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13 December 2015


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Bravo, Mike.


Back when I studied colonial British America in graduate school, I thought it was pretty cool to bring in Jamaica and Barbados as comparisons to the mainland colonies. This episode on the web of tension (great phrase, btw) in St. Domingue shows I didn't know the whole story - far from it! The tensions of creole vs. metropole, class vs. class, master vs. slave existed in the British American colonies, and to see them play out in the different economic and demographic setting of St. Domingue makes for a fascinating historical experiment. I am eager to learn about Haiti's history now. So far, it has shown one path of colonial development, but I expect it will also provide its own unique example of the revolutionary experience.

Burke White

I highly recommend Alejo Carpentier's "The Kingdom of This World," a fantastic novel set during the Haitian Revolution.

Kristaps Andrejsons

I'm running a bit late on this one, but as this still concerns the French...well, me and a friend of mine made this one for you, mr. Duncan:


Feel free to do whatever you want with it.
The Eastern Border podcast crew.


I have a question from this week's episode. We're all of the free people of color well-to-do planters, or was there an underclass of free poc doing the same sort of work as the petit blancs?

Patrick Joyce

Great episode! I love when you step back and paint the big picture of the situation. The mix between overview and vivid detail makes this podcast really worthwhile listening to.

Habib Fanny

Fantastic again!

I should add one thing. Nègre in French doesn't just mean black; it means nigger. You can see that from this translation:


So when the free colored were calling the petits blancs "nègres blancs," they weren't just calling them white blacks (which is not insulting at all); they were calling them white niggers.

Also, I'm black and a native French speaker and it's not all that uncommon for uppity blacks to call more downscale blacks niggers when they want to show their disapproval. So that insult wouldn't completely have been out of character for the free colored.


Any plans to update the bibliography?


At 13:35, Mike mentions a book written in 1750 by (it sounds like) Emilion Petit (spelling?) called "American Patriotism." Does anyone have any information on Petit (sp?) or know if an English translation of the work is available anywhere? It seems pretty important, given that according to this episode the book was the philosophical origin of the hierarchy enforced in Saint-Domingue by the French.

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