Did it have to happen like this?

In the various readings, we see discontent for France on a continuous rise in the colonies. Like so many other positive changes that came from the revolution, the Directory began clawing back the liberal reforms of the National Assembly. By the time Napoleon came to power, the France was trying to reimpose slavery in the colonies. It is really strange to me that Napoleon worked to bring slavery back to the colonies. We know from the readings that the colonies were an integral part of the French economy, but that success relied on slavery for centuries. Reforming the system would have been a long and difficult process, but definitely worth it to end slavery. Even if Napoleon did not understand how terrible slavery is, he certainly would have known about the unstable nature of the colonies. Reading the Haitian Declaration of Independence, it is easy to see the damage of the decision to reintroduce slavery. We see phrases like “Independence or death” or “Eternal hatred of France” throughout the declaration. Overall, it is a really hostile document. Why would Napoleon think it is a good idea to reimpose slavery after it had been abolished? If the colonies were so important to France, I would think Napoleon would have worked harder to find a better solution than reimposing slavery.

One Reply to “Did it have to happen like this?”

  1. I suppose that Napoleon saw slavery as the easy way out. Free labor such as slavery was an easy asset Napoleon could sit on. Instead of contracting/paying those in the colonies or in france he favored the fact that there was less money to spend in areas outside of France. Since Napoleon did overthrow the government in a way he also probably saw the he would get way with reinstating slavery.

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