Caribbean New Orleans: Empire, Race, and the Making of a Slave Society

TitleCaribbean New Orleans: Empire, Race, and the Making of a Slave Society
Publication TypeBook
Year of Publication2019
AuthorsVidal, Cécile
Number of Pages533
PublisherUniversity of North Carolina Press
CityChapel Hill, NC

This sweeping study demonstrates the shaping role of the Antilles in colonial New Orleans while providing a broad reinterpretation of slavery and racial formation within the greater eighteenth-century Caribbean. Vidal exposes longstanding structures of racial domination as well as a complex flux in racial regimes over the course of a century riven by settler colonialism, the Seven Years War, and imperial conflicts along the Gulf of Mexico during the Age of Revolution. Vidal's extensive archival research offers rich insight into the urban slave society of New Orleans, shedding light on local interactions of people of widely different status as they interact in religious institutions, black militias, domestic life, labor, commerce, and the judicial regime. Local institutions and practices, Vidal argues, were both unique and embedded in broader Caribbean and imperial structures. 

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