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Political Science
Juan Pereira Marsiaj

POL305 Final Study Notes Brazil Getulio Vargas (SYNOPSIS ONLY) A wealthy rancher and politician from Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil; a region which resented Sao Paulos dominant position in its control of export trade in coffee. During the presidential campaign and election of 1930 which paralleled with the economic crisis, Vargas was named candidate. Once the coffee oligarchs sought to deny his presidency, he overthrew the Washington Luis government and officially ended the Old Republic. Vargas new era, coined the era of the bourgeois revolution (1930-54), brought together the urban bourgeois groups who were pro industrialization. Among the group were the fazendeiros and intellectuals. In 1935 Vargas banned the National Liberation Alliance and arrested many of the leftist leaders. This act leads into the establishment of his personal dictatorship in 1938 when he abolished presidential elections. His new regime, the Estado Novo (New State), mimicked fascist regimes. Getulio Vargas, Brazil Presidential campaign of 1930 took place against a backdrop of economic crisis: unemployment, wage cuts and inflation mostly affecting the working class; but the crisis sharpened all class and regional antagonisms, especially the conflict between the coffee oligarchy and the bourgeoisie; Conflicts emboldened a new coalition: the Liberal Alliance; linked urban groups, great landowners like the ranchers of Rio Grande do Sul, who resented Sao Paulos dominant position - and disaffected politicians from Minas Gerais & other states; it named Getulio Vargas, a wealthy rancher and politician from Rio Grande do Sul, as its candidate; Working class not a participant in Liberal Alliance but many workers sympathized with its program and pressured Vargas to improve working conditions, establish a minimum wage and mandatory vacations, organize consumer cooperatives, and regulate labor conditions. 1 POL305 Final Study Notes Womens groups also lobbied for their Thirteen Principles which advocated: women suffrage, civil equality, equal pay for equal work, paid maternity leave, affirmative action in govt employment, a minimum wage, 8-hour workday, paid vacations, and medical, disability, and retirement insurance; ALL became part of the 1934 constitution; During 1930 campaign, Vargas spoke of the need to develop industry, advocated high tariffs to protect Brazilian industry using local raw materials, and called on Brazilians to perfect manufactures to the point where it would be unpatriotic to feed or clothe themselves with imported goods; He advanced program of social welfare legislation and political, judicial and educational reform; Made a cautious pledge of action to progressive extinction of the latifundio, without violence, and support for the organizations of small landed property through the transfer of small parcels of land to agricultural laborers; When coffee oligarchs tried to deny Vargas the presidency, he overthrew the Washington Luis government; meant that the Old Republic, born in 1889 and dominated since 1894 by the coffee oligarchy, was dead; Born was the era of the bourgeois revolution; Vargas and the Bourgeois Revolution, 1930 1954 Getulio Vargas presided over a heterogeneous coalition that included fazendeiros, and intellectuals and tenentes who called for agrarian reform, formation of coops, and nationalization of the mines; The Brazilian Black Front (FNB), established 1931, organized massive protests against racial discrimination, advocated laws to require racial integration of all public places, educated Afro-Brazilians about Pan-Africanist political movements, and sought black representation in national Congress; the working class, devoted to capitalism, remained a political threat to its very existence; Vargas also had to take into account foreign capital interests, capable of applying great pressure once the Depression ended; Vargas Economic and Political Measures 2 POL305 Final Study Notes Most pressing problem, the economic crisis; he attempted to revitalize the coffee industry through measures of: restriction of plantings, purchase of surplus stocks, and the burning of excess coffee; More success with efforts to diversify agriculture: production of cotton grew with aid of capital and labor and exports rose steadily until 1940; But, agric. diversification could not account for steep decline in Brazils import capacity: solution was found in Import Substitution Industrialization (ISI); Industry received new impetus from Vargas who encouraged industry through exchange controls, import quotas, tax incentives, lowered duties on imported machinery and raw materials, and long-term loans at low interest; Brazilian industry, based entirely on the home market, made great strides: production doubled between 1931 and 1936; as early as 1933 (U.S. still in deep Depression), the national income had begun to increase, which indicated that for the moment, the economy no longer depended on external factors but on internal ones; Vargas sought to centralize political power by making strategic concessions to his coalition allies. Appeased political elite of Sao Paulo with ministerial appointments; he tried to reconcile with workers who had again been sparked by the womens movement openly rebelled against the industrialists in May 1932; tens of thousands took part in a general strike: Vargas was forced to intervene and agreed to most of the demands BUT in future required that future disagreements be settled by a tripartite conciliation commission composed of workers, employers, and government appointees; In February 1932, Vargas created electoral code that established the secret ballot, lowered voting age from 21 to 18 and extended the vote to working women (but not illiterates); these electoral reforms still left 98% of the population ineligible to vote BUT expanded suffrage sufficiently to allow women to get elected in eighteen of twenty state legislatures; The constituent assembly elected under this code drafted a new constitution, put into place on July 16, 1934; the assembly the First Chamber of Deputies elected Vargas president for a term extending to January 1938; Section of the constitution on economic and social order stressed the governments responsibility for economic development; 3
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