Base de données EURESCL


Slave Trade, Slavery Abolitions and their Legacies in European Histories and Identities

Le droit des traites et des esclavages. Textes juridiques internationaux, nationaux et locaux concernant les traites et les esclavages en Europe, en Afrique et dans les Amériques du XVe au XXe siècle


  • Dominique Rogers
  • Myriam Cottias

Aims of the database

The database « Le droit des traites et des esclavages » has of course no intention to legitimize any kind of slavery and slave trade, but as the subtitle indicates, it aims at collecting all the international, national and local juridical texts, elaborated in Europe, Africa, and in the Americas from the XVth to the XXth century. It stemmed from the desire of the researchers of the workpackage « Lois, normes, pratiques et relations sociales » of the EURESCL programme to favour researches concerning slave trade and slavery and particularly entangled analyses on the constitution of a normative and official juridical framework related to those practices in the European metropolises and their colonies. It deals with the different forms of slavery and concerns altogether African, Amerindian, and European slaves. It includes not only decisions taken by European juridical and administrative institutions but texts elaborated in the colonies by the varied local administrative, political and judiciary actors (governors, local assemblies, judicial courts etc.) Colonial, European and sometimes international juridical and administrative regulations are often influenced by each other, but they also distinguish themselves by differences of priorities and logics, that local daily practices can also illustrate. Thus, the French Code Noir of 1685, which is a fundamental Law of the kingdom, is neither applied in metropolitan France, nor in Canada. Moreover, the local juridical regulations and practices of each French Caribbean island were so varied that it would be meaningless to contemplate understanding the colonial societies without using both the code of 1685 and the local regulations, plus of course the code of 1724 for Louisiana. Finally in order to facilitate comparisons between slavery and slave trade before European colonization and also in order to take into account the plurality of the juridical discourses at work in American and African colonies, the pre-colonial legislations or customs were also inserted in the corpus.


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