Brazil During the First Republic

Brazil During the First Republic
IB Objectives
 Latin America’s responses to the Depression: either
G Vargas or the Concordancia in Argentina; Import
Substitution Industrialization (ISI) or any relevant
case study of a Latin American country
Lecture Outline
Social Issues
Great Depression
Getulio Vargas
 “United States of Brazil”
 States were guaranteed sovereignty with a weak
central government
 The state of Sao Paulo dominated colonial Brazil and
the only way Brazil could be held together at
independence was by giving the state autonomy.
 Led to a wide economic gap between the few wealthy
states and the majority of the states that were stuck
in poverty.
 Amazonian rubber boom began to fade
 Heightened dependence on coffee which required
loans from the US and British banks
 October 1917 after German submarine attacks, Brazil
declared war on Germany.
 Brazil’s major contribution to the war effort was
supplies, but its navy did help the British patrol the
S. Atlantic.
 Brazil doubled its industrial production during the
 Food production was so neglected that Brazil had to
import 80% of its grain.
Social Issues
 Malnutrition, disease, and lack of sanitation and
medical facilities limited Brazilians’ average life span
in 1920 to 28 years.
 In 1920, more than 64% of the population over 15
was illiterate.
 In 1930 only 3% of the population voted.
 States were ruled by political bosses, coroneis
Great Depression
 By 1930 foreign loans had produced an external debt
of $1.2 billion and Brazil was required to pay 1/3 of
the national budget to service the debt.
 Coffee prices fell from 22.5 to 8 cents a pound
between 1929 and 1931.
Getulio Vargas
 Minas Gerais ranchers joined with other groups to
form the Liberal Alliance led by Getulio Vargas.
 Vargas lost the election in March 1930 which
sparked protests.
 The continuing unrest caused the military to
overthrow the government and put Vargas in power.
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