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Code Noir

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The Code Noir (English: Black Code) was a decree passed by Louis XIV of France in 1685, regulating the legal conditions and requirements of the slave trade throughout the French colonies.

The Code Noir contained a number of restrictions on how slave owners could treat their slaves: forbidding cruel and unusual punishments, the separation of slave families, and the murder of a slave.

Despite this, the Code was largely ignored by slave owners throughout the Caribbean, and transgression typically went unpunished. A notable transgressor was Pierre, Marquis de Fayet, the Governor of Port-au-Prince.

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