Law and Society in Saint Domingue, 1789-1805
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We will examine the discrepancy between boundaries of race prescribed by law and those actually experienced within the French colony of Saint Domingue and the implications of these boundaries on individuals from 1789 to 1805. Through this project, we will explore bigger themes such as the social and political effects of these boundaries on free people of color who resided in these areas. We intend to frame our research by addressing the relationship between law and society. French law (and therefore law in Saint Domingue) clearly delineated certain boundaries between races that in reality did not occur. We will argue the inconsistency between the law and its execution created a grey area for the people of Saint Domingue. Examining the intersection of the French legal system with what actually occurred allows us to draw conclusions about the broader relationship between law and society.
Polk, Katelyn Brune (2014). Law and Society in Saint Domingue, 1789-1805. Honors and Undergraduate Research. Available electronically from