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date: 30 May 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This article reviews scholarship on the history and historiography of slavery in the French Caribbean. Pierre d'Esnambuc, a Norman sailor, planted France's first Caribbean colony on the tiny Lesser Antillean island of St Christopher in 1625. The settlement contained several dozen slaves. Although Great Britain removed this French foothold at the end of the War of the Spanish Succession (1701–14), slavery expanded under French auspices, albeit in fits and starts, to other islands during the seventeenth century. Slavery peaked in the French Caribbean during the eighteenth century as French slave traders carried more than one million slaves to the Americas. Most slaves in the French Caribbean laboured on plantations and in other commercial enterprises.

Keywords: slavery, slave trade, plantations, French slave traders

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