It is estimated that the United States and Brazil had more than two-thirds of the total enslaved population in the American continent (Horne 3). Brazil had the largest population of slaves compared to the United States. The wealth of both countries was based on slave trade commerce and labor from the slaves. This fact made the abolition of slave trade be difficult in both countries. The expansion of plantation agriculture in the two nations made it difficult for slavery to be abolished in the two countries. The increase in the global demand for sugar, cotton and coffee made it difficult for slavery to be abolished in the United States and Brazil. Since plantation agriculture was profitable and the international demand for the crops was growing, slavery abolishment was difficult (Horn 78). As a result, the countries increased the importation of slaves so as to gain profits from the rising prices of products made from plantation crops. Since the export of plantation products from the two countries was most important, the abolition of the slave trade was not easy. Similarly, the elite planters who owned the plantations and slaves had more influence on the local governments, and this made it difficult for slavery to be abolished. The planter elites were an active and influential institution that actively slowed down the process of abolishing slavery in both countries. When compared to the United States, the Brazilian slave trade was more profitable, and this explains why it took a long time to abolish slavery in Brazil. Enforcement of the negotiated treaties aimed at eradicating slave trade was an arduous task. Whereas the United States made efforts to comply with the agreements, Brazil disregarded most of them. For example, even after passing of the treaty of 1830, Brazil imported more than half-million slaves from Africa (Bergad 213).
Abolishing Slave Trade
In the United States, the Civil War that occurred between 1861 and 1865 contributed significantly to the end of slavery. The Emancipation Proclamation and the Thirteen Amendment to the United States Constitution were critical in ending slavery (Bergad 161). In both countries, the abolitionist pressure was instrumental in eradicating the slave trade. When compared to the United States, Brazil held the slave trade for a longer period after the former had abolished slavery. The contributing factors that made Brazil abolish slavery included local and international political pressure, forced enactment of accords by the British that limited slave trade, and campaign against African slave trade (Bergad 251).Persistent anti-slave campaigns and patrol of British naval ships also contributed to the end of slavery. For example, the Aberdeen Bill played an integral role in ending slavery in Brazil since it gave powers to the British Naval Army to conduct patrol and seize slave ships. In fact, the pressure and actions from the British forced Brazil to comply and abolish slavery (Horne 45).
Country of Preference to stay as an ex-slave
As a former slave, the country of preference to stay would be the United States. Unlike Brazil, USA has made significant progress with regards to the elimination of racism and segregation. Several decades after abolishing slavery, Brazil is still grappling with integration and racial issues. Furthermore, inequality is still prevalent in Brazil. The colored people are still struggling to get access education due to non-enforcement of affirmative action laws and quotas. As a slave, I’d prefer to live in the United States to Brazil since blacks in the latter country are still slaves to the system (Bourcier,para.8). Racism still constrains Brazil despite the eradication of slavery and its ills several decades ago. In the United States, racial discrimination In Brazil, the pace of black emancipation through affirmative actions and positive discrimination approaches is taking place slowly. Political and economic discrimination, in particular for blacks still occurs in Brazil while in the United States, it is not prevalent.
Bergad, Laird. "The Comparative Histories of Slavery in Brazil, Cuba, and the United States." Cambridge : Cambridge University Press, 2007.
Bourcier, Nicolas. "Brazil comes to terms with its slave trading past." 2012. Web .29 April 2016 <http://www.theguardian.com/world/2012/oct/23/brazil-struggle-ethnic-racial-identity>.
Horne, Gerald. "The Deepest South:The United States, Brazil, and the African Slave Trade." New York: NYU Press, 2007.