December 12, 1792: An Attack on the Slave Trade

  • Paul H. Beik
Part of the The Documentary History of Western Civilization book series (DHWC)


The question of slavery, so simple that no equivocation would seem possible in view of the Declaration of the Rights of Man, nevertheless troubled the revolutionaries and turned a merciless searchlight on one group after another as problems associated with colonial interests, the value of the colonies to France, colonial government, rivalry with England, rights of mulattoes and freed slaves, the slave trade, the navy, agricultural methods in the sugar islands, and tax revenues became involved. All this had been foreshadowed by the crusading on the eve of the revolution of the Société des Amis des Noirs, founded in 1787, which demanded immediate abolition of the slave trade and gradual suppression of slavery itself. Every stage of the revolution and all parts of the spectrum of opinions had to take account of these problems, and it was not until February 4, 1794, that slavery was finally abolished without qualifications by the Convention.


Native Land French Revolution Fellow Citizen Slave Trade Colonial Government 
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© Paul H. Beik 1970

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  • Paul H. Beik

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