‘Spanish Colonial Critiques of African Enslavement’
Beyond Law - Race, Racism and Law in the Global South, ILSA, Vol. 8, Issue 24, Pgs. 41-66 (2002)
26 Pages Posted: 10 Aug 2012
Date Written: 2002
Parallel to the growth of a body of laws that further legitimated and institutionalized Spanish participation in the Atlantic slave trade, critiques on the injustice of African enslavement surfaced during this early period of the colonial era. For several of the participants in this debate, the question of legality lay mainly in the notorious absence of a just cause with which Portuguese and Spanish merchants captured or acquired slaves. Towards the end of the seventeenth century two Capuchin priests took this debate further and not only demanded an end to the slave trade but also advocated an extensive payment of reparations for all the victims of slavery. These early discussions bring to the forefront a wealth of diverse arguments that are little known today and that may challenge some of the basic assumptions that we have of this period.
Keywords: slavery, colonial Spanish America, reparations, Seventeenth century, slave trade, slave laws
JEL Classification: K33
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation