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Caribbean New OrleansEmpire, Race, and the Making of a Slave Society$
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Cécile Vidal

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781469645186

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469645186.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.northcarolina.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of North Carolina Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in NCSO for personal use.date: 07 July 2022

Introduction When the Levees Rose

Introduction When the Levees Rose

(p.1) Introduction When the Levees Rose
(p.iii) Caribbean New Orleans

Cécile Vidal

University of North Carolina Press

The introduction presents the book’s argument according to which it is more accurate to view eighteenth-century New Orleans as a Caribbean port city than as a North American one, as its late foundation, its position within the French Empire, and its connections with Saint-Domingue explain why the interplay of slavery and race profoundly shaped its society from the outset. It situates the book vis-à-vis Louisiana and Atlantic historiographies on urban slavery, slave societies, and racial formation, arguing that historians need to move away from a comparative history of racial slavery in the Western Hemisphere that contrasts the Caribbean and North America as two distinctive models. Finally, the introduction discusses how the book draws on two methodological approaches in order to analyze how racial formation unfolded under the influence of global, regional, and local circumstances: it practices a situated Atlantic history and develops a microhistory of race within the urban center.

Keywords:   North America, The Caribbean, Louisiana, Atlantic world, Port city, Urban slavery, Slave society, Racial formation, Historiography, Microhistory

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