This article aims to contribute to studies that analyse the concepts of liberalism and its theoretical limits. Our background is the construction of the Empire of Brazil (1822 - 1889), specifically through the Constitution of 1824 in which the defence of individual freedom, civil and property rights were central points of its formulation. This liberal-biased Constitution coexisted with the restriction of the freedom of some, the enslaved, imposed by others, the slave owners. This maintenance of slavery coexisting with the ideals of liberalism could create the impression of a falsification of liberal ideas. The scope of this paper is to analyse how the bases of slavery inherited from the colonial period were able to fit into a new liberal political structure. The research indicates that the end of slavery without any reparations to the former slaves generated social implications as discrimination based on race and persistent inequalities still relevant for modern day Brazil and that the apparent incoherence was not in the association of slavery and liberalism, but in the supposed dichotomy created between these two concepts. Read more
liberalism, slavery, Brazil, empire, racism