Liberal Alliance

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Liberal Alliance

Founded in August 1929 by political leaders in Minas Gerais and Rio Grande do Sul, this opposition party supported Getúlio Vargas as president and João Pessoa as vice president in the 1930 elections. The Liberal Alliance (Alianca Liberal—AL) was formed when President Washington Luiz, a representative of São Paulo's large landowners, announced that he had decided to break the tradition of alternating politicians from São Paulo and Minas Gerais in the presidency and intended to support São Paulo state president Júlio Prestes as his successor.

The AL was composed of a number of groups whose power was not based on coffee wealth and who looked to modernize Brazil's economy. It represented an emerging middle class increasingly disenfranchised by the central government's policy of favoring the interests of the major plantation owners. The AL platform was based on national political reform, including a secret vote and popular representation, freedom of the press, educational reform, and the adoption of protectionist policies for export products other than coffee.

After a campaign marked by violence, the Vargas-Pessoa ticket was defeated amid accusations of widespread fraud. After Pessoa's assassination in July, some members of the AL called for an armed rebellion. In October the Revolution of 1930 began, putting Vargas in power for the next fifteen years.

See alsoVargas, Getúlio Dornellesxml .


John W. F. Dulles, Vargas of Brazil: A Political Biography (1967), esp. pp. 49-67.

Boris Fausto, A revolução de 1930: Historiografia e história (1986).

Additional Bibliography

Levine, Robert M. Father of the Poor? Vargas and His Era. Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press, 1998.

Williams, Daryle. Culture Wars in Brazil: The First Vargas Regime, 1930–1945. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2001.

                                            Jeffrey Lesser