Brazil: a victory for O Estado Novo

Date

1974

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Abstract

Purpose: The purpose of this thesis was to ascertain certain aspects of pre-World War II Brazil in order to obtain information regarding the massive aid given Brazil by the government of the United States and Offers by Germany for Brazil’s friendship. The establishment of O Estado Novo by Getulio Vargas during the 1930’s was a major consideration as was the effect of the world-wide depression upon the economy of Brazil. Of additional consideration was the ascertaining of aspects of Brazil’s geographical position and the ethnic mix as factors that involved the major powers of the United States and Germany. Methods: A major portion of this thesis was based upon information derived from primary sources. Of special importance was the Caffery Papers, a donation of United States’ Ambassador Jefferson Caffery of Iberia Parish, Louisiana. These papers, housed in the Library of the University of Southwestern Louisiana, and other documents were extensively used. Published and official diplomatic papers of the United States and Germany were also utilized extensively. Sources in Portuguese were used whenever possible after translation. These sources included official diplomatic correspondence of Brazil. An analysis of the German population in Brazil was required and made. An additional study of the Brazilian economy was also made with special attention given to factors attracting interest from both Germany and the United States. Findings: The established of O Estado Novo as a nationalist government by Getulio Vargas brought about many significant changes. The pre-World War II coffee economy of Brazil was sluggish while German demands for cotton and other raw materials were high. The United States considered several plans to halt German economic interest in Brazil, but green trade practices prohibited extensive growth of trade based on economic motives alone: Brazil’s exports found eager markets in Germany while her traditional exports to the United States were little desired in depression-struck North America. The United States changed its propositions to Brazil once it was evident German military strength in Europe and Africa posed a double threat to security of the Western Hemisphere when one considered the added factor of strong pro-German elements in Brazil. Getulio Vargas took advantage of fears in the United States the Brazil might fall into the German orbit as a result of either economic inducement or military actions. This fear was used to obtain massive military, technical, and economic aid from North America so that O Estado Novo would be a viable and solid flank in hemispheric defense. A policy emerged from diplomatic activities between pre-war Brazil and the United States. The North Americans were willing to trade massive aid for the good will and friendship of an underdeveloped nation; this policy bears strong similarities with other policies and decisions made by the United States from that time on in Latin America.

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Keywords

Brazil, Government Aid, O Estado Novo, Getulio Vargas, depression

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