domingo, 9 de diciembre de 2018

Sword Republic (1889-1894)

In the latest years of the XIX century, Brazil was a monarchy reigned by the king Peter II. He hadn´t got any children, so the inheritor of the reign would be a european Prince who would marry his elder daughter. Brazilians didn´t like this idea, as well as the decision of abolishing the slavery with the golden law of 1888. This caused anger in the big landowners, who would have to pay to the workers of their land. The army was also angry because they wanted more leadership in the state, and the medium class thought also that the idea of a Republic wasn´t bad.

With this pretext, the 15th of november of 1889, commander Da Fonseca proclaim the republic. The king and his family didn´t resist, and were sent to Europe. Da Fonseca was established as the head of the provisional government. The first five years of the republic would be dominated by the army. This is because this period is called "the Sword Republic".
Two years later, in 1891, it was created the republican Constitution. It was the second Constitution of Brazil and it established the party freedom, the presidentialism and grant more autonomy for the different states of Brazil, as Brazil was now established as Republic of United States of Brazil. It was also established the separation between State and Church and the right to vote for men older than 21. This year Da Fonseca was established as president, but he resign in the same year, establishing Floriano Peixoto as president.

In this article we found a brief timeline of Brazil´s history:

Here, we find an article explaining the development of the brazilian economy in the 20th century:

sábado, 8 de diciembre de 2018

Republic of Coffee and Milk (1894-1930)

The Sword Republic finished in 1894.
This first republic was controlled by the agrarian oligarchy Paulista and Mineira, from Sao Paulo and Minas Gerais, which controlled the elections and established presidents of their republican parties (Republican Party Paulista and Republican Party Mineira).

The first president of this situation between Paulista and Mineira was Campos Salles, who was from the Paulista Party and was the government´s head since 1898 until 1902. He proposed a power scheme called Governor´s Politics, based in the alliance between the two agrarian oligarchy, causing controlled elections. This period is known as The Republic of Coffee and Milk.

The major part of the Income of Brazil in this period was from the exports of coffee from Sao Paulo and, in smaller proportions, from milk products from Minas Gerais. In the latest years of this period, the proletarian class arised and the medium class was bigger, and so, they were against the oligarchy of Paulistas and Mineiras, causing rebellions against the govern.
This instability was even bigger with the Great Recession of 1929, which caused on Brazil a huge decrease in the demand of coffee and absence of credits from USA. With this situation, in 1930, Washington Luis, which was finishing his presidency with his Paulista party, decided to support another Paulista candidate, Julio Prestes, breaking the alliance between Paulista and Mineiras.

Minas Gerais decided to support the opposition, forming a liberal alliance between Minas Gerais, South Region and Paraiba, which candidates were Getúlio Vargas(South Region) and Joao Pessoa (Paraiba), who died after the elections. Julio Prestes won the elections, but Getulio Vargas, with all the people unhappy with the republic, made a claim against the Paulista Party for fraud and made a Revolution in October 1930, finishing the presidency of Prestes and also finishing the so called Old Republic.

In this period, the economy of Brazil was based in the export of coffee, and, in a smaller proportion, of rubber, sugar and cotton. A forty percent of their exports were to USA, but they also exported products to France, England, Italy and Germany.

The GDP suffers two big changes, the first one in WWI, increasing the GDP because the increase in labor, and with the great recession in 1929, decreasing Brazil´s GDP, but in a smaller proportion than states like USA, France or Spain.
In the first world war, Brazil began in a neutral position, but, later, they would support the alliance between England-France-Russia and be against the central powers. However, their contribution wasn´t big, helping the Royal Navy against Germany and sending a couple of contingents to fight against Germany and Italy.
In this article it is explained why Brazil ended their neutral position in the First World War:

Vargas´period begins: Provisional Government (1930-1934)

Vargas was the head of this Provisional Government. He cancelled the Constitution of 1891 and, until 1934, he governed with decrees. He created ministries of Industry, Work, Commerce, Education and Health, in order to update the State.
In 1932, there was a revolution, called the Constitutional Revolution. The Republican Party Paulista made an alliance with the Democratic Party of Sao Paulo demanding a new constitution and the end of this Provisional Government. This revolution was a success as in 1934 it was approved a new Constitution and Vargas was elected again as the president.

In this article we can see that it was published a secret diary of Vargas, in which he talks about his love adventures, but also about politic issues and international meetings:

This article explains the revolution of 1932, which would finish with the Constitution of 1934:

Constitutional Government (1934-1937)

This new constitution have the same essential points, but it also includes news, as the obligation to vote, the fair elections and fair condition of work, the right to vote for women, and the obligation of free education. This new structure of state wants to satisfy the economic and social necessities of the state.
Vargas wanted to develop the interventionism of the state in economy, and so, he created the National Coffee Council and the Institutes of Sugar and Alcohol. With the interventionism he wanted to develop also the secondary sector, by transforming the industries and searching for new resources as oil, coal, electricity, iron and steel. He also made an approach to the new companies and improve the communication with entrepreneurs.
In this period, new parties arise, as the Communist Party or the National Liberator Alliance, with big influence of the european fascism. The last one made a manifest claiming the resign of Vargas, but the govern intervened and declared illegal this party, decreasing its power.
In 1937, before the elections of 1938, the govern claimed that a communist plan emerged in Brazil, most known as Cohen´s Plan, putting in danger Vargas´govern. With this instability, Vargas decided to make a military coup and begin the period known as Estado Novo.

Estado Novo(1937-1945)

Vargas closed the National Congress and create a new Constitution, which gave him the control of the Legal and Judiciary powers. He also made all the political parties disappear. With Vargas, it was created the Work Tribunal and were made multiple new rights for the workers, as the minimum wage, the weekly break, the syndicates were controlled and a new currency was created.

The most important event in this period was the Second World War, in which Brazil was neutral initially. But, in 1941, it was made a conference in Rio de Janeiro, in which all the south american states decided to break their relationship with Germany, Italy and Japan because of the japanese attacks against USA. One year later, Germany attacked Brazil and USA began negotiations with Vargas to finance the building of a steel plant in Brazil in exchange of having a strategic american base in Natal, known as Natal´s Conference. During the war, Brazil received more than 300 million dollars in exchange of labor for USA and military bases for USA and the allies.
After the participation in WWII, in 1945 the state was unstable, the opposition was bigger, so Vargas decided to convoke elections, after creating two new parties: the Brazilian Workers Party and the Social Democratic Party, with the minister of war, Dutra, as the favourite candidate. This caused anger in the opposition, who decided to make a military coup finishing the Estado Novo.

This article from "El País" relates the experience of a brazilian soldier who fought in the Second World War, and explain the role of Brazil in the war:

1946-1950: Eurico Dutra

In the beginning of 1946, Eurico Dutra was elected the new president of Brazil.
In comparison with Vargas, he wanted to be more conservative, and to be closest with the church. One of his controversial decisions was to ban the games of chance, but the big entrepreneurs was against this decision.
Dutra broke up all the relationship with USSR because he wanted to eliminate all the communist influences, he also banned the Communist Party. This was very positive because it made stronger their relationship with USA, helping to develop future business with them.
Dutra also made an internal plan for energy, health, transport and nutrition, which was unsuccessful and build a road between Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro.
This article of the New York Times reminds us the short trajectory of Dutra as president:

Elected Government: (1950-1954)

In october 1954, Vargas was elected as president, being very influential the governor of Sao Paulo.
His biggest changes were the increase of the minimum wage on a hundred percent and the creation of Petrobras and Eletrobras, being Petrobras one of the most important international oil companies.
Even though the creation of Petrobras and Eletrobras would made Brazil to develop in the future and be a big success, Vargas lost all the support of the brazilians.The army, the Congress and the oligarchies were against Vargas and were planning campaigns to finish its govern, claiming Vargas to resign. The pressure was so big for Vargas that he decided suicide in August of 1954.

In this link we have learned more about the trajectory of Vargas in Brazil:

In this article we see an explanation of the circumstances that surrounded Vargas in his suicide:

The period after Vargas

Vargas killed himself during the year of 1954 leaving the country in a strange situation. This would be the event that started a  new period in the republic of Brazil called the Republica Nova.Juscelino Kubitcshek became the president in 1956 after two years of political instability.

He settled peace and the country experienced a little economic growth and  it was during these years when a really important industrialization process took place in Brazil. In terms of infrastructures, a really big progress was made and it was in 1960 when the capital of the republic was moved to Brasilia and also the head of the government. It was purely conceived as city to reunite all the administrations of the country. When Kubitcshek tenure ended, political instability was the main factor and two presidents were impeached by the opposition. This fast changes in the government ended when military rose over the political power and imposed a military regime.

Before dying in 1954,  president Vargas created in 1953 the oil company known as Petrobras which its main activity is to search and process petrol to turn it into fuel. Petrobras is public corporations and it is still managed by the brazilian government since its creation. since 2006 the production of the whole company can produce enough fuel to maintain the  whole country of Brazil. It also makes businesses with more than 40 countries around the world.

This entry of the blog was done based on these articles:

viernes, 7 de diciembre de 2018

The military regime

This military regime would last for two decades from 1964 to 1985. Several presidents ruled during this period and the governments were formed by military and civil members. Since it was a military dictatorship they would censor all types of opposition and people related with the ilegal communist party.

In terms of economic measures a growth was experienced mainly because some important companies were nationalised and made public. When Dilma Rousseff achieved the presidency in 2011 investigations were made and it was found that 434 people had died just for being part of the dissident movement against the regime. At the beginning of the regime, military rulers were popular among the population because of the social economic measures applied. 

In 1967 a Constitution was created which,indeed, changed the military regime. Indirect elections were implied in which citizens could vote candidates to be part of the government of the nation and other public charges. 

During this period, very important companies were created that helped the brazilian economy to grow. In 1961 TAM, the biggest airline in South America was created and also mining companies like VALE to exploit all the mineral resources that the country has. the county of Rio Grande is a very rich territory on coal. Other natural resources like wood were exploited. This is nowadays regulated.

You can find more information about Brazil's history in this article:

Democracy is restored

These 20 years of dictatorship ended when president Neves, who had been elected in the indirect elections in 1985, restored the civil rights and freedoms. This transition would become a fact with the Constitution of 1988 when direct elections and all types of freedoms of democracy were restored.

It was in 1989 when Brazilians citizens were able to vote again since 1930 in free democratic elections. President Collor de Mello was elected but he would turn down on his charge three years later giving the power to Itamar Franco. President Franco is one of the most important political figures in the recent history of Brazil mainly because of the creation of the Real Plan.

In the year 1991, the Mercosur was created. This was a treaty that involved the principal countries of South America (Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay, Bolivia and Chile). This economic treaty was signed as a measure of the brazilian government to externalize its activities and create a more open economy. This treaty would allow the free trade of imports,capital, services and labor between the state members.

Useful links where the transition is explained: 

The Real Plan

It was first applied in June 1993 just right a year after president Franco, who was the vice president, got the power from Collor de Mello, who got fired after being involved in a corruption case. At this time, the country was submerged in a really bad crisis with an inflation up 1,119%. It had been like that for almost 30 years.

The economy secretary who promoted this economic plan was Fernando Cardoso and it brought economic stability to the country for the first time in many years. It is with this plan when the protectionism that the state was giving to its economy and to national companies ended. The brazilian economy changed into a more open one and exports of different types of raw materials to countries around the world. Some important companies were privatised in order to balance the accounting plan of the government in that moment were the public debt was really high. From 1992 and all the way to 1995 Brazil achieved a massive reduction of the inflation they had thanks to the foreign capital that was being invested in those years. One important consequence of this reduction was that the currency which at the time was the Cruzeiro changed to the Real that is active now. In the moment of the change, the exchange rate between both currencies was 250 cruzeiros per each Real.

One of the policies that was part of the Real Plan designed by Cardoso and Franco had to do with the deposits that people had in the country. Interests were increased to prevent a massive exit of capital to other countries.

All these measures had a good impact during the first years of the plan but then unemployment started growing as a consequence of the high interest rates applied to companies. National companies were also hurted because of the openism of the the brazilian economy to other countries. These companies could not compete with the international companies that would sell products at a lower price. Furthermore, the Real was devaluating really quickly because investors were losing its confidence in Brazil. in 1998 the situation of the country was so bad bad that they had to be rescued by the FMI with a 40000 million aid. The inflation of the currency rose and the fiscal policies of the FMI had to be applied. In the following years, the growth of the GDP was really small and slow until Lula da Silva was elected as president of the Republic.

This articles were read in order to gather information for this entry:

Lula da Silva’s tenure

Lula da Silva became president of Brazil on 2003. He was considered as leftist politician since the beginning of its political career when he  would oppose to the military dictatorship. It is probably the most popular and beloved president that Brazil has ever had. He based his tenure on impling social measures to reduce poverty among the people of Brazil.

He focused specially on changing the situation of poverty. Around 30 million of brazilians started being part of the middle class a poverty was left with very low ratios. The main target of this new government was to empower the middle class by giving better services and better living conditions.The GDP per capita grew because more people were entering the labor market. National companies were helped by the government and protectionist measures were applied. The industrial and the financial sector also grew considerably mainly because the prices of natural resources had rose. Since Brazil is very rich in natural resources, a lot of investors came to Brazil and brazilian companies were exporting worldwide. The inflation that the country had with its currency started decreasing and the 40000 debt from the crisis in the 90’s was paid to the FMI.

Many of the people that were close to Lula and Lula itself were, after a few years of having left the presidency of the country, found guilty of political corruption for having benefit from a company that was given public contracts by the government. Lula was sentenced to 12 years of prison. The Public company Petrobras was also involved in corruption cases related with Lula da Silva and Dilma Rousseff. 

However, when Lula left the government in 2011, around the 80% of the population had approved his tenure. In fact, Brazil did not suffer much the effects of the 2008 economic crisis because at the moment, the brazilian economy was one of the strongest in the world.

At the moment,Brazil is the most powerful economy in South America and it is ranked the 6th in the world based on GDP per capita. Its population in 2017 is over 200 million. Brazil has had its bigger growth between the years of 2002 and 2015 during most of Lula da Silva’s tenure. Brazil’s main businesses are and have been for a long time the agriculture first, Brazil is the world’s first producer and exporter of coffee and sugar, and the industrial sector since the country has lots of natural resources being the main ones the steel, aluminium and coal. Brazil is the world’s second main exporter of steel in the world.

Information about Lula da Silva was obtained from these articles: