Juscelino Kubitschek (JK) (1956 1961) Fifty years in five

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Juscelino Kubitschek (JK) (1956 – 1961)

  • Fifty years in five.

  • Building of Brasília.

  • Era of great hope.

  • Influx of international investments.

  • The economy boomed, but at some cost.

  • Inflation and devaluation of the currency.

Jânio Quadros (Jan 31 – Aug 25, 1961)

  • Elected with no congressional support.

  • Polemic figure (prohibited bikinis in Copacabana).

  • Right-wing president who established relations with Cuba and Russia.

  • Resigned in an attempt to gain political power.

  • His resignation created a political crisis.

João Goulart (Jango) (1961 - 1964)

  • Left-wing vice president.

  • 1961 – 1963: Parliamentary system.

  • 1963 – 1964: Presidential system.

  • Nationalist reforms to face social problems.

  • Nationalization of companies.

  • Increase of organized social groups.

  • Nationalism vs Imperialism.

Brazilian Military Presidents

The Economy

  • 1964 – 1967: Economic Recuperation

      • Programa de Ação Econômica do Governo (PAEG)
      • Reduced budget, deficit, salaries, inflation. GDP grew again.
  • 1969 – 1973: The Brazilian Miracle

      • GDP grew 11% a year.
      • Growth was based on more debts and external dependency.
      • Salaries were very low, and social benefits were lost.
  • 1973 – 1979: Economic Problems

      • Increase of internal and external debts.
      • 1978 : Strikes in São Paulo.
  • 1980’s: “The lost decade”

      • Inflation soared, the debt destroyed the Brazilian economy.
      • IMF imposed a painful austerity program on Brazil.


  • 1974: Gen. Geisel becomes president and promises democracy.

  • 1979: Gen. Figueiredo becomes president and promises to finish Geisel’s work.

  • 1979: General amnesty (including those who tortured civilians).

  • New political parties are allowed to exist.

  • 1982: General elections for governors and state representatives.

  • 1984 – Diretas Já! – Direct (vote) now! A civil movement for direct presidential elections.

Tancredo Neves (1985)

  • Minister of Justice during Getúlio Varga’s government (1935).

  • Prime Minister of Jango (1961).

  • Jan 15, 1985: elected president by the congress.

  • Died in Mar 15, 1985.

  • Tancredo was the hope for a new country.

José Sarney (1985 - 1990)

  • Ex-member of the ARENA, vice-president of Tancredo.

  • His government faced several economic problems: huge foreign debt, and inflation.

  • Plano Cruzado (economic plan) did not work.

  • 1986: Elections for congress.

  • 1988: New constitution.

Fernando Collor de Melo (1991-1992)

  • First president democratically elected since 1961.

  • He was a good looking candidate that promised to end corruption and to modernize the country.

  • Involved in many scandals, he was impeached in 1992.

  • Several rallies occurred throughout the country against him.

Itamar Franco (1992 - 1994)

  • Vice-president of Collor; formally took office in Dec 1992.

  • Inflation reached 6000% in 1993.

  • Franco managed to unite several political parties and create a successful economic plan (Plano Real) in 1994 that reduced inflation to a single digit.

  • His minister of Economy was elected president in 1994.

Fernando Henrique Cardoso (1995 - 2002)

  • FHC consolidated the political and economic stability.

  • He privatized several companies (including CSN, and EMBRATEL).

  • After some years of economic growth, Brazil’s economy suffered the consequences of world economic crisis.

  • FHC was reelected in 1998.

Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (2003 - present)

  • He had a very poor childhood. At age 12 he worked as a shoeshine boy and street vendor.

  • In 1978, he was elected president of the Steel Workers' Union of São Bernardo.

  • In 1980, he and a group of academics, union leaders and intellectuals founded the Labor Party (Partido dos Trabalhadores - PT).

  • During the 1990’s PT shifted from a left-wing party to more center-left position.

  • LULA was elected president in 2002.

  • Instead of deep social changes (as proposed in the past) his government chose a reformist line, passing new retirement, tributary, labor, and judicial laws, and discussing a university reform.

Social Issues in Brazil

  • The Brazilian economy had a belated flourishing, even for Latin American standards.

  • During the 19th century Brazil was poorer than Peru and growth was slow.

  • During the 20th century the South and South-East regions developed much faster. This created the migration problem.

  • In the 20th century an educational system had to be built.

  • The quality of public education is still questionable in some areas.

  • Before 1950 there were no good public hospitals, and very few public health campaigns.

Racial Issues in Brazil

  • Brazil has a multi-racial society.

    • Mulatos
    • Caboclos
    • Cafuzos
  • Brazil was the last country in the Americas to end slavery (1888).

  • Social integration of African-Brazilians and other minorities (caboclos, cafuzos, etc) has been a slow process.

  • The first affirmative action policies were introduced in the last ten years.

  • Racial minorities still have less access to good school, and good health system.

  • Different developing rates among different geographic regions increased the problem.

Improvements in Social Issues

  • Infant mortality rates dropped from 41.1% in 1992 to 27.5% in 2003 (15.18% in Argentina; 5.7% in USA, but 14% among African Americans).

  • 97.3% of children (7 to 14) in school in 2003.

  • 99.5% of homes have access to electricity, 89.6% receive public clean water.

  • 17.5% have a computer at home, 13.2% have internet access (although Brazil represents 32% of internet access in Latin America).

  • “Fome Zero” (Zero Hunger) – A social program that distributes money to selected regions and cities whose inhabitants suffer severe difficulties.

  • “Bolsa Família” (Family Aid) – the program consists primarily of financial aid to families with incomes of less than US$40.00 per month. It demands that the families send their children to school and keep their vaccines up to date.

  • Aids program - Brazil's guarantee of access to free antiretroviral (ARV) drugs since 1996. The government promotes public campaigns to educate the population.

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