Biography of Wenceslau Braz Pereira Gomes (1868-1966)

Lawyer and Brazilian politician, President of the Republic of Brazil (1914-1918), born in 1868, in Itajubá (Minas Gerais), and died in the same city, in 1966.

Degree in law, he/she began his political career as Councilman of his hometown. In 1892 he/she was appointed Deputy of the State of Minas Gerais, who left in 1898, after being elected Secretary of Justice of the State. In 1902 he/she got a seat at the Congress of the Republic. The year 1904, acceded to the Government of Minas Gerais, for the following year, being named Vice-President of the nation under President Hermes da Fonseca (1910-1914). Defender of the so-called "politics of the Governors", that it gave the State oligarchies virtual control of power in Brazil, in the year 1914 was elected President of Brazil.

His rule coincided with the outbreak of the first world war, event which provoked in Brazil positive economic effects, such as the assessment of domestic products, the increase in exports to the warring countries and the creation of new industries with foreign capital in the region of São Paulo, circumstances that have not prevented that, between the years 1917 to 1920occurs a great labor turmoil translated into general strikes.

On the political side, Braz Pereira got beating the powerful Senator Pinheiro Machado, who manipulated the Congress at your leisure. Braz also introduced a series of reforms which include the country: the creation of the League of national defense, the increase in volunteers in the army troops and the edition of the Brazilian Civil Code which came to replace the laws that dated back to the colonial period.

Braz was confronted with a dangerous movement of peasants, known as "answered", emerged in the border region of the States of Paraná and Santa Catalina, which was meant to have a messianic character. At the end of his Government, in October 1917, Brazil declared war on Germany as a result of the sinking of four Brazilian merchant ships by German submarines. The Government of Braz Pereira was limited to send health, logistics and food material to the European front.

The presidential elections of 1918 gave victory to Epitácio Pessoa. Braz Pereira, retired from active politics, was devoted to business activities and reduced their low participation in political life to advice work, not requiring official position one.


BETHELL, Leslie: History of Latin America: (1870-1930) South America. (Barcelona: criticism. 1992).

VV.AA: History of Latin America. Contemporary history. v. 3. (Madrid: Cátedra. 1988).

C. Herraiz García