Conference on Latin American History 23
Slave trading did not end with the ban of 1820. Cuba’s newly constituted slave trading connections continued on in the subsequent decades. Van Norman argues in his paper that expansion of the illegal trade especially after 1835 had profound effects on western Cuba that anticipated Cuba’s transformation. His paper focuses on the effects these changes had on the African descended population that included dislocations and new local expression of Afro-Cuban culture. As the British increased their pressure on Cuba and Spain to abolish the trade in slaves Spanish traders sought new ways to sustain what they understood as the source of their wealth. As Chira shows in her paper they attempted to establish a new plantation economy on a new site to replace the eventual lose of the slave based system of Cuba. The new location Spain tried to develop as a “new Cuba” was the island of Fernando Po off the western coast of Africa. Her paper shows how this solution would act as a safety valve for Cuba and would eventually lead to Spanish colonialism on the mainland in the form of Equatorial Guinea. She argues that slave trading networks such as those discussed in the other papers of this panel were themselves transformed into the workings of colonialism in Africa in the late nineteenth century.
This panel will appeal to historians of slavery, Latin America, the Atlantic world, Iberian world, and Africa