Winner, 2018 AHA Bolton Prize (best book on Latin American History)
Winner, 2018 AHA/CLAH Dean Prize (best book on Brazilian History)
Celso Thomas Castilho offers original perspectives on the political upheaval surrounding the process of slave emancipation in postcolonial Brazil. He shows how the abolition debates in Pernambuco transformed the practices of political citizenship and marked the first instance of a mass national political mobilization. In addition, he presents new findings on the scope and scale of the opposing abolitionist and sugar planters’ mobilizations in the Brazilian northeast. The book highlights the extensive interactions between enslaved and free people in the construction of abolitionism, and reveals how Brazil’s first social movement reinvented discourses about race and nation, leading to the passage of the abolition law in 1888. It also documents the previously ignored counter-mobilizations led by the landed elite, who saw the rise of abolitionism as a political contestation and threat to their livelihood.
Overall, this study illuminates how disputes over control of emancipation also entailed disputes over the boundaries of the political arena and connects the history of abolition to the history of Brazilian democracy. It offers fresh perspectives on Brazilian political history and on Brazil’s place within comparative discussions on slavery and emancipation.
About the Author
Table of ContentsContents Acknowledgments Note on Orthography Introduction Chapter 1. “Death to Slavery”: Sparking the Abolition Debate Chapter 2. “While the Cry for Emancipation Still Echoes”: The Political Effects of the 1871 Law Chapter 3. “We Need to Put into Action the Liberal Ideas We Speak Of”: A Thwarted Attempt to Free Recife Chapter 4. The “Disorderliness of the Intransigent Abolitionists”: An Abolitionist Parade, New Associativism, and Elections Chapter 5. “March on over the Thorns That Lie in Your Path”: Reaction and Counterreaction in the Cotegipe Era Chapter 6. “Celebrations of Freedom”: Abolition and the Changing Debates over Citizenship Conclusion Notes Bibliography Index