The Farrapos War, also called the Farroupilha Revolution, was a civil war that started on September 20, 1835 and that opposed the Gaucho rural elite to the imperial government . It was the longest civil war in Brazilian history. War of rags history
The main reason for the revolt was the heavy taxes levied by the government , which made some products from Rio Grande do Sul, especially jerked beef (dried meat), uncompetitive in the domestic market.
Led by the military man Bento Gonçalves (1788-1847), the revolt began with the invasion and conquest of Porto Alegre, then capital of the Province of São Pedro do Rio Grande do Sul.
There were almost 10 years of conflicts and negotiation attempts, until on March 1, 1845 the Treaty of Ponche Verde was signed , which sealed peace between the Farroupilhas and the central government. Rio Grande do Sul was definitively integrated into the national territory, and some demands of the rebels were met, among which the highest taxation on foreign beef jerky. War of rags history
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War of the Rags in chronological order
Start of the conflict (20 September 1835)
There was great discontent among the gaucho rancher elite with the national government. Among the causes of conflict, the following stand out:
- High taxes on goods produced in Rio Grande do Sul, especially beef jerky, which was the region’s main product.
- Low taxation of foreign beef jerky , which made the product from countries like Argentina and Uruguay take advantage in the Brazilian market.
- Dissatisfaction with the province’s lack of autonomy in relation to the central government. The farroupilhas did not want the presidents of the province to be appointed by the government.
- Influence of liberal ideas . War of rags history
As the demands of the gaucho ranchers were not met, the revolt broke out on September 20, 1835. The military force of the Farroupilhas was made up of inhabitants of the province (including peons and enslaved blacks) regimented by militia chiefs.
The conflict began with the capture of Porto Alegre and the removal of the president of the province. In July of the following year, imperial troops recaptured the city.
The First Great Battle (September 10, 1836)
The victory in the Battle of Seival was one of the greatest assets of the Farroupilhas. The combat took place in the municipality of Bagé and represented an important reaction by the people of Rio Grande do Sul, who had suffered some defeats, including the loss of Porto Alegre to the Empire.
The victory in Seival, led by General Antônio Netto (1803-1866), opened the door to the proclamation of the Rio-Grandense Republic. War of rags history
Proclamation of the Rio-Grandense Republic (September 11, 1836)
After the victory in the Battle of Seival, the Farroupilhas rebels, led by Netto, proclaimed the Rio-Grandense Republic, also called the Republic of Piratini , since it was based in the village of Piratini. Until 1845, there were two more capitals: Caçapava (1839-1840) and Alegrete (1840-1845).
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With the creation of a nation-state, the Farroupilha revolt gains separatist contours . The first president of the Republic of Rio Grande do Sul was Bento Gonçalves, who however ended up being arrested in the Battle of Fanfa, in October 1836. José Gomes Jardim (1773-1854) assumed the interim presidency of the republic.
Bento Gonçalves: meeting with Garibaldi and escape from prison (1837)
After the Battle of Fanfa, Farroupilha leader Bento Gonçalves was taken to Rio de Janeiro, where he was imprisoned for several months. War of rags history
It was in prison that he met the Italian Giuseppe Garibaldi (1807-1882), who was in exile in Brazil. Garibaldi had been sentenced to death in Italy for participating in a conspiracy of a republican character.
After an escape attempt, Bento Gonçalves was sent to Salvador. There, on September 10, 1837, he manages to escape from prison. Back in Rio Grande do Sul, he finally managed to assume the presidency of the newly founded republic.
Founding of the Julian Republic (24 July 1839)
In 1839, the Farroupilhas managed to extend the revolt beyond the Gaucho borders . Under the leadership of Garibaldi and General David Canabarro (1796-1867), republican troops took Laguna, in Santa Catarina, and proclaimed the Juliana Republic (name that refers to the month in which the event took place).
The movement was unable to extend its domains to other parts of the province of Santa Catarina, especially the island of Desterro (currently Florianópolis). Without the support of the local population and suffering from the blockade imposed by the Empire on the port of Laguna, the movement was defeated in November 1839. The defeat at Laguna marked the beginning of the Farroupilha decline . War of rags history
Duke of Caxias is charged with putting an end to the war (1842)
In 1840, D. Pedro II assumes the leadership of the Empire. Amnesty is granted to rebels during the Regency Period (1831-1840), but most Farroupilha chiefs do not accept surrender.
In 1842, Luís Alves de Lima e Silva, later made Duque de Caxias (1803-1880), is appointed to the post of commander of arms of Rio Grande do Sul with the clear mission of quelling the revolt . In 1843 alone, there were 19 combats, most of which had a positive outcome for the imperial army.
The Porongos Massacre (November 14, 1844)
The fights still extend until 1845, with successive defeats Farroupilhas. One of the saddest episodes of the entire war was the Porongos Massacre, an ambush carried out by imperial soldiers that resulted in the death of hundreds of black soldiers . War of rags history
There was a large participation of black men enslaved in the Ragamuffin War. Farroupilha leaders co-opted enslaved people with the promise of freedom in case of victory.
There is still a lot of controversy about what would have happened in Porongos. One of the versions guarantees that there was betrayal by General David Canabarro, interested in facilitating negotiations with the imperial government.
The End of the War: Treaty of Ponche Verde (March 1, 1845)
On March 1, 1845, conditions were created for the signing of a peace agreement, which became known as the Ponche Verde Treaty. War of rags history
Although not all the clauses of the agreement were fulfilled, the Rio-Grandense landowners achieved two important things:
- Higher taxation of foreign beef jerky , which commercially benefited rural producers in Rio Grande do Sul.
- Amnesty to the rebels and guarantee that they would not be prosecuted in the future.
However, the promise that the appointment of the president of the province would be made by the gauchos themselves was not fulfilled. The liberation of the enslaved who fought alongside the insurgents was also not fulfilled. Some of them were returned to their former owners.