Historians have studied for years how racially subordinated subjects have been socially constituted, labeled, counted, and contained, as well as the activities and subjectivities of those subjects. The articles in this issue deal with this process, which began in the early colonial period, continued after independence, and was central to modernization programs sponsored by Latin American states in the early twentieth century.

The article by João José Reis and Hendrik Kraay studies some of the political conflicts surrounding the process of independence in the city of Salvador, Bahia. Traditionally portrayed as a peaceful process, particularly in comparison with the protracted struggles that led to the independence of Spanish America, the independence of Brazil was nevertheless fraught with conflicts over social and political rights. As elsewhere in Latin America, the coalitions for independence mobilized lower-class elements, including slaves and free people of color, who had their own critical perspectives on society....

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