War of the Farrapos

War of the Farrapos

Infobox War

caption="Charge of the Cavalry", Guilherme Litran (Júlio de Castilhos Museum, Porto Alegre, Brazil), depicting the Farroupilha army.
conflict=War of the Farrapos
date=September 19, 1835 – March 1, 1845
place=Southern Brazil
result=Imperial Military Victory


commander1=Bento Gonçalves da Silva
Antônio de Sousa Neto
Giuseppe Garibaldi
commander2=General Lima e Silva

War of the Farrapos or Farroupilha Revolution (in Portuguese: "Guerra dos Farrapos", "Revolução Farroupilha") was a Republican uprising that began in southern Brazil (Rio Grande do Sul and Santa Catarina) in 1835. The rebels, led by generals Bento Gonçalves da Silva and Antônio de Sousa Neto with the support of the Italian fighter Giuseppe Garibaldi, surrendered to imperial forces in 1845.

The war was the cause of the rushed coronation of Dom Pedro II, at that time 15 years old, in direct violation of Brazilian constitution. Second only to the War of Cabanagem, it is considered the bloodiest civil war to have ever occurred in Brazil.

The war

The uprising is believed to have began due to the difference between the economy of Rio Grande do Sul and the rest of the country. Unlike the other provinces, the state economy focused in the internal market rather than exporting commodities, the state's main product, "charque" (dried and salted beef), suffering badly from competition from "charque" imported from Uruguay and Argentina, which had free access to Brazilian markets while the "gauchos" (as residents of Rio Grande do Sul were nicknamed, from the Hispano-Portuguese for "cowboys") were charged high tariffs inside Brazil.

In 1835, Antônio Rodrigues Fernandes Braga was nominated president of Rio Grande do Sul and at first his appointment pleased the liberal farmers, but that soon changed. In his first day in the office, he accused many farmers of being separatists.

On September 20, 1835, General Bento Gonçalves captured the capital, Porto Alegre, beginning an uprising against the perceived unfair trade reinforced by the state government; the state president fled to the city of Rio Grande, two hundred kilometers to the south. In Porto Alegre, the rebels, also known as "farrapos" ("tatterdemalions"), elected Marciano Pereira Ribeiro their new president.

Responding to the situation and further upsetting the "ragamuffin" rebels, the Brazilian regent, Diogo Feijó, appointed a new state president, who was forced to take office in exile in Rio Grande.

Pushing for consolidation of their power, Antônio de Souza Netto declared the independence of the Piratini Republic on September 11, 1836 with Bento Gonçalves as president nominee. However, Bento was arrested and jailed by imperial forces until he escaped in 1837, returning to the province and bringing the revolution to a head. Nonetheless, Porto Alegre was recaptured by the empire and the rebels never managed to regain it.

The Italian revolutionary Giuseppe Garibaldi joined the rebels in 1839. With his help, the revolution spread through Santa Catarina, which adjoined Rio Grande do Sul to the north. The capital of Santa Catarina, Laguna, was taken by the "tatterdemalions"; but, after four months, Laguna fell back into imperial hands.


In 1840, Amnesty was offered to the rebels, which they refused although it was clear that they had no chances of winning, followed by the issuing of a republican constitution by the Tatters in 1842, as a last attempt to maintain power. The same year saw General Lima e Silva (soon Duke of Caxias) take office and try to find a diplomatic settlement of the situation.

On March 1, 1845, the peace negotiations led by Lima e Silva and Davi Canabarro (replacing Bento Gonçalves) concluded with the signing of the Ponche Verde Treaty between the two sides.

The treaty offered the rebels a full amnesty, full incorporation into the imperial army and the choice of the next provincial president. All the debts of the Riograndese Republic were paid off by the Empire and a tariff of 25% was introduced on imported charque.

As a goodwill gesture, the Tatters chose Lima e Silva as the next provincial president.

ee also

*Revolutions of Brazil
*Riograndense Republic

External links

* [http://english.ohmynews.com/articleview/article_view.asp?menu=c10400&no=249102&rel_no=1] A review of Farroupilha Week in modern RS state
* [http://www.geocities.com/ulysses_costa2000/farroupilha.html The Farroupilha War]

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