History, The Revolution of 1930
Julio Prestes, presidential succession, Getulio Vargas, political machines, Joao Pessoa
A more powerful challenge to the regime came from disgruntled young military officers. Many of these officers supported social reform, but they were also concerned about their professional status. They believed that the civilian government had neglected the army, which struggled with poor equipment, outdated training, and slim prospects for promotion of officers. On July 5, 1922, a group of young officers known as tenentes (lieutenants) staged a revolt in Rio de Janeiro against the government. The revolt was unsuccessful, but two years later a more serious uprising by tenentes in Sao Paulo shook the foundations of the regime for several weeks before government forces suppressed it. By the late 1920s the challenges of army officers, middle-class groups, and urban workers threatened the stability of the regime.
A worldwide economic crisis and a serious split within the landowning elites over the presidential succession finally brought down the government. In 1929 economies throughout the world collapsed as the Great Depression began. In Brazil the depression caused a dramatic decline in coffee exports and a corresponding increase in the nationís foreign debts. President Washington Luis refused to change his economic policy in order to deal with the crisis, and he did little to improve economic conditions. Amid growing public discontent about the economy, the political elite split over the 1930 presidential election. The official government candidate, Julio Prestes, was supported by the political machines in the larger states. He was opposed by Getulio Vargas, governor of Rio Grande do Sul, who had organized a coalition of smaller states, opposition parties, and discontented elements in the military and in urban centers. The March election went smoothly for the government, with Prestes winning easily, but in October, before the new government was inaugurated, a revolt erupted following the assassination of Vargasís running mate, Joao Pessoa. After a month of fighting, President Luis stepped down, and rebel troops marched into Rio de Janeiro. The Revolution of 1930 had triumphed.
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