The Early Republic of Brazil

The Beginning of The Brazilian Republic

In 1889, The Brazilian Republic was established. It was considered a military dictatorship. The army controlled affairs in Rio de Janeiro and in the states.

At this time, freedom of the press vanished and the government controlled all elections. In 1894, the republican residents revolted against the government.

This began a long period of civil war, financial disaster, and government inability. By 1902, the government started to go back to policies that occurred during the Empire.

These policies assured peace and order and to repair Brazil’s status once again.  This was successful in bargaining many treaties that increased and protected the Brazilian boundaries.

The Weakening Government in Brazil

In the 1920s, Brazil was overwhelmed by a number of rebellions. Young military officers caused these rebellions. By 1930, the government was weakened, which allowed the defeated presidential candidate Getúlio Vargas to lead what is now called The Revolution of 1930.

From this, Vargas was able to become Provisional President. Vargas was only supposed to take on the presidency for a short time.

Instead, he closed the National Congress, got rid of the Constitution, ruled with emergency powers and replaced the states’ governors with his own supporters.


In 1935, Communists rebelled across Brazil and made an unsuccessful attempt for power.

The communist threat, however, caused Vargas to launch another revolution in 1937. Due to this, Brazil became a full dictatorship.

With more than 20,000 people imprisoned, many camps created for political prisoners in distant regions of the country, widespread torture by the government, and censorship of the press, this domination was considered very brutal.

Brazil during World War II

Brazil stayed neutral during the early years of World War II. Their neutrality lasted until the government declared war against the Axis powers in 1942. The Axis powers was an alignment of great powers during the mid-20th century that fought World War II against the Allies.

At this time, Vargas forced German, Japanese and Italian immigrants into concentration camps. In 1944, he sent troops to the battlefields in Italy. Because of the allied victory in 1945 and the end of the Nazi-fascist regimes in Europe, Vargas’s position became weak. He was soon overthrown in a military revolt.

After this, democracy returned to Brazil. General Eurico Gaspar Dutra was elected president and took office in 1946. Even so, Vargas returned to power in 1951.

This time he was democratically elected but was unable to govern under a democracy or of deal with an active resistance. He committed suicide in 1954.


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