Spring 2024

From Slavery to Freedom in Latin America

Listed in: Black Studies, as BLST-282  |  History, as HIST-282  |  Latinx and Latin Amer Studies, as LLAS-282


Russell Lohse (Section 01)


(Offered as BLST 282 [CLA], HIST 282 [LA/TR/TS] and LLAS 282) Throughout Latin America, millions of enslaved Africans and their descendants gained their freedom in the course of the nineteenth century. Emancipation began during the wars of independence that shook the continent between 1810 and 1824. As white creoles clamored for "freedom" from Spain, slaves demanded their freedom from white creoles, taking up arms and fighting on both sides to advance their cause. In a few countries, such as the republics of Central America, freedom came immediately with independence, but in most, slavery persisted for decades. Through policies of gradual abolition, the white ruling classes of the newly independent republics sought to phase out slavery over time and minimize social disruptions. Where slavery was most entrenched, slave masters fought hardest to preserve it. In Cuba and Brazil, masters clung tenaciously to the institution into the 1880s. In Colombia, Southern Conservatives fought a Civil War against a Liberal government to prevent abolition. But they failed. From Mexico to Brazil, slaves' actions helped to make slavery impossible to maintain and accelerated its demise. With legal abolition, the ex-slaves and their former masters continued to struggle over the meanings of freedom as millions of Black women and men claimed their rights as citizens. Students will be evaluated on class participation, a series of weekly reading notes, and two short papers.

Spring semester. Prof. Lohse.

How to handle overenrollment: null

Students who enroll in this course will likely encounter and be expected to engage in the following intellectual skills, modes of learning, and assessment: Written work, reading, class discussion

BLST 282 - LEC

Section 01
Tu 1:00 PM - 2:20 PM CHAP 210
Th 1:00 PM - 2:20 PM CHAP 210

ISBN Title Publisher Author(s) Comment Book Store Price
The Overthrow of Colonial Slavery, 1776-1848 Verso, 2011 Blackburn, Robin Amherst Books TBD
Under the Flags of Freedom: Slave Soldiers and the Wars of Independence in Spanish South America Univ. of Pittsburgh Press, 2008 Blanchard, Peter Amherst Books TBD
Slave Emancipation in Cuba: The Transition to Free Labor Univ. of Pittsburgh Press, 2000 Scott, Rebecca Amherst Books TBD

These books are available locally at Amherst Books.


Other years: Offered in Fall 2018