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The Death of the French AtlanticTrade, War, and Slavery in the Age of Revolution$
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Alan Forrest

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780199568956

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2020

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780199568956.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 21 September 2021

The French Atlantic World

The French Atlantic World

(p.3) 1 The French Atlantic World
The Death of the French Atlantic

Alan Forrest

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the development of France’s colonial empire over the long eighteenth century, from the early settlements to the eve of the revolution. It demonstrates the geopolitical logic of an empire stretching from the St Lawrence River to Louisiana and across the Caribbean, and shows how this empire had been cut back through a series of colonial wars, especially with Great Britain, leading to the loss of Canada at the Peace of Paris in 1763. By the end of the Ancien Régime, France’s principal interest in the Americas was in the Caribbean and especially Saint-Domingue, which was the wealthiest of all European colonies in the Atlantic world. The chapter concludes with a discussion of France’s trade with its Atlantic possessions and of the system of imperial preference it imposed.

Keywords:   colonialism, Atlantic world, Saint-Domingue, plantation economy, monopoly

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