To Be Free and French: Citizenship in France's Atlantic Empire

TitleTo Be Free and French: Citizenship in France's Atlantic Empire
Publication TypeBook
Year of Publication2017
AuthorsSemley, Lorelle
Number of Pages362
PublisherCambridge University Press
CityCambridge
Abstract

Bridging French Atlantic ports and cities, this wide-reaching history follows men and women of color as they negotiated the shifting juridical boundaries of French citizenship. The revolutionary landscape of Saint-Domingue sets the stage for ongoing conflicts over slave emancipation and colonial rule throughout the French Atlantic. Following a long chronological arc that begins in the 1790s, Semley traces the trajectories of the Rossignols, slave-owning mixed-race women, from Gorée to Saint-Domingue to South Carolina; Martinique-born Jean Jacques Alin, who leveraged his military service during the French Revolution to secure a career in the colonial administration of nineteenth-century Senegal; and Marc Kojo Tovalou Houénou, born in Dahomey, whose legal career challenged the constraints of French "universalism." Semley's impressive research reveals the impact of gender in legal debates and popular protests while demonstrating how Africans' and Antilleans' claims to be "free, black, and French" exceeded the legal boundaries of French citizenship.

URLhttps://www.cambridge.org/core/books/to-be-free-and-french/FFB177814F477B56F378B16C695D6E3E
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