Saint Domingue: The Abolition Of Slavery In France

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For this essay, slavery refers to the forced bondage of Africans within the West Indies, as carried out by European nations such as Britain, Spain, France and Portugal. Though each nation entered into the trade of West African slaves at different times, they all did so in pursuit of cheap labour to work the fields in the West Indies that provided Europe with sugar, tobacco and cotton, to name a few of the luxury items produced by colonies as well as the taxes that governments levied against those in the colonies to fatten the government purse. The reasoning and timing of the abolition of slavery is varied across the nations that participated in the trade, each nation’s particular circumstance, whether social, economic or political in the late…show more content…
This motivated the slaves and the mullattoes in the French colonies specifically Saint Domingue, to desire the same rights for themselves. Being denied these right by the planter class in the colony led to revolts by persons like Oge, L’Oventure and Dessalines, the revolts in Saint Domingue propelled the move for France’s to abolish slavery. In 1789, Vincent Oge lead a partly successful revolt which ended with Oge being captured and publically executed as a deterrent to other who may choose to revolt, that however was not the effect it had. The effectiveness of Oge’s revolt, was that it gave rise to men such as Jean-Jacques Dessalines and Toussaint L’Oventure to continue the fight against the French. They joined forces with the Spanish in the war against the French to gain their freedom, and when they did, they fought the Spanish and forced them of the entire island of Hispaniola. This continued fighting caused enough damage to the economy of the colonies by causing major halts to crop production in Saint Domingue that the National Convention immediately pushed to vote for the abolition of slavery in French colonies in fear of the other colonies rising up, leading to slavery being abolished in 1794. France was in no position economically or politically to continue to take the risk to the economic status of France that the slave trade posed. Due to France preoccupation with the internal revolution and the disconnect in governing between France and Saint Domingue, the law on the abolition of slavery was left up to the landowners in the colonies to impose without checks or provisions from their government to ensure compliance. In the French colonies some landowners left at the passing of this law. Unlike in Britain in 1833, where they abolished slavery and compensated those in their colonies financially as well as the introduction of the
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