"There Are No Slaves in France": The Political Culture of Race and Slavery in the Ancien Régime

Title"There Are No Slaves in France": The Political Culture of Race and Slavery in the Ancien Régime
Publication TypeBook
Year of Publication1996
AuthorsPeabody, Sue
Number of Pages210
PublisherOxford University Press
CityNew York
Abstract

This book analyzes the historical development of the "Freedom Principle" in France--the claim that slaves became free upon touching French soil. Drawing upon legal cases, royal decrees and judicial decisions, Peabody reveals rising tensions over the respective powers and purview of slaveholders, the monarch, and the Parlement de Paris concerning the slave regime and "royal despotism" as she follows the elaboration of increasingly restrictive race-based laws. In a compelling series of case studies, Peabody shows that through the eighteenth century, people of African descent nonetheless leveraged the Freedom Principle to petition --often successfully--for legal status as free persons. The book concludes in 1789, as tensions  over slavery and race reached a new pitch in the revolutions in France and its Caribbean colonies.

URLhttps://oxford.universitypressscholarship.com/view/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195101980.001.0001/acprof-9780195101980
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860221484

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