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Arrêt du Conseil d’État du Roi, concernant les mariages des noirs, 1778.

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Ban on interracial marriage


France: Louis XVI (1774-1792); Antoine de Sartine (1729-1801).

Arrêt du Conseil d’État du Roi, concernant les mariages des noirs, mulâtres ou autres gens de couleur.

[colophon:] Paris, Imprimerie Royale, 1778.


4°. [2] pp. With an elaborate woodcut headpiece.


This Royal edict, issued during the late 18th century, prohibited individuals of color in France from marrying white persons, imposing penalties such as fines or banishment to the colonies for violations. The decree, closely linked to an August 1777 edict that restricted the entry of blacks, mulattos, and people of color into the kingdom, made no distinction between blacks and people of color—a policy that would later evolve. Following the reinstatement of slavery under Napoleon in 1802, mulattoes were granted additional rights, marking a significant shift in policy regarding racial distinctions.

Prohibitiong "whites of either sex to marry with blacks, mulattos or other people of colour”.

 Condition: frayed and slightly foxed along the edges. Otherwise in good condition.

Literature: Sue Peabody. 'Erosion of the Police des Noirs', ‘There Are No Slaves in France’: The Political Culture of Race and Slavery in the Ancien Régime. New York, 1997; online edn, Oxford Academic, 3 Oct. 2011.

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