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Getulio Vargas and the New Brazil, Estado Novo

Estado Novo, Volta Redonda, maximum working hours, Janeiro state, protectionist policies

During this period Vargas turned Brazil into an Estado Novo (New State). The Estado Novo was based on corporatism, which advocates close economic collaboration between employers and workers under the centralized direction of the government. Vargas appointed government planners to organize industrialization programs and foreign trade policies, and he placed labor unions under the direct control of the government.

To satisfy his urban supporters, Vargas worked to create new Brazilian industries in the 1930s and 1940s. The most important new industry was iron and steel, which received a major boost in 1941 when construction began on the first integrated iron and steel mill at Volta Redonda, in Rio de Janeiro state. Vargas also established policies to protect domestic production from competition from foreign imports. These protectionist policies pleased an emerging new class of entrepreneurs and industrialists and created more jobs for blue-collar and white-collar workers.

Vargas initiated a social welfare revolution as well. Much like the New Deal policies of U.S. president Franklin Roosevelt, Vargasís legislation provided workers with basic social welfare protections: minimum wage, maximum working hours, pensions, unemployment compensation, health and safety regulations, and unionization.

Article key phrases:

Estado Novo, Volta Redonda, maximum working hours, Janeiro state, protectionist policies, foreign trade policies, corporatism, president Franklin Roosevelt, domestic production, white-collar workers, unemployment compensation, minimum wage, Vargas, industrialists, labor unions, pensions, direct control, Rio, Brazil, workers, employers, competition, steel, health, construction, jobs


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