Betrayed by its organisations, the unions and the socialist parties, the working class was unable to prevent the outbreak of the most terrible war in history. Today, the celebration of Armistice Day - the end of the war - is the occasion for patriotic celebration.
But what was it that really brought the war to an end? Only a few years after the disaster of 1914, the world working class launched the greatest ever attempt by the exploited masses to overthrow the domination of the exploiters and to build, on the ruins of war, a new society free of nations, and warfare. In doing so, the workers forced the ruling classes to put an end to the war.
The revolutionary uprising that shook Brazil between 1917 and 1919, together with the movement in Argentina in 1919, is the most important expression in South America of the international revolutionary wave.
This uprising was the fruit of the situation in Brazil, as well as of the international situation, the war and especially of the solidarity with the Russian workers and the attempt to follow their example. It did not come out of nowhere; the objective and subjective conditions had matured in Brazil too during the previous twenty years. The aim of this article is to analyse this maturation and the unfolding of events between 1917 and 1919 in the Brazilian sub-continent.