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'' country, or to fubject them to laws which were incompatible '' with their local eftablifhments; they therefore authorife the in*' habitants of each colony to fignify to the national affembly their " fentiments and wifhes concerning that plan of interior legifla" tion and commercial arrangement, which would be moft: con" ducive to their profperity." It was required, however, that the plan to be offered fhould be conformable to the principles which had connected the colonies with the metropolis, and be calcu­ lated for the preservation of their reciprocal interefts.—To this decree was annexed a declaration, " That the national affembly " would not caufe any innovation to be made, directly or indi" rectly, in any fyftem of commerce in which the colonies were already concerned." NOTHING could equal the clamour which this decree occa­ fioned among the people of colour refident in the mother country, and the philanthropick fociety of Amis des Noirs. T h e declaration concerning commerce was interpreted into a tacit fanction for the continuance of the flave trade; and it was even contended, that the national affembly, by leaving the adjuftment of the colonial conftitutions to the colonists themfelves, had dif­ charged them from their allegiance. It was Said that they were no longer Subject to the French empire, but members of an in­ dependent ftate. NEVERTHELESS, if the circumftances of the times, and the difpofition of the French colonists at this juncture, be taken into the account, candour muft acknowledge that it was a decree not only justifiable on the motives of prudence and policy, but was

23 CHAP. II.

An historical survey of the french colony in the island of St. Domingo comprehending a short account  

Auteur. Edwards, B. / Ouvrage patrimonial de la Bibliothèque numérique Manioc. Service commun de la documentation, Université des Antilles e...

An historical survey of the french colony in the island of St. Domingo comprehending a short account  

Auteur. Edwards, B. / Ouvrage patrimonial de la Bibliothèque numérique Manioc. Service commun de la documentation, Université des Antilles e...

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