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Bernardes, Artur da Silva

Artur da Silva Bernardes

b. 8 Aug 1875, Vila de Santa Rita do Turvo (now Viçosa), Minas Gerais
d. 23 Mar 1955, Rio de Janeiro

Title: Presidente da República dos Estados Unidos do Brasil (President of the Republic of the United States of Brazil)
Term: 15 Nov 1922 - 15 Nov 1926
Chronology: 1 Mar 1922, elected by direct popular voting
  15 Nov 1922, took the oath of office at the session of the National Congress, held at the seat of the Chamber of Deputies, in the National Library, Rio de Janeiro
  15 Nov 1926, presidential functions expired

Like his father before him, Artur da Silva Bernardes was educated as lawyer receiving bachelor's degree in 1900. He practiced law in his native state and participated in local political affairs. In 1907 Bernardes was elected to the state legislature of Minas Gerais and the next year he took a seat in the federal Chamber of Deputies (1909-1910). Within a year he assumed the post of secretary for finance in the government of Minas Gerais (7 Sep 1910 - 7 Sep 1914). Again elected a federal deputy (1915-1918), Bernardes was put in charge of a committee elaborating the accounting code. In 1918 Bernardes succeeded Delfim Moreira da Costa Ribeiro as governor of Minas Gerais (7 Sep 1918 - 7 Sep 1922). Bernardes won the election after an extremely tense campaign in March 1922. He was advised by the outgoing President Epitácio Pessoa not to take office as the latter feared that Bernardes would face a rebellion. Bernardes assumed the presidency despite the state of siege introduced after the rebellion of "tenentes" in July 1922. He explicitly repudiated the politics of his predecessor. The new government did not grant an amnesty to the conspirators and tightened repressive measures intervening in the affairs of the states. In November 1923, Bernardes promulgated a law on the press limiting the freedom of speech. The opposition led by the ex-president Nilo Procópio Peçanha and the military elaborated a plan for deposing Bernardes. Despite the death of Peçanha (31 Mar 1924), the military began a revolt in São Paulo (5 Jul 1924). It was sternly suppressed by the government; more than 10,000 people were arrested. The revolt was followed by rebellions in the states of Mato Grosso, Sergipe, Pará, Amazonas and Rio Grande do Sul. The conspiracies were discovered in the army and navy. An armed opposition group known as "column of Prestes" rolled through the several states combating federal troops and local landowners. Amidst the general turmoil, the Bernardes government succeeded in laying foundation to the social welfare legislation and regulating labor relations. As a leader of the Republican Party of Minas Gerais (Partido Republicano Mineiro), Bernardes never ceased to be active in politics after leaving the presidency. He was elected to the Senate (1927-1930) and served on the Executive Committee of the Republican Party of Minas Gerais (Partido Republican Mineiro) (1931-1937). In 1932 Bernardes was arrested for involvement in the Constitutionalist Revolution and exiled to Portugal. Upon his return, he was elected a federal deputy for Minas Gerais (1935-1937). Bernardes participated in the work of the Constituent Assembly (1946) and again took seat in the Chamber of Deputies (1946-1955). [1] [2]


Candidate Popular vote (1 Mar 1922) [3]
Artur da Silva Bernardes 466,877
Nilo Procópio Peçanha 317,714
11 others 2 or more votes

[1] "História da República Brasileira", by Hélio Silva, 21 vol. (São Paulo, Editora Três, 1979).
[2] "Minas Gerais in the Brazilian Federation, 1889-1937", by John D. Worth (Stanford University Press, Stanford 1977).
[3] Dicionário do voto (2000)
  Image: contemporary photograph.