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This chapter examines the sequencing and depth of reforms intended to abolish flogging, capital punishment, and slavery in relation to different categories of the intractable poor in Brazil and abroad. It delves deeper into the national and international context to highlight how these three movements influenced one another. These political battles reveal divergent national attitudes toward segregation, citizenship, race mixture, the law, and efforts to shape Brazil’s international image. This chapter demonstrates that Brazilian leaders limited and then abolished the death penalty in part because after the U.S. Civil War Brazil became the last independent nation in the Americas to tolerate slavery. If Brazilians could not beat the United States or the Spanish Caribbean in a race to abolish bondage, they could be among the first to abolish the death penalty to save face in the international race to garner moral capital.

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