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The Great African Slave Revolt of 1825: Cuba and the Fight for Freedom in Matanzas

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In June 1825 the Cuban countryside witnessed a large African-led slave rebellion -- a revolt that began a cycle of slave uprisings lasting until the mid-1840s. The Great African Slave Revolt of 1825 examines this movement and its participants for the first time, highlighting the significance of African warriors in New World plantation society. Unlike previous slave revolts In June 1825 the Cuban countryside witnessed a large African-led slave rebellion -- a revolt that began a cycle of slave uprisings lasting until the mid-1840s. The Great African Slave Revolt of 1825 examines this movement and its participants for the first time, highlighting the significance of African warriors in New World plantation society. Unlike previous slave revolts -- led by alliances between free people of color and slaves, blacks and mulattoes, Africans and Creoles, and rural and urban populations -- only African-born men organized the uprising of 1825. From this year onwards, Barcia argues, slave uprisings in Cuba underwent a phase of Africanization that concluded only in the mid-1840s with the conspiracy of La Escalera, a large movement organized by free colored men with ample participation of the slave population. The Great African Slave Revolt of 1825 offers a detailed examination of the sociopolitical and economic background of the Matanzas rebellion, both locally and colonially. Based on extensive primary sources, particularly court records, the study provides a microhistorical analysis of the days that preceded this event, the uprising itself, and the days and months that followed. Barcia gives the Great African Revolt of 1825 its rightful place in the history of slavery in Cuba, the Caribbean, and the Americas.


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In June 1825 the Cuban countryside witnessed a large African-led slave rebellion -- a revolt that began a cycle of slave uprisings lasting until the mid-1840s. The Great African Slave Revolt of 1825 examines this movement and its participants for the first time, highlighting the significance of African warriors in New World plantation society. Unlike previous slave revolts In June 1825 the Cuban countryside witnessed a large African-led slave rebellion -- a revolt that began a cycle of slave uprisings lasting until the mid-1840s. The Great African Slave Revolt of 1825 examines this movement and its participants for the first time, highlighting the significance of African warriors in New World plantation society. Unlike previous slave revolts -- led by alliances between free people of color and slaves, blacks and mulattoes, Africans and Creoles, and rural and urban populations -- only African-born men organized the uprising of 1825. From this year onwards, Barcia argues, slave uprisings in Cuba underwent a phase of Africanization that concluded only in the mid-1840s with the conspiracy of La Escalera, a large movement organized by free colored men with ample participation of the slave population. The Great African Slave Revolt of 1825 offers a detailed examination of the sociopolitical and economic background of the Matanzas rebellion, both locally and colonially. Based on extensive primary sources, particularly court records, the study provides a microhistorical analysis of the days that preceded this event, the uprising itself, and the days and months that followed. Barcia gives the Great African Revolt of 1825 its rightful place in the history of slavery in Cuba, the Caribbean, and the Americas.

30 review for The Great African Slave Revolt of 1825: Cuba and the Fight for Freedom in Matanzas

  1. 5 out of 5

    Mike

    Manuel Barcia has presented a very interesting book on the 1825 Slave Revolt in Cuba. The concept that the revolts were fomented by African-born slaves, some of whom were warriors in the wars in Africa is one that I had previously not been aware of. It certainly makes sense. Why would proud warriors submit without a whimper, especially when enslaved with other warriors from their own tribes and of neighboring tribes. The book is historical and factual. The author describes it as a monograph. As Manuel Barcia has presented a very interesting book on the 1825 Slave Revolt in Cuba. The concept that the revolts were fomented by African-born slaves, some of whom were warriors in the wars in Africa is one that I had previously not been aware of. It certainly makes sense. Why would proud warriors submit without a whimper, especially when enslaved with other warriors from their own tribes and of neighboring tribes. The book is historical and factual. The author describes it as a monograph. As such it is not a stirring read with accounts of love and personal insights. I think the book would be a bit dry for the casual reader, but if read as the author intended, it is a great overview of the revolt and a starting point for further investigation.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Dusty

    Manuel Barcia's new history of the causes and consequences of Cuban slave rebellions is a timely counterpart to and critique of related books like Robert Paquette's Sugar Is Made with Blood. Rather than depict slave uprisings as manifestations of a trans-atlantic revolutionary spirit (and slaves as "black Jacobins," in CLR James's words), Barcia argues that the majority of rebellions were led by slaves uninformed in French Revolutionary ideals and should be considered -- instead -- as extensions Manuel Barcia's new history of the causes and consequences of Cuban slave rebellions is a timely counterpart to and critique of related books like Robert Paquette's Sugar Is Made with Blood. Rather than depict slave uprisings as manifestations of a trans-atlantic revolutionary spirit (and slaves as "black Jacobins," in CLR James's words), Barcia argues that the majority of rebellions were led by slaves uninformed in French Revolutionary ideals and should be considered -- instead -- as extensions of the political crises and wars ongoing in Africa. I appreciate the directions in which the book pushes the historiography of Cuban slavery, but the chapters that detail the 1825 rebellion itself are dry and rather more detailed than memorable. I guess I like my history sweeter and easier to digest.

  3. 4 out of 5

    LSU Press

  4. 4 out of 5

    Natasha

  5. 4 out of 5

    Beautiful Anjail

  6. 4 out of 5

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  7. 5 out of 5

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  8. 5 out of 5

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  10. 5 out of 5

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  12. 4 out of 5

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  13. 5 out of 5

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  15. 5 out of 5

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  22. 4 out of 5

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  23. 4 out of 5

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  24. 4 out of 5

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  25. 5 out of 5

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  26. 5 out of 5

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  27. 5 out of 5

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  28. 4 out of 5

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  29. 5 out of 5

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  30. 5 out of 5

    Kathy

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