Federalist Riograndense Revolution

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Brazilian Federalist Revolution
Part of Brazilian Naval Revolt
Gumercindo tropa.jpg
Gumercindo Saraiva and their commanders.
Date 1893-1895
Location South Region, Brazil
Result loyalist victory.* Execution of many rebels.
Brazil First Brazilian Republic Rio Grande do Sul Federalist Rebel
National Party
Empire of Brazil Navy Rebel
Commanders and leaders
Brazil FM. Floriano Peixoto
Brazil Júlio Prates de Castilhos
Brazil Gen. Hipólito Ribeiro
Brazil Col. Gomes Carneiro
Brazil Col. Antônio Moreira César
Rio Grande do Sul Gaspar da Silveira Martins
Rio Grande do Sul Gumercindo Saraiva
Aparicio Saraiva
Empire of Brazil Adm. Saldanha Da Gama
22,000 soldiers and militia 7,500 federalist rebels
~500 rebel sailors
Casualties and losses
10,000 killed

The Federalist Riograndense Revolution (1893 - 1895) was a revolution in the State of Rio Grande do Sul in Brazil against the Republic, proclaimed in 1889.

Inspired by the monarchist ideologies from Gaspar da Silveira Martins, it had Gumercindo Saraiva as the military head. The revolutionaries, known as Maragatos, faced the defeated in the Battle of the Pulador, in 1894, by the troops of Pinheiro Machado, but peace was only concluded definitively on the following year.

The War[edit]

At the time, then President Marshal Floriano Peixoto summoned veteran of the Paraguayan War Colonel Gomes Carneiro. His orders were to halt the Federalist Revolution in Southern Brazil. In five days, he came to the area to become one of the protagonists of history.

It was November 1893 and the revolutionary troops were now advancing towards the state of Paraná.

The goal was to reach the Brazilian capital at the time, Rio de Janeiro, and overthrow the government of Floriano. The rebels also fought against the governor of Rio Grande do Sul, Julio de Castillos. With the revolution, which began circa 120 years ago, the three southern states became the scene of a bloodbath that left nearly 10,000 dead. During and after the battles, there were many degolas.

The Federalists won mood in the same year. In the national capital, the Revolt of the Navy began, under the leadership of Admiral Custodio de Melo, who also fought against Floriano. After some exchange of gunfire with the army, the rebels went to the South. After docking in the city now known as Florianópolis, called Desterro at the time, they proclaimed the city as a new capital. Interests meant that the two revolts came to join.

"They have joined forces to overthrow Floriano. By sea, Custódio de Melo was responsible for striking Paranaguá, which happened in January 1894" says the judge and scholar Paul Hapner. By land, Gumercindo Saraiva advanced toward the capital of Paraná.[1]

Siege of Lapa[edit]

Colonel Gomes Carneiro and the "martyrs" of Lapa.

In the same period that the coast was taken, the maragatos passed by Tijucas do Sul and came to Lapa - 60 km away from Curitiba, capital of the state of Paraná.

The state was chaos. With the advance of the rebels, the state governor, Vicente Machado, fled from Curitiba. With only 639 men, few weapons and food shortages, Colonel Carneiro had a mission to contain the Federalists in Lapa. During 26 days, Carneiro and his army, called woodpeckers (Brazilian Portuguese: Pica-paus), bravely resisted the attacks of 3000 fighters commanded by Gumercindo Saraiva. "The troops of maragatos made a real siege to the city," says Hapner.

At least 500 people died in the Siege of Lapa, including Carneiro. With the death of the commander in February, Lapa surrendered and left the passage open for the revolutionaries to take Curitiba.

Despite the defeat, the battle in Lapa was critical for the Republican victory. Hapner considers the siege to have been a strategic error of the maragatos: "If they wanted to go to Rio de Janeiro, they should not have wasted time in Lapa. This gave Floriano's army enough time to organize, utlimately defeating the Federalists", he says.

For the historian Dennisson de Oliveira, "This was a mythical episode that, to the power established under Floriano, 'saved' the Republic."[1]

Release of Curitiba[edit]

Loyalist troops in Paraná state

After taking Paranaguá, Tijucas do Sul and Lapa, and with the absence of govern and military forces in Paraná, the rebels easily entered Curitiba. According to scholar Paul Hapner, evacuation of loyalist troops caused chaos in the city. Gumercindo Saraiva and Custódio de Melo had no obstacle. They appointed a governor - Colonel Theophilus Gomes Soares, who remained in power for only 4 days. "Then they gathered in a mansion that existed in the Alto da Glória and appointed another governor, João Menezes Doria, who remained until March" reports Hapner.

After him, two others were appointed governors. The last maragato governor in Paraná was José Antonio Ferreira Braga, in early May 1894.[1]

Osório field[edit]

It was the last battle of the uprising, held along the border with Uruguay.

Admiral Saldanha da Gama, with the Federalists, led 400 rebels, 100 of which being revolting navy sailors. They were attacked by a cavalry regiment of the Brazilian army that counted 1,300 cavalrymen, led by General Hipolito Ribeiro.

In the course of the battle, Admiral Saldanha da Gama, twice wounded by spears, was killed along with most of his men, many executed by degola after surrender. The victorious Legalists suffered about 200 casualties.


The 32º infantry battalion occupying the Praça 7 de Setembro in Rio Grande do Sul, after the defeat of the Federalists (Le Monde Illustré, nº 1.941, 06/09/1894, drawing by L. Tinayre, according to photographs provided by Emite Tancke).

The federalists demanded further "war loans" not to sack the city. The population was restless. It was during this period that Ildefonso Correia Pereira, the Baron Serro Azul exerted a role to liberate maragatos from Curitiba.

The Baron made the decision to take care of Curitiba through a junta; considered unnecessary as it would spill more blood; and so there was a decision to negotiate. In return for peace and the absence of looting, the Baron lent, with the support of some traders, money with Gumercindo Saraiva, head of the Maragatos. The negotiations, however, were seen as betrayal by the defenders of Floriano.

Thus, Maragatos left the city in May and Vicente Machado returned to power. However, Serro Azul and five companions were kidnapped. They were taken by train towards Paranaguá, under the pretext that they would board the ship to the Rio de Janeiro where they would receive an award, but it was an ambush. Baron Serro Azul and his allies were shot, accused of treason for negotiating with the maragatos.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d "E a revolução esbarrou no Paraná". Gazeta do Povo (in Portuguese). Retrieved 2016-11-08. 

See also[edit]