Biblioteca Nacional - The National Library of Brazil

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Luc
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Biblioteca Nacional - The National Library of Brazil

Post by Luc » 23:11:24 Wednesday, 04 October, 2017

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BIBLIOTECA NACIONAL

The National Library of Brazil

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Long Live Germany! Free and Socialist!

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Luc
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Re: Biblioteca Nacional - The National Library of Brazil

Post by Luc » 09:31:58 Thursday, 05 October, 2017

THE RECENT HISTORY OF BRAZIL, 1917-1929

Following the sinking of several Brazilian merchant ships in the Atlantic, the United States of Brazil declared war against the German Empire and its allies in the Central Powers. The declaration proved to be a widely unpopular move. One one side, the large amounts of German & Austrian immigrants living in Brazil protested the action, calling it an attack against their ethnicity, while on the other hand, Communist and Syndicalist movements across Brazil, who already denounced the war as a pointless ordeal of imperialist aggression even before Brazil’s declaration of war, greatly protested the move.

Brazil’s military contribution to the war was small, with only a few ships being put on patrol and a small medical corps being sent to aid in the Western front, yet the country played a vital role in the Entente’s war effort: Food. As one of the most fertile nation’s in the globe, Brazil quickly took its role as the breadbasket of the Entente, feeding the millions of soldiers in the frontlines with its food. With the majority of food being exported, the price for food rapidly rose in the country, with most wages failing to keep up with the rapidly increasing cost. Protests spread across the nation, with the workers and the people openly protesting the war in the streets and in the workplace, protests that would lead to the greatest general strike the country had ever seen.

Following the death of a worker during a protest in São Paulo (killed during a cavalry charge carried out against a group of protesting workers), thousands of workers abandoned their factories and took to the streets in protest, paralyzing most of the industry & commerce in São Paulo. Over the course of the next days, the movement would spread across the nation, and a general strike was officially declared. Led by Edgard Leuenroth, Astrojildo Pereira and other prominent leaders of Brazil’s left wing movement, the strikers fought the police and the army in the streets for over a week, raising barricades, invading property and surrounding government buildings. After many days of siege, terms were reached between the protesters and the state government, establishing an immediate raise in salaries and better work conditions, resulting in a resounding victory for the protesters.

The positive outcome of the 1917 general strike solidified the left. In the beginning of 1918, inspired by the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia, the Brazilian communists and anarchists joined together to form the so called ‘Libertarian Socialist Party’, to spearhead proletarian revolution in the republic. While most members were optimistic about the Party’s future, its first move proved to be a fatal mistake, as the 1918 Anarchist rising, a nationwide revolution led by the party, failed miserably and resulted in the imprisonment of most of its leadership and the exile of the rest, including Leuenroth himself who was forced to flee to Argentina. The failed uprising would cause a large rift between the remains of the party, as the Anarchist and Communist elements started to grow apart. Unhappy with the Anarchists for the conduct of the 1918 rising, and pressured by the Comintern, the Communists left the party and founded the Communist Party of Brazil. Other socialist elements, such as those who would later found the Socialist Revolutionary Party, would also leave the Party, leaving the Anarchists alone. Leuenroth, now the official leader of the Brazilian Workers Confederation in exile, would officially dissolve the party in 1921.

The strikes proved to have long lasting effects in the federal government. It showed that the revolutionary left had the full capability of setting up a significant resistance to the government if meddled with. The catastrophic outbreak of the Spanish flu in the country, which even claimed the life of the President at the time, would further worsen the already delicate situation. Albeit, Brazil managed to evade any major revolts, keeping the peace in the nation. Then the lieutenants came…

The Lieutenants, or Tenentes as they were called, were a group of army officers who were displeased with the Republic’s social backwardness and de facto oligarchic nature. They wanted to break the control that the large landowners and traditional politicians had over the Republic, and bring forward meaningful social reform. Their revolt started in July 1922, with a mutiny in the nation’s capital, as 18 lieutenants marched out of the Copacabana fort to depose the federal government. Quite obviously, those 18 soldiers had no chance of deposing the government on their own (given that there were over 3,000 pro-government troops in the capital alone), and 16 of the 18 mutineers were killed in the streets, with the two surviving officers, Eduardo Gomes and Siqueira Campos, being arrested. The real objective of the fort mutineers was to influence other army regiments across the country to rise in a similar revolt, transforming the small scale mutiny into a nationwide uprising against the federal government. Following the ‘March of the 18’ (as the insurrection was to know), over 200 revolted soldiers remained in the fort refusing to surrender to the government, what followed was to become one of the most dramatic moments in the republic’s history, as the Federal troops besieged the fort for many weeks, even using naval bombardments from the navy’s dreadnoughts and the first aerial bombing in Latin American history to force the rebels to submit.

The original March has some effect in the army across the nation, with a few regiments in Rio and São Paulo joining in the struggle, yet it was the dramatic siege to the fort that really sparked revolt among the officer class of the republic, many whom found themselves fighting the rebels in the Federal ranks. Not long after, the Copacabana Fort would fall to government troops and the remaining officers would be detained, yet it proved to be too late, as the news had spread and across the country, and from South to North-east, army regiments across the country were joining their fallen comrades in revolt. The situation became so delicate that the government was forced to declare martial law across the republic.

In November 1922, Artur Bernardes rose to the presidency, finding a nation torn apart by the army revolts. Military strikes became common, as the regiments started to form soldier’s councils that basically ran themselves, electing their own officers and deciding their own stance in regards to the growing unrest within the country. While most councils were loyal to the lieutenants, many started to declare allegiance to the left wing movements in Brazil, such as the anarchists or the communists. The situation continued to deteriorate, revolts erupted in São Paulo, Rio Grande do Sul and in the impoverished states of the Northeast in 1923, which the government was able to contain but at a huge cost.

The real revolution would begin however in the 1st of July, 1924, when President Bernardes was shot and killed by an anarchist in the steps of the Brazilian senate building in the capital of Rio de Janeiro. The death of the President would re-ignite the revolutionary zeal within the Republic, this time not only from the lieutenants, but from the revolutionary left, that since the failed 1918 rising had been licking their wounds behind the scenes, waiting for a new opportunity to strike. Rebellions rose across the country, as the lieutenants carried out a Revolution in the State of São Paulo and for many months held effective control over the industrial heartland of Brazil. The communists took over other cities, forming communes and their own local governments, most famous of which being the Manaus Commune, established in a rare moment of cooperation between the lieutenants and the left wing revolutionaries. Other revolts across the country, such as the ones seen in Aracaju, Volta Redonda and Bela Vista, also took place. Most famous of all the revolts, was the one in Rio Grande do Sul led by Luis Carlos Prestes, a young lieutenant with left wing ideals who would later on lead a column of revolutionaries in an epic march across the country.

With Bernardes dead, came the time for his Vice-President, Estacio Coimbra, to take charge. Coimbra, despite being a seasoned politician, quickly lost control of the situation and desperately searched for a way to deal with this crisis. His solution came in one person: Washington Luis. Luis had quickly risen to become one of the most famous politicians in Brazil, starting his political career as a City Councilor for São Paulo in 1897, he would grow in influence and rank, serving as the mayor of São Paulo during the 1917 general strike (where his conduct of the crisis was greatly praised) and then as the governor of the State of São Paulo, where he effectively controlled the original lieutenant unrest in 1922 with much success. He had recently been elected to serve as a Federal Senator for his beloved state in the capital of the Republic. Coimbra, seeing the man as one of the few people who could solve the crisis, invited Luis to serve as his Vice-President and, following a quick election in the Senate, indirectly elected him to the role.

Coimbra would remain as President of the Republic until the end of his dead predecessors term in 1926, yet from the election of Washington Luis onwards he would simply remain as the figurehead of the government, with the Vice President really ruling over the nation. Luis was quick to act, he marshalled the army units still loyal to the government and crushed rebellions in São Paulo and other states (even visiting the frontlines several times), forming an effective opposition to the revolts. He even kept Brazil in the League of Nations, as a way to attempt to gather support for his government internationally.Upon the end of Coimbra's tenure in 1926, Washington Luis was the obvious candidate for the presidency. Due to the state of revolt the country found itself in, an internal election was held by the legislature, and by a healthy majority, Luis was elected President of the Republic.

Other figures of note took part in the civil war as well. Luis Carlos Prestes would lead his column of revolutionaries, supported by Eduardo Gomes and other famous lieutenants, across the country from south to north, rallying the peasantry and the workers into revolt, fighting back all of the government attacks that failed to bring down his column. Astrojildo Pereira, leading the communist Party, took active part in the battles and coordinated the establishment of several communes across the country, leading the communist forces in the war. Leuenroth, despite being exiled in Paraguay, led the anarchist and syndicalist efforts in the conflict, marshalling the worker movements through his leadership of the Brazilian Workers confederation. Getúlio Vargas, the famous politician from the South, would form his own militia of soldiers, the so called ‘Public Force’, that would march north from the state of Rio Grande do Sul to fight the lieutenants and the left wing groups with extreme violence and efficiency. Vargas would become such an important figure in the Government’s war effort in fact, that Luis made him his government’s Minister of War, starting an even more violent crackdown of the insurgents. Julio Prestes (not related to Luis Carlos Prestes), the governor of the State of São Paulo and an old ally of Washington Luis, also played a pivotal role in the conflict by assuring federal control over the state of São Paulo. Plinio Salgado, a known fascist, integralist and admirer of Mussolini, would lead his own militia against the rebels, violently cracking down on their activities across the country. His militia would shortly thereafter be reformed into a political party, the Brazilian Integralist Action.

By 1928, the war had grown into a stalemate. Besides the best efforts by the rebels, the strong administration established by Luis, alongside the support given by Prestes and Vargas, proved to be too strong to topple. On the other side, the rebels had also gained too much strength, meaning that a total capitulation of their movement would be literally impossible. Luis recognized this, and in a very controversial move, called the rebel leaders to discuss terms. The result would be the Ribeirão Preto accords of 1928. In it, the civil war would be effectively ended, but huge costs for the federal government. Political parties such as the Communist Party, the Socialist Revolutionary Party and the Brazilian Workers Confederation, that had been banned during the 1920s, would be once again legalized. All the members that took part in the revolt or in any previous insurrection, including the general strike of 1917 and the revolution of 1918, would receive amnesty and have all their political rights restored. Trade Unions would be allowed to resume their previous activities, freedom of the press would be guaranteed, work regulations were to become harsher and a 5 day work week was to be established.

The accords were controversial for both sides. The leftists were satisfied with the results due to the large concessions given to them by the government, yet there were those who said that the main reason for the revolution in the first place, the objective of breaking the control of the republican party over the country and ending the bi-partisan power sharing scheme (the Coffee with Milk policy) in the republic, had not been achieved. On the other side, Luis was praised for ending the war ‘peacefully’ and bringing back some sort of stability to the republic, yet he was harshly criticised for perhaps giving too many concessions to the rebels. Among the opposition, the biggest voices were Plinio Salgado and Getulio Vargas, who even resigned his ministerial position in protest.

Controversial as it was, peace was achieved, and Luis was ready to pursue his own governmental policy. Since the Rise of the Republic in 1889, Brazilian politics had been controlled by the Republican Party, yet the party was not a centralised one, with each Brazilian states having its own branch of the Party. Luis had taken part in a failed attempt to form a national republican party in the end of the 19th century, and the will to reform that party had always remained with him. He saw the end of the war and his powerful position as President and leader of the Republican Party of São Paulo as the optimal opportunity to bring all the parties together.

All the Republican Parties met in the city of Ouro Preto discuss the possible union and select the presidential candidate for the upcoming election. The party had divided itself into 3 major blocks, those who supported Luis, Vargas and Julio Prestes respectively. Luis already expected Vargas to be uncooperative, and resulted to his old friend Julio Prestes for assistance. The two men hatched a deal, Prestes was to support Luis’ plan of uniting the party and give him the Presidency of the Party, yet Prestes was to be the official Party candidate for the election.

It came time to vote, and in shocking twist, Luis presented himself as a candidate for the upcoming election, betraying the deal that had been established between the two men. The reason for the betrayal is still unclear, and speculation is large. The vote was extremely close, but in the end Luis had a small majority over the two candidates, with Prestes falling in second place and Vargas shortly behind at 3rd. Vargas and his delegates abandoned the conference, claiming that the vote had been rigged, and Prestes, outraged over Luis’ betrayal, also abandoned the conference. Luis then guided the remaining delegates under his influence and formed the Federal Republican Party, his so-expected union, now only with one third of its original size.

The other men of the conference were quick to act. Vargas returned to his home state of Rio Grande do Sul to resume his tenure as Governor, and there he forms the National-Liberal Alliance, his own political party composed of his followers. Julio Prestes returns to São Paulo and forms the Liberal Democratic Party. With the peace, the Integralists form themselves into the Brazilian Integralist Action, the Communists reform themselves and once again rise in the national political spectrum, Leuenroth returns to Brazil after over 10 years of exile to once again command the Worker’s confederation and the lieutenants, led by Luis Carlos Prestes and Eduardo Gomes, form the Movement for Popular Action, based off the traditional tenentist ideals.
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Luc
Pseudo Extra-Camullectual Intellinaire
Posts: 955
Joined: 10:37:42 Thursday, 11 August, 2016
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Re: Biblioteca Nacional - The National Library of Brazil

Post by Luc » 14:00:55 Wednesday, 11 October, 2017

THE PRESIDENTS OF THE UNITED STATES OF BRAZIL, FROM 1889 ONWARDS

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Deodoro da Fonseca
15 November, 1889 - 23 November, 1891
No Party, represeting the Military Junta

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Floriano Peixoto
23 November, 1891 - 15 November, 1894
No Party, represeting the Military Junta

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Prudente de Morais
15 November, 1894 - 15 November, 1898
Federal Republican Party

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Campos Sales
15 November, 1898 - 15 November, 1902
Republican Party of São Paulo

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Rodrigues Alves
15 November, 1902 - 15 November, 1906
Republican Party of São Paulo

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Afonso Pena
15 November, 1906 - 14 June, 1909
Republican Party of Minas Gerais

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Nilo Peçanha
14 June, 1909 - 15 November, 1910
Republican Party of Rio de Janeiro

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Hermes da Fonseca
15 November, 1910 - 15 November, 1914
Conservative Republican Party

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Venceslau Brás
15 November, 1914 - 15 November, 1918
Republican Party of Minas Gerais

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Rodrigues Alves (2nd Term)
Passed away before taking office
Republican Party of São Paulo

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Delfim Moreira
15 November, 1918 - 28 July, 1919
Republican Party of Minas Gerais

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Epitácio Pessoa
28 July, 1919 - 15 Novembro, 1922
Republican Party of Minas Gerais

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Artur Bernardes
15 November, 1922 - 23 February, 1924
Republican Party of Minas Gerais

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Estácio Coimbra
23 February, 1924 - 15 March, 1926
Republican Party of Barreiros

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Washington Luís
15 March, 1926 - (Incumbent)
Republican Party of São Paulo (Formerly), Federal Union Party
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Long Live Germany! Free and Socialist!

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