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Topoi: Revista de História

Print version ISSN 1518-3319


LIMA, Henrique Espada. Under the realm of precariousness: slavery and the meaning of freedom of labour in the nineteenth century.Translated byEoin O'Neill. Topoi [online]. 2006, vol.2Selected edition, pp. 0-0. ISSN 1518-3319.

This article examines the ambiguities raised by the concept of "labor freedom" in the XIXth century, through a comparative perspective of not only the history and historiography of slavery, but also the social, economic, and institutional history of labor. It considers that this approach will allow a better understanding of the collective experience of free laborers as well as slaves, in order to criticize the "transition" model that is still used - often without any criticism - by the historiography on slavery and free labor in Brazil and in the Americas to explain the relationship between freedom and bondage in labor history. Some of the questions raised in the first part of the article will be used to analyze a sample of labor contracts between formal slaves and their formal masters or new bosses, notarized in the city of Desterro, in Southern Brazil, between the 1840s and the 1880s.

Keywords : slavery; freedom; labor; wage contracts.

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