The Economic Consequences Of Abolition Essay

1475 Words Dec 17th, 2015 null Page
By the 19th century, coffee became the most exported product from Brazil along with sugar cane, which is why today Brazil is considered the largest coffee-producing nation in the world. The transatlantic slave trade was extremely related to the cultivation of coffee; as more coffee plantations were created, more slaves came to work the land. Initially the cultivation of coffee concentrated in Rio de Janeiro, and later expanded in the whole Paraiba do Sul River Valley, which has territory in Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Minas Gerais. This area specifically, was extremely filled with African slaves who served as the primary work force in coffee plantations. However, by 1831 the transatlantic slave trade became illegal, and by 1888 slavery was abolished completely, which obviously negatively impacted the economy of the nation. Even though the economic consequences of abolition have been a topic discussed by many historians, the impact that these consequences have on current plantation workers has not been properly addressed. More than just economic loss and the formation of a “new” free African descendent society, abolition lead to the transition from chattel slavery to contemporary slavery. Moreover, instead of ending slavery, abolition laws only lead to the illegal practice of forced labor and other forms of quasi-slavery in the major coffee growing regions of Brazil.
As some historians see coffee production as the center of Brazilian economy, slavery was at the same time…

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