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The University of Chicago Press


In 1846, the romantic socialist Désiré Laverdant observed that although Great Britain had rightly broken the ties binding masters and slaves, “in delivering the slave from the yoke, it has thrown him, poor brute, into isolation and abandonment. Liberal Europe thinks it has finished its work because it has divided everyone.” Freeing the slaves, he thus suggested, was only the beginning of emancipation. Laverdant’s comment reflects a broader political conversation about the individual and society that was ongoing in France during the 1830s and 1840s in which the issues of colonial slavery, metropolitan wage labor, and imperial expansion in Algeria were intertwined.



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