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Mariage et métissage dans les sociétés coloniales - Marriage and misgeneration in colonial societies

Amériques, Afrique et Iles de l’Océan Indien (XVI e –XX e siècles) - Americas, Africa and islands of the Indian ocean (XVI th –XX th centuries)

Series:

Guy Brunet

La conquête de vastes empires coloniaux par les puissances européennes, suivie par des mouvements migratoires d’ampleur variable selon les territoires et les époques, a donné naissance à de nouvelles sociétés. Les principaux groupes humains, indigènes, sous différentes appellations, colons d’origine européenne et leurs descendants, et parfois esclaves arrachés au continent africain, se sont mélangés parfois rapidement et avec une forte intensité, parfois plus tardivement ou marginalement. Les unions, officialisées par des mariages ou restées consensuelles, provoqué l’apparition de nouvelles générations métisses et ainsi qu’un phénomène de créolisation. L’effectif de chacun de ces groupes humains, et l’existence éventuelle de barrières entre eux, ont produit des degrés de métissage très divers que les administrateurs des sociétés coloniales ont tenté de classifier. Les seize textes réunis dans cet ouvrage abordent la manière dont les populations se sont mélangées, ainsi que la position des métis dans les nouvelles sociétés. Ces questions sont abordées dans une perspective de long terme, du XVIe au XXe siècle, et à propos de nombreux territoires, du Canada à la Bolivie, des Antilles à Madagascar, de l’Algérie à l’Angola.
The conquest of large colonial empires by European powers, followed by migratory flows, more or less important depending on places and periods, gave birth to new societies. The most important human groups, indigenous, European born settlers and their descendants, and sometimes slaves snatched from the African continent, mixed, more or less early, more or less intensely. Unions, legally registered or not, and misgeneration lead to the appearance of mixed-blood generations and to a process of creolisation. The numerical strength of these human groups, and the existence of barriers between them, produced various degrees of misgeneration that the authorities of the colonial societies tried to identify and to classify. The sixteen texts gathered in this book study the way that these populations got mixed, and the place of mixed-blood people in the new societies. These issues are tackled in a long-term perspective, about various territories, from Canada to Bolivia, from the French West Indies to Madagascar, from Algeria to Angola.
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Race as a Myth. The Empire, Mixed-Blood People, Apartheid, Fascist Racism

A male-only colony

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Gian-Luca PODESTA Université Bocconi, Milan

The paradox of mixed-blood people in Eritrea, the only Italian colony where they reached considerable numbers, was that at first they represented a resource that would help increase the overall population, as Corrado Gini, the demography expert, suggested; later, after the creation of the empire, their considerable presence acted as a triggering factor for Fascist racial policy, culminating in the 1938 laws against the Jews. This essay concerns above all Eritrea, because it is the only region of the former Italian East-African empire (AOI)1 for which reliable data exist as regards its African and Italian populations, although it is impossible to estimate the birth and mortality rates of Eritreans and people born of mixed relationships.

Until 1936 the number of Italian residents was insignificant and consisted almost entirely of young males employed in the civil service or in commercial enterprises. Only in Eritrea some Italian men had set up home with African women of the Coptic faith. There was no contact between Italians and Muslims women. In Islamic colonies such as Libya and Somalia, a mixed-blood population practically did not exist. In Somalia in 1936 only forty children born of mixed unions had been acknowledged by their fathers. In Italy the problem did not arise, because the Fascist regime ← 321 | 322 → had practically forbidden immigration from the colonies. In 1938 only 26 Eritreans, 23 Libyans and 8 Ethiopians were registered as resident in Italy, but almost all of...

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