By Christopher Schmidt-Nowara
In 1872, there have been greater than 300,000 slaves in Cuba and Puerto Rico. although the Spanish govt had handed a legislation for sluggish abolition in 1870, slaveowners, rather in Cuba, clung tenaciously to their slaves as unfree exertions used to be on the middle of the colonial economies. still, humans during the Spanish empire fought to abolish slavery, together with the Antillean and Spanish liberals and republicans who based the Spanish Abolitionist Society in 1865. This ebook is an intensive research of the origins of the Abolitionist Society and its position within the destruction of Cuban and Puerto Rican slavery and the reshaping of colonial politics.
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Additional resources for Empire and antislavery: Spain, Cuba, and Puerto Rico, 1833-1874
My thanks to the following for the generous financial assistance that provided the opportunity and leisure to travel and write over the years: the Department of History, the Program for the Comparative Study of Social Transformations, the Rackham School of Graduate Studies, and the Mellon dissertation program, of the University of Michigan; the Fulbright program; the Program for Cultural Cooperation between Spain and the United States; the Department of History, Stanford University; the American Historical Association; the Office of the Dean of Graduate Studies at Fordham University; and the Lydia Cabrera Award from the Conference on Latin American History.
22 Like Arango, Saco believed that the growth of the slave population undermined Cuban liberty. First, the increasing number of slaves threatened to destroy Cuba by inviting rebellion or abolition, as was currently happening in the neighboring English colonies. Saco had been among the first Cubans to speak out openly against the slave trade. In 1832 he published a review of a new book on Brazil in the Royal Patriotic Society's Revista Bimestre Cubana in which he argued that the expansion of Cuba's black population could prove to be the island's doom.
Borrowing from Sidney Mintz and Joan Wallach Scott, I understand race as knowledge about physical, especially phenotypical, and/or cultural differences. 21 Race is not a biological reality but a category of perceived differences, skin color being one of the most common markers. That knowledge refers not only to others, but to the self as well; for instance, by describing Cuban slaves as black, Spanish abolitionists were implicitly describing themselves as white. In other words, the politics of racial difference in the Spanish colonial empire involved the construction of blackness and whitenessand whiteness not only in the metropolis, but also in the colonies, as the Antillean elite sought to articulate their difference from the slave population and the free population of color.
Empire and antislavery: Spain, Cuba, and Puerto Rico, 1833-1874 by Christopher Schmidt-Nowara