French Dbq

Topics: Slavery, French Revolution, Slavery in the United States Pages: 2 (764 words) Published: February 12, 2013
The issue of slavery has been a major point of debate in the history of man. The rights of African slaves during the Enlightenment and the French Revolution created controversies arose over the issue of slavery.

People living in France during the Enlightenment and revolutionary times had debated that slavery was needed in order for France to avoid an economic shock, slavery should end, slaves needed rights, and slaves were better off being slaves than free.

Men hadargued that slavery was needed in order for France to stay afloat. A delegate from Bordeuax had stated in a speech in the National Assembly that "the abolition of slavery and the slave trade would mean the loss of our colonies...the colonies bring in an annual income of more than 200 million livres." (Doc 10) Being a delegate, he would most likely try to do his best to persuade the National Assembly for the people he is representing. On the same issue, Antoine Barnavem, a french orator, also reports to the National Assembly's Committee on the Colonies that "France has reached this level of prosperity thanks to our colonies." Barnave also states that if the colonies would someday gain independence, France would have to prepare a backup plan to "lose them without an economic shock and without a disturbance to our political existence." (Doc 14) War also seemed to affect the number of slaves brought by French ships, shown by a bar graph that stated the number of slaves delivered had gone up by eight times as much in a time period of less than 100 years (Doc 11).

On the other side, others had stated that slaves had rights like any other man, and that slavery should be abolished. Louis de Jaucourt, being a philosophe, uses the views of many others to state that slaves should be treated like regular humans. He states that "we can not take away fro ma person that natural dignity which is liberty." (Doc 1) Jean-Jacques Rousseau, a philosophe like Jaucourt, dislikes slavery, debating that "seeing...
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