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The Brazilian Communist Uprising of 1935 was a military revolt by leftist low-rank military against Getulio Vargas' government.[1] It was the last of a series of Brazilian military revolts which began on 1922 under the name of tenentismo or the lieutenants revolts. [2][3]


In 1932, the fascist Brazilian Integralist Action party was created. Later, in March 1935, an organization called the National Liberation Alliance (Portuguese language: Aliança Nacional Libertadora - ANL ) was created in Brazil, inspired by some popular fronts that emerged in Europe to prevent Nazi-fascist political advance. It argued for nationalist proposals and had as one of its objects to struggle for land reform. Although led by communists, it managed to bring together the various sectors of society and quickly became a mass movement. Many military, Catholics, socialists and liberals, most of them disillusioned with the direction of the political process started in 1930, when Getulio Vargas assumed the presidency of the Republic, joined the movement. Luis Carlos Prestes was chosen as its honorary president due to his prestige, in the left in general, particular with communists and some military while leading revolts during 1920s.

As the Brazilian Communist Party was declared illegal in 1927, it quickly became the most prominent leftist organization in the country, spreading offices all over different cities and with thousands of supporters. In July 1935, just months after its creation, the ANL was declared illegal by Getulio Vargas. Although the difficulty of mobilization had increased, the ANL still continued performing rallies, demonstrations and reporting news against the government. In August, the organization stepped up preparations for an armed movement aiming for the overthrow of Vargas from power and the installation of a popular government headed by Luis Carlos Prestes. The plan was to start some military uprisings in several regions with the support of the working class, which would trigger strikes across the country.

The first military uprising broke out on November 23, 1935, in Natal. The next day, another military uprising took place in Recife. On the 27th, a revolt broke out in Rio de Janeiro, then capital of the country. Without support of the working class, and restricted to the three cities, the rebellion was quickly and violently dismissed. From then on, a strong repression struck not only communists, but also all government opponents. Thousands of people were arrested across the country, including congressmen, senators and even the mayor of Rio de Janeiro, Pedro Ernesto Batista.

Despite its failure, the so-called communist revolt had provided strong background to give more power to Getulio Vargas. After November 1935, the Congress approved a series of laws that restricted its own power, while the executive gained almost unlimited powers of repression. This process culminated in the coup of November 10, 1937, which closed the Congress, canceled the upcoming 1938 presidential elections and made Getulio Vargas rule as a dictator. This period of Vargas dictatorship is called the Estado Novo, which lasted until 1945.

See alsoEdit

  • Vargas Era


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