João Goulart


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Getúlio Dornelles Vargas (1883—1954) Brazilian statesman


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(b. 1 Mar. 1918, d. 6 Dec. 1976).

President of Brazil 1961–4 Born in Rio Grande do Sul, he became a lawyer and joined the nationalist right-wing Social Democratic Party. He was Minister of Labour (1953–4), and served as Vargas's Vice-President 1955–61. An incompetent politician whose prominence rested largely on the patronage of Vargas, he was unable to avoid his country's economic decline as indicated by an annual inflation rate of over 100 per cent and economic growth of merely 2 per cent. His period in office saw the polarization of Brazilian society into various hostile factions and interest groups. Opposed by most Governors of the federal states, his challenge to the elites through the nationalization of oil refineries and other populist measures triggered a little-resisted military coup in 1964.

Subjects: Contemporary History (Post 1945).

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