The French territory of Guadeloupe is a favourite Caribbean destination thanks to its fine beaches and exciting culture. It’s also become a popular stop on the cruise-ship circuit which means even more tourists are discovering this heavenly archipelago.
This day, May 27, marks Guadeloupe’s national day (territorial day?). It marks Abolition of Slavery Day, an event that was a long time coming for the islands.
Even though France’s King Louis X proclaimed in 1315 that any slave setting foot in France should be freed, the nation continued to allow slavery to prosper in its overseas colonies well into the 19th century.
Originally annexed by the Kingdom of France in 1653, much of the native population was wiped out and was stocked with African slaves to work the territories’ sugar plantations.
France then abolished slavery in 1794 then re-established it in 1802 during the French Revolutionary Wars when French slave-owners threatened to move their colonies under British control. The reestablishment of slavery in Guadeloupe sparked a rebellion, but it was repressed.
The second abolition of slavery took place under the Second Republic on April 27, 1848 and it wasn’t until May 28, 1848 that it was permanently abolished in Guadeloupe.
When the day comes that we get to travel again to places like Guadeloupe, here’s a taste of what you’ve been missing: