Brazil Recent History

Brazil Recent History


The republican government that is proclaimed after the fall of the monarchy was the closest thing to a dictatorship that can be known, it is for this reason that in 1891 a new constitution was proclaimed that calls for elections for the year 1894. [8]The new Magna Carta abolished some of the restrictions that at the time of the monarchy limited the vote to people who had some type of certain wealth, on the other hand, only literate men were allowed to vote, something that contrasts with the fact that the majority of the population was illiterate. [9]

The first period of republican government, kept Brazil with a peaceful and neutral foreign policy, which was only interrupted by the Acre War, and the First World War. [10] Internally, after the saddle-saddle crisis, [note 1] and the Revolt of the Armada in 1891, [11] began a long period of financial, political and social instability that would extend until the 1920s. The events that stand out in this stage are the Paulista Revolution, the Copacabana Fort Revolution, the Manaus Commune and the Prestes Column. [12] In 1930 Getúlio Vargas, who had been a presidential candidate in that year’s elections, led a coup and assumed the presidency with the support of the military. When he took power, Vargas affirmed that it would only be temporarily while democratic reforms were carried out in the nation, the reality was that he remained in power until 1945. [13]

According to Allcitycodes, Brazil maintained a neutral position during the first years of World War II, but various events led the country to align itself in favor of the United States in 1942, breaking diplomatic relations with the Axis powers. [14] In retaliation, the German and Italian naviesThey extended their campaign of submarine warfare to Brazil, and after months of continuous sinking of Brazilian merchant ships and intense public pressure, the government declared war on them in August of that year. With the victory of the allied forces the following year and the end of the two European totalitarian regimes, Vargas’s position became unsustainable and he was quickly deposed by another military coup. In 1946, democracy was restored and General Eurico Gaspar Dutra was elected president. Vargas returned to power in the late 1950s upon being democratically elected, but committed suicide in August 1954, in the midst of a political crisis.


After Vargas’ death, several provisional governments succeeded one another in power. Juscelino Kubitschek became the new president in 1956 assuming a conciliatory stance with the political opposition that allowed him to govern without major crises. The economy and the industrial sector grew considerably. Its greatest achievement was the construction of the city of Brasilia, inaugurated in 1960. His successor, Jânio Quadros, resigned in 1961, less than a year after taking office. His vice president, João Goulart, took the presidency, but had strong political opposition, and was deposed by a coup in 1964 that resulted in a military regime. The coup plotters had the support of the United States, joining in a military junta, under whose mandate five generals succeeded one another, in a period marked by torture, disappearances and political violence in which the military had the advice of the CIA.

The repression of opponents of the dictatorship, including the urban guerrillas, was harsh, but not as brutal as in other Latin American countries. General Ernesto Geisel assumed the presidency in 1974 and began his re-democratization project through a process that, according to him, would be “slow, gradual, and safe.” Geisel ended the military indiscipline that had plagued the country since 1889, as well as the torture of political prisoners, censorship of the media and, in 1978, after annulling Institutional Law Number Five (AI-5), ended the dictatorship itself. However, the military regime continued with his successor, General João Figueiredo, to complete the full transition to democracy.

Democracy passed entirely into the hands of civilians upon the death of president-elect Tancredo Neves, when his vice-president José Sarney took office, who at the end of his term of government suffered a low popularity derived from high inflation and the economic crisis.

Return to democracy

In 1984, a massive popular mobilization for the elections sweeps the country. In 1985, Tancredo Neves, of the opposition Brazilian Democratic Movement – MDB, won the indirect election for president against the civilian candidate supported by the military rulers, Paulo Maluf. Tancredo was the first elected civilian president in 21 years. Tancredo dies before his inauguration. Its vice president, José Sarney, was proclaimed president in 1985. Under Sarney’s presidency, a Constituent Assembly was convened in 1986 that approved the 1988 Constitution. The presidential government regime was confirmed in a plebiscite on April 21 of 1993, in which proposals for parliamentary republic and were rejected constitutional monarchy.

Fernando Collor de Mello emerged victorious from the 1989 presidential elections. In his second year in office, a series of complaints of corruption led Congress to establish a period of distrust against Collor. The president decides to resign just before being tried by Congress. Its vice president, Itamar Franco, takes over the presidency. In the government of Itamar Franco, the Minister of Economy Fernando Henrique Cardoso introduces the Real Plan.

With the macroeconomic success of the Real Plan, Fernando Henrique Cardoso ran for the presidential elections of 1994 as a government candidate and managed to defeat the leftist candidate, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva. Fernando Henrique will repeat the fact in 1998, when he is reelected president for four more years. In this period 1994 – 1998 (known as the FHC era) privatizations and neoliberal policies intensify.

Brazil Recent History