Originally a comment by jesse on Guest post: A meta-history lesson on states’ rights.
One of the things about Brazil (and Jamaica for that matter) was that by the time Brazil abolished slavery slaves just weren’t that important to the economy any more, which was smaller than that of the US (in fact it was smaller than that of the American South, I think) in any case. In Jamaica, the slave system was much less entrenched and on it way out by the time they were emancipated in the 1830s (this had less to do with principled British planters and more to do with changes in the sugar market). In Brazil, ironically enough, mismanagement of the local economy by dependence on slave labor and lack of investment in roads and such meant that the whole economy was relatively unconnected to the rest of the world compared to the US. So the market forces that made slavery such a good deal weren’t there as much. Add in the British pressure on the slave trade, and by the 1880s you didn’t have a viable institution anymore unless they did what we did here in the US. In Brazil that wasn’t an option.
Russian serfdom was also not really a human chattel system like in the US. You didn’t have people being bought and sold and forced to move great distances — serfs were tied to the land and the “market” for serfs was such that you wanted the serfs to stay where they were.
One of the things that made Cuban slavery (and in what was left of the Spanish Empire by that point) different was that a slave who married a free person had free children. There were mixed-race and black slaveholders in Brazil and Cuba as a result (that existed here and there in the US as well, but obviously in really tiny numbers).
Another interesting twist was the Cherokee and Choctaw nations in Oklahoma. The question of slavery split the nation; even there passing of slavery on through generations wasn’t done in the same way as in the white Confederacy and marrying slaves wasn’t such a problem — the miscegenation laws familiar to people elsewhere didn’t exist. And in some areas — Florida — slaves would run south because they could be free among the Seminoles.
One more interesting bit: slavery still existed in the US until 1880 or so, if you were a Native American. It was basically legal to claim the labor of any Native in California and while there were supposed to be terms for this, it was de facto slavery. I don’t know if any person was actually sold under that system, since the Civil War amendments were in place by that point.