Persistence and decline: Slave labour and sugar production in the Bahian Recôncavo, 1850-1888

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

10 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Focusing on the last decades before abolition (1888), this study examines slave labour and sugar production in the Bahian Recôncavo in Northeastern Brazil, one of the oldest slaveholding regions in the Americas. It demonstrates the marked contrast between the Recôncavo and the other main sugar-producing areas of Northeastern Brazil. In Bahia, the years 1850-88 did not witness an increase in sugar exports; on the contrary, exports stagnated and then, with abolition, suffered a nearly complete collapse. Furthermore, sugar planters in the Recôncavo, unlike other Northeastern planters, relied overwhelmingly on slave labour until the very eve of abolition. The study suggests that the explanation for the contrast between the Recôncavo and other Northeastern sugar regions lies in alternatives to sugar production for a significant segment of the planter class and in alternatives to work on sugar plantations for a substantial part of the poor free population in the Recôncavo.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)581-633
Number of pages53
JournalJournal of Latin American Studies
Volume28
Issue number3
StatePublished - Oct 1996

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slave
persistence
sugar
Brazil
labor
witness
Labor
Slaves
Persistence
plantation
Abolition

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Sociology and Political Science

Cite this

Persistence and decline : Slave labour and sugar production in the Bahian Recôncavo, 1850-1888. / Barickman, Bert J.

In: Journal of Latin American Studies, Vol. 28, No. 3, 10.1996, p. 581-633.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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