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Languages: English
Types: Doctoral thesis
Subjects:
All Martiniquans became citizens when the Third Republic was proclaimed in 1870. As freedom, equality and fraternity were the Republican values, black and coloured people became free to upward their social mobility and to be involved in politics as were white Martiniquans. Coloured people managed to be totally involved in politics. Representing the Republican Party, they became white people’s enemies. The Martiniquan political life ─ full of passion, conflict and controversy ─ started in the 1870s. The history of Martinique politics is a topic which has been developed many times by historians. However, black people seemed to have been excluded from this history. This gives the impression that black people were not involved in any kind of political activities and any form of politics. In addition, they seemed to occupy the same position in the Martiniquan society: the former slave one. The aim of this dissertation is then to contradict the idea that black people were not interested in politics. By demonstrating black people’s process of integration in the Martiniquan society and politics, we will show that, in spite of the limits set by the colonial and capitalist system, they were involved in a politics related to their working class position. This politics was different but related to the mainstream politics white and coloured people were involved in. Black people’s political instruments were different from those used in mainstream politics. However, black workers’ politics had the power to affect mainstream politics and election. Their consciousness of the power their social class gave them was the first step of their working class movement. The issue of this writing is then to demonstrate how black people evolved from slaves to workers aware of their social class.

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