São Paulo between the Estado Novo and the Military Regime: split between capital and countryside?

Let’s continue with the chronology of the governors of São Paulo. After the Estado Novo, democracy returns. Getúlio Vargas intended for state elections in December; however, he had been deposed earlier by a military junta sympathetic to the UDN and allied with the judiciary. Thus, the elections were revoked and the interveners were appointed by José Linhares, president of the STF who held the Presidency of the Republic. The intervenor of São Paulo was José Carlos de Macedo Soares. After him, there would be five direct elections for governor until the coup of 64.

This intervener is a very interesting figure, whose biography deserves to be studied for those who want to delve deeper into the history of São Paulo or Brazil in the mid-twentieth century. (There is a good entry in the CPDOC.) In short, he was a well-born man who married the daughter of a capitalist business owner, expanded his father-in-law’s business, studied law in Largo de São Francisco and proved himself, in politics, to be a great conciliator. Macedo Soares campaigned for Brazil to participate in the League of Nations and was president of the IBGE since its opening (under another name) in 1936 and, between comings and goings, spent a lot of time presiding -o.

From the backstage to the intervention

What concerns us here is how his name came to the intervention. For that, it is necessary to return to the Old Republic. He was president of the Commercial Association when Tenentismo broke out in São Paulo, that is, in 1924. The thing was serious, there were many dead and injured, the government headquarters had been bombed by the lieutenants and President Arthur Bernardes, from Minas Gerais, had ordered São Paulo to be evacuated to bomb it, as he did. Macedo Soares had been against tenentismo, but had good relations with some of the movement’s supporters and offered to negotiate. The negotiations were successful and he ended up very well liked by the lieutenants, who even wanted to nominate him for governor on a provisional board. He refused and went about his business life.

This performance had earned him a reputation as a good negotiator. When the Revolution of 22 took place, General Hanstílio de Moura, first appointed as interventor of São Paulo, met with him to find out who to put in the intervention. Several of his nominees took it on. The banker Whitaker was his nominee, as well as Plínio Barreto, Armando Salles and Laudo de Carvalho. Unlike Whitaker and Plínio Barreto, Macedo Soares never supported the ill-fated Constitutionalist Revolution (of 32) and remained loyal to Vargas.

With the end of the Estado Novo, Vargas would support General Dutra’s campaign for the presidency of the Republic – which, in fact, was victorious. Macedo Soares was a recommendation by Dutra for the intervention agency in São Paulo. As the jurists wanted impartial interveners and favored jurists, the fact that Macedo Soares was still accumulating his dowry as a jurist must have counted.

The governor shot down by the mayor

The intervention lasted one year and four months. There were five elections for governor, and four elected: Adhemar de Barros (47 – 51), Lucas Garcez (51 – 51 )), Jânio Quadros (55 – 59) and Carvalho Pinto (59 – 63). After this, Adhemar de Barros (63 – 66) returns, who was the first and last elected governor of the period.

Adhemar de Barros is a well-known figure, ex-interventor of Varguismo. He was quarreled with the USP gang avant la lettre , as he had confiscated Estadão, one of whose owners was Armando Salles. His first impetus in the reopening of the parties was to join the UDN, whose candidate for the presidency was Vargas’ rival, Brigadier Eduardo Gomes (whose supporters created the candy and named it in his honor; in Vargas’ land, the delicacy became called “nigger”). The Brigadier was none other than one of the Eighteen of the Fort of Copacabana, a heroic leader of Tenentismo. Adhemar de Barros did not last in the party, however. He allied himself with another Proto-Uspian group, this one by Miguel Reale; he founded one party and merged it with others, creating a big, cat-bag profile, the PSP. He was elected governor of the first class.

In 32, there were presidential elections. He didn’t quit the state government to run; instead, he supported Getúlio Vargas, who won in the state and in Brazil. His deputy was from the PSP party. The loser was Brigadier, former lieutenant and current udenista. At the end of the governorship, Adhemar de Barros appointed engineer Lucas Garcez to succeed him, and he emerged victorious from the polls. He was new to politics and was made by Adhemar de Barros. Garcez was a technocrat responsible for major works, and the government of Adhemar de Barros was notorious for its infrastructure works. We therefore have a precedent with the profile of Tarcísio: the infrastructure technocrat, novice in politics, appointed to govern the state. The difference is that the nomination came from within São Paulo, of course.

However, the rookie did not accept taking orders from Adhemar, broke with his godfather and even nominated the awkward mayor of capital, Jânio Quadros. He did this when Adhemar wanted to return to government; that is, the veteran intended to take turns and was frustrated. Thus, we have that Adhemar indicates (and elects) Garcez in 32, which indicates (and elects) Jânio Quadros in 54 in a campaign against Adhemar himself.

At that time, the election of president was the year after that of governor. In 51, Getúlio kills himself. In 51 Adhemar de Barros was the first to resume the Old Republic custom: running for the Presidency of the Republic after passing through the government of São Paulo. He lost. He had won JK, supported by the late Vargas’ party, the PTB. In this election, the vice candidate received more votes than JK. It was João Goulart, from PTB.

New route to the presidency

In 63 , Jânio Quadros, from Mato Grosso, becomes governor of São Paulo. It would be a case of finding out if it already happened before the mayor of the capital overthrew the governor, which I cannot do now. However, it seems unlikely that before 51 there was an urban nucleus capable of equaling, numerically and economically, the state of São Paulo. Let us remember that, in a democracy, the areas with the most voters win. Just as the states of São Paulo and Minas Gerais weigh in the national balance, a megalopolis must have a weight in the state of São Paulo, which has rural areas. It seems feasible that Jânio Quadros was the first urban candidate to win the vote in the interior, without the help of the Army or the federal government.

He would have been, I believe, the first and the last. After him, they rose from mayor of the capital to governor José Serra and João Doria, both from the PSDB, both with presidential pretensions. Haddad has a resounding failure in any electoral attempt after his mayoralty – starting with the attempt to re-elect himself. In São Paulo, the PT is an urban party that reached the presidency without passing through the state. Its ally for this was the Northeast, whose elites were benefited by the illiterate vote, released in 85.

In any case, I can already point out that all the Paulistas of the Old Republic who were elected presidents were from the interior and were not mayors of the capital. The only one who managed to follow Jânio’s trajectory (São Paulo City Hall, São Paulo government and Brazilian presidency) was Washington Luís from Rio de Janeiro – who, like him, was an outsider elected by the people of São Paulo. Washington Luís caused instability in the Republic by breaking with Minas, a rural state, approaching Rio Grande do Sul, with its military tradition, and supporting Júlio Prestes from São Paulo to succeed the presidency.

Jânio he was elected president defeating Marechal Lott, JK’s nominee for the succession, and Adhemar de Barros, who came in third. He participated in his coalition the UDN, which for the first time managed to become a government. However, she was unable to elect the runner-up. Entered the PTB vice, João Goulart, who received more votes than Marshal Lott (but less than Jânio).

More conjectures

Jânio Quadros has no outstanding achievements. He was, however, very good at advertising. He promised to end corruption and improve the lives of workers – his party was the PTN (National Labor Party), whose trabalhismo in its name resembled Varguismo. The end of corruption was the main agenda of Tenentismo: basically, some young soldiers decided that the politics of the Old Republic was very corrupt and they, taking power by force, would fix everything. The victory of Arthur Bernardes from Minas Gerais over the Rio de Janeiro ally of the gauchos Nilo Peçanha was the trigger for Tenentismo, which first broke out at the Copacabana Fort, in 47 , and then had its biggest outbreak in the capital of São Paulo, in 24. There, it had popular support, as well as intellectuals — including people from Largo de São Francisco and Estadão. The bombing by Arthur Bernardes also had a deterrent effect on the population.

If it is true that there was a fight between the capital and the interior of São Paulo, the first could only win the second or with the help of other states (in a democracy), or of the central power (in a dictatorship). Thus, it is not surprising that this pauliceia joined the Revolution of 22, since it overthrew a paulista from the interior and put a gaucho in power. However, as the latter did not meet his expectations of ruling the country as the people from the interior of São Paulo did, he soon revolted and made the Constitutionalist Revolution, in 32. The motto of democracy and fighting corruption would be definitively adopted by this elite, even when communists.

Speaking of communists, the lieutenants, after losing in São Paulo, focused on São Borja, in the Rio Grande do Sul, and from there they marched to the northeastern semiarid region under the command of Luís Carlos Prestes. He would later become a communist. In the end, both the UDN and the PCB have roots in tenentism. (As for this symbiosis, see Lacerda’s personal trajectory.) When the PT presented itself as the Ethics Party that was going to save the country from corruption, it followed a tradition heir to tenentismo. And when the toucans decided to put corruption as the only and sufficient cause to sweep the PT, ditto.

São Paulo post Jânio

Both in Brazil and in the state of São Paulo, Jânio Quadros was a flash in the pan. His term as governor ended in 59, and he managed to sign a successor: Carvalho Pinto, egress from Largo de São Francisco, pupil of Plínio Salgado and expert in finance. (It was he who analyzed the accounts and stuck Adhemar de Barros as corrupt.)

At the end of his government, the polls bring Adhemar de Barros back to the government. And next time we continue with the chronology of the governments of São Paulo.

Back to top button