.mw-parser-output .hidden-begin{box-sizing:border-box;width:100%;padding:5px;border:none;font-size:95%}.mw-parser-output .hidden-title{font-weight:bold;line-height:1.6;text-align:left}.mw-parser-output .hidden-content{text-align:left}You can help expand this article with text translated from the corresponding article in Portuguese. (September 2011) Click [show] for important translation instructions. View a machine-translated version of the Portuguese article. Machine translation, like DeepL or Google Translate, is a useful starting point for translations, but translators must revise errors as necessary and confirm that the translation is accurate, rather than simply copy-pasting machine-translated text into the English Wikipedia. Consider adding a topic to this template: there are already 1,504 articles in the main category, and specifying|topic= will aid in categorization. Do not translate text that appears unreliable or low-quality. If possible, verify the text with references provided in the foreign-language article. You must provide copyright attribution in the edit summary accompanying your translation by providing an interlanguage link to the source of your translation. A model attribution edit summary is Content in this edit is translated from the existing Portuguese Wikipedia article at [[:pt:Período populista]]; see its history for attribution. You should also add the template ((Translated|pt|Período populista)) to the talk page. For more guidance, see Wikipedia:Translation.
Republic of the
United States of Brazil
República dos Estados Unidos do Brasil
Motto: "Ordem e Progresso"
(English: "Order and Progress")
Anthem: "Hino Nacional Brasileiro"
(English: "Brazilian National Anthem")
Map of South America with Brazil highlighted in green.
CapitalRio de Janeiro (until 1960)
Brasília (after 1960)
Common languagesPortuguese
GovernmentFederal presidential republic
(1946–1961; 1963–1964)
Federal parliamentary republic
• 1946–1951 (first)
Eurico Gaspar Dutra
• 1961–1964 (last)
João Goulart
Prime Minister 
• 1961–1962
Tancredo Neves
• 1962
Brochado da Rocha
• 1962–1963
Hermes Lima
LegislatureNational Congress
Chamber of Deputies
Historical eraCold War
31 January 1946
18 September 1946
• Brasília as capital
21 April 1960
8 September 1961
24 January 1963
31 March 1964
• 1950
• 1960
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Vargas Era
Military dictatorship

The Fourth Brazilian Republic, also known as the "Populist Republic" or as the "Republic of 46", is the period of Brazilian history between 1946 and 1964. It was marked by political instability and the military's pressure on civilian politicians which ended with the 1964 Brazilian coup d'état and the establishment of the Brazilian military dictatorship.

This period was marked by often tumultuous presidencies of Eurico Gaspar Dutra, Getúlio Vargas, Café Filho, Juscelino Kubitschek, Jânio Quadros and João Goulart. In 1945, president Getúlio Vargas was deposed by a bloodless military coup, but his influence in Brazilian politics remained until the end of the Fourth Republic. During this period, three parties dominated national politics. Two of them were pro-Vargas — the Brazilian Labour Party (Partido Trabalhista Brasileiro, PTB) to the left and the Social Democratic Party (Partido Social Democrático, PSD) in the center — and another anti-Vargas party, the rightist National Democratic Union (União Democrática Nacional, UDN).

End of the Estado Novo, 1945

As the Second World War ended with Brazil participating on the Allied side, then president Getúlio Vargas moved to liberalize his own fascist-influenced Estado Novo regime. Vargas decreed an amnesty to political prisoners, including the chief of the Communist Party, Luís Carlos Prestes.

He also introduced an electoral law and allowed political parties to campaign. Three political parties introduced themselves into the national political scene. The liberal and rightist parties of the opposition against Vargas created the National Democratic Union. The bureaucrats and supporters of the Estado Novo grouped in the Brazilian Social Democratic Party. Vargas also created the Brazilian Labour Party, to the left, to group the workers' and the laborers' unions. The Brazilian Communist Party, weakened during the dictatorship, was also legalised.

The Estado Novo ended when two of the most rightist supporters, the Minister of War Pedro Aurélio de Góis Monteiro and Eurico Gaspar Dutra, led a military coup on 29 October 1945. The president of the Supreme Federal Court, José Linhares, was inaugurated as president of Brazil. Linhares guaranteed free and regular elections and Vargas was forced into retirement. General Eurico Gaspar Dutra was elected president.

Dutra, 1946–1951

Main article: Presidency of Eurico Gaspar Dutra

On 18 September 1946, the fifth constitution of Brazil was adopted, marking the country's return to democratic rule. That same year, the government created the Social Service of Industry (SESI) and Social Service of Commerce (SESC), and the General Staff, the future General Staff of the Armed Forces (EMFA).

U.S. President Truman and Brazilian President Eurico Dutra (center) during his visit to Washington, 1949

In 1946, Dutra ordered the closing of casinos and prohibited "gambling" in the country. In 1947, he appointed Osvaldo Aranha as representative of Brazil to the United Nations, outlawed the Brazilian Communist Party, ended diplomatic relations with the Soviet Union and organized the Inter-American Conference of Peacekeeping and Security of the Continent in Petrópolis, which was attended by U.S. president Harry Truman. In October 1948, his government set up the Superior School of War (ESG), with American support. Closer relations with the United States were displayed by the formation of the Joint Commission of Brazil-United States, known as Abbink Mission, headed by John Abbink and Minister Octavio Gouveia de Bouillon.

The development strategy of the government included the "Salte Plan", which put emphasis on health, food, transportation and energy. Proposed in 1947, the plan aimed at better management of public spending and investment in key sectors in the country but only began to receive funding from the budget in 1949, being forgotten in 1951. During this period, measurements of the country's economic growth by calculating the Gross Domestic Product were first regularly published. The average annual growth of the Brazilian economy during the Dutra administration was 7.6%.

On 6 August 1947 the Brazilian Socialist Party (PSB) was founded, but remained minor at the time.

In 1950, Brazil hosted 1950 FIFA World Cup for which the famous Maracanã Stadium was built.

During the Dutra government, construction of the hydroelectric plant of Paulo Afonso, in Bahia, and the Presidente Dutra highway, linking Rio to São Paulo, was initiated.

Vargas, 1951–1954

Main article: Second presidency of Getúlio Vargas

In 1950, Vargas was elected president and returned to national politics. The Vargas administration was hampered by an economic crisis, congressional opposition, and impatience among his supporters. He announced an ambitious industrialization plan and pursued a policy of nationalization of the country's natural resources. To reduce foreign dependency, he founded Petrobras, the Brazilian state oil enterprise.

By 1954, Vargas faced opposition from the UDN and the military. The murder of major Rubens Vaz, an associate of opposition newspaper editor Carlos Lacerda, by some of the president's bodyguards, known as the crime of "Rua Tonelero", led to a reaction against Vargas. Army generals demanded his resignation.

After failing to negotiate a temporary leave of absence, Vargas declared "he would only leave the Catete (Presidential Palace) dead". Acknowledging that the chances that a democratic government would succeed him were none, and that another military coup was coming, with probably worse results than 1950s one, Vargas kept his word and shot himself in the heart on 24 August 1954, after writing a letter blaming "international groups" and "revolted national groups" for the current situation. The results were immediate: opposition newspapers were closed, the people took to the streets and in a last shown of political force and popularity, Vargas postponed the military dictatorship by 10 years.

Collapse of Brazilian populism

Vargas' ever-shifting populist dictatorship helped to rein in the agrarian oligarchs, paving the way for the democratization of the 1950s and 1960s which was ended by the right-wing 1964 military coup. But the state still maintained a loose variation of Getúlio Vargas' populism and economic nationalism. Between 1930 and 1964, as Brazilian populism itself guided changes in the structure of Brazil's economy (Vargas' policies promoted industrial growth), Vargas and his successors were forced to shift the makeup of particular kinds of class alliances reconciled by the state.

After Vargas' suicide in 1954, awaiting a seemingly inevitable military coup, the support base for Brazilian populism began to deteriorate. Vargas' first ouster from 1945–1951 and his suicide demonstrated that Brazilian populism had been deteriorating for some time. Brazilian populism lingered for another decade but in new forms. If corporatism was the hallmark of the 1930s and 1940s, nationalism and developmentalism characterized the 1950s and early 1960s. Each of these contributed to the crisis that gripped Brazil and resulted in the authoritarian regime after 1964.

Thus, as the historical context shifted, so did the ideology of Brazilian populism. Between 1934 and 1945, Brazilian populism was a reactionary phenomenon, exhibiting parallels to European fascism. In contrast, under the presidency of João Goulart (1961–64) — a protégé of Getúlio Vargas and another gaúcho from Rio Grande do Sul, the closeness of the government to the historically disenfranchised working class and peasantry and even to the Communist Party led by Luís Carlos Prestes was remarkable.

Goulart appeared to have been co-opting the Communist movement in a manner reminiscent of Vargas' co-optation of the Integralists shortly — and not coincidentally — before his ouster by reactionary forces. Eventually, the 1964 junta and the ensuing military dictatorship proved that the establishment forces that ushered Goulart's mentor into power in the first place, and the bourgeoisie that Vargas helped rear found the left-leaning turn of Brazilian populism intolerable.

Interim Presidents, 1954–1956

After the suicide of Vargas, Vice President Café Filho assumed the Presidency of the Republic from August 24, 1954 until November 8, 1955[2] when, due to illness, he transferred his powers to the President of the Chamber of Deputies. Acting President Carlos Luz (November 8 - 11) was quickly removed by the National Congress under pressure of the Minister of the Army. Vice President of the Federal Senate[3] Nereu Ramos took over as Interim President until 31 January 1956, when President-elect Juscelino Kubitschek was inaugurated.

Kubitschek, 1956–1961

Main article: Presidency of Juscelino Kubitschek

Brazilian football team, 1958
Construction of Brasília, 1959.
Construction of Palácio da Alvorada in Brasilia

Kubitschek's presidency was marked by a time of political optimism. Campaigning on a platform of "fifty years [of progress] in five" he presented a plan of national development that had 31 goals distributed in six large groups: energy, transport, food, base industries, education and the main goal: the construction of new capital city Brasília. This plan sought to stimulate the diversification and expansion of the Brazilian economy, based on industrial growth and closer integration of the country's territory. Kubitschek promoted the development of the automobile industry, naval industry, heavy industry, and the construction of hydro-electric power plants. With the exception of the hydro-electric industry, Kubitschek practically created an economy without state-owned companies.

Kubitschek sought to achieve this progress with the aid of foreign investment, which in turn would be given generous incentives, such as profit remittances, low taxes, privileges for the importation of machinery, and land donations. However, the exemption was made only if the foreign capital was associated with the national capital ("associated capital"). This influx of foreign capital threatened domestic industry, which was unable to compete with efficiency and expertise of foreign companies. Domestic manufacturers, once the core base of support for economic nationalism, become managers or partners of the multinational companies. The urban bourgeoisie — the original base of Vargas' coalition — had little use for Brazilian populism any more, having outgrown state planning phase.

In 1958, Brazil won the 1958 FIFA World Cup.

By the end of his term, the foreign debt had grown from 87 million dollars to 297 million dollars. The inflation and wealth inequality had grown larger, with the occurrence of rural-zone strikes that expanded to the urban areas.

Quadros, 1961

Jânio Quadros was elected president of Brazil by a landslide in 1960, running as the candidate of the National Labor Party (PTN). When Quadros took office, on 31 January 1961, it was the first time since Brazil became a republic in 1889 that an incumbent government peacefully transferred power to an elected member of the opposition. It was also the first time in 31 years that the presidency was not held by an heir to the legacy of Getúlio Vargas.

Quadros laid the blame for the country's high rate of inflation on his predecessor, Juscelino Kubitschek. As president, Quadros outlawed gambling, banned women from wearing bikinis on the beach, and established relations with the Soviet Union and Cuba, trying to achieve a neutralist international policy. The re-establishment of relations with the Socialist Bloc in the middle of the Cold War cost him the support of the UDN in Congress, so he was left with no real power.

Resignation crisis

Quadros resigned on 25 August 1961, citing foreign and "terrible forces" in his resignation letter. His resignation is commonly thought to have been a move to increase his own power, as he expected to return to the presidency by the acclamation of the Brazilian people or by the request of the National Congress of Brazil and the military. This maneuver, however, was immediately rejected by Congress, which accepted his resignation and called on the president of the Chamber of Deputies, Pascoal Ranieri Mazzilli, to assume office until the vice president, João Goulart, came back from his trip to Communist China.

Goulart, 1961–1964

See also: Campanha da Legalidade and Brazil–United States relations during the João Goulart government

Goulart faced strong opposition from conservative politicians and military officers in his bid to assume the presidency, triggering the Legality Campaign. The crisis was solved by the "parliamentarian solution" – an arrangement that decreased his powers as president by creating a new post of Prime Minister, which was filled by Tancredo Neves, and instituting a Parliamentary republic. Goulart finally assumed office on 7 September 1961.

Brazil returned to a presidential government in 1963 after a referendum and, as Goulart's powers grew, it became evident that he would seek to implement his "base reforms", such as land reform and nationalization of enterprises in various economic sectors, regardless of assent from established institutions such as Congress. Goulart had low parliamentarian support, due to the fact that his centrist attempts to win support from both sides of the spectrum gradually came to alienate both.[4]

On 1 April 1964, after a night of conspiracy, rebel troops made their way to Rio de Janeiro, considered a loyalist bastion. São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro's generals were convinced to join the coup. To prevent a civil war, and knowing that the U.S. would openly support the army, Goulart fled first to Rio Grande do Sul, and then went into exile in Uruguay.


  1. ^ "Religion in Latin America, Widespread Change in a Historically Catholic Region". Pew Research Center. 13 November 2014. Retrieved March 4, 2015.
  2. ^ Formally President of the Republic until November 21
  3. ^ Under the 1946 Constitution, the Vice President of the Federal Senate, after the Vice President of the Republic and the President of the Chamber of Deputies, was Acting President during the absence of the President of the Republic
  4. ^ "Brasil: Uma Historia - Eduardo Bueno" "Brasil uma História". Archived from the original on 2014-06-26. Retrieved 2014-09-16.