Slave Emancipation in Cuba: The Transition to Free Labor, 1860–1899

TitleSlave Emancipation in Cuba: The Transition to Free Labor, 1860–1899
Publication TypeBook
Year of Publication1985
AuthorsScott, Rebecca J.
Number of Pages319
PublisherPrinceton University Press
CityPrinceton, NJ

This volume is a study of the end of slavery in Cuba. The author explores the dynamics of Cuban emancipation, arguing that slavery was not simply abolished by the metropolitan power of Spain or abandoned because of economic contradictions. Rather, slave emancipation was a prolonged, gradual and conflictive process unfolding through a series of social, legal, and economic transformations. The author contends that slaves themselves helped to accelerate the elimination of slavery. Through flight, participation in nationalist insurgency, legal action, and self-purchase, slaves were able to force the issue, helping to dismantle slavery piece by piece. With emancipation, former slaves faced transformed, but still very limited, economic options. By the end of the nineteenth-century, some chose to join a new and ultimately successful rebellion against Spanish power. 

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