Empire and Antislavery; Spain, Cuba, and Puerto Rico, 1833-1874

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In 1872, there were more than 300,000 slaves in Cuba and Puerto Rico. Though the Spanish government had passed a law for gradual abolition in 1870, slaveowners, particularly in Cuba, clung tenaciously to their slaves as unfree labor was at the core of the colonial economies. Nonetheless, people throughout the Spanish empire fought to abolish slavery, including the Antillean and Spanish liberals and republicans who founded the Spanish Abolitionist Society in 1865. This book is an extensive study of the origins of the Abolitionist Society and its role in the destruction of Cuban and Puerto Rican slavery and the reshaping of colonial politics.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"It is a thoroughly researched study that moves beyond the "us-against-them" model that has characterizes much of the earlier scholarship, forcing scholars to recognize a more complex Spain, whose various economic and social actors clashed to produce contradictory and seemingly bizarre colonial policies."
—Colonial Latin American Historical Review
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780822956907
  • Publisher: University of Pittsburgh Press
  • Publication date: 5/28/1999
  • Series: Pitt Latin American Studies
  • Edition description: 1
  • Pages: 239
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Christopher Schmidt-Nowara is associate professor of history at Fordham University. He is the author of Empire and Antislavery: Spain, Cuba, and Puerto Rico, 1833-1874 and coeditor, with John Nieto-Phillips, of  Interpreting Spanish Colonialism: Empires, Nations, and Legends.

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Table of Contents

List of Tables
Introduction: Spain in the Antilles and the Antilles in Spain 1
1 The Limits of Revolution: Slavery and Liberty in Spain and Cuba, 1833-1854 14
2 "Cuestion de brazos": The Rise of Puerto Rican Antislavery, 1840-1860 37
3 Free Trade and Protectionism: The Transformation of the Metropolitan Public Sphere, 1854-1868 51
4 Family, Association, and Free Wage Labor: Social Reform in Liberal Madrid, 1854-1868 73
5 The Colonial Public Sphere: The Making of the Spanish Abolitionist Society, 1861-1868 100
6 Revolution and Slavery: 1868-1870 126
7 "Today Victory Is Assured": Abolitionism and a New Imperial Order, 1870-1874 139
Conclusion: The Impact and Legacy of Abolitionism 161
Notes 177
Bibliography 211
Index 233
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