Colonial Rio de Janeiro

This website focuses on politics, women’s roles, demographics, ecology, urban life, economics, and religion in colonial Rio de Janeiro. The economic landscape of colonial Rio de Janeiro was characterized by it’s status as a major port city as a result of the discovery of gold and diamonds. The story of urban slave life in colonial Rio de Janeiro during the early 19th century is the dark page of the history of this glamorous city. Religious brotherhoods were a way for slaves to maintain individuality and a level of power in a world where white men dominated church life. Women in colonial Rio de Janeiro occupied a marginalized space in society. The economic and social changes were predominant catalysts in the administrative shift from Bahia to Rio de Janeiro. The ecological aspect of life in colonial Rio de Janeiro functioned as another way to establish and maintain socioeconomic inequality and discrimination. Rio de Janeiro was a hotbed for the slave trade; this especially came as a result of the prevalence of plantations and the ‘need’ for slaves in order for them to function.

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