Slavery In Louisiana

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Slavery in Louisiana existed from the foundation of the colony. However, it existed in different forms depending on the nation in power and was considerable different from American chattel slavery. This essay argues that Louisiana slavery existed in different forms during the French, Spanish, and Early American periods.
Slavery in French Louisiana consisted of both Native American and African slavery. French colonists first introduced slavery in Louisiana in 1706. These first slaves were not imported from Africa, but were captives taken following French raids on Chitimacha Indian settlements. These raids consisted of killing the male population and enslaving the surviving women and children. Efforts to continue native slavery soon proved futile,
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The development of large cotton plantations in the north and the alluvial soil in the south of the state led to the need for massive increases in the labor force. The abolition of the international slave trade led to a large domestic slave trade, which found its hub in New Orleans. Thousands of slaves, which had their origins in Virginia and the Carolinas, were sold “down the river” to New Orleans. As a result, many slaves who spoke English and followed Protestant faiths began to mingle with the French speaking, largely Catholic Louisiana slave population. These new slaves brought with them exposure to the revolutionary spirit that had existed on the East Coast since the American Revolution. Additionally, Haitian slaves, free people of color, and French planted continued to pour into Louisiana following the Haitian Revolution. Exposure to revolutionary ideas were undoubtedly a major contributing factor in the Revolt of 1811, which consisted of slaves from St. Charles, St. John the Baptist, and Orleans parishes revolting against the brutal work on sugarcane plantations. This revolt led to the introduction of new slave codes, similar to the French Code Noir, to restrict the rights of enslaved…show more content…
First, the slaves in Louisiana came from French and Spanish colonies in Africa rather than British colonies. Once these slaves were in North America, the Code Noir and the Spanish Codigo Negro, which gave them many more rights than the slaves in America were afforded, governed the slaves. Additionally, these rights led to the creation of a significant population of free people of color, which was rarely seen in other parts of the United States. When control of Louisiana shifted from Spanish to United States control, the Americanization of the state resulted in both slaves and free people of color being lumped into the same group and stripped of any previous rights they once
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