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The Chattel PrincipleInternal Slave Trades in the Americas$
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Walter Johnson

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780300103557

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300103557.001.0001

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The Brazilian Internal Slave Trade, 1850–1888

The Brazilian Internal Slave Trade, 1850–1888

Regional Economies, Slave Experience, and the Politics of a Peculiar Market

(p.325) 14 The Brazilian Internal Slave Trade, 1850–1888
The Chattel Principle

Robert W. Slenes

Yale University Press

This chapter defines “internal slave trade” as the practice of selling people within the society where they reside. For analytical purposes, however, the term is more usefully reserved for a system of commerce in human beings that is relatively autonomous—with primarily endogenous determinants of prices and other characteristics—and that integrates local buyers and sellers within a region, colony, or nation, or even within an area that overlaps political boundaries, into a common market. The paradigm, of course, is the commerce in bondspeople in the American South after the abolition of the African slave trade to the United States in 1807. In Brazil, a similar mercantile system dealing in forced labor fully emerged only with the end of the African traffic to that country in 1850.

Keywords:   internal slave trade, selling people, system of commerce, autonomous, common market, bondspeople, African slave trade, forced labor

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