República dos Pampas (Republic of the Pampas) origins come from the War of the Farrapos, which lasted from 1835 to 1845. During that period, the Riograndense Republic, often called Piratini Republic (Portuguese: or ), was a de facto state that existed between and geographically coinciding with the present state of Rio Grande do Sul, in Brazil. Although never recognised as a self-governing state, it voted itself a Constitution in 1843.
In 1839, the Piratini Republic formed a confederation with the short-lived Juliana Republic (República Juliana in Portuguese) which proclaimed its independence in the same year. November 1839, however, saw the war result in the defeat of the Juliana Republic.
The Riograndense Republic had five capitals during its nearly nine years of existence: the cities of Piratini (for which it is often called Piratini Republic), Alegrete, Caçapava do Sul (official capitals), Bagé (for only two weeks), and São Borja. The war between the Gaúchos and the Brazilian Empire was ended by the Ponche Verde Treaty.
Rio Grande do Sul has always been one of the most "politicized" states in Brazil, being home to Getúlio Vargas, who ruled Brazil for two periods.
In the time of Doomsday, Brazil was on the verge of re-democratization after 19 years of military dictatorship. Rio Grande do Sul politicians had some of the most active roles in the "Diretas Já" movement. Notable politicians from Rio Grande do Sul were Leonel Brizola (who had, in fact, been governor of the state of Rio de Janeiro), Olívio Dutra and Pedro Simon.
Due to the halting of the redemocratization process by Brazilian military government in late 1983, blamed on the world war scenario that was happening, many revolts started on states of Sao Paulo, Minas Gerais, Rio de Janeiro and Rio Grande do Sul. Although on the other states the rebellion was crushed, on Rio Grande do Sul the rebels had support from the local military and police. In September 20th, 1986 (a symbolic date, marking the 151st anniversary of the proclamation of the República Rio Grandense during the Farrapos War), the República dos Pampas was officially proclaimed and the rebel leader Pedro Simon was nominated President.
In the inauguration speech, Simon stated that "Foreign matters, even those as sad and global such as the nuclear war, cannot be used as an excuse to keep Brazilian people away from democracy, and that promises made to the public during the last years had to be honored.". He also stated that the Gaúchos independence was provisory, and should Brazil ever return to a democratic government, that the Gaúchos would rejoin, as a proof of the strength of the Brazilian identity.
Brazilian government tried to retake the state of Rio Grande do Sul without success: military forces loyal to Pampas were large, and included even Air Force officials stationed at Santa Maria air base, which were equipped with,among others, F-1 Mirage and F-5E Tiger IIIEBR aircraft.
After the declaration of independence, military personnel which were against the independence were given the opportunity to flee to Brazil with their families and personal belongings, but very few were in that situation, most of them supporting the Pampas government as they were also against the delay on re-democratization.
The Joining of State of Santa Catarina
A large section of State of Santa Catarina (including the Capital, Florianopolis) seceded from Brazil in 1989, joining the República dos Pampas. The joining of state of Santa Catarina was remembered as an "dejá vù" of República Juliana which was proclaimed during the Farrapos War. Since most of the military force was allocated on larger cities to enforce curfews and control rioting, there was little resistance from federal forces. Anyway, there was support to the República dos Pampas among the military stationed on Santa Catarina as well. However, at that time, no government hasn't recognized República dos Pampas sovereignty, fearing retaliation from Brazil. Brazilian government occasionally attempted to regain that territory.
Reunification with Brazil
Facing the threat of de-industrialization and shortage on fuel supply, due to rebels taking over the government of the states of Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Minas Gerais, Brazilian military government (president now General Leonidas Pires Gonçalves) had no option than to open talks with the rebels. República dos Pampas sent representatives to the negotiation, rectifying the promise of a referendum for reunification if free elections were held on Brazil. The meeting took place on New Year's Eve, and was known as "Acordos do Ano Novo" (New Year Accords). The summit ended on January 10th, with elections on Brazil due to November 15th, 1991, and the promise of recognition of the República dos Pampas should its reunification with Brazil be rejected on the referendum.
República dos Pampas, as a gesture of good faith, executed the referendum on April 21st, with a landslide victory for reunification, 89% willing to rejoin Brazil, 8% willing to remain independent and 3% abstention. This allowed not only the end of hostilities, but also allowed Gaúchos and Catarinenses (natives from Rio Grande do Sul and Santa Catarina) to run for Brazilian presidency and other political jobs.