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"The Problem of Slavery in the Age of Emancipation"
10-23-2015, 01:07 PM
Post: #34
RE: "The Problem of Slavery in the Age of Emancipation"
(10-23-2015 01:15 AM)maharba Wrote:  What ended slavery in Brazil, the british west indies, and Cuba?
Vast civil wars?

Maharba - Your questions intrigued me enough to put off my non-essential work for today and do some research. I knew just generalizations about the abolition of slavery in other areas of the world, and here's some of what I learned in a brief online search today:

Great Britain was a great motivator during the late-1700s and into the late-1800s. They first abolished the slave trade (not the institution of slavery) with the Slave Trade Act of 1807, and instituted the West Africa Squadron of the Royal Navy to patrol the African coast and suppress the illegal trade. They are credited with having seized 1600 ships by 1850 and freeing and transporting 150,000 slaves, mainly to Jamaica and the Bahamas.

In 1823, Britain's Anti-Slavery Society was founded. The Slavery Abolition Act of 1833 was passed after a major slave revolt occurred in Jamaica in 1831. This Act automatically freed slaves who were under the age of six. Those older were designated as "apprentices" (to teach a skill for economic survival), and their servitude was abolished in two stages in 1838 and 1840, so that thousands would not all be "dumped" on society to survive at once. Owners were also compensated. This Act applied to British territories, with the exception of lands held by the East India Company, the Island of Ceylon, and the Island of Saint Helena. They had to wait until 1843.

BTW: The earlier Anti-Slavery Society was expanded in 1839 and renamed the British and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society and began to work to outlaw slavery worldwide. Today, it is the world's oldest international human rights organization - known as Anti-Slavery International.

You also asked about Brazil and Cuba. Both of these were pressured by England, but it took awhile. Brazil participated in slave trafficking until it was outlawed in 1850. In 1870, they passed a Womb-Free Law making newborns of slaves automatically free at birth. In 1885, Brazil freed those aged 65 and older.

However, Brazil has the distinction of being the last country in the Western world to free its slaves. The Golden Law of 1888 went into effect when Imperial Princess Isabel of Brazil decreed it while acting as regent for her father, Emperor Dom Pedro II, while he was in Europe. Again, slaveholders were paid for their economic losses. As an aside, I did see a brief comment that Abraham Lincoln invited Dom Pedro II to meet with him before our Civil War to discuss Dom Pedro's anti-slavery crusade and how to prevent war breaking out over the issue. Has anyone seen reference to that?

On to Cuba. From the little that I read, Cuba had one of the worst slave systems of any country. They lived and worked under horrible conditions and codes, and males and females were gender-classified as to their "occupations," especially in Havana where slave women were designated to run taverns, eating establishments, lodges, serve as domestics and public laundresses, as well as being the town prostitutes.

Slave trade serving the vast sugar plantations did not end until 1867. Final abolition came by Spanish royal decree in 1886. Cuba then resorted to importing Chinese laborers, who worked under much the same conditions as the African slaves had endured.

What prevented civil wars in these three areas? I think Wild Bill is correct that the American war was based on other factors than slavery (although these other factors always seem to me to have an element of slavery attached to them).

End of history lesson for the day... Hopefully, some others will chime in.
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RE: "The Problem of Slavery in the Age of Emancipation" - L Verge - 10-23-2015 01:07 PM

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