Slave laws in the caribbean


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Slave laws in the caribbean

  1. 1. SLAVE LAWS IN THE CARIBBEAN Presented By: Rashad Andrewin October 2nd, 2012
  2. 2. Summary of Topics The Institution of Slavery in Caribbean The British Slave Laws The French Slave Laws The Spanish Slave Laws
  3. 3. THE INSTITUTION OF SLAVERYIN THE CARIBBEAN Slavery is a relationship in which two people are involved and is of an exploitive nature It is not new to the Americas but it is most distinguishable during the colonial period in the Americas with the rise of African Slavery European objective: Gold, God, Glory (3G’s) Europeans came looking for mineral wealth but eventually turned to agriculture , mainly sugar
  4. 4. CONT. Amerindians were inadequate for forced labour due to many factors working against them New labourers were need to which the Africans fit the criteria This lead to the formation of the Atlantic Slave Trade or the Triangular Trade that would result in the displacement of many ethnic groups from Africa to mingle in the Americas and form different races now existent
  7. 7. BRITISH COLONIAL OCCUPATION The British West Indies was organized to produce wealth Europeans preserved their culture and dominated all aspects of life By 1830 most blacks had no memory of Africa and the traditions began to fail INFORMALITY WAS THE RULE The British West Indies couldn’t develop a profound local identity
  8. 8. Cont. The Caribbean colonies were small, isolated and weak Schemes to increase white population constantly failed and led to a mostly black population The West Indies did not have grandeur buildings to compare with other colonies in the New World Public facilities were limited to the bare minimum
  9. 9. Cont. Overland communication were deplorable, many roads were impassable Intellectual life wasn’t esteemed for agriculture took up the time so there wasn’t accommodation for superior mental facilities Reading was mostly restricted to the local news focused mainly on commercial topics The cost of basic necessities were twice of what they were in England
  10. 10. Cont. Slave Society was stratified in terms of occupation and origins African were divided along lines of ethnic groups Domestic servants and artisans formed a slave elite and were different from field slaves The tasks of domestic slaves were light and while field slaves performed the hard relentless labour of cane cultivation
  11. 11. Cont. In the West Indies social, religious and educational matters were subjugated for economic needs There was no equality between master and slave in the British West Indies but a mutual modus operandi
  13. 13. BRITISH SLAVE LAWS Barbados, Antigua and Martinique were the first important slave societies of the Caribbean By the mid 18th Century Jamaica had become the largest and most brutal slave society in the British West Indies Slaves were supervised under demanding masters who gave them little medical care and so contracted many diseases
  14. 14. CONT. Slave laws in the British empire developed slowly over centuries characterized by indecision and varying rationales on the treatment of slaves Until 1807 there was no legislative intervention in relation to slavery therefore the common law was freely developed The English had laws giving equality and fair treatment to its citizens as far back as the Magna Carta in 1215
  15. 15. CONT. Ownership of slaves was legitimate on the grounds that they were infidels being not Christian and “uncivilized” Slavery itself was illegal in England and so as soon as slaves entered the country they were free By 1700 there was no extensive use of slave labour in England as in the colonies
  17. 17. Cont. The Code was established in 1661 to provide legal basis for slavery in Barbados Code’s preamble: “to protect slaves as we do men’s other Goods and Chattels “ It sought to protect slaves ostensibly from cruel masters and vice versa However it provided far more extensive protection for masters Law required masters to provide slaves with one set of clothing per year
  18. 18. Cont. It didn’t however set standards for the slave’s diet, housing or working conditions Also denied basic rights such as right to life, allowing slave masters to do whatever they pleased to the slave This slave code also served as the basis for slave codes in Jamaica (1664) and Antigua (1702)
  20. 20. CODE NOIR Was a decree originally passed by King Louis XIV in 1685 Defined conditions of slavery in the French colonial empire The document is said to contain 60 different articles governing French Colonial life. It asserted French sovereignty and secured the future of the sugar industry Was largely influenced by religious morals by the arrival of Catholic leaders in Martinique Was applied to the West Indies in 1687 and in Canadian New France
  21. 21. CODE NOIR Comprise of two main section, the disability and the beneficent section All laws were to keep slaves in their rightful place, to squelch uprisings and rebellions and to make slave completely dependent on the master
  22. 22. IMPORTANT ARTICLES IN CODENOIR Jews could not reside in the French colonies slaves must be baptized in the Roman Catholic Church children born between married slaves were also slaves, belonging to the female slaves master slaves must not carry weapons except under permission of their masters for hunting purposes slaves belonging to different masters must not gather at any time under any circumstance
  23. 23. Cont. slaves should not sell sugar cane, even with permission of their masters masters must give food (quantities specified) and clothes to their slaves, even to those who were sick or old free blacks who harbour fugitive slaves would be beaten by the slave owner and fined 300 pounds of sugar per day of refuge given masters may chain and beat slaves but may not torture nor mutilate them slave husband and wife (and their prepubescent children) under the same master were not to be sold separately
  25. 25. SPANISH COLONIAL EMPIRE Slavery in the Spanish colonies began with settlers enslaving local indigenous people They used slavery and production quotas to force labour to bring return on colonial investments Slavery production quotas= ENCOMIENDA, REPARTIMIENTO, REDUCCIONES During the first decades slavery caused the deaths of thousands of indigenous people
  26. 26. CONT. After pressure from clerical influences mandated the protection of the native people, enslavement of the population began to dissolve Moves to protect Amerindians: LAWS OF BURGOS, THE NEW LAWS, THE LAWS OF THE INDIES After the freeing of indigenous populations the Spanish began importing African slaves, buying them off the British and Dutch traders
  27. 27. CONT. Mainland slavery in the Spanish colonies ended in the 18th century but not in Cuba and Puerto Rico where sugar was still highly profitable
  29. 29. LAS SIETE PARTIDAS Was a Castilian statutory code which established a body of normative rules for the kingdom Originally called Libro de los Leyes not until 14th century was called Siete Partidas Its influence extended to the Latin American colonies Has been described as humanist encyclopaedia, containing philosophical, moral and theological topics including view points of the Abraham religions
  30. 30. CONT. The Fourth Partida contains the information on slavery The fourth partida consists of 27 articles comprising 256 laws. Its subject is family law, as well as other permanent relationships between people, other than matrimony and biological kinship. It deals with engagement (4,1,2); matrimony (4,2,1) and the capacity, form, and validity of the canon law to which it is subject; divorce (which does not refer to the dissolution of the matrimonial bond, but rather with separation or the cessation of cohabitation); legitimate and illegitimate patrimony (4,14,1); parens patriae (the rights of the state to intervene in the interests of minor children); slavery (4,23,8), described as the "vilest thing in this world" after sin itself; the civil status of persons (free and slave; noble and commoner; clergy and laity; legitimate and illegitimate; Christian, Moor, and Jew; male and female); serfdom and fiefs; and the bonds of friendship.
  31. 31. slavery (4,23,8), is described as the "vilest thing in this world" after sin itself