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Salvacionismo, movement by Brazilian military officers to "redeem" their home states from control by local oligarchies (1910–1914). When the 1910 election divided the dominant state parties of São Paulo and Minas Gerais, Rio Grande do Sul's Republican Party and the army emerged as the dominant political forces, and Marshal Hermes Rodrigues da Fonseca became the first soldier to attain the presidency in sixteen years. In these circumstances, officers sought to overthrow oligarchies in state governments through military force and "clean" elections. Localized anarchy followed, as garrisons used cannon to achieve power. By 1912 army officers had taken the governorships in four northeastern states—Ceará, Alagoas, Pernambuco, and Sergipe—in contests marked by military intervention.

By 1914 salvacionismo was spent, because of compromises with local elites, military dissension, a new Minas-São Paulo alliance, and lack of support from Hermes, who was dominated by Riograndense Senator José Gomes Pinheiro Machado. The salvacionistas broke with Pinheiro, who consequently helped local oligarchs overthrow Ceará's salvacionista governor.

Pinheiro was assassinated in 1915, but salvacionismo had already dissipated when a new president, supported by Mineiros and Paulistas, took office in 1914. Nonetheless, the myth of military "redemption" remained alive, influencing the Tenentes (lieutenants) a decade later.

See alsoArmed Forces .


Emygdio Dantas Barreto, Conspirações (1917).

Fernando Setembrino De Carvalho, Memórias: Dados para a história do Brasil (1950), pp. 87-126.

Edgard Carone, A república velha (evolução política) (1971), pp. 255-296.

Joseph L. Love, Rio Grande do Sul and Brazilian Regionalism, 1882–1930 (1971), chap. 6.

Additional Bibliography

Carvalho, José Murilo de. Forças armadas e política no Brasil. Rio de Janeiro: Jorge Zahar Editor, 2005.

Castro, Celso. Os militares e a república: Um estudo sobre cultura e ação política. São Paulo: Rio de Janeiro: J. Zahar Editor, 1995.

                                              Joseph L. Love