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Grant number like: FT-59981-12

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Patricia Acerbi
Russell Sage College (Troy, NY 12180-4115)

Summer Stipends
Research Programs

[Grant products]

$6,000 (approved)
$6,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
6/1/2012 – 7/31/2012

Citizenship and Street Vendors' Associations in Post-Abolition Rio de Janeiro, 1889-1930

Following the abolition of slavery in 1888 and the establishment of the First Republic in 1889, extensive urban reform aimed to modernize and sanitize Rio de Janeiro. Advancing the program of urban renewal, municipal authorities passed several laws designed to eliminate or restrict street commerce. Many vendors challenged these new laws by forming associations, waging newspaper campaigns, and organizing nonviolent protest. Immigrants, Brazilians, former slaves, and African descendants created alliances to protect street vending against increasing fees, fines, and imprisonment. Vendors often resisted charges of vagrancy and public disorder as employers, association members, and family provided bail and testimony to vendors' civility. In the capital city of a nation that had recently ended the rule of slavery and monarchy, the language of citizenship and free labor appeared in court cases and associative activities to assert vendors' right to economic liberty and equal citizenship.