Carib Expulsion

Carib Expulsion

The Carib Expulsion was the ethnic cleansing of the Carib population which took place in 1660 on the Caribbean island of Martinique following the 1635 invasion and seizure by the French military that made it part of the French colonial empire. Using their overwhelming military superiority, the French forces of Pierre Belain d'Esnambuc forced the indigenous Carib peoples to French colonial rule. Through Cardinal Richelieu, France gave the island to the Company of the American Islands ("Compagnie des Isles d'Amerique"). French Law was imposed on the conquered inhabitants and the Jesuits arrived to convert them to the Roman Catholic Church. [ [ Institutional History of Martinique] - Official site of the French Government (translation by Maryanne Dassonville). Retrieved 26 April 2007.]

When the Caribs could not be sufficiently induced to supply labour for building and maintaining the sugar and cocoa plantations the Company desired, in 1636 King Louis XIII authorized the abduction of slaves from Africa for transportation to Martinique and other parts of the French West Indies. [Sweeney, James L. (2007). [ Caribs, Maroons, Jacobins, Brigands, and Sugar Barons: The Last Stand of the Black Caribs on St. Vincent] . "African Diaspora Archaeology Network", March 2007. Online version retrieved 26 April 2007.] The Caribs soon revolted against French rule and under Governor Charles Houel sieur de Petit Pré a war was launched against them. Many were slaughtered; those who survived were taken captive in 1660 and expelled from the island, never to return.


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