Medieval Portugal comprised regions of considerable diversity. In the north the old aristocracy of Leonese descent owned large estates worked mainly by serfs. In the southern territory that had been reconquered from Muslim rule, there were many towns, often separated by districts almost barren and depopulated.
When did serfdom end in Portugal?
Slavery was abolished in Portugal in 1761 by the Marquês de Pombal. However, slavery within the African Portuguese colonies was only abolished in 1869 and Portuguese involvement in near-slavery in its colonies continued into the 20th century.
What did Portugal use slaves?
Both groups of islands served as entrepôts for Portuguese commerce across vast regions of western Africa. Though São Tomé became an important sugar producer, the island also collected slaves for trans-shipment to Elmina, many of whom would be sold to local merchants and used to transport gold from the interior.
What country ended slavery first?
Haiti (then Saint-Domingue) formally declared independence from France in 1804 and became the first sovereign nation in the Western Hemisphere to unconditionally abolish slavery in the modern era.
Did serfs have rights?
Serfs, however, were legally people—though they had far fewer rights than free peasants (poor farmers of low social status). Serfs’ movements were constrained, their property rights were limited, and they owed rents of all sorts to their landlords.
Why did the Portuguese bring slaves to Brazil?
Gold and diamond deposits were discovered in Brazil in 1690, which sparked an increase in the importation of enslaved African people to power this newly profitable mining.
Does Mauritania still have slavery?
An estimated 10% to 20% of Mauritania’s 3.4 million people are enslaved — in “real slavery,” according to the United Nations’ special rapporteur on contemporary forms of slavery, Gulnara Shahinian. If that’s not unbelievable enough, consider that Mauritania was the last country in the world to abolish slavery.
How many slaves did Portugal have?
Portuguese vessels carried an estimated 5.8 million Africans into slavery. However, some fear that history risks being hijacked by politics.
How many countries did Portugal colonize?
Portugal’s empire, which survived for more than six centuries, was the first of the great European global empires and outlasted all others as well, surviving until 1999. Its former possessions are now across 50 countries around the world.