“The Republic is one and indivisible”: this principle was the founding dogma of the regime that emerged during the French Revolution. The Republic, however, still “owned” colonies and the plantation societies in the French West Indies could not be more at odds with the principle of universal equality. Was the regeneration effected by the Revolution compatible with the maintenance of a colonial empire? This paper will explore the heated colonial debates on French federalism, secessionism, and slavery in the age of Atlantic revolutions.
Professor Covo is a historian of the transition from early modern to modern European colonialism in the long eighteenth century. He specializes in French imperialism, political economy and Atlantic revolutions, with a special focus on the impact of the Haitian Revolution on France and the United States.
Sponsored by IHC’s Slavery, Captivity, and the Meaning of Freedom RFG.