Flowers, Ballots, and Bullets: The Brazilian Abolitionist Movement

Friday, January 5, 2018: 10:50 AM
Thurgood Marshall South (Marriott Wardman Park)
Angela Alonso, University of São Paulo
This talk argues that the campaign for the abolition of slavery (1868-1888) was the first national social movement in Brazil. Based on extensive primary-source research, it involves two approaches. On the one hand, it follows the building up of a national network, arguing that the movement chose parliamentary actions, civil society demonstrations or grassroots actions, depending on political opportunities - the balance of power between the movement, the pro-slavery countermovement, and the state. On the other hand, it shows how local traditions shaped the Brazilian appropriation of the international abolitionist repertoire, engendering the invention of a specific style of activism.