The Law of Abolishing Slavery

The document is titled The Law of Abolishing Slavery. It was produced by the British and Foreign State Papers in London. Originally, the contents in the document were issued by Rodrigo Augusto da Silva, who was the ad interim for Foreign Affairs in Brazil in 1888. The degree in the paper was made by Emperor Don Pedro II, who was the Princes Imperial Regent of Brazil in 1888. The purpose of this paper is to examine the contents of the documents from an analytical and critical viewpoint in terms of context and value.

The document contains information concerning the abolition of slavery in Brazil. Fundamentally, it highlights the events that led up to the abolition of slavery in Brazil. Slavery was abolished primarily due to increasingly progressive impatience among the public. Notably, this impatience was propelled by the Brazilian Anti-Slavery Society. Moreover, the public became progressively frustrated with the reigning law, Saraiva-Colegipe Law, an 1885 law that declared freedom for all slaves at the turn of sixty years old (British and Foreign State Papers, 1888). The public wanted an absolute end to slavery, which prompted the Princess Imperial Regent to abolish slavery despite resistance from plantation owners whose main source of labor were slaves.

The context of this document is slavery in Brazil during the nineteenth century. The document provides primary data on a historical period in Brazil when slavery was abolished by law. Therefore, the purpose of the document is to enlighten the readers of the current generation of the period in time when slavery was abolished in Brazil. This document serves an informative or educative role in this context. Furthermore, the document also serves the purpose of preserving legal historical records. The reason for this inference is that the document does not merely narrate the events that occurred during the abolition of slavery in Brazil; rather it provides the actual legal decree that was made during that time period.

My interpretation of the document is that it is accurate in terms of highlighting the law that abolished slavery in Brazil. It provides a word-by-word account of the law itself, which is commendable. However, my opinion is that the document is extremely concise. The abolition of slavery in Brazil marked a revolutionary period in the country’s history. Therefore, it would have been more advisable for the document to provide more details concerning the events that led up to the abolition of slavery. The implication that the document makes was that it was a relatively simple process, which is unlikely from a pragmatic perspective. Slavery was a crucial component of the Brazilian way of life during the nineteenth century and hence, the struggle for its abolition and preservation must have been more significant than is implied in the document.

On the whole, the document is helpful as it informs the current generation on the abolition of slavery in Brazil. The law itself is written with comprehensive detail. Part from the fact that the document is too brief, it is accurate and helpful.



British and Foreign State Papers. (1888). The Law Abolishing Slavery. Retrieved from