Honor and Slavery
This dissertation analyzes the relationships between honor and slavery in Portuguese America. It seeks to shed light on how the ownership, exploitation, and good administration of slaves gave rise to a new conception of honor born from an interpersonal relationship based on the maximum concentration of powers in the hands of the master and in the slaves loss of all privileges, rights and powers. As an intrinsic feeling or an external valuation, with origins in medieval Portugal up to the Old Regime, honor was adapted and molded to the interests, values and socio-political conceptions of various groups. These multiple meanings present in Portugal, with all their potentially unstable and dynamic components, crossed the Atlantic between the late 16th and mid 18th centuries and appeared in the works of several colonial scholars, who, in their reflections on gender, class and race relationships, pointed to honor as a key principle in the organization of the colonial society.