“Licentious Liberty” in a Brazilian Gold-Mining Region: Slavery, Gender, and Social…

Paperback | April 19, 2007

byKathleen J. Higgins

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To studies of Brazilian slavery, this book adds a new dimension by showing how it developed in a region where mining was the chief commercial activity and how important a role gender played in this frontier setting in creating opportunities for slaves to achieve some measure of autonomy, compared with slaves who worked in sugar-cane and coffee-growing areas.

The interactions among masters, slaves, and royal officials were profoundly shaped by the accessibility and widespread dispersal of gold deposits, the emergence of small urban centers in which commercial activities thrived, the sexual division of labor among slaves working in mining and commerce, and the changing sex ratio within the population of free white colonists settling in the region.

Focusing attention on the changing status, autonomy, and influence of non-White women, the author argues, is one of the most effective ways of understanding the economic, demographic, and cultural evolution of the slave society as a whole.

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To studies of Brazilian slavery, this book adds a new dimension by showing how it developed in a region where mining was the chief commercial activity and how important a role gender played in this frontier setting in creating opportunities for slaves to achieve some measure of autonomy, compared with slaves who worked in sugar-cane an...

Kathleen J. Higgins is Assistant Professor of History at the University of Iowa.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:248 pages, 9.07 × 6.05 × 0.63 inPublished:April 19, 2007Publisher:Penn State University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0271032707

ISBN - 13:9780271032702

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“This book is a careful examination of how slavery worked in one of the societies of the New World most influenced by that institution. Higgins not only is sensitive to the ironies of the institution, but above all she pays attention to the way in which slaves responded to their situation and struggled to shape their own lives. We now have a book on slavery in the mining areas to match the studies done on plantation zones. It is sure to become a base point for future discussions of slavery in Minas Gerais.”—Stuart Schwartz, Yale University