Sentiment and the Law: Inventing the Category of the Wretched Slave in the Real Audiencia of Santo Domingo, 1783–1812

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Ana M. Hontanilla, Associate Professor (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
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Abstract: This essay explores the idea of the “pious humaneness” of the Spanish monarchy as it manifested in the legal and judicial activities of the Real Audiencia of Santo Domingo. In the 1780s, two new imperial policies relating to slavery held the potential to improve slaves’ lives. I focus on slaves’ power to denounce and correct neglect or abusive punishment in light of the new imperial policies. I reexamine social historians’ assumption that laws related to “humane” treatment were not enforced. They often were, and were several times even strengthened over masters’ objections. Slave treatment was a social order problem.

Additional Information

Eighteenth-Century Studies 48.2 (2015): 181-200
Language: English
Date: 2015
Santa Domingo, Caribbean, Slavery, Colonization, Spain, Eighteenth Century

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