This research proposal aims to explore the role of slavery in shaping Luso-Brazilian policy towards the Río de la Plata, from 1777 to 1828. The Río de la Plata region was, since the seventeenth century, a major source of rivalry between the Portuguese and Spanish crowns, and later between the Empire of Brazil and the United Provinces of Río de la Plata. Traditionally, historiography examines the subject emphasizing the conflicts around the boundaries and state sovereignties, the question of the rights of commerce and navigation, the contraband, and the connections between rural elites in both Brazilian and Spanish borderlands. This project argues that the interests around the maintenance and expansion of slavery consisted an essential part of Luso-Brazilian policy towards the Río de la Plata. In the year 1777, Spain and Portugal signed the Treaty of San Ildefonso, which finished the Luso-Spanish war and established provisional boundaries between Iberian empires in South America. In 1828 the Republic of Uruguay was created, after the ending of The Cisplatine War. The sources used are varied, and were selected to provide information on the main Luso-Brazilian political and military projects concerning the Río de la Plata region. The documents consist of administrative and diplomatic correspondence, as well as treaties and conventions celebrated by Portugal, Spain, Brazil and the United Provinces of the Río de la Plata.
News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship: