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The Abolitions of Slavery
From the L. F. Sonthonax to Victor Schoelcher, 1793, 1794, 1848
Edited by Marcel Dorigny
Translated from the French.
Published in association with UNESCO
384 pages, 10 ills, bibliog., index
ISBN 978-1-57181-432-6 $34.95/£27.95 / Pb / Published (October 2003)
"This work has been worth the wait ..All of the articles are of excellent quality, many are clear enough to stand alone for graduate students, and all are thought-provoking either in themselves or as suggestions of new questions that need to be addressed within the French colonies or in the broader comparative literature." · Itinerario
These papers are intended to demonstrate the complexity of the historical processes leading up to the abolition of slavery in 1793-1794, and again in 1848, given that Bonaparte had restored the former colonial regime in 1802. Those processes include the slave insurrections and the many forms of resistance to slavery and servile work, the philosophical and political debates of the Enlightenment, the attitude of the Church, the action of anti-slavery associations and the role of revolutionary assemblies, not forgetting the importance of the economic interests that provided the backcloth to philosophical discussions in the matter.
The close interweaving of the colonial spheres of the majority of European powers inexorably raised slavery to an international plane: from then on anti-slavery too became a cosmopolitan movement, and these present studies strive to take account of this important innovation at the end of the eighteenth century.
This work, written in tribute to Léger Félicité Sonthonex, who was responsible for the first abolition in Santo Domingo in 1793, and to Victor Schoelcher, principal architect of the abolition of 1848, is intended to link two highly symbolic dates in the tragic history of the "first colonization": 1793 marks the beginning of the age of abolitions, yet it was not until half a century later that France, now republican once more, renewed links with the heritage of the Enlightenment and of Year II.
Marcel Dorigny teaches at the Department of History of the University of Paris 8.
Subject: Colonial History History: 18th/19th Century
Area: Latin America and the Caribbean Europe
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