slavery and capital



The world market reached its “critical density” based on colonial conquest and African and Amerindian slavery

In the sixteenth century, the emergence of international trade and large-scale mercantile production created the need for Europe for systematic sources of supply of precious metals and other products, especially inputs for the industry that supplied the trade. Discoveries and new overseas routes were therefore transformed into conquest, colonization, submission of new territories and, eventually, enslavement and submission to compulsory labor by indigenous populations.

They were at the service of the organization of the exploration of America, which sought, above all, to extract the precious metals that would lubricate the longed-for European trade with the “Oriental wonders”. Because of this, the world market reached its “critical density” based on colonial conquest and African and Amerindian slavery. Spain, first, and Portugal, later, began, with these methods and a century ahead of the other colonizing powers (England, Holland, France), the conquest and colonization of the new American lands and other continents.

In doing so, however, European colonizers unwittingly achieved another objective, the establishment of a world economic circuit: “Potosí did much more than enrich the men who controlled it and throw the rest into a mortal struggle against each other. . In the first place, it enriched Spain, but it also financed the consolidation of the Spanish empire in South America, paid for the crossing of the Pacific to the Philippines, and brought the previously separate economies of the Americas, Europe and Asia into a condominium of fact.

This happened without anyone intending it. Silver took on a global life of its own as individuals improvised in the face of opportunities and compulsion to keep the precious metal flowing.”[I] Colonialism therefore gained a vital economic function: during the first stage of the colonial system, conflicts between the Crown's monopoly and the interests of the colonizers were resolved through active smuggling between the latter and the powers excluded by the Iberian Colonial Pact. (England was particularly active in Spanish America and Brazil)[ii] and also piracy, in addition to smuggling in intracolonial trade.

Initially, the Catholic powers, which benefited the Iberian kingdoms, managed to govern the colonial expansion. The shocks and contradictions of the colonial system, however, were not reduced to those that opposed the privileged sectors, the colonizers, the Vatican, the metropolitan nobility and the monarchies. The capitalist sectors of the metropolitan economies began to weigh more and more in determining the future directions of the colonial enterprise.

The organic and necessary role of colonialism in the rise of capitalism was recognized in the first comprehensive study of contemporary imperialism: “The colonial economy must be regarded as one of the necessary conditions of modern capitalism. Their trade, largely compulsory, was in good measure little more than a system of covert robbery, and in no sense an exchange of commodities.”[iii]

Giovanni Arrighi identified four world cycles (he called “systemic cycles of accumulation”), sometimes overlapping, of capital accumulation.[iv] The first, that of the cities of Genoa and Venice (XNUMXth to XNUMXth centuries); in Genoa, the House of San Giorgio, in the XNUMXth century, was a private institution run by bankers that controlled the public finances of the city-state (that is, it controlled the public debt). The second was Dutch (XNUMXth to XNUMXth centuries), the third was British (XNUMXth to XNUMXth centuries) and the fourth was North American (XNUMXth century to the present day). Where, in this sequence, is the Iberian colonial expansion?

Listing the succession of countries or blocks of cities whose economic, political and military dominance created the foundations of the world market (Venice-Genoa-Pisa in the High Middle Ages, Spain-Portugal in the early Modern Era, and soon after Holland, France, England ), Marx identified the character of capital accumulation in each historical phase: each world domain summed up the character of an epoch. What was the place of the Iberian overseas conquests in this process, and what role did they play in the emergence of a new mode of production? Was the world economic scenario, above all, including the colonization of “new territories”, the milestone and mainspring for the emergence and impetus of capitalism in Europe?

Marx, answering in the affirmative, summed it up in a well-known passage from Communist Manifesto: “The discovery of America and the circumnavigation of Africa offered the rising bourgeoisie a new field of action. The markets of India and China, the colonization of America, colonial trade, the increase in the means of exchange and commodities, gave a hitherto unknown impulse to commerce, industry, navigation, and rapidly developed the revolutionary element of society. feudal decay.

The old feudal organization of industry, in which it was limited to closed corporations, could no longer satisfy the needs that grew with the opening of new markets. Manufacture replaced it. The petty industrial bourgeoisie supplanted the guild masters; the division of labor between the different corporations disappeared before the division of labor within the workshop itself (…) Large industry created the world market prepared by the discovery of America. The world market prodigiously accelerated the development of commerce, navigation, means of communication. This development reacted, in turn, on the extension of industry; and as industry, commerce, navigation, railways developed, the bourgeoisie grew, multiplying its capital and relegating to the background the classes bequeathed by the Middle Ages”.[v]

These were the ingredients of enduring European hegemony in a world on the verge of geographic and economic unification. The conquest and submission of the colonial world was not a “collateral effect” or an epiphenomenon of the rise of capital, but one of its nerve centers. Dale W. Tomich proposed a formulation to overcome approaches that “theoretically fragment the inner connection between slavery, the world market and capitalist development. In so doing, they obscure both the origins of slavery in the world economy and the origins of slavery in the world economy.”

According to the author: “Theoretically, capital requires for its development a given mass of commodities in circulation and a given division of labor, but it does not necessarily require slavery. Marx therefore treats slavery as an external contingency and excludes it from logical exposition. Historically, however, slavery was a key means of expanding commodity production, creating a world market and providing the substantive conditions for the development of the capital-wage labor form… Even though the wage labor-capital relationship forms the theoretical axis from Marx's analysis, it cannot be assumed that this relationship is the 'prime mover' of historical capitalism”.[vi]

It was Marx, however, who expounded the idea that the society based on free labor in Europe had arisen on the basis of looting and slave labor in the European overseas colonies: “It was slavery that gave value to the colonies; it was the colonies that created world trade; world trade is the necessary condition for the great mechanical industry… One of the indispensable conditions for the formation of the manufacturing industry was the accumulation of capital, which was facilitated by the discovery of America and the invasion of the market by its precious metals. The commercial needs of the new world market determined the extermination and the reduction to slavery of the aboriginal populations, buried in the mines”, as well as “the sacking of the East Indies, the transformation of Africa into a commercial hunting reserve for blacks”.[vii]

The large-scale slavery that began in the XNUMXth century was, first of all, a centerpiece in the early stages of the formation of capitalism and the start of capitalist accumulation in Britain. Millions of people, mainly from West Africa and the Gulf of Guinea, were uprooted from their communities of origin to be deported to the European colonies in the Caribbean, to the south of the English colonies in North America and to the Brazilian coast. It was what made it possible to farm and cultivate the virgin lands of the Antilles after the extermination of the natives and the growing difficulties in importing European labor, and boosted the first major export agriculture, based on sugar, tobacco and cotton.

The plantations worked by slaves increased the volume of intercontinental trade, stimulated the development of a set of industries (sugar refining and the first cotton fabric factories) and transformed some European Atlantic ports into centers of world trade. The triangular trade from Europe carried trinkets to Africa (rags, jewelry, tinplate and mirrors) that were exchanged for slaves, sold in America, who extracted the raw materials from the first European factories, especially British ones: “Without the riches of America, and without African slaves and trade, the economic, political, and military growth of European states would doubtless have been limited to a smaller scale; maybe definitely smaller.

With them, the first capitalism became world-wide and with good reason, in Liverpool and Bristol it was said that 'there is not a single tile in the city that is not mixed with the blood of a slave'”.[viii] An inseparable link united African slavery with the first processes of large-scale capital accumulation.

Modern slavery had its origins in the massacre of the Amerindian peoples: “A few years after the discovery of America, when the cruelty and voracity of the exploitation of the Spanish colonists literally exterminated the fragile indigenous population, the resource of bringing from Africa, as slaves, was conceived. , a stronger workforce, capable of carrying out work in mines and sugar cane mills. The same need was noticed, years later, in the other great domains of the (American) continent”.[ix]

The lines of geographic distribution of African slave labor accompanied the needs of the Iberian colonizing enterprise. Its implementation did not have to wait for the advice of Father Bartolomeu de Las Casas to take root in the mining activity of the Antilles. Soon after, “the intense depopulation of the lowlands of the continent [due to the expropriation or elimination of its primitive inhabitants], and the implantation of them in the great monoculture explorations, for which the Africans showed good aptitude, concentrated them in the warm tropical regions of America. In the temperate zones of the mountains, where the mines were located and abundant indigenous labor was available, its use was less necessary. This generalization of its geographic distribution does not prevent the black from reaching all corners of the continent and being used in the most diverse activities”.[X] With world trade expanding, the profitability of compulsory, forced or enslaved labor did not stop growing in the XNUMXth and XNUMXth centuries.

Because of this, the establishment of a global network of trade and communications, the basis of the world market, also had a devastating impact on Africa: “The African sixteenth century was marked by the fact that no major region of Africa escaped the events that determined a extremely rapid cultural and economic decline”.[xi] Colonial conquest, multiform and widespread forced labor, the repression of numerous local revolts by means of iron and fire, malnutrition, the various local and imported diseases and the continuation of the slave trade, reduced an African population that dropped to almost one third of what previously existed in regions affected by the slave trade.

For the period preceding the Modern Era, Mário Maestri studied the great Sudanese tributary states, Ghana, Mali and Songhai, approaching their political, economic and social history, their main ethnic groups and their contacts with the Arab and Islamic world: according to the author, the The arrival of Europeans on the western coasts of Africa disorganized these tributary formations, which had strong civilizational, productive and commercial development, even producing a good part of the gold used in Europe for coinage.

Since ancient times (the Homo sapiens, after all, it originates from the African plains) there were organized cultures in Africa that interrelated through an extensive network of trade that included salt, rice, cotton fabrics, cattle, gold, bronze, bugs and others. There were even iron foundries parallel in time to the Roman Empire at its height. The Bantu domains (the name “Bantu” does not designate a racial unit, but a cultural one, established by the similarities between the numerous dialects they use) that comprised Mozambique and Monomotapa,[xii] maintained strong commercial relations with the Indies and Asia, through Persian and Arab merchants.[xiii]

Under the impact of human hunting and trafficking, considering the population of Europe, Africa, the Middle East and the Americas, the African population fell, between 1600 and 1900, from 30% to 10% of the total population. The southern African kingdoms had been isolated for a long time, without contact with the great centers where production and trade were developed. European expansion connected them with the world through the hunt for slaves, in addition to breaking up the great political centers of pre-colonial Africa.

Prior to the 800th century, most slaves exported from Africa were shipped from East Africa to the Arabian Peninsula. Zanzibar became one of the main ports of this trade. Between 1600 and 1.600.000, the slave trade in the Red Sea, carried mainly by Arab traders, was 800 human beings; in East Africa, in the same period, it reached XNUMX thousand individuals. During the XNUMXth century, Europe began to surpass the Arab world in the export trade, with the slave trade from Africa to the Americas. The European slave trade, however, reached much higher dimensions, quintupling (or more), in four centuries, the figures of the Arab trade in eight centuries.

Modern slavery assumed dimensions of demographic catastrophe in Africa. The Portuguese capture of African slaves began in 1441, when Afetam Gonçalves kidnapped a couple on the western coast of the Sahara as a gift to the King of Portugal, who welcomed him with a commercial vision of the feat's potential. In 1443, Nuno Tristão brought the first important contingent of African slaves, selling them at a profit in Portugal. The following year, six caravels were sent in search of slaves and, in 1445, 26 expeditions headed for the west African coasts with this and other purposes.

African slavery existed from time immemorial, as in other societies. In the words of Fernand Braudel: “Slavery arose in different forms in different societies: there were court slaves, slaves incorporated into princely armies, domestic and servant slaves, slaves working on the land, in industry, as couriers and middlemen, even as slaves. merchants”.[xiv] If ancient slavery tended to disappear in medieval Europe, since the fourteenth century there was an active slave market in Southern Europe animated by Arab traffickers. Labor was a rare and sought after commodity in Europe after the population decimation caused by the Black Death; pockets of slavery had survived the fall of the Roman Empire in domestic activities and in areas of intensive agriculture. Trafficking Europe was not dealing with an institution that was unknown to it, or of which it had already lost its memory, quite the contrary.

The hunting of African slaves had the initial complicity of kings and local rulers, already used to using it due to the sparse population of the continent, which had imposed forced or slave labor as a means of managing and disciplining the workforce in sub-Saharan Africa : “The development of slavery on a large scale was part of the process of consolidating the centralized States that were located in the South, far from the direct influence of the caravan ports of Sahel… Huge was the number of slaves that belonged to the king, worked on his lands and marched with him. their armies. Huge was also the mass of slaves who served the chiefs, especially in agricultural villages, from whose production the nobility drew wealth and power... The slaves belonged to the master, in the same way as the children they had. If the owner married a slave and the marriage produced fruit, it was born free. And the captive whom the master freed became free, even if the stigma of having been a slave or descendant slave was difficult to erase”.[xv]

The foundations of the European slave trade on a large scale had already been laid in the 1470th century. Its initial protagonists were Portuguese, since the European expansion towards the West, from the end of the 1450th century, was based on the previous eighty years of Portuguese incursions in the Atlantic. Portugal pioneered Atlantic exploration, colonizing islands in that ocean and exploring and trading on the west coast of Africa. By the XNUMXs, the Portuguese had already begun to trade slaves in the Gulf of Benin. The first Portuguese incursions into sub-Saharan Africa, however, were “peaceful”. His investments on the west coast of Africa were initially stimulated by the exploration of gold mines. At the same time, the slave trade also began, which was established and developed from XNUMX onwards.

Around the slave trade, other products were also established. Since the beginning of the following century, the main African wealth obtained in exchange for European products was the labor demanded by the American colonies, which gave them reason and encouragement to invest in maritime exploration. Once launched, hunting and the slave trade grew dramatically, until it reached its peak in the XNUMXth century, when British merchant ships were the main protagonists of the “Middle Passage”, which transported millions of slaves to the Western Hemisphere. Most of those who survived the journey ended up in the Caribbean, where the British Empire had highly profitable sugar plantations. The average survival of slaves arriving at their destination was, in the first century of African slavery in the Americas, seven years.

Initially the product of individual initiatives, which were limited to the offspring (forced adoption) of isolated women and children, or the capture of the population of small coastal villages, in the second half of the XNUMXth century African slavery, driven by the Portuguese, began to take on new contours: “ They incited black caciques and kings to start wars among themselves; they bought prisoners of war from the victor, with which they financed expenses for new combats. Slavery was no longer a secondary phenomenon or consequence of wars, but their objective.

The Portuguese allied themselves with Mohammedans against Mohammedans, with pagans against pagans; the booty of prisoners of war was passed on to them as slaves, by prior contract. This merchandise was sent, chained, to distribution posts in Portugal. Hanging from them were long chains tied around their necks.”[xvi]

From 1450, more than a thousand slaves began to arrive annually in Portugal. In the period 1469-1474, the Portuguese reached the Gulf of Biafra, finding a larger and better organized local slave trade, in addition to other tempting riches: chilli pepper, ivory and gold, which opened up new commercial opportunities, and allowed the Portuguese to penetrate into European markets, even far from their country, where they were previously unknown. In 1479, Castile recognized that West Africa was an exclusively Portuguese sphere of action. In the following century, Portugal consolidated itself as a great maritime, commercial and slaveholding power, having a near monopoly of African traffic in the following century. From 1600, the Portuguese suffered competition from the English and Dutch.

One can consider modern slavery, especially African, as a “natural child” of the new international division of labor, created by the colonial system: “Africa, poor land, difficult climate, just has more than one wealth, one main production, its human population, robust and prolific, which the slavers euphemistically call 'ebony wood'. This is what the plantations of the West Indies need, sugar cane requires a lot of manpower. There is complementarity. Slavery in Africa was the corollary, on the one hand, of the discovery of the New World, on the other, of the development of sugar consumption in Europe.

Africa's manpower reserves, on the other hand, had been exploited for a long time”. The demographic impact of slavery on African societies was not limited to the transported slaves, whether they arrived at their destination alive or not: “The figure for landed slaves must be increased by 25%, perhaps much more, to take into account those who died path. But it is necessary to take into account, above all, that in order to capture a few dozen slaves, the hunters who resold them to the white slave traders massacred a considerable number of adults and children and dispersed entire cities, dirty members, disorganized and deprived of their adult men, could only survive. Demographic bloodletting and its indirect impact are infinitely more important than the number of transferred slaves”.[xvii]

The average number of slaves killed during the Atlantic crossing on slave ships was estimated, for the period 1630-1803, at almost 15%. Even with these losses, eight times more Africans than Portuguese made up the future Brazil, the main American destination for the slave trade. These movements of compulsory African migration were accompanied by an important European migration, which mixed in different degrees with the local populations and with the population of African origin, forming a vast mestizo population that, together with the Amerindians and the Africans, was the majority in almost all US regions. Why was there a need for slaves in the Americas?

The obvious need for labor unfolded in the need for territorial occupation. The settlement of the lands conquered by Castile was hampered by Spain's lack of demographic availability at the time of colonization: there was not enough population surplus to meet the need for the occupation of the new regions. In 1502, the first shipments of African slaves landed in the colonies of Spanish America. Slavery figures are imprecise: Katia de Queirós Mattoso pointed out that more than 9,5 million Africans were transported to the Americas between 1502 and 1860, with Brazil as the largest importer (around 40% of the total traffic). More accurate accounting showed the following figures:

 1519-1600: 266.000 African slaves exported to America
 1601-1700: 1.252.800 African slaves exported to America
 1701-1800: 6.096.200 African slaves exported to America
 1801-1867: 3.446.800 African slaves exported to America
 Total 11.061.800 African slaves exported to America

According to estimates that accounted for all forms of trafficking, between the end of the 14th century and the second half of the XNUMXth century, African slavery involved the capture, sale and transfer of approximately thirteen million individuals (Eric Williams even estimated a figure greater than XNUMX million ).[xviii] Just by way of comparison, “white European” emigration to the Americas, between the initial discovery and 1776, barely surpassed one million individuals. The transfer of slaves was carried out in the holds of overcrowded boats (where Africans traveled in chains), which caused an immense mortality.

During the 1660th century, the slave trade was a Portuguese monopoly. Only well after Portugal, England founded, since XNUMX, African warehouses to capture slaves for American plantations. The Dutch, in turn, imported slaves from Asia to their colony in South Africa. In Brazil, the cultivation of sugar cane in Pernambuco, Bahia and Rio de Janeiro created the need for more and more slaves.

Between 1500 and the middle of the 1,9th century, Brazil was the American region that imported the most slaves, more than 1,2 million people in this period, followed by far by the British Antilles, with just over 1810 million. Profits from this traffic were a substantial part of capital accumulation for several centuries: “The journey of a tumbeiro between Bahia and Sierra Leone in the 200s could generate a return of more than XNUMX% on invested capital… The second Banco do Brasil was born with capital from the slave trade and lived on loans to slaveholders… The large slaveholders had huge profits because they exercised monopoly power. They held the best lands, as they obtained their credit in the form of slave stocks. Thus they flooded the world markets of tropical articles. In the case of traffickers, some families controlled more than half of the slave market in Rio de Janeiro”.[xx]

Economic exploitation of the New World would have been impossible without African slavery. It was sacralized already in its initial stages by the Christian Church: by the bull dum miscellaneous, in 1452, Pope Nicholas V granted the King of Portugal D. Afonso V, and his successors, the power to conquer and subjugate the lands of the “infidels” and to reduce them to slavery. Although, as we have seen, slaves were already sold in Europe in the XNUMXth century, it was with the exploitation of the American colonies that the slave trade reached great proportions.

European investment in foreign wars that generated slaves profoundly changed Africa and the Americas as well. African cities attacked other cities, enslaving the population to sell them to Europeans. Slavery articulated with the expansion of Islam had been based on differentiated sexual molds. The Arabs sold the men and kept the women, who were absorbed by the communities. The children of female slaves were often assimilated into Muslim society. The preference of Arab traffickers for female captives was a factor in why Europeans bought more men than women. Another important factor was the finding that men were more resistant to the poor health conditions to which they were subjected on the long journeys across the Atlantic on slave ships.

For more than three centuries, the slave trade totally altered the social and political organization of African countries, which was “a coherent world of very diverse societies”. In it, slavery already existed, “but it was only numerous in Benin and in the Sudano-Sahelian regions. The captive was part of the family and could not be sold. Free men, who had the right to own slaves, could be subjected to obligations identical to those of slaves... Empires and kingdoms, stable before the arrival of Europeans, disappeared to give way to new states, often founded by adventurers, born of slave trade and living on it.

The extended family, which resisted until the early days of colonization, ended up breaking up and diluting itself in the territorial state organizations, often created and developed to serve the needs of the slave trade... The Guinea merchants, accustomed to exchanging gold for trifles Europeans, are the natural suppliers of slaves, whose demand increases. In Angola, and later in East Africa, trafficking took on a catastrophic pace, turning the country into a veritable desert: transfers of considerable populations deprive the region of men and enrich black and white merchants... Slaves came out of all social layers”.[xx]

Slave populations in the Americas could not sustain themselves through biological reproduction, most slaves died early (after less than ten years of work) without leaving descendants, which generated a constant replacement of slaves by new waves, and turned the drug dealers' business machine. Based on African slavery and compulsory labor imposed on the natives, the colonization of the tropics laid the foundations for the mass production of primary goods that generated large mercantile profits. The “naturalization” of slavery in the metropolis was a result of this. Well into the XNUMXth century, a lucid English traveler today considered one of the forerunners of anthropology, Richard F. Burton, still opined that “nature itself had traced a band within which free work was impossible”.

African slavery would have, for European colonialists, an educational character, tending to improve the miserable condition of Africans. Taking a black person from Africa to American slavery was “like taking a boy to school”, who in the future would perhaps be able to transmit his learning to his countrymen…[xxx] It was based on slavery that the colonial system of the Modern Era was set up, because, in the words of Marx, “it was slavery that gave value to the colonies”; it was the first that made the second possible, structured in a system that stabilized due to its role in the world accumulation of capital.

*Osvaldo Coggiola He is a professor at the Department of History at USP. Author, among other books, of Marxist economic theory: an introduction (boitempo).


[I] Timothy Brook. Vermeer's Hat. The 2012th century and the beginning of the globalized world. Rio de Janeiro, Record, XNUMX.

[ii] According to Zacarias Moutoukias (Smuggling and Social Control in Siglo XVII. Smuggling and Social Control in Siglo XVII. Buenos Aires, Centro Editora de América Latina, 1988): “Buenos Aires attracted a stream of Spanish and foreign merchants because of the possibilities it offered to 'bite' a piece of silver from Upper Peru. This allowed the Crown to respond to its needs on the Rio de la Plata through the Navios de Registro, whose licenses were attractive to merchants and shipowners… by illegal means). There were “apparent contradictory positions on the part of the Crown, which assumed, depending on the context, measures of tolerance with illicit trade, followed by actions to combat and centralize the royal monopoly” (Fernando Victor Aguiar Ribeiro. “Malicious Arribadas”: commercial networks in the smuggling trade in the port of Buenos Aires, early XNUMXth century. antitheses, Vol. 11 nº 22, State University of Londrina, 2018). Jaime Vicens Vives stated that “if corruption took root in Spain, it was because, despite the moralizing attitude of the Crown and its repeated declarations against all corrupt practices, the administration had to make the mechanism of American commerce work despite the laws” ( Jaime Vicens Vives. Economic Cojuncture and Bourgeois Reformism. Barcelona, ​​Ariel, 1968).

[iii] John A. Hobson. L'Imperialism. Rome, Newton & Compton, 1996 [1902].

[iv] Giovanni Arrighi. The Long Twentieth Century. Money, power and the origins of our time. Rio de Janeiro, Counterpoint/UNESP, 1996.

[v] Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. Communist Manifesto. São Paulo, Ched, 1980 [1848.].

[vi] Dale W. Tomich. Through the Prism of Slavery. Labour, capital and the world economy. Sao Paulo, Edusp, 2011.

[vii] Karl Marx. Misery of Philosophy. São Paulo, Boitempo, 2017 [1847].

[viii] Eric Williams. Capitalism and Slavery. Madrid, Traficantes de Sueños, 2011 [1944].

[ix] Jose Luis Martinez. passengers from India. Transatlantic travels in the 1983th century. Madrid, Alliance, XNUMX.

[X] Nicolás Sánchez Albornoz and José Luis Moreno. The Poblacion of Latin America. Historic grove. Buenos Aires, Paidos, 1968.

[xi] Robert and Marianne Cornevin. Histoire de l'Afrique. Des origines à la 2nd guerre mondiale. Paris, Payot, 1964.

[xii] Monomotapa was not the name of a country, but of a sovereign, literally meaning "lord of mines". Its dominion corresponded to the region later known as Southern Rhodesia, a British colony located north of the Union of South Africa that existed in southern Africa between 1888 and 1979, which gave rise to present-day Zimbabwe.

[xiii] Mario Maestri. History of Precolonial Black Africa. Porto Alegre, Mercado, Aberto, 1988. Aspects of the hierarchical, social, cultural and political-military structure of ancient Kongo are discussed in: Patrício Batsîkama. Political System in Ancient Kongo. Recife, Publisher of the University of Pernambuco, 2013.

[xiv] Fernand Braudel. Material Civilization, Economy and Capitalism. XV-XVII centuries. Sao Paulo, Martins Fontes, 1995.

[xv] Alberto da Costa eSilva. The Hoe and the Spear. Africa before the Portuguese. Rio de Janeiro, New Frontier, 2011.

[xvi] Georg Friederici. The Character of Desubrimiento and Conquest of America. Mexico, Fondo de Cultura Económica, 1987 [1926], vol. II.

[xvii] Pierre Bertaux. Africa. From prehistory to current states. Mexico, Siglo XXI, 1997.

[xviii] Herbert S. Klein and Ben Vinson. African Slavery in Latin America and the Caribbean. New York, Oxford University Press, 2007. Cf. Marcel Dorigny and Bernard Gainot. Atlas of Esclavages. Traites, sociétés coloniales, abolitions de l'Antiquité à nos jours. Paris, Autrement, 2006.

[xx] Alexandre de Freitas Barbosa and Tâmis Parron. The cruel rhetoric of denialism. the earth is round, São Paulo, February 23, 2023.

[xx] Katia de Queiroz Mattoso. Being a Slave in Brazil. São Paulo, Brasiliense, 1982.

[xxx] Aleksandr Gebara. The Africa of Richard Francis Burton. Anthropology, politics and free trade. Sao Paulo, Alameda, 2010.

The A Terra é Redonda website exists thanks to our readers and supporters.
Help us keep this idea going.
Click here and find how

See this link for all articles


  • About artificial ignoranceEugenio Bucci 15/06/2024 By EUGÊNIO BUCCI: Today, ignorance is not an uninhabited house, devoid of ideas, but a building full of disjointed nonsense, a goo of heavy density that occupies every space
  • The society of dead historyclassroom similar to the one in usp history 16/06/2024 By ANTONIO SIMPLICIO DE ALMEIDA NETO: The subject of history was inserted into a generic area called Applied Human and Social Sciences and, finally, disappeared into the curricular drain
  • Franz Kafka, libertarian spiritFranz Kafka, libertarian spirit 13/06/2024 By MICHAEL LÖWY: Notes on the occasion of the centenary of the death of the Czech writer
  • A look at the 2024 federal strikelula haddad 20/06/2024 By IAEL DE SOUZA: A few months into government, Lula's electoral fraud was proven, accompanied by his “faithful henchman”, the Minister of Finance, Fernando Haddad
  • Letter to the presidentSquid 59mk,g 18/06/2024 By FRANCISCO ALVES, JOÃO DOS REIS SILVA JÚNIOR & VALDEMAR SGUISSARDI: “We completely agree with Your Excellency. when he states and reaffirms that 'Education is an investment, not an expense'”
  • PEC-65: independence or patrimonialism in the Central Bank?Campos Neto Trojan Horse 17/06/2024 By PEDRO PAULO ZAHLUTH BASTOS: What Roberto Campos Neto proposes is the constitutional amendment of free lunch for the future elite of the Central Bank
  • Chico Buarque, 80 years oldchico 19/06/2024 By ROGÉRIO RUFINO DE OLIVEIRA: The class struggle, universal, is particularized in the refinement of constructive intention, in the tone of proletarian proparoxytones
  • Why are we on strike?statue 50g 20/06/2024 By SERGIO STOCO: We have reached a situation of shortage of federal educational institutions
  • The melancholic end of Estadãoabandoned cars 17/06/2024 By JULIAN RODRIGUES: Bad news: the almost sesquicentennial daily newspaper in São Paulo (and the best Brazilian newspaper) is rapidly declining
  • The strike at federal Universities and Institutescorridor glazing 01/06/2024 By ROBERTO LEHER: The government disconnects from its effective social base by removing those who fought against Jair Bolsonaro from the political table