Child Hood under Slavery in Brazil-
“Before the end of the sixteenth century, the Portuguese began to bring slaves on ships from Africa to work in the fields and in other occupations that formed part of the colonization system. The slaves were treated as merchandise and the conditions they lived under were terrible. Men, women, and children were thrown into dark and filthy holds with scarcely any food and water, and many died in the crossing, which could last for months in periods of calm. When they arrived on the continent, the children, often separated from their parents, were taken to slave markets to be sold cheaply, since merchants preferred strong men who could work on the plantations harvesting sugarcane. The high mortality rate for children during the crossing tended to discourage the importation of children directly from Africa.”
Children were treated as Merchandise since they were born. Their value increased at the age of 12.In the country, the smaller children moved easily between the slave quarters (senzala ) and their master’s mansion, known as the casa grande, and they only began to work with a more defined routine from the age of seven or eight. The girls would sew and some learned lace making as well. They also served as domestic servants for the ladies and looked after young children. The boys worked as pages, looked after the horses, and washed their masters’ feet and those of their visitors. They would also serve at the table and help with cleaning.
DOURADO, ANA CRISTINA DUBEUX; HECHT, TOBIAS. “Brazil.” Encyclopedia of Children and Childhood in History and Society. 2004. Encyclopedia.com. (October 17, 2010). http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1G2-3402800073.html
Slavery in Brazil-
During the 1400’s, Portuguese sailors started to explore the coast of West Africa and to ship African blacks to Europe as slaves. The Portuguese also enslaved blacks on sugar plantations that they established on islands off the coast of West Africa.
Throughout the Middle Ages, various peoples in Africa and Asia continued to enslave prisoners of war. During this period, slavery was widely practiced among three groups of Indians. These Indians lived on islands of the Caribbean Sea and also inhabited what are now the Northwest Coast and Eastern Woodlands of the United States. Most slaves in the Indian societies worked as farmers or domestic servants. They generally suffered less hardship than the slaves who toiled on European sugar plantations.
The establishment of European colonies in the New World during the 1500’s brought an expansion of slavery. The Spaniards developed sugar plantations in Cuba and on other Caribbean islands that became known as the West Indies. The Spaniards also needed large numbers of laborers to mine gold and other metals. Portuguese colonists started huge sugar plantations in Brazil. These Europeans enslaved thousands of Indians. But most of the Indians died from European diseases and harsh treatment. The Spaniards and the Portuguese then began to import blacks from West Africa as slaves. Other African blacks helped capture most of the enslaved Africans.
During the 1600’s, France, England, and the Netherlands established colonies in the West Indies and greatly increased the African slave trade. Soon, the Europeans enslaved only blacks. Sugar became the main export of the European colonies, though the settlers also developed profitable coffee, cotton, and tobacco plantations.
From the 1500’s to the mid-1800’s, the Europeans shipped about 12 million black slaves from Africa to the Western Hemisphere. Nearly 2 million of these slaves died on the way. About 65 percent of the slaves were brought to Brazil, Cuba, Jamaica, Saint Domingue (now Haiti), and other sugar colonies. Brazil alone received about 38 percent.
Laws in the European colonies of Latin America showed considerable concern for the welfare of slaves. These laws allowed slaves to marry, to seek relief from a cruel owner, and even to buy their freedom. Such laws were rarely enforced, however. Partly for this reason, slavery was as cruel in Latin America.
IBM 1999 WORLD BOOK [excerpts from “Slavery”] –
Slave Trade in Africa:
The Primary Market for African Slaves was mostly the Middle East. During the fifteenth Century, there were about a thousand slaves that were taken to Portugal each year. But since the discovery of the new world and the planting of sugarcane added more slaves to the picture. Cane Sugar was native to the Indonesia and had first been introduced to Europeans from the Middle East during the Crusades. The plantation required more workers then could be provided by the Indian population because they have died from diseases from the new world, they had African slaves shipped to Brazil to work on the plantations. The first were sent from Portugal, but in 1518, a Spanish ship carried the first boatload of African Slaves directly from Africa to the Americas. During the Sixteenth Century 275,000 enslaved Africans were exported to other countries. The total number kept rising. The middle Passage way, the arduous voyage from Africa to the Americas was established. Lots of slaves died on the journey through the middle passage way. The slaves were treated inhumanly. They were chained together in the holds of the ships smelling of human waste and diseases. Ironicaly, The African Slaves were survived the brutal journey fared somewhat better then whites after their arrival. The slaves would carry diseases on them as they were traveling to their destinations, they would infect other people, and so that caused lots of people to die around different areas, where there were a high number of slaves.
Sources of Slaves- In the fifteenth century most slaves in Africa were prisoners or war captives or had inherited their status. Europeans would purchase the slaves at a local African Merchant in exchange for gold or guns. Before the slaves are brought to the slave market, they are usually kept in prison. The men and women are kept in separate rooms.
Duiker, William j., Jackson J., Spielvogel. Volume I: to 1800; The Essential World History 3. 2009