Politics, Parliament, and the Penalty of the Lash: The Significance of the End of Flogging in 1886

Almanack. (4):91-100 DOI 10.1590/2236-463320120406


Journal Homepage

Journal Title: Almanack

ISSN: 2236-4633 (Online)

Publisher: Universidade Federal de São Paulo

Society/Institution: Universidade Federal de São Paulo

LCC Subject Category: History America: Latin America. Spanish America

Country of publisher: Brazil

Language of fulltext: Spanish, Portuguese

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Jeffrey D. Needell


Double blind peer review

Editorial Board

Instructions for authors

Time From Submission to Publication: 32 weeks


Abstract | Full Text

Abstract The Brazilian penalty of the lash was reformed (1886) by a cabinet and parliament opposed to abolition. While the penalty's abuse had been exploited by Abolitionists attempting the cabinet's fall, the cabinet unexpectedly supported its reform. This apparent contradiction has not been satisfactorily addressed; this article attempts to do so. It will demonstrate that the cabinet's support was a cabinet tactic designed to vindicate the cabinet's policies and strength. Nonetheless, the revocation of the state's role in flogging delegitimizing flogging on plantations, too, despite the cabinet's expectations. Indeed, the reform impacted plantation destabilization, which helped lead to the cabinet's fall and the 1888 law abolishing slavery. This complex series of events illustrates the Abolitionist struggle's interweave between parliament, the movement, and slave agency.