The Abolition of Slavery in Brazil

1102 WordsApr 27, 20085 Pages
The Abolition of Slavery in Brazil, 13 May 1888 Next year sees the 120th anniversary of the abolition of slavery in Brazil. Some contemporary writers saw the period as an horrific maltreatment of our fellow human beings while others saw through this and viewed the patriarchal and familial advantages that society, especially slaves received. Whichever way one sees it, the period before its abolition saw a huge boost in Brazil’s economy, mainly down to its vast manpower – 37% of all African slaves traded – a massive 3 million men, women and children. Brazil is famous for its three main exports – sugar, gold and coffee and the discovery, production and distribution of these materials was mainly down to African slaves. After the…show more content…
Since the rich autocrats who owned slaves were looking to be recognised with titles, such as marquises and dukes, they were willing to cooperate with the Royal Family. However, many rich nobles did not believe the threat from Empire to abolish slavery since the predicted effects were well known and well documented in the press. So, when Princess Isabel passed Law 3353 in 1888, the monarchy began to feel the pressure of the influential nobles who, feeling that the abolition had created too much freedom in Brazil staged a military coup on 15th November 1889, just over a year after the passing of Law 3353. Some might say that the overthrow of the monarchy was down to the surprisingly long and expensive Paraguayan War. However, it can be no consequence that a republic was born only a year after slavery was abolished. Former slaves discovered a deep feeling of insecurity after the downfall of the monarchy. Since Brazil had always been a paternalistic culture (an Emperor and an autocrat of a patriarchal house to protect them), it even led to some men and women becoming nostalgic of their former ‘big houses’, as they were known, and were desperate for the patriarchal assistance they once had in abundance. Yet, the popular president Getulio Vargas finally understood the sociological and psychological situation of the former slaves and gave a large part of the Brazilian labour population protection against exploitation from commercial

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