Legacy of the Lash

Legacy of the Lash

Race and Corporal Punishment in the Brazilian Navy and the Atlantic World
Zachary R. Morgan
Distribution: Global
Publication date: 11/12/2014
Format: Hardback 15 b&w illus., 8 tables
ISBN: 978-0-253-01420-7
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Legacy of the Lash is a compelling social and cultural history of the Brazilian navy in the decades preceding and immediately following the 1888 abolition of slavery in Brazil. Focusing on non-elite, mostly black enlisted men and the oppressive labor regimes under which they struggled, the book is an examination of the four-day Revolta da Chibata (Revolt of the Lash) of November 1910, during which nearly half of Rio de Janeiro’s enlisted men rebelled against the use of corporal punishment in the navy. These men seized four new, powerful warships, turned their guns on Rio de Janeiro, Brazil’s capital city, and held its population hostage until the government abolished the use of the lash as a means of military discipline. Although the revolt succeeded, the men involved paid dearly for their actions. This event provides a clear lens through which to examine racial identity, violence, masculinity, citizenship, modernity, and the construction of the Brazilian nation.

Author Bio

Zachary R. Morgan is an associate professor of Latin American history and African American studies at Penn State University. He has prevoiusly taught in the American Studies department at the University of Nex Mexico and in the History departments of Boston College and William Paterson University.


“Offering new insights into the spectacular sailors’ revolt of 1910, Zachary R. Morgan treats the ‘deep structure’ of Brazilian naval discipline, one based primarily on flogging. Slavery was only abolished in 1888, and the mutineers, largely of African descent, saw flogging as an intolerable holdover from the slave era. Morgan also shows the incompatibility of the old labor regime and modern naval technology. Trained on the new battleships in the English shipyards where they were built, Brazilian sailors increasingly viewed themselves as citizens in uniform.”
 — Joseph L. Love, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

“Legacy of the Lash is a stellar contribution to the growing global scholarship on mutiny and maritime radicalism. Zachary R. Morgan brings back to vibrant life the history-making powers of Brazil's motley crews in the early twentieth century.”
 — Marcus Rediker, author of The Amistad Rebellion: An Atlantic Odyssey of Slavery and Freedom

“The book, which is very well written and based on extensive documentary research, portrays the existence of a strict social and racial hierarchy in Brazil, thus adding to countless studies that, for the past several decades, have challenged the still-quite-persistent idea that the country is an example of racial harmony. ”
 — Hispanic American Historical Review

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Table of Contents

List of Tables
1. Introduction: Race and Violence in Brazil and its Navy
2. Legislating the Lash
3. Control of the Lower Decks, 1860-1893
4. Roots of a Rebellion
5. The Revolt of the Lash
6. The Aftermath
7. Conclusion

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