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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:O papel dos custos do trabalho no florescimento e declíno das plantações de cacau em S. Tomé e Príncipe
Author:Clarence-Smith, W.G.ISNI
Year:1991
Periodical:Revista internacional de estudos Africanos
Issue:14-15
Pages:7-34
Language:Portuguese
Geographic terms:São Tomé and Principe
Portugal
Subjects:colonialism
forced labour
cocoa
production costs
Abstract:Portuguese text. Sum. in English: The main purpose of this article is to contest the commonly held notion that the development of European mining and plantation enterprises in Africa relied on masses of 'cheap labour'. The article focuses on the issue of how much the Portuguese planters of São Tomé and Príncipe actually paid for their workers in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries in order to arrive at a more accurate assessment of the role of labour costs in the rise and decline of the islands' cocoa plantations in this period. For the São Tomé planters, the cost of unskilled labour was chiefly determined by a labour system closely akin to slavery, with the Angolan slave trade providing the bulk of workers. The author analyses the relatively high expenditure involved in the purchase, maintenance and payment of this indentured 'slave' labour. Emphasizing the low productivity of the labour force, exacerbated by growing resistance among workers to their forced servitude, the author concludes that the uncompetitive nature of Portuguese plantations in São Tomé and Príncipe by the twentieth century lay in the high costs and inefficiency of the prevailing system of coerced labour. Notes, ref.
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