September 24, 1791, Concordat De Damiens Granting Political Rights To The Affranchis, Signed

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Carnival Costume - Afranchie of Saint-Domingue

It was on this date, September 24, 1791, that the Concordat De Damiens was signed, Granting Political Rights to the Affranchis.

The word "Affranchi" means a liberated slave who is free from legal, social, or political restrictions, but it was used to refer pejoratively to mulattoes. In 1789, Saint-Domingue had an estimated population of 556,000, including roughly 500,000 African slaves and 24,000 affranchis. The affranchis were mostly free mulattoes (people of mixed African and European descent) or black. The affranchis were sometimes slave owners themselves and roughly half of the affranchis were freed people of mixed race. They wanted to be rich like Europeans, but were afraid of the slave majority. Haitian society was deeply fragmented by skin color, class, and gender. In the late 18th century, knowing the weight of Haiti in the French economy, the royalists attempted to exploit the slave revolution to weaken the French Girondins. On August 22, 1791, the first alliance between blacks and mulattos (including Petion and Beauvais) defying the racist ideology of whites was formed and that ended in the victory of the freedmen and the signing of the Concordat de Damiens on September 24, 1791, granting political or voting rights to the affranchis.

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