The Process Of Abolition Of Slavery In Peru

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The process of abolition of slavery in Peru

The purpose of this research is to analyze the direct and indirect reactions of the African Cimarrones for the contribution of the dissolution of submission in our country. Therefore, the following problematic question has been raised: to what extent the Cimarronaje of African blacks influenced the process of abolition of slavery in Peru, between 1800 and 1854?

For this analysis, two sources have been chosen, having as primary a journalistic warning of the newspaper "El Comercio" (1854), this is pertinent because it provides information about rewards towards the person who finds the Cimarrón slave; As a secondary source, you have the book “The Decree of Huancayo. The abolition of slavery in Peru ”, she is pertinent because through her analysis, it gives us that the cyimarronage contributed a lot for the abolition of slavery in Peru.

Journalistic notice of the newspaper "El Comercio" – Lima, Friday, October 20, 1854.1

The value of this source for the origin is that such notice corresponds to a very reliable and historical medium in Peru, precisely at the historical moment in which the slavery process was given in Peru. This corresponds to an example of Cimarronaje in 1854 in relation to the Palenque of the Nievería Hacienda in Lima.

On the other hand, the value of the source for the purpose is to persuade the population to help find the Cimarrón slave.

Likewise, the value of the source for the content is that it exposes situations given between African black masters, specifically in the resistance or rebellion process against the slavery system.

As for its limitation, due to the nature of the source of being a warning, it does not deepen the events of slavery and cyimarronage.

Book "The Decree of Huancayo. The abolition of slavery in Peru ". Jean Pierre afternoon. 

In this source, the historian analyzes the decree that Ramón Castilla promulgated on December 3, 1854 in Ayacucho.

The value of the source for the origin is that this book reflects a meticulous research work, whose author recounts with dedication, so it was even published by the editorial fund of the Congress of the Republic of Peru.

In addition, the value of the source for the purpose is to reveal that there were various efforts to abolish slavery in our country, however the cimarronage process became a timely strategy by slaves to obtain their freedom.

In turn, the value of the source for the content is that it describes and analyzes a series of complementary historical facts that warn that the process of abolition of slavery in Peru was controversial and that the cimarronage was one of the forms of struggle for struggle part of the enslaved African blacks against enslaving.

Regarding its limitation, it was identified that the author has a biased perspective of the facts, since he tries to indirectly qualify Timorata and late political decision by José de San Martín and Ramón Castilla to abolish slavery, for its effects Secondary in the economy of Peru.


The increasing demand for the importation of slaves of the 16th century until the seventeenth century was due to the remarkable decrease of the indigenous population that meant a demographic implosion, to the point that millions of inhabitants were reduced to 600,000 in 1620, due to wars and elimination Physics, to the numerous epidemics and diseases that decimated the Andean population, and overexploitation in mines, parcels, haciendas and works. Faced with this problem, there was the need for labor. According to Basadre (1939), African masses were brought from the North and Central western coast of Africa, showing differences in their physical appearance and character between chalas and mozambiques, mines and congos, mandingas and banguelas. They were transported in very inhuman, poorly fed and sick travel conditions, to subsequently be subjected to supplications, marked with hot iron and sold to agricultural work in coastal farms and domestic, artisanal service, street sales, etc.

When black slaves enter Peru, they were distributed in the plantations of Piura and Lambayeque, Chincha, Ica and Cañete. Previously, who more slaves possessed, more status and social prestige had. In the cities there were day laborers who were allowed to work on their own to pay the master a daily wage, which gave several autonomy to accumulate money and buy their freedom, so that towards the end of the colony there was a Good number of free slaves.

Together with legal manumission, there were other strategies of freedom, such as the Cimarronaje, he assumed two differentiated ways: those who escaped for fleeing a punishment or improving their situation by changing “master”, and on the other hand, those who escaped with the In order to totally break the enslavement, escape that in many cases contributed to the construction of communities of libertarian remote shelters, called Palenques.

Up to 1550 amounted to three thousand blacks in Peru and half lived in Lima. In 1575, during the Viceroy Taboada, the census indicated 40,335 slaves on a population of 1´076,112, increasing later to 95,000; In addition, it is estimated that from the seventeenth about 500 slaves entered annually. At the end of the viceroyalty, these descended to 41,228 and in 1854, when freedom was decreed, they reached 25,000.

When talking about the process of abolition of slavery in Peru, reference is made to the historical overcoming of a servile condition that presents framed within two characteristics: formal slavery, that is, legally admitted, regulated by law, and slavery applied to the population of African origin.

With San Martín, it was decreed in August 1821 that no one was born a slave in Peru.

San Martín would decree the "freedom of bellies", a rule that announced that no one would be born a slave in Peru from that moment

However, slavery still remained; Faced with this, in the middle of the liberal revolution and during the gradual process of disintegration of slavery in Peru, Ramón Castilla decreed in Huancayo the abolition of slavery for all slaves on December 3, 1854. This process had some local and other transnational components: the abolition of negrera trafficking, the wars of independence and the political and social changes that they produced, the agrarian crisis that preceded and followed these wars, the tenacious battle that the owners gave To prolong slavery and slaves to liquidate it, social and political instability associated with caudillista conflicts, and the growing opposition of certain liberal sectors to the continuity of slavery.

Faced with the new legal and political scenario of the supporters of slavery, slaves had the need to increase their efforts in search of freedom. These efforts were implemented following decisive strategies: the placement of precise limits to the reproduction of the slave population, thereby increasing the ability to negotiate slaves; the circulation of republican ideas of freedom and independence that would legalize forms of struggle such as cyimarronage and revolts to ventilate arguments in court and negotiate with masters from more solid positions; Finally, the tortuous state formation process and the situation of political and social instability would open a space that slaves took the opportunity to mobilize wills and exercise their right to be heard.

Cimarronaje became more intense and fed on banditry, which became a very serious problem during the first republican decades given the weakness of the State to fight it. The games of bandit and montoneros became a powerful incentive, in addition, for the slaves that remained in the haciendas, generating a situation of continuous agitation, so that the Cimarronaje had a strong influence on the process of abolition of slavery in Peru, since it became the strong organization strategy of the Africans who managed to escape the estates or obtain some freedom, to exert pressure by the abolition of slavery.


  • In the present investigation the historical method was used, with their respective stages: heuristic, where it was tried to identify the relevant material as sources of information, both primary and secondary. Criticism, through the evaluation of the sources that were used to answer the study question, determining its authenticity, integrity, credibility and context. Synthesis, that is, after the analysis of all the information, this study writing was written, trying to answer the initial question.
  • The historian specializes in the past, having in north the research, study, analysis, interpretation and documentation of the different facts in history, in such a way that it becomes a link between the present and the past, its point of view is is loaded with the experiences already occurred, but it also carries with it an understanding of what happens at this time and what it historically means. ´
  • Studying history not only helps us to know the past, it also helps us to understand the present, many classic authors have considered history as "the teacher of life" since the history and decisions of the past can be learned so that They are repeated or evaded according to the situation in the future, the knowledge of the past grants many lessons and not only in social matters, the decisions of politics and the economy are sometimes carried out, according to the results that are They have obtained from them previously, a society aware of their history will be facilitated by the understanding of the situation that it lives, it will form a critical vision of those things that it can change, and will know how to defend themselves from the decisions in the future.
  • Ramón Castilla’s decree was the culmination of a process of abolition of slavery that had occurred, at least, during the last 50 years, and in which various actors and factors had participated, including, in a decisive way, the own themselves slaves through their various acts of struggle, as it is, the Cimarronaje. Therefore, it is worth mentioning that the true abolitionist campaign in Peru was given by slaves, before the liberal ideologues, who very fearful began to demand the termination of slavery late.



  • Pierre, j. (2005). Huancayo decree. The abolition of slavery in Peru. Lima: Editorial Fund of the Congress of Peru.
  • National Training Program in Service- Secondary Education. (2005). Social Sciences – Interculturality, Fascicle 1.1. Lima: Ministry of Education – Dinfocad/UCAD.
  • National Training Program in Service- Secondary Education. (2005). Social Sciences – Andean countries during the colonial era, fascicle 6.two. Lima: Ministry of Education – Dinfocad/UCAD.
  • UNESCO (2004). The Afro -Andean to the 20th century. Lima: Unesco. "A Peruvian man".
  • Rodríguez Pastor, H. (2014). Abolition of slavery in Peru and its continuity. Lima: UNMSM

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