Lei do Ventre Livre

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The Lei do Ventre Livre ( Portuguese for law of the free belly ) was a law passed by the Brazilian parliament in 1871 that stipulated that future children born to female slaves should be free.

The Visconde do Rio Branco, José Maria da Silva Paranhos , presented the bill to parliament on May 27, 1871. In his opinion, maintaining slavery was damaging to Brazil's reputation abroad. The law was debated controversially between liberals and conservatives in both chambers . After the approval of the House of Representatives , the Senate passed Law No. 2040 on September 28, 1871. It is also known as Lei Rio Branco after the initiator of the law .

The law stipulated that the mother's owner had to raise the child until the age of eight. Then he could let the child work for him up to the age of 21 to compensate for the costs incurred or demand a severance payment of 600,000 Réis from the state. However, since the vast majority of slaves were men and the child mortality rate among slaves was over 90 percent, the law had little effect. Nevertheless, it was a first step towards the liberation of the slaves in Brazil.

In 1878 the MP Joaquim Nabuco founded the “Brazilian Society against Slavery” ( Sociedade Antiescravidão Brasileira ); she was instrumental in the abolition of slavery.

José do Patrocínio wrote a declaration of political aims and intentions of the abolitionists, which was published in 1883 as the Manifesto da Confederação Abolicionista .

In 1885 the Lei dos Sexagenários ("Law of Sixty Years") released all slaves over 60 years of age.

In 1888 with the Lei Áurea ( Portuguese for Golden Law ) in the Empire of Brazil the slavery completely abolished.

Web links

Wikisource: Text of the Lei do Ventre Livre  - sources and full texts (Portuguese)

See also