Goulart, João

Goulart, João
(1918–1976)
   Known as “Jango.” President of Brazil from 1961 to 1964, when he was ousted in a military coup. He was the last civilian president until 1985. Born in the southernmost state of Rio Grande do Sul, Goulart grew up on his father’s cattle ranch. A neighboring ranch belonged to Getúlio Vargas, who would become his political inspiration. After receiving a law degree in 1939 from Pôrto Alegre University, where he led a leftist student movement, he returned home to manage the ranch. In 1945 he joined the Partido Trabalhista Brasileiro (PTB, Brazilian Labor Party), a newly formed leftist party, and a year later, he began his political career, winning election to the state legislature of Rio Grande do Sul. In 1950 he supported Vargas’s successful bid for the presidency and was elected to the Chamber of Deputies. (Vargas had ruled the country as dictator from 1930 to 1945.) In 1953 as the chair of the PTB, Goulart was named by President Vargas as the minister of labor, in which role he outraged the military, in early 1954, by proposing that the minimum wage be increased by as much as 100 percent—military pay was then decreasing. In February 1954 Vargas fired Goulart under pressure from the opposition press and the conservative União Democrática Nacional (UDN, National Democratic Union). Shortly after, though, Vargas decreed the 100 percent increase.
   In November 1954 Vargas committed suicide amid reports of scandal, and on 3 October 1955 Goulart was elected vice president on the PTB ticket. At that time, election laws permitted split tickets, and Jucelino Kubitschek was elected president representing the centrist Partido Social Democrático (PSD, Social Democratic Party). The two presided over a period of economic growth similar to the military regime’s “Brazilian miracle” of 1969–1973. Goulart was reelected in October 1960. The president-elect, Jânio Quadros, though representing the UDN, was an eccentric figure who, on taking office in January 1961, raised concerns that he was moving to the left. Quadros came under attack from the opposition press and, on 25 August 1961, resigned without explanation.
   The resignation put Brazil on the brink of civil war. On the one hand, Goulart was entitled by the constitution to succeed Quadros as president. On the other hand, military leaders opposed the succession, troubled by his leftist sympathies. To complicate matters, Goulart was then on a visit to Communist China, praising Mao Tse-tung. The ministers of the army, navy, and air force, led by Marshal Odílio Denys, issued a manifesto warning that a Goulart presidency would lead to chaos, and Denys threatened to arrest Goulart if he returned. There was also a threat to shoot down Goulart’s plane. The manifesto and threats mobilized support for Goulart’s right to assume office. The support came mostly from students and trade unionists but also from centrist politicians and prodemocracy military officers. And in Rio Grande do Sul, Governor Lionel Brizola, Goulart’s brother-in-law, and General M. José Machado Lopes, commander of the Third Army, threatened armed resistance to Denys. Goulart returned to Brazil on 1 September 1961 and became president after a compromise was reached—a constitutional amendment handing most executive power to a congressional cabinet. (In January 1963 a national plebiscite restored his presidential powers.) He was inaugurated on 7 September 1961.
   Goulart’s presidency was characterized by left-wing populism. He advocated a package of nationalist reforms, including agrarian reform, and built a following of peasants, workers, students, leftist Catholics, and noncommissioned military officers, all of whom began to mobilize. Aligned against him were rural landowners, the business community, and the military hierarchy. Goulart had inherited a bad economy, and by 1964 it was worsening—the inflation rate was 100 percent. Unable to get his reforms through Congress, Goulart decided to sidestep Congress and to schedule a series of rallies at which he would decree his reforms. This decision was seen not only as a threat to the constitution but also as an attempt to organize a mass movement. On 31 March and 1 April 1964 the military removed him from office, an act supported by the United States, which had helped destabilize the Goulart government by reducing aid and loans.
   On 7 December 1976 Goulart died in exile on his ranch in northern Argentina. The military president Ernesto Geisel called for three days of mourning and allowed him to be buried in his hometown of São Borja.

Historical Dictionary of the “Dirty Wars” . . 2010.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Goulart, João — ▪ Brazilian politician in full  João Belchior Marques Goulart , byname  Jango   born March 1, 1918, São Borja, Braz. died Dec. 6, 1976, Corrientes province, Arg.       reformist president of Brazil (1961–64) until he was deposed.       The son of …   Universalium

  • Goulart, João — ► (1918 76) Político brasileño. Fue presidente de la República en 1961 64 …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Goulart, João (Belchior Marques) — born March 1, 1918, São Borja, Braz. died Dec. 6, 1976, Corrientes province, Arg. Reformist president of Brazil (1961–64). Son of a wealthy rancher, he earned a law degree and became a protégé of Pres. Getúlio Vargas, in whose administration he… …   Universalium

  • Goulart, João (Belchior Marques) — (1 mar. 1918, São Borja, Brasil–6 dic. 1976, provincia de Corrientes, Argentina). Presidente reformista de Brasil (1961–64). Hijo de un adinerado ranchero, se graduó en derecho y se convirtió en el protegido del presidente Getülio Vargas, en cuya …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Goulart — Goulart, João …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Joao Belchior Marques Goulart — João Goulart João Belchior Marques Goulart en 1962 João Belchior Marques Goulart, ou Jango ( São Borja, Rio Grande do Sul 1er mars 1919 Mercedes, Argentine, 6  …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Joao Goulart — João Goulart João Belchior Marques Goulart en 1962 João Belchior Marques Goulart, ou Jango ( São Borja, Rio Grande do Sul 1er mars 1919 Mercedes, Argentine, 6  …   Wikipédia en Français

  • João Goulart — João Belchior Marques Goulart (* 1. März 1919[1] in São Borja RS; † 6. Dezember 1976 in Mercedes, Argentinien) war Präsident Brasiliens von 1961 bis 1964. Er ist auch unter sein …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • João Goulart — Infobox President name=João Goulart nationality=Brazilian term start=September 7, 1961 term end=April 1, 1964 vicepresident=None predecessor=Pascoal Ranieri Mazzilli successor=Pascoal Ranieri Mazzilli order2=16th Vice President of Brazil term… …   Wikipedia

  • João Goulart — Para otros usos de este término, véase Goulart. João Goulart João Goulart …   Wikipedia Español

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