Worldwide growth in demand for coffee during the nineteenth century led to increased production in many countries. Brazil took on a heightened role in this market, becoming a major exporter after independence in 1822. Whereas in the 1830s coffee represented 43.8 percent of Brazil’s total exports, by the 1870s it was more than half.1 During the Empire (1822–89), coffee plantations occupied large expanses of Brazil’s territory. The largest concentration of production was in the Vale do Paraíba region, located on the border between the provinces of São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, and Minas Gerais, where soil conditions, climate, altitude, and the proximity of export ports were favorable. Classic Brazilian historians such as Gilberto Freyre, Caio Prado Júnior, and Celso Furtado felt that large slaveholding monoculture plantations, whose production was destined for the external market, determined the basis of production in both the colonial and imperial periods.2 The slave...
Small and Medium Slaveholdings in the Coffee Economy of the Vale do Paraiíba, Province of Saão Paulo
Renato Leite Marcondes; Small and Medium Slaveholdings in the Coffee Economy of the Vale do Paraiíba, Province of Saão Paulo. Hispanic American Historical Review 1 May 2005; 85 (2): 259–281. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/00182168-85-2-259
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