Slavery In Trinidad And Tobago

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The sociocultural impacts of the coffee industry and slavery on the once monoculture economies of Brazil and Trinidad and Tobago. Throughout its diverse history, Brazil has been moulded by various influences, from its discovery and exploitation by the Portuguese Crown, to becoming the only seat of power of a European nation outside of Europe. Its economy, at present, is known as a successful industry whose foundation was built upon coffee cultivation at the beginning of the 18th century (Skidmore, 49). This practice of monoculture, popular during this time period, was not only employed by the Portuguese in Brazil, but also in the West Indies with sugarcane plantation farming by the British. Coffee and sugarcane were both crops…show more content…
Although slavery became illegal in 1828, Brazil continued to acquire slaves until mid-18th century. During Brazil’s history, it is estimated that over four million slaves were brought to Brazil, the largest contingent of slaves within the diaspora. The road to abolition was marked by the passing of several laws within the internal governing body. However it was only until 1888, that all forms of slavery were declared illegal and the country became a Republic in 1889 (Skidmore, p174). Slavery, as a sociocultural institution has left its mark on Brazil in various ways; African influences can be noted in the speech, culinary arts, music, dance, folklore and traditional garb of Brazilians living especially those on Brazil’s coastline. European immigrants also worked on the latifundistas, contributing to the “whitening” of Brazilian society (Skidmore,…show more content…
African influences can also be seen through the presence of, for example, the ‘Shouta Baptist’ religion, traditional African garb, influences in the dialect and cuisine within the society of Trinidad and Tobago. Descendants of slaves reside in both Brazil and the islands, creating an ethnic demographic that represents their history and also contributing to the ethnic diversity of both countries. Ethnic mixing has also contributed to the social aspect with the intermarriage of the two major ethnic groups in Trinidad and Tobago, similar to Brazilian society. However, the ethnic divide between those of African descent and Europeans is far greater in Brazil than in Trinidad and Tobago. Whilst racism is evident in both countries, Brazilian society is influenced by appearance rather than ethnic history. Individuals with lighter coloured skin tend to be given higher positions as well as occupy a higher place in the social hierarchy although they may be of mixed blood, (Skidmore, 73) this social hierarchy is not as evident in Trinidad, the divide being mainly between the Caucasians and those of darker skin tone, but discrimination is evident amongst the two main ethnic groups, those of African and East Indian descent (Trinidad Express,

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