Diego Essay - The most lucrative trade under the sun as the...

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“The most lucrative trade under the sun”, as the Portuguese-African slave trade was once described by a wealthy slave trader (CGF), was witness to terrible treatments of human beings. The Portuguese transatlantic slave trade trafficked more than 3 million Africans to the coasts of Brazil between 1532 and 1888. African slaves provided the economic base that created the necessary financial and social space to make settlement and profit possible in colonial Brazil. Potential foreign competitors such as France and Spain, the failure to exploit the labor of the Indigenous population, and the geographical position of Brazil, which made the land perfect for growing crops such as sugar and tobacco, led the Portuguese government to fully occupy Brazil. The first generation of colonial Brazil experienced the dyewood phase. During this phase, private initiatives set up small trading forts and used Indigenous labor to cut and transfer dyewood to forts for exportation. However, this phase was short lived and the donatary captaincy system would come to replace it. During the era of this system, the sugar industry in Brazil would develop, royal government occupation would occur, and an extremely high demand for cheap labor would be created. Because a full scale Indigenous based colonial society was never accomplished, the Portuguese would turn to their already established Portuguese-African slave trade to meet the high labor demands. The early seventeenth century witnessed the complete transition to African labor in plantation zones of Brazil and the creation of full-blown European style colonies. As a result, the diverse social and economic roles of Africans, Indians, and Portuguese, would influence the development and nature of Brazilian society. A product of this development would be implementation of racial and social-class hierarchies within Brazilian society, as well as hierarchies within the slave population itself. This paper will present a short argument concerning the social hierarchies within the African-slave population. Arguing that social mobility within the different categories of Africans in colonial Brazil was dictated by the
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“ideals” of Europeans. To acquire social acceptance and economic opportunity meant to conform to the European colonial world and participate in Euro-colonialism. A person’s status in Brazilian society was based on one’s economic class as well as the
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This note was uploaded on 04/27/2010 for the course CHICANO 105A taught by Professor Lopez during the Spring '08 term at UCLA.

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Diego Essay - The most lucrative trade under the sun as the...

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