Reformers of Slavery: Brazil and Cuba c. 1790 and 1840

Abstract

This article analyzes debates on slavery in Cuba and Brazil, between 1790s and 1840s. In different contexts, the reformers were divided between slaveholders and abolitionists and discussed the insertion of Afro-descendants in the mentioned societies. The former defended not only slavery but the insertion of free slaves, blacks and mulattos as part of the heterogeneous Brazilian and Cuban population. However, abolitionists considered the mixture of races as an obstacle to the formation of the nation or the origin of social integration difficulties. Unlike slaveholders, they defended the homogeneity of the population, repudiated the disproportionate increase in "internal enemies", and encouraged European immigration. The "racialization" of the project for the nation was a trend more evident in Portuguese and Brazilian writings before the 1830s. In Cuba, the debate became more intense when the reformers detected an increase in the black and mulatto population from the decade of 1830.

Keywords:
reforms; slavery; Africanization

Pós-Graduação em História, Faculdade de Filosofia e Ciências Humanas, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais Av. Antônio Carlos, 6627 , Pampulha, Cidade Universitária, Caixa Postal 253 - CEP 31270-901, Tel./Fax: (55 31) 3409-5045, Belo Horizonte - MG, Brasil - Belo Horizonte - MG - Brazil
E-mail: variahis@gmail.com