Haitian Immigration : Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries
From Saint Domingue to Louisiana
The Black Republic and Louisiana
Soldiers, Rebels, and Pirates
Afro-Creoles and Americans
From Revolution to Romanticism
The Haitian Influence on Religion
The Civil War
The Consequences of the Haitian Migration

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< Soldiers, Rebels, and PiratesFrom Revolution to Romanticism >

In colonial Louisiana and in colonial Haiti, military service had functioned as a crucial means of advancement for both free and enslaved blacks. After the battle of New Orleans, however, support for the black militia declined among free people of color. The disrespect shown to the soldiers who fought so valiantly, along with their disappointment at not receiving some measure of political recognition, contributed to their disillusionment.

Afro-Creoles' anger mounted as Louisiana's white lawmakers embarked upon an unprecedented and sustained attack upon their rights by formulating one of the harshest slave codes in the American South. In 1830 the legislature reaffirmed the 1807 ban on the entry of "free negroes and mulattoes" and required slaveholders to ensure the removal of freed people within thirty days of their emancipation. In Louisiana, as elsewhere in the South, segregation, anti-miscegenation laws, and the legal ostracism of racially mixed children signified the imposition of a two-category pattern of racial classification that relegated all persons of African ancestry to a degraded status.

Reduced to a debased condition, deprived of citizenship, denied free movement, and threatened with violence, Afro-Creoles, both native-born and immigrant, developed an intensely antagonistic relationship with the new regime. Under the United States government, black Louisianians had anticipated an end to slavery and racial oppression and had looked for the fulfillment of the democratic ideals embodied in the founding principles of the new American republic. But contrary to their expectations, the process of Americanization negated the promise of the revolutionary era. Instead of moving toward freedom and equality, the new government promoted the evolution of an increasingly harsh system of chattel slavery.

< Soldiers, Rebels, and Pirates
From Revolution to Romanticism >