Angola Table of Contents

The Early Nineteenth Century

The nineteenth century ushered in a period of crisis for Portugal. The invasion by Napoleon's armies in 1807 forced the Portuguese court into exile in Brazil. In 1820 the regency was overthrown, and a conflict began between constitutionalists and monarchists that did not end until 1834. Many of these changes were echoed in Angola, where there were uprisings and an army mutiny that toppled the colony's governor.

The instability in Europe in the first three decades of the nineteenth century removed Portugal, Britain, France, and Holland from the Angolan slave market. But this turn of events allowed Angolan traders access to other markets. Unfettered trade with Brazilians, Cubans, and American southerners enabled the Portuguese slave dealers to enjoy a period of great prosperity, while the Angolan kingdoms suffered increased depopulation. After the constitutionalist triumph in Portugal in 1834, a provisional junta took charge in Luanda.

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Source: U.S. Library of Congress