Colonial Panama Essay

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This essay 's argument will develop two aspects: 1.) The role of African slaves and West Indians immigrant in colonial and post-colonial time in Panama. 2.) How does the fluidity of racial identity translate in the literary discourses between Afro-Hispanic and West Indians in moderns times?. Within this frame, I will argue that these two aspects map out the problem of African descendants racial identity that exists in Panama today. I. African Slaves and West Indians diasporas in Colonial and post-colonial Panama. The history of Panama records five significant migrations of African subjects, with distinct circumstances and epochs---However, for the purpose of the argument, I will refer only to the sixteenth and nineteenth centuries …show more content…
According to Panamanian historian Mario Jose Molina-Castillo, the "negros esclavos" were certainly an item in the trade economy of Panama. He points out that slave trade occurred through licenses granted by the Spanish Crown to the compañías de la trata, who mobilize [...]black slaves to commercialize them in America" (Castillo,7:2011). Accordingly, Panama "developed into the primary slave market" (Klein & Vinson,). Further, Castillero asserts, since slave trade transformed into an essential financial sector, in the same manner, it gave entrance to "contraband and illegal transactions [...] in which frequently black slaves were commercialized.[...]; it was a resource utilized by English and Hollands [...]to sell [...]slaves" into Panama (Castillero, …show more content…
Klein has suggested that Panama was "a social and economically fluid world," and that African slaves occupied a different role, in comparison to other colonies--- for example---Mexico or Peru that were highly stratified societies with free and tributary labor. This assumption may be partially correct. The African slaves became the dominant group demographically and aided tremendously in the economy of Panama. However, the role of African slaves in the economy of colonial Panama did not granted them social fluidity.Instead, their increase presence provoked that Spaniard considered them dubious and dangerous.(encyclopedia) In this sense, we can assume that colonial power saw slaves ' important role in the economy and their increased demand as a threat. A good example of that illustrates this situation was the

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