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Explaining Abolition: Contradiction, Adaptation, and Challenge in Cuban Slave Society, 1860–1886

  • Rebecca J. Scott (a1)
Abstract

In the middle decades of the nineteenth century, as slavery was disappearing elsewhere in the New World, slave-based plantation production of sugar in Cuba reached remarkable heights of technological sophistication and output. In 1868 Cuba produced 720,250 metric tons of sugar, more than 40 percent of the cane sugar reaching the world market in that year. Yet just as production reached these levels, the abolition of slavery in Cuba was initiated, beginning a process of slave emancipation that was to last nearly twenty years. Yet just as production reached these levels, the abolition of slavery in Cuba was initiated, beginning a process of slave emancipation that was to last nearly twenty years. This concurrence of events raises the question, What was the relationship between slavery and the development of sugar production, and why did emancipation in Cuba take place when and as it did?

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Rebecca J. Scott , “Gradual Abolition and the Dynamics of Slave Emancipation in Cuba, 1868–86Hispanic American Historical Review, 63 (081983), 449477.

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Comparative Studies in Society and History
  • ISSN: 0010-4175
  • EISSN: 1475-2999
  • URL: /core/journals/comparative-studies-in-society-and-history
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