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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)

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Edited By 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 XVI e au XX e 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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Catastrophe and success: Indios, Africans and Europeans in America

Founders, co-founders and miscegenation

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Massimo Livi BACCI University of Florence

Of the three founding ethnic groups of modern America – or, more precisely, one founder, the Indios, and two co-founders, Europeans and Africans – we know their general demographic trajectory during the three centuries following contact. Not much, but nobody would dispute that Europeans thrived, while the Indios met a disastrous decline, and the Africans, deprived of their freedom of choice, were unable to express their demographic potential. Their survival as a group depended on a continuous stream of immigrant slaves that filled the wide negative gap between births and deaths. The three groups were kept separated only by a few fragile formal barriers or by geographical isolation, and miscegenation happened since the beginning of the colony. Early in the XIX century the population of mixed origin represented a substantial share of the population of Ibero-America. According to Rosenblat, of the 23.6 million people estimated for Ibero-America in 1825, 8.4 million (35.6%) were Indios, 4.5 (19.1%) were Europeans, 4.2 (17,8%) were Africans and 6.5 (27,5%) were mixed (mestizos, mulatto, zambaigos) (Rosenblat, 1954). These latter were themselves the product of a relentless process of “mixing of mixtures”, generation after generation. The size of the native population at the time of contact is a shot in the dark, but three or four dozen million appears to be a reasonable guess, several times the number surviving at the beginning of the XIX century.

This paper deals with two main issues of...

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