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Cul de SacPatrimony, Capitalism, and Slavery in French Saint-Domingue$
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Paul Cheney

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780226079356

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226411774.001.0001

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War and Profit

War and Profit

(p.105) Chapter Four War and Profit
Cul de Sac

Paul Cheney

University of Chicago Press

The plantations of Saint-Domingue and of the Antilles more generally were constantly disrupted by warfare, a natural and predictable activity undertaken by the competitive imperial states that sponsored the Antillean plantation complex. This chapter explores the effects of recurring warfare on the slave population of the Cul de Sac plantation, the organization of labor on the plantation, the marketing and production of sugar, and, finally, the prospects for long-term production. The fact of constant warfare forced planters to adopt a short-term perspective that was not conducive to economically transformative growth on the island. Warfare also exacerbated underlying tensions between competing social groups: free people of color used military service in order to advance their claims for political and civil freedom against an increasingly racially volatile population.

Keywords:   warfare, debt, food provisions, credit, infrastructure, blockade, military service, American War of Independence

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