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The Massacre of freedmen: race, emancipation and Republic in São Luís (1889)

Grant number: 16/12057-5
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Post-Doctorate
Effective date (Start): September 01, 2016
Effective date (End): December 01, 2019
Field of knowledge:Humanities - Sociology - Other specific Sociologies
Principal Investigator:Angela Maria Alonso
Grantee:Matheus Gato de Jesus
Host Institution: Faculdade de Filosofia, Letras e Ciências Humanas (FFLCH). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Associated scholarship(s):17/18889-5 - The Massacre of freedmen: race, emancipation and Republic in São Luís (1889), BE.EP.PD


This work deals with the circumstances that led to the execution of the so-called "freed black monarchists" in November 17, 1889, in the city of São Luís do Maranhão. The conflict, still waiting for a more comprehensive historical analysis, resulted from the tension between two groups. On the one side, the republican groups that one day before had announced the collapse of the Imperial Regime in the pages of O Globo newspaper. On the other side, a large group of blacks, who threatened to destroy the newspaper's office and assault its leaders, especially because, according some historical sources, they understood the fall of Princess Isabel as a threat to the their liberty conquered through the abolition of slavery in May 13 1888. The event consists in an analytical tool in order to addresses the racialization of Brazilian society in the Post-Abolition years. Thus, the project aims to investigate de peculiar tensions involved in the realization of the modern republican ideology focusing on a peripheral region in Brazil. That is, a perspective that seeks to reverse traditional ways of analyzing the national political transformations in Brazil, whose meanings have been usually misinterpreted as irradiating from its economic and administrative center to its margins. In this manner, it is worthy interrogating the reasons why, in the economic and political periphery of Brazil, the change of the form of government was able to catalyze immediately, through the black group protests, the contradictions in the reorganization of the social hierarchies related to the collapse of the slave-master's world.

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