Patriots, Royalists, and Terrorists in the West Indies: The French Revolution in Martinique and Guadeloupe, 1789-1802
Patriots, Royalists, and Terrorists in the West Indies examines the complex revolutionary struggle in Martinique and Guadeloupe from 1789 to 1802. The arrival of tricolour cockades – badges showing support for the French Revolution – and news from Paris in 1789 undermined the royal governors’ authority, unleashed bitter conflict between white factions, and encouraged the aspirations of free people of colour to equality and black slaves to freedom.
This book provides a detailed narrative of the shifting political developments, and analyses the roles of planter resentment of metropolitan control, social and racial tensions, and the ambiguity of revolutionary principles in a colonial setting. Recent scholarship has tended to over-emphasize the colonies’ agency, and to accentuate the conflict between masters and slaves, while downplaying metropolitan influences. In contrast, this study seeks to restore the importance of destabilizing political struggles between white factions. It argues that metropolitan news, ideas, language, and political culture – the "revolutionary script" from France – played a key role in shaping the revolution in the colonies.
- World Rights
- Page Count: 400 pages
- Dimensions: 6.3in x 1.0in x 9.3in
Reviews"Cormack’s book sheds important light on the revolutionary era in the Windward Islands and serves as a foundation for future studies examining the complicated, shifting alliances that transcended race, class, and even legal status during this tumultuous period."
Rebecca Hartkopf Schloss
New West Indian Guide
"Patriots, Royalists, and Terrorists in the West Indies is an impressive survey based on years of work in a wide range of archives. Events in the Caribbean have assumed increasing importance in the study of the French Revolution over the last generation, but most attention has always been given to Saint-Domingue and the origins of Haiti. This book will bring readers an important account of relatively neglected episodes on the history of the Revolution, of French colonialism, and the wider area of slavery."
William Doyle, Emeritus Professor of History, University of Bristol, author of The Oxford History of the French Revolution
"Patriots, Royalists, and Terrorists in the West Indies sheds badly needed light on the destabilizing political struggles between different white factions. The story of these fratricidal factional struggles which shattered the colonial status quo and created the opening for free people of color and then slaves to claim their rights, is essential, needed badly to be told, and is now laid out cogently and convincingly in this work."
Rafe Blaufarb, Professor of History, Florida State University
Author InformationWilliam S. Cormack is an associate professor in the Department of History at the University of Guelph.
Table of contents
List of Illustrations and Maps
1. The Windward Islands on the Eve of Revolution
2. Rumours of Revolution: The Impact of 1789 in Martinique and Guadeloupe
3. Patriots versus Aristocrats: The Coming of Civil War, 1789–1790
4. "The Nation, the Law, the King": The Liberal Revolution’s Failure in the Windward Islands, 1791
5. Counter-Revolution: The Revolt of Martinique and Guadeloupe, 1792–1793
6. The Slave-Holding Republic in the Windward Islands, 1793–1794
7. Reign of Terror: Victor Hugues’s Regime in Guadeloupe, 1794–1798
8. Return of the Old Regime: Martinique under British Occupation, 1794–1802
Subjects and Courses