Constitutionalist Revolution Day in São Paulo Date in the current year: July 9, 2022

Constitutionalist Revolution Day in São Paulo Constitutionalist Revolution Day is observed in the Brazilian state of São Paulo on July 9. It is an important civic holiday that commemorates the beginning of the uprising of the paulistas against the government of Getúlio Vargas. Although the revolt was quelled, it is considered one of the most important events in the history of São Paulo.

Getúlio Vargas became interim president of Brazil after the coup of 1930, where President Washington Luís was ousted and President-elect Júlio Prestes was exiled before he could take office. Vargas, who was supported by the military and political elites of the states of Minas Gerais, Rio Grande do Sul and Paraíba, became interim president and formed a provisional government.

Although Vargas found support in some of the states, most of the paulistas (residents of São Paulo) resented him for a number of reasons. First, Washington Luís served as governor of São Paulo from 1920 to 1924, and Júlio Prestes was governor at the time of the presidential election which he won. Second, the coup negatively affected the autonomy of Brazilian states granted to them by the 1891 Constitution. Third, Vargas appointed a new governor of São Paulo, whom the residents of the state didn’t trust. Fourth, Vargas was in no hurry to adopt a new constitution and hold a presidential election.

The original goal of the revolution was to press Vargas and his provisional government to adopt a new constitution and abide by it. However, as resentment against Vargas grew deeper, some revolutionaries started to advocate the overthrow of the provisional government. There even was speculation that they were separatists who wanted independence for São Paulo, but these were just rumors spread by the federal government to discredit the paulistas and turn other states against São Paulo.

On May 23, 1932, government troops killed four protesting students at the Republic Square in São Paulo (one more student was injured and died three months later). In response to their deaths, the paulistas started an armed uprising against the federal government, which commenced on July 9, 1932. The primary goal of the rebels was to capture Rio de Janeiro.

The paulistas fought federal troops for nearly three months. Unfortunately, the lack of promised support from neighboring states and the numerical superiority of government forces led to the defeat of the revolutionary movement in early October.

Although the Constitutional Revolution ended with the government victory, Vargas later granted some of the revolutionary movement’s main demands. He appointed a new, non-military governor of São Paulo, held elections to a Constituent Assembly and, finally, adopted a new constitution in 1934, granting the people of Brazil all the basic rights and freedoms. Unfortunately, the new constitution lasted only three years; in 1937, Vargas instituted an authoritarian regime that lasted until 1945.

Nevertheless, residents of São Paulo consider the Constitutionalist Revolution one of the most important events in the state’s history and celebrate its anniversary every year.

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Constitutionalist Revolution Day in São Paulo, holidays in São Paulo, holidays in Brazil, anniversaries, regional holidays