Slave Trades In The Americas Research Paper

Slave trade of Indians and blacks began with Columbus but the overall slave trade was much worse and lasted later in history in Brazil Summary of slave trade in Brazil

Quick Facts about Slave Trade in Brazil

Firm connections with slavery in highlands

People involved included Portugese, Luso Brazilians and the slaves themselves

Like Columbus, killing and enslavement of indigenous peoples was common

Some slaves escaped and hid in mocambos and quilombos

Renegade Indians and escaped slaves created headaches for Portuguese

Major epicenter of Brazil slave trade was Sao Paulo

Major townships for slavery were Santos and Mogi das Cruzes

Very different townships but slave trade was similar iii. Perosnal connections and friends rather than strangers

Valongo, although not long-lasting, was for slave trading only

Summary of slave trade in United States

a. Differences from Brazil were easily apparent

Did not start with Americans, but rather Spanish/British, etc.

ii. Slave trade continued with Americans post-revolution iii. Slave traders were commonly privateers and strangers

b. Big names in slavery in the United States

i. Biggest slave trader was James D'Wolf

ii. Was tried and acquitted for killing a slave iii. He cast overboard due to having smallpox. He did not want it spreading to other slaves or crew

iv. Was just the beginning of slavery blowback in the United States

IV. Compare and Contrast of Brazil in United States

i. Brazil vs. the United States

1. Slave trade was big in U.S. but it was huge in Brazil, more than ten times bigger

2. British Colonies/U.S. had about 330 ships from 1755 to 1807 alone

V. Conclusion

a. Brazil was larger by far but USA was also heavily guilty

While truly unfortunate, it is beyond a doubt that the slave trade has been ubiquitous and prominent around the world for much of recorded human history. Indeed, the last six thousand years or so has been full of instances of slaves being bought, sold, utilized and punished. Just two of the countries that engaged in this practice over the centuries are Brazil and the United States. This report shall serve as a comparative analysis of the slave trades used by both countries over their history. Upon summarizing the history, depth and breadth of their use of slaves, a general compare and contrast will be conducted that explains which country did more of a given behavior or pattern and it shall all be placed in the historical, social and cultural context of the time. While not known or accepted by a lot of people, the slave trade in the Americas started with Columbus but the Brazilians had a much larger amount of slaves and were the last Western country to abolish it.

Since the author of this report was less familiar with the slave trade in Brazil, the author of this report started with that country and what they did. The first source consulted that related to Brazil asserts that there was most certainly a firm connection in terms of the slave trade between the central highlands of Brazil and the source of fresh slaves in Africa. It is noted that a "huge" amount of slaves were needed for mining and to work as laborers for their masters in the overpopulated urban areas that were created around the mining spots. The migrations that existed to these mining areas consisted of a number of different peoples including the Portuguese, native Luso-Brazilians and African slaves. As the migrations and routes grew, there was an increased trade in leather, honey-dipped tobacco, cattle farm products, gold from the mines and so forth. There was also exchange of African products as well as the slaves themselves. Not unlike what Christopher Columbus did in the Caribbean and later North America, the colonizers of these areas viewed the area as uninhabited but this was far from the case. Indeed, there were indigenous peoples in the area and they themselves were enslaved or killed off during the violent Barbarian Wars. The tribe that took the most damage in terms of slavery and war was the Paulistsas. Some slaves were able to escape, at least temporarily, by hiding in areas that came to be known as mocambos and quilombos. In short, Brazil was very much following the pattern of Columbus and other settles in North America (e.g. the British) in that they would kill off or enslave the native Indians in the area and they also imported a great number...


Runaway slaves and Indians not yet enslaved made some of the regions quite inhospitable and it got to the point where even the fellow settlers were arguing amongst themselves in various ways. However, much the same thing happened with the runaway slaves as they would either mix or clash depending on the circumstances and the climate in the area. This was further complicated by the Portuguese authorities that tried to impose order on these renegade Indians and slaves [footnoteRef:1] [footnoteRef:2]. [1: Ferreira Furtado, Junia. 2012. "From Brazil's Central Highlands to Africa's Ports: Trans-Atlantic and Continental Trade Connections in Goods and Slaves." Colonial Latin American Review 21, no. 1: 127-160. Academic Search Premier, EBSCOhost (accessed October 12, 2015).] [2: Barcia, Manuel. 2008. "A Not-So-Common Wind" Slave Revolts in the Age of Revolutions in Cuba and Brazil." Review: A Journal Of The Fernand Braudel Center 31, no. 2: 169-193. SocINDEX with Full Text, EBSCOhost (accessed October 12, 2015).]
One major epicenter when it came to the slave trade in Brazil was Sao Paulo. Two of the major slave trading networks that existed in Brazil at the same time were in Santos and Mogi das Cruzes, both of which were in the Sao Paulo province. These were two townships in Brazil and they were actually quite dissimilar in nature. The local markets involved were different from a structural standpoint but the buyers in both areas were heavily reliant on personal connections to procedure slaves in units of one or in small lots. The overall slave trader network in Santos was more defined, however. As with a lot of the slave trading in the United States, a good amount of slave trading occurred in the 1800's. However, it persisted longer in Brazil as slavery was abolished in the United States, for example, in 1865 but it continued unabated in Brazil until at least the 1800's. When it comes to Brazil and their slave trade, they certainly moved a lot of slaves. The inter-provincial slave trade used up about 100,000 slaves. Most of them came from northeastern Brazil and they were transported through or around the edges of Brazil between 1850 and 1881 to the southeastern part of Brazil. The slave trade was so entrenched at one point that there was a township, known as Valongo, which was the only city that was entirely dedicated to the slave trade and nothing else. It only lasted about seven years, but it was significant nonetheless. Around the same time, Rio de Janeiro became the largest market for slaves and it was not even close. At its peak, they were taking in anywhere from two thirds to three quarters of all the slaves that were imported into Brazil. The Valongo market and others were so ubiquitous and widely known that there were even traders from North America that would make their way to Brazil to trade in the wares and slaves that were present in the area. At one point, slaves made up a third of the population in Brazil, coming in at about thirty-one percent in 1819. However, that figure dropped by more than half, to fifteen percent, within a few generations, ending in about 1872. As compared to the Americas, the slave and populations involving the same were more dispersed than in the Americas. However, this is a bit of a generalization as there was a clear variance based on what part of Brazil in which one was located. Indeed, the southeast part of Brazil was the major area for slaves, not unlike the United States and their southern region, in that Sao Paolo, Minas Gerais and Rio de Janeiro was the place that most of the slaves were. Indeed, the overall percentage was nearly six out of ten. Some of the more prominent and notorious buyers/traders of slaves were known by name, including the Santistas and the Mogianos. These slave traders were often older and single. Beyond that, slaves were even passed down as an inheritance form one generation to another [footnoteRef:3]. [3: Read, Ian. 2012. "Off the Block but within the Neighbourhood: The Local Slave Trade in Sao Paulo." Slavery & Abolition 33, no. 1: 21-42. Academic Search Premier, EBSCOhost (accessed October 12, 2015).]

When it comes to the United States and their slave trade, there are obviously similarities but there are also some fairly stark differences. As alluded to before, the slave trade in the area now known as the United States was already largely in place when the United States was formed. Indeed, the slave trade in the greater North American area began when Columbus came to the Caribbean in 1492 and it continued with the entrance of the British and their creation of the colonies on the northeastern…

Sources Used in Documents:


Barcia, Manuel. 2008. "A Not-So-Common Wind" Slave Revolts in the Age of Revolutions in Cuba and Brazil." Review: A Journal Of The Fernand Braudel Center 31, no. 2: 169-

193. SocINDEX with Full Text, EBSCOhost (accessed October 12, 2015).

Burin, Eric. 2012. "The Slave Trade Act of 1819: A New Look at Colonization and the Politics

of Slavery." American Nineteenth Century History 13, no. 1: 1-14. Academic Search

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