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Open Access Slave Rebellion During the Age of Revolution

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Slave Rebellion During the Age of Revolution

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Chapter Summary

Violent rebellion punctuated the history of African American slavery from its beginnings, but it was apparently never more prevalent than during the Age of Revolution. The Age of Revolution ended with two clear-cut cases, in Martinique and St. Croix, where slave rebellions made a definite contribution to the emancipation process. The rebellions were not, strictly speaking, causal factors since the decision to abolish slavery already had been taken and was the cause of the insurrections, but they did determine its timing. The mass invasion of the town of St. Pierre in May 1848 and the fighting it gave rise to in northern Martinique caused the governor to immediately declare slavery abolished. However, the Curaçao rebellions cannot be included in the small group that hastened the end of slavery, for which any surviving participants had to wait more than 60 years.

Keywords: African American slavery; Age of Revolution; Curaçao rebellions; Martinique; slave rebellion; St. Croix



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