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date: 31 March 2020

Andrada e Silva, José Bonifácio de locked

1763–1838 First prime minister of independent Brazil, an early advocate of the abolition of the slave trade and the gradual emancipation of slaves.
  • Aaron Myers

Extract

José Bonifácio de Andrada e Silva is best known for helping Brazil achieve independence in 1822. It is less often recognized that the year after independence he authored a plan for “the slow emancipation of the blacks.” In this plan he argued: “It is time, and more than time, for us to put a stop to a traffic so barbaric and butcherlike, time too for us to eliminate gradually the last traces of slavery among us, so that in a few generations we may be able to form a homogeneous nation, without which we shall never be truly free, respectable, and happy.”

Andrada e Silva argued that slavery was morally wrong and economically inefficient a violation of God s laws and the laws of justice and a corrupt influence over Brazil s inhabitants Slave labor he believed resulted in the slaveholders idleness and gave ordinary Brazilians little incentive to ...

A version of this article originally appeared in Africana: The Encyclopedia of the African and African American Experience.

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