Code Noir

  • General History
  • 1 min

By Crusader1307

The French ''Code Noir'' or ''Black Codes'', were a series of Laws and Edicts enacted by French King Louis XIV in 1685. The Code was designed to regulate Slave importation and related regulations for French Colonies. The Code is seen as one of the most in-depth set of regulation to control African Slaves created, and served as basis for other 17th Century Nations who engaged in the ''Peculiar Institution'' known as Slavery.


Harsh in totality, The Code Noir regulated the amount of Slaves that could be captured and transported, paying close attention to possible insurrections by such aboard French Ships. It also regulated that Slaves could NOT be educated and had to be ''converted'' into The Catholic Faith. It also regulated the amount of ''Free Men'' (former Slaves who had been given their freedom for a myriad of reasons), to never exceed 8% of the ''White Population''. Despite this, many French slave Owners did educate their Slaves to a degree. As far as population, most in the various French Colonies did not really monitor such. In French Louisiana by example, Slaves were mostly treated well above what The Code required. The instances of ''Slave Revolts'' were not as high as a result.


In addition to Slave Control, The Code also addressed the issue of Jews. The Code expressly stated that all Jews be removed from French Colonies. Loss of property, fortunes and possibly life – was levied against those who failed to follow The Code. This led many Jews to ''pretend'' or hide their belief system, in order to ''live'' in French Colonies. The Code (which consisted of 60 Articles in all), would remain the dominate legal Treatsie on ''Slave Controls'' with France, until the early 19th Century.