Summary Of ' Children Of God 's Fire '

1537 Words Nov 27th, 2016 7 Pages
The Lives of Rural Slaves in Brazilian Sugar Plantations
Throughout the 16th century, as there was a demographic collapse of the indigenous population, there was now a new demand for slave labor in Latin America. In Brazil, the Portuguese needed a large workforce to cultivate sugar plantations. As a result, numerous slaves from Africa were imported to work on large plantation fields. In various plantations, rural slaves experienced harsh working and living conditions. Few slaves had a high life expectancy. Robert Edgar Conrad in “Children of God’s Fire,” shares some primary sources that dealt with the types of environments and conditions many slaves faced and encountered in Brazil. The sources also gave insight into the regulations and economics/business of the slave trade. Conrad states that rural Brazil was “a hell for blacks” (Conrad 54). Many slaves dealt with extremely harsh conditions just to keep the European market in Latin American growing and profitable. This paper will analyze how rural slaves lived and worked on Brazilian sugar plantations. To start, in Brazil the Portuguese become convinced that full-scale exploitation of the land was imperative for the safety of their entire overseas empire. Sugar cultivation was the ideal crop to guarantee the existence of a profitable colony. As a result, the Portuguese dominated the Atlantic slave trade. Various slaves from different parts of Africa were brought to Brazil and experienced difficult working and in living…
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