Here Pierre Joseph Laborie provides the perspective of the planter. He gives a detailed description of the organization of enslaved labor in the production of coffee. Although he shared quite negative views of the African enslaved people, he was candid about the extreme brutality that they faced and admitted that it diminished their capacity to work.
To increase his control over the German states and definitively destroy the Holy Roman Empire, Napoleon set up the Confederation of the Rhine, grouping together a large number of formerly indepedent states, and forced the Emperor to abdicate his position.
Since 1793, the French government had carried out policies intended to ruin British commerce; it hoped in this way to eliminate or at least dampen the British will to join in and its ability to finance military coalitions against the French. Napoleon ultimately tried to exclude Great Britain from all commerce with the continent.
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The Council of Five–Hundred, the lower house of the legislature under the Directory’s constitution, put up only token resistance to the coup of 18 Brumaire [9 November 1799]. By the following day, this body—in principle, made up of the representatives of the French people and the central institution of republican government—had concurred completely in Bonaparte’s revision to the constitution... Read More »
The Dolben's Act of 1788 was proposed by noted abolitionist Sir William Dolben before the English Parliament. While it was meant to restrict the slave trade, it actually had an adverse effect on children. The act mandated that no more than two fifths of a ship's cargo be children, and it also limited the number of African men to 1 male per ship ton. With such restrictions threatening slave... Read More »
On November 9, 1989, the Berlin Wall was opened, allowing citizens of both East and West Germany to travel freely between the two countries. This was a clear sign to the Soviet government of the rapid acceleration of change in Eastern Europe, as the Berlin Wall had been both the physical and symbolic divide of West and East Europe. In this frank assessment of Gorbachev's reaction to the rapid... Read More »
Napoleon brought to completion a project dear to the hearts of the revolutionaries, the drafting of new law codes. The civil code was the most important of them because it institutionalized equality under the law (at least for adult men), guaranteed the abolition of feudalism, and, not least, gave the nation one single code of law replacing the hundreds in effect in 1789. As the following... Read More »
By the spring of 1990, the future of the individual countries in Eastern Europe was still open for debate. While Poland, Czechoslovakia, and Hungary seemed to be transitioning toward Western-styled democracies, Romania and Yugoslavia, Bulgaria and Albania were following a different course. The former had experienced violent uprisings, and in the latter the Communists seemed to be more... Read More »
Across France, the period of the Directory witnessed revenge against those who had carried out revolutionary justice during the Terror. Opponents of the Jacobins forced them from office and sought to prevent them from participating in politics. In Paris, this so–called white terror was carried out by the "Gilded Youth," a gang of youths from wealthy backgrounds who considered themselves the... Read More »