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L'abolitionnisme de Victor Schoelcher, un humanisme mâtiné de colonialisme et de moralisme

Anne Girollet


Although this title might be somewhat provocative, there is no intent to be anti-schoelcherist. The aim is not to diminish Victor Schoelcher's considerable achievements, but to fight against the unanimous preconceptions that have transformed this man into a myth. By studying the legal and political consequences of his proposals and his engagements, we have underlined not only the extent and complexity of his work for the Republic - that has been little known up to now, though Schoelcher ought to be considered to be one of the fathers of the Republic - but his contradictions too. Schoelcher was so sure of the virtues of the republican values of the mother country, that his fight, albeit humanist and egalitarian, was tempered by colonialism, paternalism and moralism. This led him in surprising directions, mainly in his assertions against slavery and regarding the organisation of statutes for the colonies. Schoelcher demanded equal rights for all, however he was in favour of assimilation without being universalist.

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Index terms

Mots-clés :

Esclavage, Schoelcher

Chronologique :

XIXe siècle
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Electronic reference

Anne Girollet, « L'abolitionnisme de Victor Schoelcher, un humanisme mâtiné de colonialisme et de moralisme », Cahiers d'histoire [Online], 44-3 | 1999, Online since , connection on 22 January 2018. URL :

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About the author

Anne Girollet

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