The Code Noir (French language: The Black Code), was a decree passed by France's King Louis XIV in 1685. The Code Noir ordered all Jews out of France's colonies, forbade the exercise ofany religion other than Roman Catholicism, restricted the activities of free Negroes and defined the conditions of slavery in the French colonial empire. The code has been described by Tyler Stovallas, "one of the most extensive official documents on race, slavery, and freedom ever drawn up in Europe."
Louis XIV wanted to increase his power in the colonies. The Code Noir was one ofthe many laws inspired by Colbert. At that time in the Caribbean, Jews were mostly active in the Dutch colonies, so their presence was seen as a Dutch influence. At that time the majority of thepopulation of the French Caribbean were slaves, and slave revolts were frequent.
The document specified that:
Jews could not reside on the French colonies
slaves must be baptized in theRoman Catholic Church
forbade the exercise of any other religion, other than Catholicism
slave masters must be Roman Catholic
non-Catholic colonial subjects must not interfere with the Catholicpractices of other subjects
all colonial subjects and slaves must observe Catholic holidays regardless of their own faith
slave markets must not be held on Catholic holidays
only Catholic marriageswould be recognized
married free men will be fined for having children with their slave concubines, as will the slave concubine's master. If the man himself is the master of the slave concubine, theslave and child will be removed from his ownership. If the man was not married, he should then be married to the slave concubine thus freeing her and the child from slavery.
weddings between slavesmust be carried out only with the masters' permission. Slaves will not be married without their own consent
children born between married slaves are also slaves, belonging to the female slave's...
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