Code Noir

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Le Code Noir (The Black Code)
The Code Noir was a decree passed by King Louis XIV of France in 1685 and ended in 1848. It had a great impact on the sugar industry and trade involving French colonies and territories. The Code Noir contains 60 articles each with its own right and specification. The Code contained rights on slavery, restriction of the freedom of black people, banishment of Judaism, rejecting African cultures and that Catholicism should be the only religion of the colonies. Background

The document was encouraged by a favorite minister in the King’s court, Jean Baptiste-Colbert. However, the document remained unfinished due to the minister’s death. Nonetheless, his son succeeded him in completing the source. It was modified and accepted by Louis XIV but rejected by the government. Nevertheless the King’s successor, Louis XV appointed the Code and authorized the law to be passed in the West Indies. The code was considered as a very racial document due to discrimination of colour and culture. By banning the African traditions, the Mauritian arts such as “Sega” were created.

Layout and Perspective
The arrangement of the article is based upon 60 laws. The first decree consisted of Jews being banned from every French region, due to the belief of Jews being the enemy of Christianity. The second law passed was that there should be no other religion other than Catholicism and every resident should be baptized. The documentations continue with the rules of race and eventually come to a point of slavery. The context of this contains the restrictions of black people and slaves. The last article on the document declares laws on taxes and fees.

The original script was printed in French and translated into English. The script’s sixty articles are based upon life and death, purchase, religion and treatment of slaves by their lords. The slaves had little benefit from the code namely: * being clothed and fed,

* to not work during Sundays and...
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