Eusébio de Queirós Law

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The Eusébio de Queirós Act was a law passed in Brazil on September 4, 1850[1] to abolish the international slave trade in the country. This law was named after Eusébio de Queirós Coutinho Matoso da Camara who was the Brazilian Minister of Justice from 1848-1852.[1] This law was put into action by the government acting under Brazilian Emperor Dom Pedro II. This law reinforced a law that was put into place on November 7, 1831,[2] but had never been fully enforced and it also was based on a 1837 anti-slave trade bill of Felisberto Caldeira Brant Pontes which had not been enacted into a law.[3] This bill was modified and reintroduced into the Chamber of deputies and eventually passed. Even though the slave trade was officially abolished in 1850, slavery itself was not abolished in Brazil until 1888. Which made Brazil the last country in the Western world to abolish slavery.[1]

The government was, however, against the British pressures applied to end such trade, such as the seizure of slave ships by British war ships. In 1845, the British parliament enacted the Aberdeen Act, which allowed British Cruisers to seize Brazilian slave ships in attempts to end their slave trade.[1] This caused Brazilians to import as many slaves as possible in case the British succeeded in abolishing their slave trade, which is why the vast majority of slaves arrived in Brazil during 1847–1849.[1]

Slavery in Brazil was extremely prevalent and slave ships carried between 3.6 to 5 million slaves into Brazil over roughly three centuries (1525-1851).[1] Rio de Janeiro alone had the largest slave population where 38.3% of their population consisted of slaves, or 80,000 slaves.[1]

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