Impact Of Slavery In Brazil And Haiti

1323 words - 5 pages

If a comparison is drawn between the impacts slavery has had between the countries of Brazil and Haiti, then slavery has had an overall larger impact on Haiti because of the greater political, economic and social influences slavery has had on Haiti than on Brazil.The Haitian political infrastructure has felt one of the greatest impacts as a result of slavery. Once specifically comparing its acquisition of independence to that of Brazil's, Haiti is the definite winner here. Haiti, the former French colony of Saint-Dominique, became the first independent black republic outside of Africa, and also the first independent republic in the western hemisphere (Burns 46). "Haiti got its new name on January 1, 1804, by proclamation of the ex-slave Jean Jacques Dessalines. His first act after having crowned himself Emperor, in imitation of Napoleon, was to seize the tricolor flag of France and tear out the white section. No sooner was Dessalines firmly established on his imperial throne than the order went forth for the total massacre of the White population" (parker 1). Haiti had been a country dominated by French white plantation owners for 194 years, who for the time being upheld the ideology of racial superiority over their black slaves, who they saw as nothing more than tools that they invested in for industrialization. This idea of racial superiority had burned the African slaves, who showed nothing but raw animosity for their white slave holders. "In August, 1791, the lid blew off the colony. Rioting slaves became a great mob that ran amok, uprooting, torching and destroying. Before long Haiti was dominated by roving slave bands" (parker 1). This racial tension and conflict had been absent in the Latin American countries, such as Brazil, and for this reason nothing in Brazil has ever been as radical as the slave revolution in Haiti which in this case was so grand, the aftermath being a Coup de tat, freeing African slaves from French colonizers (Nash 53). Slavery in Brazil, though still a death wish, had policies more flexible than that of Haiti for example, Slaves had the opportunity to work themselves free, so slaves freedom was not as pressing in Brazil. "Brazil was the last country in the Americas to abolish slavery in 1888" (Rohter 1). "In 1822, Brazil achieved independence from Portugal and established a constitutional monarchical system of government. Emperor Pedro I was crowned in 1822 and the constitution was ratified in 1824. The constitutional role of the monarchy was designed to be the source of moderation in government to control conflicts among the legislative, judicial, and executive branches of government. Power was centralized and controlled by elites. Liberal and Conservative political parties were formally established, but they were controlled by the plantation and mine owners and other elites" (Brown 1). Unlike Haiti, Brazil did not form an independent nation from a slave revolution, but from a colonial succession enacted by King...

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