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No one profited more handsomely from the cotton trade and the textile industry than New York's financial and maritime interests. Yet Wood was not in the pocket of big business; he was a populist supported by the city's working-class immigrants. New York's laborers, bolstered by waves of Irish and other immigrants, were just as dependent for their modest wages on King Cotton, and like other ordinary northerners, they knew it. This leads us to the second answer: Racism.

The North had seen slave-owning slowly fade away, and had grudgingly passed emancipation laws to gradually eliminate slavery over generations. Yet even as northern slavery was dying out -- indeed, precisely because it was -- free blacks in the North were increasingly ill-treated. Draconian laws tightly controlled the lives and employment of free blacks, and black families were being driven out of northern towns by being deemed poor or disorderly or simply through armed attack.

Finally, as the North began to erase responsibility for two centuries of slave-owning from its collective memory, an ideology of black racial inferiority arose to justify the impoverished conditions and harsh treatment of a free black population.

In the same vein, wealthy northern business interests had little regard for enslaved people in the South on whose labor their profits depended. And the working class viewed southern slaves not with sympathy, but as economic competition whose working conditions -- they mistakenly thought -- were no worse than those of northern "wage slaves.

Abolition was a radical cause embraced by only a minority in the North. Northerners would march to war in vast numbers not to end slavery, but to preserve the Union. The sesquicentennial of the Civil War -- to -- could easily become an occasion to rehash tired old myths: righteous northerners fighting to abolish slavery and proud southerners defending states' rights and the southern way of life. These beliefs provide each side with the smug view that history vindicates its actions and absolves it of responsibility for slavery.

Instead, let's use this anniversary to face and learn from our shared history in all its complexity. In this way, we can take a fresh look not only at the legacy of the Civil War for race in our society, but at lingering tensions between North and South, as well.

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Between and , about , African slaves were transported to Venezuela via Portuguese, Catalan, French, English, Belgium and Dutch slave ships. Slaves were treated as units of commerce, referred to as pieza de india in reference to their physique and potential for travail. Small-scale agricultural plantations were also initiated in Venezuela, especially among the regions surrounding Caracas.

In the 18th century, immense shipments of slaves were transported to Barlovento to aid the burgeoning cacao industry, indigo plantations in the Venezuelan Llanos and the sugar plantations in Lara , Aragua and Zulia , around Lake Maracaibo.

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The history of slave revolts in Venezuela, both in the form of runaway communities and mutiny, began quite early. The first documented insurrection was in Coro on He developed an army of 1, slaves, Blacks , Mulattos , Zambos and Indigenous peoples to attack colonial establishments. Numbers of runaway-slave communities continued to increase throughout the seventeenth century, and by there were between 20, and 30, cimarrones in Venezuela, as opposed to the 60, slaves still working on the plantations Rout , The most famous of these was that of Ocoyta, founded around by the legendary Guillermo Rivas.

After he led raids on various plantations both to liberate slaves and to punish overseers, a special army was raised to destroy Ocoyta and execute Rivas. Typically located above river banks or in remote mountainous areas, cumbes were usually well hidden and housed an average of residents. Such settlements were also called patucos and 'rochelos.


Cimarrones were frequently aided by indigenous tribes living in the area e. The only legally established town of free Blacks was that of Curiepe, established in Barlovento in under the leadership of Captain Juan del Rosario Blanco.

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The community was composed of former members of Caracas's Company of Free Blacks as well as huangos from the Antilles. The latter were escaped slaves who, like all Blacks fleeing non-Spanish-speaking islands, were granted freedom upon arrival in Venezuela if they accepted baptism.

Afro-Venezuelans played a crucial role in the struggle for independence. Originally, slaves fought for the Crown, believing that the landowning creole Republicans were their enemies. One of his most famous lieutenants, Pedro Camejo, has been immortalized in Venezuelan history as "El Negro Primero", because he was always the first to ride into battle.

Curiously, he is always depicted wearing a turban, the same iconography used for the mythical Negro Felipe. With the declaration of independence in , all trafficking in slaves was outlawed. The decline in slavery continued throughout the War of Independence when, at its conclusion in , the "Ley de vientre" was passed, stating that all children born, whether of slave or free parents, were automatically free. By 24 March , the date of slavery's official abolition in Venezuela, less than 24, slaves remained.

Throughout the twentieth century, Blacks in Venezuela have faced subtle forms of racial discrimination despite a philosophy of racial democracy and an ideology of mestizaje that contends all groups have blended together to form a new, indistinguishable type, called the mestizo. Yet underlying this ideology is a policy of blanqueamiento, or "whitening", that has encouraged both the physical and cultural assimilation of Afro-Venezuelans into a Euro-dominated mainstream. An important semantic counterpart to the process of blanqueamiento is that found in the term negrear, which denotes concepts of "marginalization" or "trivialization".

A strong body of research in Afro-Venezuelan history and folklore has also been established by Venezuelan scholars, particularly Miguel Acosta Saignes Public festivals such as the Fiesta de San Juan have emerged as focal points in the reappropriation of Afro-Venezuelan culture, articulating current transformations in a living tradition of cimarronaje resistance to the dominant culture, consciousness of being marginal. Afro-Venezuelan religious practices have been adapted to Catholicism. This clear-cut rendering of paths to freedom in Brazilian slavery is not unproblematic.

For example, bequests of freedom in wills often made their way to the notary books as manumission letters. In addition, post-mortem inventories normally carried out what was established in wills and testaments, and thus it may make sense to comprise all of those in the category of liberties given by bequests. A further complication is that at times a slave bought his or her freedom for the price of his or her evaluation during the post-mortem inventory proceedings, an obvious instance of self-purchase rather than manumission by bequest.

Manumission studies have been a vast sub-field in slavery studies in Brazil for decades; for a recent review of the literature, see Klein and Vidal Luna, Slavery in Brazil , ch. Eisenberg , Peter L. Klein and Vidal Luna, Slavery in Brazil , p. Data from www.

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Lara and Joseli M. There are other examples in IJ6— January—July For more on British initiatives, see W.

Christie, Notes on Brazilian Questions London [etc. Anais do Senado , 30 June , pp. Also, for general accounts, see Conrad , Robert E. For an insightful discussion of how to read depositions in police and judicial records, see Arlette Farge, Le gout de l'archive Paris, For a discussion of illegal enslavement in a different context, see Scott , Rebecca J. The following paragraphs are based on what the database held as of July , which represented nearly 90 per cent of cases existent in the books for the s and s. Tomich , Dale W. Robert Slenes has called my attention to the magnitude of these numbers.

Christie, Notes on Brazilian Questions , passim.

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In the House of Detention database that I have been using in this paper see n. My thanks to Michael Hall for his corrections of my English. Scott provided detailed comments that were very helpful in preparing the final version of this article. Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection. This data will be updated every 24 hours. Login Alert.

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