The Problem with Slavery in Brazil

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Lecture 25 Jan 10, 2012
The Problem of Slavery in Brazil
Slavery and liberalism do not work together
1820: Brazil had a monarchy government with an emperor
Constitutional monarchy – modern
Brazil had different groups
Extremists and those that support the monarchy
Groups basically formed by people who have an education (know about
politics, have ideas)
Emperor Dom Pedro II – liberal, emperor since childhood
Opposes slave trade
2 different issues presented: slave trade and slavery itself
Slave trade – should it be allowed or not?
1810: Portuguese signed commercial treaty with British
Favours Britain because it opens markets to them and gives them
much cloud over Brazil’s politics
British want to end slave trade because of moral and economic reasons
Moral – slavery does not align with liberal ideas
Economic – creates competition; need workers that are paid so
they can use that income to purchase other things
Decision: north of equator banned slave trade
Sugar producing areas are affected because they’re located in the N
More competition for sugar
Coffee producing areas located in the S
Emperor agrees
Brazil government is not strong enough to end slave trade because
there is too much benefits for Brazilians
Emperor promises numerous times to limit number of slaves being
traded
Coffee becomes in great demand
Royal Biotechnical Garden brought to increase growth
Enough labour because mines are in decline – workers can be
transported where needed
Slaves allowed because located south of equator
Nationalist factor pushing Brazil to end slave trade by Britain
1831: Brazil forced emperor to ratify slave trade
Brazil banned slave trade to appease Britain
People purchase many slaves when discovering that slave trade
will end (people stock up on slaves)
Very lucrative
Brazil economy cannot grow because it cannot compete
1835: slave revolt in Bahia
Bringing too many slaves in country, people believe that their country
is becoming an African nation
1845: Brazil refused another agreement with Britain (Aberdeen Act)
Act entitles British to capture any slave ships and take people to court
and try them
International waters
British start entering Brazilian water for captures
Result: Brazil has had enough of trade agreements
1850: Queiroz Law
Allowed slavery to continue but does not permit the incoming of new,
external slaves
Allowed slaves to be traded within Brazil
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