The Emergence and Evolution of Slavery Legislation in Antebellum Louisiana
Louisiana emerged from the periphery of the American colonies to form a powerful commercial and economic center. The state’s development of sovereignty, wealth, infrastructure, and legislation relied heavily on the unsalaried labor of Enslaved individuals. The chattel slave market particularly shaped the state’s government structure and character. Slavery legislation developed with the influence European legal traditions. Beginning with the enactment of the French ordonnance, Code Noir, and finally the Spanish oartacion. These legislative forces influenced the drafting and enactment of the Louisiana’s first Civil Code in 1808. This Code married the ideals of French, Spanish, Roman, and English legal traditions. It established Enslaved individuals position as subordinate, expendable property. This legal commodification of human beings occurred over centuries and continues to persist as a barrier for equality and justice for all. The legal legacy of slavery legislation in the United States continues to impact the field in the present moment.
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