Presidents Of Brazil Through History

Michel Temer, the incumbent President of Brazil
Michel Temer, the incumbent President of Brazil

Brazil’s government is that of a Democratic Federative Republic with a presidential system. The President, who is elected for a four-year term, is both the head of state and government and can serve for a maximum of two terms. The president appoints the Prime Minister who assists in the government administration. The President of Brazil also has several functions including maintaining foreign relations with other states, vetoing bills, granting pardon to prisoners, concluding international treaties, appointing judges, and performing other duties set in the constitution. The Brazilian presidential system was established in 1889 after the military coup against Emperor Pedro II. 37 presidents have since served Brazil. These presidents include;

Deodoro da Fonseca

Born on August 5, 1827, in Vila Madalena, Alagoas, Deodoro da Fonseca pursued a military career in his early life becoming a competent and courageous military officer. His contribution to the army made him a national figure in Brazil. On November 15, 1889, Fonseca led a military coup that overthrew Emperor Pedro II becoming the head of the provisional government which led to the formation of the United States of Brazil. He was elected President of Brazil on February 25, 1891. However, his leadership was marked by conflict between him and his Vice President who was supported by the civilian Republican. On November 3, 1891, He declared a state of emergency and resigned from office on November 23, 1891, turning over the presidency to the Vice President Floriano Peixoto.

Floriano Peixoto

Floriano Peixoto was a Brazilian soldier and politician who was nicknamed “Iron Marshal.” Floriano obtained his nickname when he led Brazil to Paraguayan War where he dealt ruthlessly with his position. He was first elected vice-president on February 25, 1891, and rose to Presidency upon the resignation of Fonseca on November 23, 1891. His tenure was marked by political and economic crisis due to the effects of the bursting of the Encilhamento economic bubble. He centralized power and nationalism and defeated seditious military movement in Rio de Grande do Sul. Floriano left the presidency on November 15, 1984.

Prudente de Morais

Prudente de Morais was the first civilian president and the first to be elected through a popular ballot under Brazil’s 1891 constitution. He is also the first president to serve his full term from November 15, 1894, to November 15, 1898. He was the Governor of Sao Paulo and the president of the Senate before becoming a president. His presidency was marked by a break in diplomatic relations with Portugal and War of Canudos. He signed a peace treaty with rebels that ended the conflict in Rio de Grande do Sul. He also managed to consolidate the country’s debt through the help of the British bankers. His diligence in dealing with Argentina to resolve the boundary dispute drew admiration from Grover Cleveland, the US President.


The incumbent president, Michel Temer, took office on August 31, 2016, after the impeachment of President Dilma Vana Rousseff by the Senate on the same day. Temer, who was Dilma’s vice, is expected to serve out the remainder of her predecessor’s term until January 1, 2019. He becomes the 37th president of Brazil.

Presidents Of Brazil Through History

Presidents of Brazil Term(s) in Office
Deodoro da Fonseca 1891
Floriano Peixoto 1891-1894
Prudente de Morais 1894-1898
Campos Sales 1898-1902
Rodrigues Alves 1902-1906
Afonso Pena 1906-1909
Nilo Peçanha 1909-1910
Hermes da Fonseca 1910-1914
Venceslau Brás 1914-1918
Rodrigues Alves 1918
Delfim Moreira 1919
Epitácio Pessoa 1919-1922
Artur Bernardes 1922-1926
Washington Luís 1926-1930
Júlio Prestes 1930
Vacant (Provisional Government) 1930-1934
Getúlio Vargas 1934-1945; 1951-1954
José Linhares 1945-1946
Gaspar Dutra 1946-1951
Café Filho 1954-1955
Carlos Luz 1955
Nereu Ramos 1955-1956
Juscelino Kubitschek 1956-1961
Jânio Quadros 1961
Ranieri Mazzilli 1961
João Goulart 1961-1964
Ranieri Mazzilli 1964
Humberto Castelo Branco 1964-1967
Artur da Costa e Silva 1967-1969
Emílio Médici 1969-1974
Ernesto Geisel 1974-1979
João Figueiredo 1979-1985
José Sarney 1985-1990
Fernando Collor 1990-1992
Itamar Franco 1992-1994
Fernando Henrique Cardoso 1995-2002
Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva 2003-2010
Dilma Rousseff 2011-2016
Michel Temer 2016-Present

More in Society