Aranha, Oswaldo (1894–1960)

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Aranha, Oswaldo (1894–1960)

Oswaldo Aranha (b. 15 February 1894; d. 27 January 1960), Brazilian politician and diplomat. Aranha was part of the clique from Rio Grande do Sul that came to national prominence after the Revolution of 1930. A close friend of Getúlio Vargas, Aranha was one of the architects of the Revolution of 1930. He served successively as minister of justice and minister of finance in the provisional government (1930–1934) and helped Vargas establish national authority by turning the blame for Brazil's economic crises away from the elite classes. From 1934 to 1937 Aranha served as Brazilian ambassador to the United States and became convinced that Brazil should ally itself with the United States, not with Germany. In 1938 he became foreign minister and moved Brazil into a clear pro-Allied role first as a supplier of raw materials, and later as a supplier of troops who fought in Italy.

Although often identified as a "liberal" member of the Estado Novo, Aranha viewed race, ethnicity, and class as determinants of intelligence and success, and he shaped Brazil's immigration laws to attract urban professionals at the expense of rural laborers. From 1947 to 1948 Aranha served as president of the General Assembly of the United Nations, where he increased Brazil's international presence and is best known for presiding over the partition of Palestine. In 1953 Aranha was appointed minister of finance in the democratically elected Vargas government. Aranha withdrew from public life following the suicide of Vargas in 1954 but remained an active member of the Partida Trabalhista Brasileiro until his death.

See alsoBrazil, Revolutions: Revolution of 1930 .


Frank McCann, The Brazilian-American Alliance, 1937–1945 (1973).

Stanley Hilton, Brazil and the Great Powers, 1930–1939; The Politics of Trade Rivalry (1975).

Boris Fausto, A revoluçãco de 1930 (1986).

Additional Bibliography

Corrêa do Lago, Luiz A. Oswaldo Aranha, o Rio Grande e a Revolução de 1930: Um politico gaucho na República Velha. Rio de Janeiro: Editora Nova Fronteira, 1995. This work uses family records not open to other researchers.

Hilton, Stanley E. Oswaldo Aranha: uma biografia. Rio de Janeiro: Editora Objetiva, 1994.

                                          Jeffrey Lesser