In 1914 Wenceslau Braz Pereira Gomes, of Minas Gerais, was elected, who was responsible for declaring war on the Central Powers, in 1917. According to historyaah, in those years Brazil grew rich, for having supplied enormous quantities of raw materials to the allies; but, with the end of the conflict, the entry of hard currency diminished, prosperity decreased. A chain of unrest began, barely suppressed by presidents Epitacio da Silva Pessôa (1919-22), Arthur Bernardes da Silva (1922-26) and Washington Luiz Pereira de Souza (1926-30). The collapse of Wall Street and the world crisis of 1929 – given the still colonial structure of the Brazilian economy – brought the country to the brink. Getulio Vargas, governor of Rio Grande do Sul, stood in the elections of 1930 in opposition to Julio Prestes, a friend of W. Luiz Pereira and like him the representative of the coffee producers of São Paulo. The results of the consultation communicated by the government awarded Prestes the victory with over a million votes. The circles linked to Vargas accused the authority of fraud and called for the cancellation of the elections. In October, Vargas marched on Rio and with the help of the military forced Washington Luiz Pereira to resign. He was thus proclaimed president of Brazil. Its success meant that a new era had begun: as well as in the second half of the century. XIX coffee had beaten cotton and sugar, causing the fall of the empire, now the middle class and young categories of industrial entrepreneurs, boom of the world conflict and the crisis of 1929, pressed for a national renewal and had found their leader in Vargas. Enforced by force, Vargas’s presidency could only be a dictatorship. And so it was for fifteen years, masked behind the screen of alleged constitutional guarantees. In 1932 he had to put down a revolt in São Paulo; later he gave the Brazilians two Constitutions: one, in 1934, of a democratic nature, the other, in 1937, clearly authoritarian and corporate. Overall, however, Vargas exercised a positive function, because he set the problem of development, above all as a struggle against the centers of power of the individual states, to affirm the priority of the confederal government. Vargas was also the promoter of two major national parties, the Partido Trabalhista Brasileiro (PTB, Brazilian Labor Party) and the Partido Social Democrático (PSD, Social Democratic Party). It aided industrialization and supported state participation in economic activity. In November 1942 he declared war on the Axis and sent an expeditionary force to Europe that fought in Italy against the Germans. After the second World War, Vargas found himself facing all the opposition, which also demanded a political system based on freedom for Brazil. The president, at the explicit invitation of the army, was forced to resign (October 29, 1945). The subsequent elections led to the presidency General Eurico Gaspar Dutra, former Minister of War of Vargas. In September 1946, a liberal Constitution was promulgated, inspired by the first republican of 1891. The country seemed to be able to set out on the path of democracy, but neither Dutra nor the forces that supported it were able to interpret the modernization needs that Vargas had instead captured. Therefore, in 1950, the popular vote restored the former dictator to power, who resumed his development policy. Again he came into conflict with the oligarchs, but he continued in his reforming action. Among other things, in 1953, he created the Petrobrás, the state body for the exploitation and distribution of oil. This government policy, due to the costs involved, accelerated the inflationary spiral. The conservatives took advantage of it to attack Vargas hard. In 1954 the tension peaked. In August, once again, the military intervened and asked the president to step down from office. Vargas rejected the ultimatum and on the 24th of the same month, instead of giving in, he preferred to kill himself. Vargas’s suicide seemed to throw the country into civil war; the elections, already scheduled for October 1955, brought the Social Democratic candidate Juscelino Kubitschek to the presidency of the Republic; vice president was the dauphin of Vargas and leader of the PTB João Goulart. The new administration, which took office in 1956, continued its predecessor’s policy against backwardness, but with greater condescension towards foreign investment. This resulted in large public spending, which accelerated inflation. Furthermore, on April 21, 1960, Kubitschek inaugurated the new capital Brasília, built from scratch in the state of Goiás. The opposition, right and left, had an easy game in accusing the government of incapacity; no one was surprised when the elections of October 1960 were largely won by the governor of São Paulo, Jânio Quadros, presented with a moralistic and healing program. However, Goulart was confirmed as vice president. Quadros too, however, remained a prisoner of inflationary mechanisms and was unable to propose a coherent policy of readjustment. On 25 August 1961 Quadros resigned. Once again Brazil appeared on the brink of civil war; the groups of the right and a good part of the military were in fact opposed to Goulart’s succession, foreseen by the Constitutional Charter. A compromise had to be reached: on September 2, Congress amended the Constitution, abolished the system of the presidential republic and replaced it with that of the parliamentary republic. In this way, deprived of his effective powers, Goulart was able to assume the office that was due to him (September 7). After the institutional crisis, the tension momentarily eased. In January 1963, in a referendum, the people approved by a large majority the restoration of the presidential system. The head of state then resumed the direction of the government and tried to implement a policy of reform, starting with the agrarian one, but his way was blocked by the conservative reaction; on March 31, 1964 the governors of some states rose up, asking for the intervention of the army. Goulart was deposed and had to take refuge in Uruguay. The presidency of the Republic was entrusted to the marshal Humberto Castelo Branco. In October of the same year, an “Institutional Act” dissolved all the parties; in their place two regime-based ones were created, one for the support of the government, Aliança Renovadora Nacional (ARENA, National Renewing Alliance), the other, formally, for the opposition, Movimento Democrático Brasileiro (MDB, Brazilian Democratic Movement). Based on the vote of these two organizations, on October 3, 1966, Congress designated General Arthur da Costa and Silva as head of state., who took office the following March. The true dictatorial nature of the new order was clear from the Constitution promulgated on October 17, 1969. And the regime became even more rigid when General Emilio Garrastazu Medici ascended to the presidency – after the resignation of Costa and Silva due to illness – (October 30, 1969).