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, …show more content…
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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New Orleans had a high slave population, which played a role in their economic development and growth, which is understandable since New Orleans had the largest slave markets. Slavery was an economically efficient system of production. Owners need the most efficient works in order to develop their economic growth. According to the Historical Census Browser, in 1830 Louisiana had a slave population of 109,588 out of the total 215,529 population of state. As stated before the prestige of owning a slave was considered a valuable item, in regard to race the purchase was a desire for buyers and way to illustrate their dominance.
In 1709, Jacques Raudot, passed an ordinance planned to identify owners’ demands for Seeking validation and security of their enslaved property and reinforcing the legality of both African and Indian servitude in New France. The ordinance accentuated the problems associated with insubordinate slaves, who often attempted to escape from their owners by repudiating their enslaved status. In his ordinance, Raudot also highlighted the need of slaveholding for the growth and development the colony. The ordinance disseminated to the public through New France’s officials who referred to Raudot’s ordinance as the root of legalized slavery in the colony. It was published in the towns of Quebec, Three rivers, and Montreal and was notarized by authorities.
The Revolutionary War was fought with the intention of emancipation of from a greater power and being able to enjoy the rights of self-government and self-determination. Many enslaved African Americans related to the rebel’s cause and their struggle to be free. They believe that once the United States gained its freedom, they would be freed as well. However this was not the case.
The Portrayal of Slavery in Antebellum Louisiana in Solomon Northup’s Twelve Years a Slave In his memoire Twelve Years a Slave, illegitimately enslaved Solomon Northup does not only depict his own deprivations in bondage, but also provides a deep insight into the slave trade, slaves’ working and living conditions, as well as religious beliefs of both enslaved people and their white masters in antebellum Louisiana. Northup’s narrative is a distinguished literary piece that exposes the injustice of the whole slaveholding system and its dehumanizing effect. It is not a secret that the agriculture dominated the economy of antebellum Louisiana (Louisiana: A History 183). Therefore the Southern planters needed relatively cheap workforce to cultivate
Freedom is the power or right to act, speak, or think as one wants without hindrance or restraint. The foundation of America is freedom. Freedom from Britain. However, the freedom is limited to white males who own property. When colonists started to immigrate to America, they wanted to escape from under the rule of Britain.
Louisiana is commonly associated with its most popular ethnic backgrounds of the French and Africans that were brought to the country for slavery purposes. As mentioned before, Louisiana has a rich agriculture ideal for growing crops like cotton. Cotton was abundant when produced and slave masters weren’t picking that cotton themselves, the slaves were. Cotton and tobacco were the number one crops produced over this time period, thus more and more slaves were needed to keep up with the amount of cotton produced.
Slavery was different for America then it was for the rest of the world. For the rest of the world, it wasn’t a race thing they just enslaved the people that they had conquered. They did not care what the color of their skin was it was just about the need for labor. In the article “New of New World Slavery” it explains how slavery was different in America than in Europe. “Slavery in the classical and the early medieval worlds was not based on racial distinctions”.
Survivors of these raids would be mostly women and child, and as many would perish from disease the French settlers desired to increase slave labor in other ways. In time, French settlers seeing both the economic success of Haiti and the abundance of slave importations from Africa turned to African slavery to increase the number of enslaved workers in the French colony (Clark-Pujara 2/6/18). As the colony increased in size and the number of enslaved Africans, both grew and became the primary work force the Lower Mississippi Valley turned into a slave society. Finally, the introduction of the Code Noir, a decree passed by French King Louis XIV to the French colonial empire, established African raced based slavery as the norm throughout all French colonies. Fundamentally, the introduction and use of African slavery in the Lower Mississippi Valley resulted from the desire for a large enslaved work force and the already established African slave societies and laws found in other French
With slaves came the opportunity to work. With more hands that were not paid plantation owners only had more to gain as this went on through several states. Several slaves were sent in abundance to the West Indies to speed up the process of collecting sugar cane. This was extremely hard work for the slaves and only pushed the separation bar further apart. Along with Native Americans and slave women had no say over what went on in their lives a majority of the time.
By using this reference, it illustrated the severity of the alienation of blacks in the Southern United States. In 1619, a Dutch ship “introduced the first captured Africans to America, planting the seeds of a slavery system that evolved into a nightmare of abuse and cruelty that would ultimately divide the nation”. The Africans were not treated humanely, but were treated as workers with no rights. Originally, they were to work for poor white families for seven years and receive land and freedom in return. As the colonies prospered, the colonists did not want to give up their workers and in 1641, slavery was legalized.
The defeated people were taken prisoners, transported and then sold. Women were the first slaves, and made up of the majority of African slaves. They usually performed agricultural work, domestic chores, or economic functions such as trading and cotton spinning. Some were taken as wives or concubines by powerful African men, and symbolized wealth. Males were put to harder tasks, typically farming and herding cattle.
Only three percent of the international slave trade arrived in the new colonies. Many African was sold into slavery because their family owed a debt and they had no other means to pay for it. Sometimes an individual voluntarily enter into a service contract, so they can pay off debt. Furthermore the individual would work for a specified period then eventually gain their freedom. When the first Africans slaves came to the new colonies they operated under a similar arrangement.
Slavery began long before the colonization of North America. This was an issue in ancient Egypt, as well as other times and places throughout history. In discussing the evolution of African slavery from its origins, the resistance and abolitionist efforts through the start of the Civil War, it is found to have resulted in many conflicts within our nation. In 1619, the first Africans in America arrived in Jamestown on a Dutch ship.