Brazilian Revolution of 1930

The Revolution of 1930 (Portuguese: Revolução de 1930), also known as the 1930 Revolution, was an armed insurrection which ended the First Brazilian Republic. Initiated by political elites in the states of Minas Gerais, Paraíba and Rio Grande do Sul, it was fueled by dissent in the military and by economic turmoil caused by a collapse in the price of coffee. The revolution ousted then President Washington Luís on October 24, 1930, prevented the inauguration of President–elect Júlio Prestes, and installed Getúlio Vargas as the new president.[1]

Revolution of 1930
Revolução de 1930.jpg
Getúlio Vargas (center) and his followers pictured by Claro Jansson during their short stay in Itararé, São Paulo) en route to Rio de Janeiro after a successful military campaign.
Date3 October–3 November 1930
Location
Military confrontations mainly in the states of Rio Grande do Sul, Minas Gerais, Paraná, Pernambuco and Paraíba.
Result

Revolutionary victory

Belligerents

Revolutionaries
 Minas Gerais
 Rio Grande do Sul
 Paraíba
 Paraná

First Brazilian Republic
 São Paulo

Armed Forces
 Rio de Janeiro (city)

Commanders and leaders
Getúlio Vargas
Osvaldo Aranha
Juarez Távora
Cel. Góis Monteiro
Mrj. Plínio Tourinho
Washington Luís
Júlio Prestes
General Augusto Tasso Fragoso
General João de Deus Mena Barreto
Strength
~50,000 unknown Over 2,600

Prior to 1929, Brazilian politics was controlled by an alliance between the two largest state economies; known as "coffee with milk politics", coffee growers in São Paulo combined with the dairy industry centred in Minas Gerais to create an oligarchy,[2][3] with the Presidency alternating between the two states. This practice was broken when the leaders of São Paulo and President Luís nominated their fellow Paulista Júlio Prestes as candidate for the presidential elections in 1930. In response, Minas Gerais, Rio Grande do Sul and Paraíba formed a 'Liberal Alliance' backing opposition candidate, Getúlio Vargas.

When Prestes won the March 1930 Presidential election, the Alliance denounced his victory as fraudulent, while Vargas's running mate, João Pessoa, was assassinated in July. The revolution began on October 3, 1930, and quickly spread throughout the country; by October 10, both Rio Grande do Sul and Minas Gerais had announced their support. Luís was deposed on October 24, and the Brazilian Military Junta of 1930 took over; Vargas assumed leadership of the junta on November 3, 1930, marking the end of the First Republic [3] and beginning of the Vargas Era.[4]

The 1932 Constitutionalist Revolution led to a new Brazilian Constitution in 1934. However, in 1937, following an attempted fascist coup, the constitution was annulled and Vargas became a dictator in the name of law and order. His presidency occupies two periods of Brazilian history, the Second Brazilian Republic and the Third Brazilian Republic, known as the Estado Novo.

Causes of the RevolutionEdit

Economic crisisEdit

By 1900, Brazil was producing 75% of the world's coffee supply.[5] However, the price of coffee had dropped since then, and in 1906, the states of Rio de Janeiro, Minas Gerais, and São Paulo, the largest coffee-producing states, signed an agreement to limit exports and production in order to manipulate the price of coffee.[5] Although the attempt to raise the price of coffee failed, it prevented it from declining more.[6]

Brazil had seen high inflation following World War I, but its economy saw great improvements in the 1920s. Although still dependent on coffee exports, the world prices for Brazil's coffee had more than doubled by 1925, with slight decline afterward.[7][8] The economy saw turmoil with the Wall Street Crash of 1929, and coffee prices declined sharply as the economy failed.[9] The mobilization of industrial workers throughout this time period was another leading cause of the revolution.[10]

Osvaldo Aranha, who became the first Minister of Justice and Internal Affairs following the revolution, described the state of the country shortly after the revolution:[11]

The country was without money, without exchange, actually and legally in a moratorium with pressing promises to be met abroad, due or to become due in a few days; a floating debt, federal, state, and local, which had never been calculated; coffee in three crisies—prices, overproduction, and large stocks in warehouses; Brazilian economy, industry, and labor in ruin; and an unemployment crisis.

— Osvaldo Aranha

"Coffee with milk" traditionEdit

The political life of the First Republic (1889–1930) was dominated by an alliance between the states of São Paulo and Minas Gerais.[12] An oligarchic practice known as coffee with milk politics, it combined coffee producers in São Paulo with the dairy industry that dominated Minas Gerais. Taking advantage of their economic power and influence, it allowed the two states to alternate the Presidency between each other.[12][13]

 
Júlio Prestes, the 1930 Presidential Paulista Republican Party candidate, supported by Washington Luís and São Paulo.

Paulista Washington Luís won the 1926 Brazilian presidential election with 98% of the vote, and his administration was an unusual period of prosperity, domestic peace, and tranquility.[12][14] In accordance with the 'coffee with milk tradition', the candidate for the 1930 election should have been Antônio Carlos Ribeiro, then Governor of Minas Gerais.[12] However, Ribeiro's backing for mandatory religious instruction in state public schools, coupled with the close relationship between Luis and Júlio Prestes, then Governor of São Paulo, led the Paulista Republican Party to support Prestes instead.[12]

This created an anti-Prestes opposition, mainly in Minas Gerais, Paraíba, and Rio Grande do Sul.[15][16] The three states formed a "Liberal alliance" backing Getúlio Vargas, Governor of Rio Grande do Sul as President of Brazil.[17][18] João Pessoa, a politician from Paraíba, was selected as his running mate.[16] In 1929, Ribeiro made a speech in which he stated:[18]

Allow the revolution by vote, before the people do so through violence

— Antônio Carlos Ribeiro

TenentismEdit

Dissent in the Brazilian military led to an ideology of tenentism. The movement consisted of young officers (tenentes, meaning lieutenants) opposed to the oligarchic federal system of coffee and milk politics.[14][19] In 1922, the first of several military revolts by members of tenentism took place at Fort Copacabana in Rio de Janeiro, costing the lives of 16 young officers a part the movement.[19] The tenentes would later back Vargas's nomination for the presidency and assist in the revolution.[20]

1930 general electionEdit

The presidential elections were held on March 1, 1930, and gave victory to Prestes, who received 1,091,709 votes against 742,794 given to Getúlio Vargas. Notoriously, Vargas had almost 100% of the votes in Rio Grande do Sul, 287,321 to Prestes's 789.[21]

The Liberal Alliances refused to accept the validity of the elections, claiming that Prestes' victory was due to fraud. In reality, both sides had manipulated the electorate.[22][23] This led to a conspiracy, based in Rio Grande do Sul and Minas Gerais.[21] However, a setback to the conspiracy occurred as Siqueira Campos, a revolutionary, died in a plane crash.[24]

On July 26, 1930, João Pessoa, Vargas's running mate in the 1930 election, was assassinated by João Dantas in Recife for political and personal reasons.[25] This became the flashpoint for armed mobilization, and anarchy had ensured in the capital of Paraíba as a result of the murder.[25] The capital of Paraíba was also renamed in commemoration for Pessoa. Pessoa's murder contributed to creating a favorable climate for revolution and promoted social change, as the government was deemed responsible for his murder.[17]

RevolutionEdit

The 1930 revolution was planned to have begun on August 26, 1930, but they delayed the date to allow the Brigada Militar of Rio Grande do Sul to participate in the movement. Vargas, now in charge of picking a date, decided to instead begin at 5:30 p.m. on October 3 in Rio Grande do Sul.[21][26]

 
Army troops being deployed in southern Brazil.

South of BrazilEdit

Vargas lured General Gil de Almeida, who was in charge of the Brazilian third military region, into a false sense of security at Porto Alegre, the capital of Rio Grande do Sul.[21] Then, at 10:00 p.m. on October 3, the revolutionaries had claimed the city of Porto Alegre and had defeated Almeida and his gaucho troops with a cost of 20 people dead.[21][27]

Aranha and Flores da Cunha led an attack on the military headquarters in the state alongside 50 men, capturing the headquarters and its commander.[21] João Alberto led a movement with members of the Brigada that successfully captured an arms store on the Menino Deus hill.[21] On October 8, the Ministry of War continued to report the military forces in Rio Grande do Sul we're still loyal to the government. In reality, however, the revolutionaries controlled the entire state by October 10.[21] At São Borja, a small resistance was formed, but the besieged regiment fled across the River Uruguay to Argentina.[28]

The revolution proceeded relatively smoothly in the state of Santa Catarina. At the coastal capital of the state, Florianópolis, however, Admiral Heraclito Belford refused Aranha's request to come into the capital and fired on revolutionaries approaching the town, despite the revolution having control of most of the state.[28] Belford, with five destroyers, a scout vessel and a cruiser, delayed movement into the capital and remained until October 24, when electricity was cut off.[28]

 
Getúlio Vargas in a moment of relaxation.

On October 5, in the state of Paraná, General Plinio Tourinho advised Vargas that it would be safe for him to establish his headquarters in what was now the frontlines of the revolution.[28] In the Southeast of the country, the new state President of Minas Gerais, Olegario Maciel, delivered a revolutionary proclamation to all of the state's local administrators, with the state police arresting and rounding up Federal officers.[28] The well-supplied 12th infantry regiment, however, defended themselves in the state capital until October 8.[28]

Northeast of BrazilEdit

In the Northeast of the country, the revolution was slow to gain movement, mainly due to a quarrel between Aranha and captain Juarez Távora.[29] Távora insisted the revolution should begin at dawn on October 4 instead of October 3, when it began in the south.[28] What resulted was federal officers in the northeast be warned about the revolution before the revolutionaries were prepared to fight.[30] In the state of Pernambuco, the pro-federal state President and former Vice-President of the country, Estácio Coimbra, and revolutionaries quickly formed hostilities. With the strategic leadership of Carlos Lima Cavalcanti, civilians began wrecking the telephone station.[30] A former Pernambuco police officer attacked a munitions dump at Soledade, Paraíba, a state of the liberal alliance which had joined the cause, alongside 16 men, and weapons were handed out to the public.[30]

 
Soldiers in combat during the revolution.

Távora and his men entered and captured the capital of Pernambuco, Recife, which was already being controlled by Cavalcanti.[30] The capture of Recife resulted in 38 deaths and 120 wounded, and Távora continued throughout the Northeast, where state governments continued to collapse to the revolutionaries.[30][31]

The state of Bahia was now being invaded by Juraci Magalhães, which is where a counter-revolution attempt occurred. Former President of Maranhão and Senator Magalhães de Almeida volunteered to recover his state from revolutionaries and restore it to Luís.[30] Luís allowed Almeida to recover his state if he would also support the pro–federal loyalists in the state of Pará.[30] Magalhães, now aboard a ship dually-armed with cannon, planned to bombard the capital of Maranhão from the sea, but haulted his expedition as the governing junta in the state planned to execute pro-federal prisoners if the Senator were to take any action.[30] The counter-revolution ended, and Magalhães was arrested.[30]

Military coupEdit

PlanningEdit

On 19 October, the popular Cardinal Sebastião Leme, archbishop of Rio de Janeiro,[32] arrived in the capital from Rome. Two days earlier, he was convinced by Cavalcanti that in the interest of peace he should procure Luís's resignation. When Leme tried to discuss this with Luís, the President replied, "What! Then Your Eminence doubts the loyalty of my generals!"[33]

Many generals believed the President's continued stubbornness was useless, and they feared a civil war. One such general was Augusto Tasso Fragoso, former Army Chief of Staff, who earlier told former Rio Grande do Sul deputy Lindolfo Collor he may join the revolution if it turned nationwide.[34][35] After attending Mass for a general killed in Paraíba, he told General João de Deus Mena Barreto that a rebellion in Rio seemed imminent. Mena Barreto was being urged by his Chief of Staff Colonel Bertoldo Klinger, on behalf of a group of young officers, to intervene to end the hostilities in a military coup favorable to revolutionaries. Concerned about the military hierarchy, Mena Barreto suggested Tasso Fragoso, the most senior officer, head the movement. On the morning of 23 October, however, one of Mena Barreto's sons convinced Tasso Fragoso to head the movement.[34][36]

Mena Barreto told Klinger to write an ultimatum to the President. Many were reluctant to sign it, but Klinger received approval from key members of the Army's general staff. What was being proposed was a "pacification coup." Tasso Fragoso reworded Klinger's document to make it seem like more of an appeal to the President. Tasso Fragoso, Mena Barreto, and their associates convened on the night of 23 October at Fort Copacabana to make plans for the ousting, receiving favorable news from the Military Police and the outlying barracks at Vila Militar.[34]

ExecutionEdit

The operation which would depose the President was initiated on the morning of 24 October.[34][37] Before dawn, the Minister of War and commander of the 1st Military Region came to talk with Luís, and it became clear the situation was unsustainable and irreversible. Shortly before 9 a.m., Leme called to speak with Minister of Foreign Affairs Otávio Mangabeira that he had been told Fort Copacabana ordered the President leave by 11 a.m., and, as a warning, they would begin shooting dry powder after 9 a.m. Luís determined his wife and other ladies in the Guanabara Palace, Luís's residence, would evacuate and seek shelter in their friends' house in Cosme Velho. Shots of dry powder began as they left, scaring the entire population of Rio.[34][36]

Klinger's appeal, signed by the generals, appeared early in the press. Consequently, mobs were soon enthusiastically setting fire to pro-government newspapers. Meanwhile, rebel troops were moved from the regiment at Praia Vermelha to the Guanabara Palace. The movement was only hindered by crowds of armed civilians hoping to join the march. The President gathered those present and allowed them to leave, but none did, sticking by his side. Though the President was told he could count on 2,600 soldiers, the police brigade defending the Guanabara Palace chose not to resist. Tasso Fragoso and Mena Barreto, as well as Alfredo Malan d'Angrogne, entered. They found the President, who got up to speak with them, sitting solemnly in a small, gloomy room, surrounded by his cabinet, sons, a few friends, and congressmen, in the distance taunting cries of the crowd outside.[34][36][38]

According to historian John W. F. Dulles, "The President remained every inch the proud man who would fulfill his duty as he saw it."[34] "Only in pieces I leave here," the President said to his ministers.[39] He said there were still soldiers to defend his government. He was completely mistaken, and Tasso Fragoso later explained, "No one wanted his son to put on a uniform and die fighting a man frankly divorced from the common interest."[39][40] After bowing, Tasso Fragoso offered Luís his life, to which the President proclaimed, in a firm and dry tone, "The last thing I cherish at a time like this is my life. My blood will soak the soil so that a better Brazil may emerge, a true national regeneration."[41] After Luís refused to resign and tensions climaxed, the General replied, "Your Excellency will be responsible for the consequences," to which Luís accepted.[41][42] Bowing again, Tasso Fragoso left.[41]

That afternoon, Cardinal Leme, calling on the President at Tasso Fragoso's request, told him the generals had established their provisional government on the first floor of the Guanabara Palace. He used his influence with Luís to ease him out of office in safety. Noting the ugly mood of the crowd, Leme said Fort Copacabana would be the safest place for the President, and he was able to get the generals to agree that he would be allowed to set sail for Europe without delay. Those who were by his side concurred, and at 5 p.m., he agreed and was driven to Fort Copacabana. In the presidential limousine with Luís were Leme, Tasso Fragoso, and several others. The President explained to Leme, "Since this morning, I have been a prisoner in this room, with the palace and gardens invaded by troops. I leave, bowing to violence."[41][36][43]

Pacifying juntaEdit

 
Vargas (center; in uniform), next to his wife Darci Vargas (second right), in the Catete Palace, after his arrival in Rio de Janeiro, 31 October 1930.

In the aftermath of the coup, the President had been replaced by a three-man provisional governing "pacifying junta" composed of Tasso Fragoso, Mena Barreto, and Admiral Isaías de Noronha. Appointing officials and informing the fighting fronts of what was happening in Rio, they did not imply that they would transfer power to those who initiated the revolution on 3 October. Their intentions became more unclear after Klinger, the new police chief of Rio de Janeiro, promised to subdue any popular manifestations in the capital promoting the revolution. Though antirevolutionary forces laid down their arms, and the battle at Itararé never happened (jokingly referred to as what would be the "biggest battle in Latin American history"), Távora claimed he did not recognize the junta, so he continued marching his troops toward Salvador, capital of Bahia. Mobs caused chaos in Rio as the transfer of government to Vargas was being worked out.[44][32][43]

Eventually, an agreement was made by Oswaldo Aranha and Collor, Vargas's emissaries, and Tasso Fragoso on 28 October.[32] The former had sent a message to the junta a few days earlier, stating that the revolutionaries "cannot stop in the middle of the road."[45] After Vargas arrived in Rio on 31 October, according to Bourne, "The acclaim was tumultuous. Persons alive today subsequently disillusioned with Vargas as president, can remember the heady feeling that a new era was dawning."[46] The junta gave up power to Vargas on 3 November, a month after the revolution broke out, beginning a fifteen-year-long presidency.[36] About a week later, on 11 November, he issued a decree granting himself dictatorial powers.[47] A few ministers appointed from the junta were retained, such as junta member Noronha, who became navy minister.[32]

AftermathEdit

RevoltsEdit

After Vargas had assumed control as interim president,[48] three subsequent revolts broke out in Brazil throughout his reign. The first was the 1932 Constitutionalist Revolution, led by São Paulo. The revolution led to a new constitution on July 16, 1934,[49] which resulted in Vargas being elected by delegates in the 1934 Brazilian presidential election.[48]

A communist revolution broke out in 1935, although it, similar to the 1932 revolution, was effectively suppressed.[2][48] However, a fascist revolution in 1938 led to a political crisis; Vargas, in the name of law and order, repealed the Constitution, abolished political parties, canceled the 1938 presidential elections, and pronounced a new Constitution—the 1937 Estado Novo Constitution.[48] Vargas's powers were expanded exponentially—he abolished the legislative assembly and replaced most state governors with men wom he approved, leading to a lack of any check on his powers and beginning the Third Brazilian Republic, better known as the Estado Novo, in which Vargas essentially became a dictator with unlimited powers from 1937 to 1945.[48]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Sousa, Rainer. "Revolução de 1930". Brasil Escola. Archived from the original on January 13, 2016. Retrieved January 26, 2021.
  2. ^ a b Poppino, Rollie E. (August 20, 2020). "Getúlio Vargas". Encyclopedia Britannica. Archived from the original on September 4, 2015. Retrieved January 27, 2021.
  3. ^ a b Levine, The Vargas regime: The critical years, 1934–1938, p. 1.
  4. ^ Cancian, Renato (March 17, 2014). "Revolução de 1930 – Movimento revolucionário derrubou a República velha". UOL. Archived from the original on May 16, 2013. Retrieved January 26, 2021.
  5. ^ a b Skidmore, p. 82.
  6. ^ Skidmore, p. 83.
  7. ^ Skidmore, p. 96.
  8. ^ Normano, pp. 202–203.
  9. ^ Normano, p. 203.
  10. ^ Hudson, Rex A. (1997). "The Old or First Republic, 1889–1930". countrystudies.us. Archived from the original on September 27, 2006. Retrieved January 26, 2021.
  11. ^ Hill, p. 109.
  12. ^ a b c d e Young, pp. 30–31.
  13. ^ Meade, p. 123.
  14. ^ a b Levine, Father of the poor? Vargas and his era, p. 18.
  15. ^ Levine, Father of the poor? Vargas and his era, p. 19.
  16. ^ a b Skidmore, p. 107.
  17. ^ a b Eakin, p. 41.
  18. ^ a b Cancian, Renato (March 17, 2014). "Revolução de 1930 – Movimento revolucionário derrubou a República velha". UOL. Archived from the original on May 16, 2013. Retrieved January 26, 2021.
  19. ^ a b Levine, The Vargas regime: The critical years, 1934–1938, p. 2.
  20. ^ Roett, p. 22.
  21. ^ a b c d e f g h Bourne, p. 40.
  22. ^ "Revolution of 1930". encyclopedia.com. Archived from the original on January 17, 2019. Retrieved January 26, 2021.
  23. ^ Levine, Father of the poor? Vargas and his regime, p. 21.
  24. ^ Levine, The Brazil Reader: History, Culture, Politics, p. 161.
  25. ^ a b Young, p. 52.
  26. ^ Levine, Father of the poor? Vargas and his era, p. 22.
  27. ^ Levine, The Vargas regime: The critical years, 1934–1938, p. 4.
  28. ^ a b c d e f g Bourne, p. 41.
  29. ^ Levine, The Vargas regime: The critical years, 1934–1938, p. 3.
  30. ^ a b c d e f g h i Bourne, p. 42.
  31. ^ Roett, p. 80.
  32. ^ a b c d Abreu.
  33. ^ Dulles 1967, p. 71.
  34. ^ a b c d e f g Dulles 1967, p. 72.
  35. ^ Skidmore 2007, pp. 5–6.
  36. ^ a b c d e Ribeiro 2005.
  37. ^ Bourne 1974, p. 45.
  38. ^ Neto 2012, pp. 505–506.
  39. ^ a b Neto 2012, p. 505.
  40. ^ Skidmore 2007, p. 6.
  41. ^ a b c d Dulles 1967, p. 73.
  42. ^ Neto 2012, p. 506.
  43. ^ a b Bourne 1974, pp. 45–46.
  44. ^ Dulles 1967, pp. 73–74.
  45. ^ Dulles 1967, p. 74.
  46. ^ Bourne 1974, p. 46.
  47. ^ Bourne 1974, pp. 47–48.
  48. ^ a b c d e Roett, p. 23.
  49. ^ "CONSTITUIÇÃO DA REPÚBLICA DOS ESTADOS UNIDOS DO BRASIL (DE 16 DE JULHO DE 1934)". Presidência da República. Archived from the original on March 29, 2010. Retrieved January 31, 2021.

SourcesEdit