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Colonies, revolts and abolition of slavery: An overview

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  1. Introduction
    1. Definitions
    2. What is Subway concept?
    3. Why is it called Subway?
    4. Why the name was not translated to French
    5. Slogan
  2. Subway's adaptation to French culture and gastronomy
  3. Conclusion

This document presents a problematic historiographical guide to the study of the correlation between the French Revolution and the abolition of slavery in the colonial world. There are indeed, two readings of revolutionary history. The first reading approximates the abolition of slavery by the Convention on February 4, 1794 and the rigorous support for the abolition of slavery during the Enlightenment. This reading is opposed by the uprising of slaves in northern Santo Domingo in August 1791, to make it clear that the abolition decree was imposed by the uprising itself. It is not revolutionary, but the initiative of a pragmatic policy.

Bythe end of the Seven Years War, French colonial space was growing: Louisiana, counters of Senegal (Saint-Louis, Gorée) and India (Chandernagore, Pondicherry), Ile de France (Mauritius ), Bourbon Island (Reunion) Saint Pierre and Miquelon, French Guiana, the Caribbean area primarily Martinique, Guadeloupe (the latter two being called "Island Wind") and small adjacent islands (St. Lucia, Tobago) and Santo Domingo were high-paying commercial spaces through the cultivation and export of sugar, coffee, indigo.

In 1789, the paradoxes of French colonial domain were manifold. With territorial possessions reduced since 1763, it reached its economic peak, and, in spite of difficulties and crises, made the fortune of merchants and ship owners in metropolitan ports. With the importation of these tropical products, largely in Santo Domingo, with subsequent export to the French manufactures, the balance of trade of the kingdom was almost always largely positive despite the serious crisis facing agriculture. But this enormous power was a colossus with feet of clay, because it relied on human trafficking and slavery.

The prosperity of Santo Domingo was due to a triad: the great plantation (Housing), a mass labor movement fueled by the slave trade, sugar monoculture (the sugar plantation provided quick fortune of the wealthy planters, bound by family networks and the court nobility). The planters were attached to this triad, and that there not willing to take away one element (in this case, slavery), believing that the prosperity of the island would suffer directly. However, the colony was not a "sugar island"; towns were sufficiently large and active to develop a specific company, mixed racially, with its political and cultural institutions.

The Creole autonomy was the fundamental feature of the colonial spirit in the majority white population. The "whites" were divided into three groups:
- Planters
- The "little whites" (artisans, laborers, sailors, porters, dockers )
- The metropolitans (senior officials).
There were on the eve of the Revolution:
- 35 400 people in Santo Domingo (6% of the total population)
- 13,700 in Guadeloupe (14% of the population of the island)
- 10,600 in Martinique (11% of the population of the colony)
- 2000 in Cayenne (8%).

They were aware of belonging to a society very different from that of the metropolis, the wars of the eighteenth century, and foreign occupations had aggravated this phenomenon. The ideal for them was a system that combines administrative decentralization (self-government), free trade and diplomatic neutrality. According to their system of representation, the colonial territory was not part of the country, so there was no need to defend it.

Tags: Creole autonomy, French colonization, slavery

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