Slavery used to be a major issue worldwide. Even in the 18th century, slavery was a heated discussion among the people of France. During the Enlightenment and the French Revolution, the National Assembly established the Declaration of the Rights of Man which stated "All men are born and remain free and equal in rights." People began to wonder if this declaration concerned the French colonies in the West Indies, which were supplied with slaves by French merchants. These slaves were used to work on sugar and coffee plantations and had no political rights. The views of those addressing the issue of slavery were either negative or positive, but both greatly affected the economic, political, and social order.
The viewpoints of the people during this time varied greatly. Many people were pretty much for slavery for economic and political reasons. Whites were hypocritical for having said that they represented the people of color (Doc.
9/ Mirabeau). They went around saying that all men were equal but they never acted upon what they said. Though, there were some whites that really believed that all men were in fact equal. Those who did wondered why slaves were mistreated because of the color of their skin. It was part of nature and it's baffling why some whites couldn't accept that (Doc. 7/ Gouges). Blacks were no different from the whites; they were all human. They were certainly not objects that could just be traded off (Doc. 8/ Necker). The issue of slavery and its cruelties became widely known but not much was done to stop it.
Economically, there were more people for slavery than not. The reason being was probably because of losing trade if slavery was abolished. Many slaves worked in sugar mills, indigo and cocoa plantations renouncing their lives to produce sugar, coffee, cocoa, and tobacco (Doc. 2/ Voltaire). White people didn't even acknowledge what their slaves have done for them. Without a care, the whites enjoyed what their slaves had worked their blood and sweat for. If slavery and the slave trade were abolished then it would be a catastrophe for colonies. Most French citizens wouldn't be able to survive because of their dependant on trade (Doc. 10/ National Assembly). There's no doubt why most people were for slavery in the economic order, even if the cost was to strip someone of their pride and dignity (Doc.1 Jaucourt).
Concerning political order, there were some people who wanted slavery and some that were actually against it. Those who were for slavery went as far as forcing their slaves to change religion. It was actually a law for the whites to do this (Doc. 5/ Jaucourt). More and more slaves were being converted to the Catholic religion as more and more were being transported from Africa by French ships. From the year 1713 to 1792, the number of slaves who were shipped to the West Indies increased dramatically (Doc. 11/ No Author). That meant that the need for slavery was growing. As this happened, there were others who thought this was wrong. Evidently, they mistreated those with colored skin. But, the whites still believed that slavery was good. They believed that if they were to be let free, they would be a disturbance to political existence (Doc. 14/ Barnave).
In matters of social order, the majority of the people were against slavery. Of course, there were still those who believed slavery was right. Those were the people who believed that they have done the slaves well by giving them work to do on plantations and ways to make a living (Doc. 13/ No Author). In truth, all the whites gave them was suffering. People saw how whites changed the Africans to animals for their service (Doc. 3/ Rousseau). This was probably because the whites themselves couldn't handle work in the fields (Doc. 6/ Raynal). The African's, who were believed to be the species of laborers, did this job instead. But, people were actually generous enough to move them to a much milder climate they could work in.
People's views on slavery during the 18th century varied greatly. There were some people who were for it and some that were against it. Its resolution affected the economic, political, and social order immensely. Economically, many people were for it because of trade. Politically, some people were for it and some that were actually against it. And, in matters of social order, the majority of the people were against it. Thankfully, slavery is not an issue in the world today.