Constitutionalist Revolution
The Constitutionalist Revolution of 1932 (sometimes also referred to as Paulista War) is the name given to the uprising of the population of the Brazilian state of São Paulo
São Paulo (state)
São Paulo is a state in Brazil. It is the major industrial and economic powerhouse of the Brazilian economy. Named after Saint Paul, São Paulo has the largest population, industrial complex, and economic production in the country. It is the richest state in Brazil...

 against the 1930 coup d'état
Brazilian Revolution of 1930
The Revolution of 1930 was a movement that overthrew President Washington Luís and installed Getúlio Vargas as Provisional President.-See also:*Revolutions of Brazil*History of Brazil...

 whereby Getúlio Vargas
Getúlio Vargas
Getúlio Dornelles Vargas served as President of Brazil, first as dictator, from 1930 to 1945, and in a democratically elected term from 1951 until his suicide in 1954. Vargas led Brazil for 18 years, the most for any President, and second in Brazilian history to Emperor Pedro II...

 assumed the nation's Presidency; Vargas was supported by the military and the political elites of Minas Gerais
Minas Gerais
Minas Gerais is one of the 26 states of Brazil, of which it is the second most populous, the third richest, and the fourth largest in area. Minas Gerais is the Brazilian state with the largest number of Presidents of Brazil, the current one, Dilma Rousseff, being one of them. The capital is the...

, Rio Grande do Sul
Rio Grande do Sul
Rio Grande do Sul is the southernmost state in Brazil, and the state with the fifth highest Human Development Index in the country. In this state is located the southernmost city in the country, Chuí, on the border with Uruguay. In the region of Bento Gonçalves and Caxias do Sul, the largest wine...

 and Paraíba
Paraíba Paraíba Paraíba (Tupi: pa'ra a'íba: "bad to navigation"; Brazilian Portuguese pronunciation: is a state of Brazil. It is located in the Brazilian Northeast, and is bordered by Rio Grande do Norte to the north, Ceará to the west, Pernambuco to the south and the Atlantic Ocean to the east...

. The movement grew out of local resentment from the fact that Vargas ruled by decree, unbound by a Constitution, in a provisional government. The 1930 coup also affected São Paulo by eroding the autonomy that states enjoyed during the term of the 1891 Constitution and preventing the inauguration of the governor of São Paulo Júlio Prestes
Júlio Prestes
Júlio Prestes de Albuquerque was a Brazilian politician. Governor of São Paulo state in 1926, he was elected president of Brazil on March 1, 1930, but never took office because the government was overthrown in the Revolution of 1930 that brought Getulio Vargas to power, three weeks before Prestes'...

 in the Presidency of the Republic, while simultaneously overthrowing President Washington Luis, who was governor of São Paulo from 1920 to 1924. These events marked the end of the Old Republic.

The Revolution's main goal was to press the provisional government headed by Getúlio Vargas to abide by a new Constitution, since the elected President Prestes was kept from taking office. However, as the movement developed and resentment against President Vargas and his revolutionary government grew deeper, it came to advocate the overthrow of the Federal Government, and it was even speculated that one of the Revolutionaries' goals was the secession of São Paulo from the Brazilian federation. However, it is noted that the separatist scenario was used as guerrilla tactics by the Federal Government to turn the population of the rest of the country against the state of São Paulo, broadcasting the alleged separatist notion throughout the country. There is no evidence that the movement's commanders sought separatism.

The uprising started on July 9th, 1932, after four protesting students were killed by government troops on . On the wake of their deaths, a movement called MMDC (from the initials of the names of each of the four students killed, Martins, Miragaia, Dráusio and Camargo) started. A fifth victim, Alvarenga, was also shot that night, but died months later.

In a few months, the state of São Paulo rebelled against the federal government. Counting on the solidarity of the political elites of two other powerful states, (Minas Gerais
Minas Gerais
Minas Gerais is one of the 26 states of Brazil, of which it is the second most populous, the third richest, and the fourth largest in area. Minas Gerais is the Brazilian state with the largest number of Presidents of Brazil, the current one, Dilma Rousseff, being one of them. The capital is the...

 and Rio Grande do Sul), the politicians from São Paulo expected a quick war. However, that solidarity was never translated into actual support, and the São Paulo revolt was militarily crushed on October 2nd, 1932.
In total, there were 87 days of fighting (July 9th to October 4th, 1932 – with the last two days after the surrender of São Paulo), with a balance of 934 official deaths, though non-official estimates report up to 2,200 dead, and many cities in the state of São Paulo suffered damage due to fighting.

In spite of its military defeat, some of the movement's main demands were finally granted by Vargas afterwards: the appointment of a non-military state Governor, the election of a Constituent Assembly and, finally, the enactment of a new Constitution in 1934. However that Constitution was short lived, as in 1937, amidst growing extremism on the left and right wings of the political spectrum, Vargas closed the National Congress and enacted another Constitution, which established an authoritarian regime called Estado Novo
Estado Novo (Brazil)
Vargas Era is the period in the history of Brazil that lasted from 1930 to 1945, when the country was under the leadership of Getúlio Dornelles Vargas....


July 9th marks the beginning of the Revolution of 1932, and is a holiday and the most important civic date of the state of São Paulo. The paulistas (as the inhabitants of São Paulo are known) consider the Revolution of 1932 as the greatest movement of its civic history. It was the first major revolt against the government of Getúlio Vargas and the last major armed conflict occurring in the history of Brazil.

For an off-beat look at this revolution by a traveler caught in the middle, see Peter Fleming's book Brazilian Adventure
Brazilian Adventure
Brazilian Adventure is a book by Peter Fleming about his search for the lost Colonel Percy Fawcett in the Brazilian jungle. Fawcett along with his son and another companion had disappeared while searching for the Lost City of Z in 1925...

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