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History, Getulio Vargas and the New Brazil

Getulio Vargas, urban working, Constituent Assembly, Vargas, Sul

Getulio Vargas played a central role in the 1930 revolt, and he emerged as the most important political figure in 20th-century Brazil. Vargas was the son of an elite ranching family near the Argentine border. In less than a decade, from 1922 to 1930, he rose from federal deputy to governor of his home state of Rio Grande do Sul, and then to presidential candidate and leader of the revolutionary coalition. From 1930 to 1934 he ruled Brazil as the head of a provisional revolutionary government. The Constituent Assembly elected him president in 1934.

In 1937, as elections approached, Vargas led a coup with the help of the army, and for the next eight years he ruled the nation as a dictator. He eliminated Congress, ruled by decree, and established federal control over Brazilís states by replacing almost all the governors with his own appointees. With the state political machines neutralized, Vargas ruled without the support of the landowning elite. He maintained power with the backing of the military, the urban working and middle classes, and politicians in smaller states, who had been excluded from power under the republic.

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