comprised a number of groups, with young army officers predominating. The latter advocated a strong,centralized government,statism,economic diversification, infrastructure development,and the enactment of new health and education policies, while they also wanted social rights to remain under state control. In order to facilitate implementation of these measures,elections to the Constituent Assembly were postponed. Significant changes took place from 1930 to 1934: the enactment of labor laws, public education reform, the creation of both elec­ toral and labor tribunals,passage of the secret ballot,and granting women the right to vote. The government also decreed a num­ ber of codes in regard to nature and territory, like the Game and Fish Code, Forest Code, Mine Code, Water Code, and Animal Timeline of Brazilian History (1889–1945) 163 Protection Code.The constitution was finally enacted on July 16, 1934,and Congress elected Vargas president.New,direct elections were slated to take place in 1938, when Vargas would not be eli­ gible to run again.The fact that conservative Catholic groups had been gaining ground was embedded in the preamble to the new constitution, which invoked the name of God, countering the lay nature of the Brazilian state as established following the Procla­ mation of the Republic. Constitutional Government 1934–1937 When Vargas took office as president,he was unhappy about the new constitution,which limited his powers,which until then had been wholly discretionary. To stand strong against the politi­ cal class, he forged tight bonds with the army’s high command. In a complex political situation, social conflicts and right- and left-wing political radicalism made inroads.In 1935,a number of political sectors joined forces to fight fascism and imperialism by founding the National Liberation Alliance, drawing thou­ sands of supporters across the country. That same year saw a wave of strikes, and these, plus the alleged Communist threat, were invoked to justify enactment by decree of the National Se­ curity Law, which abolished democratic guarantees and defined crimes against the state. Escalating political clashes and a cli­ mate of anticommunist paranoia culminated in the November 1937 military coup. With the support of the high command of the armed forces, Vargas shut down Congress and transformed his presidency into a dictatorship. Estado Novo 1937–1945 In 1937,Getúlio Vargas enacted an...

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Additional Information

ISBN
9780816534616
Related ISBN
9780816532018
MARC Record
OCLC
959648325
Pages
256
Launched on MUSE
2017-01-01
Language
English
Open Access
No
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