France's second abolition of slavery came in the wake of the February 1848 revolution. It was decreed by the new French Republic, provisionally on 4 March, and formally on 27 April 1848. The decree called slavery an "outrage against human dignity" and a "flagrant violation of Republican dogma". In it, the 'free soil' principle in France was extended to all colonial territory, including the Caribbean, Africa, South America and the Indian Ocean. The colonies, thus "purified from bondage", were accorded political representation in the French National Assembly. In November 1848, abolition was incorporated into the French Constitution, article 6: "Slavery is not permitted to exist in any French territory" (7). The Preamble to the Constitution also proclaimed that the French Republic "will never employ its forces against the liberty of any people" (6).
See the text of the decree abolishing slavery (27 April 1848) reproduced at: