Les travailleurs indiens sous contrat à La Réunion (1848 – 1948) : entre le retour programmé et le début des intégrations

Abstract : It is not the first time that the issue of Indian immigration to Reunion or “hiring” -that is to say “engagisme” in French - is dealt with. But it is the first time that a thesis in contemporary history is written about that topic. Many things are known about hiring: how it worked, its rules, its decrees. But other things are still ignored. Why did most Indian indentured laborers decide to stay in the colony at the end of their contracts? The answer is obvious since they had better working conditions on Reunion than in India. But what were these conditions like? It is often asserted that hiring was disguised slavery. From a juridical point of view they are two different systems. Slavery relied on the concept of « personal property », elaborated at an early stage by Aristotle (total domination) and the consequences that followed. Literally, the two systems cannot be compared, thanks to the 1889 decree the sons of “English” indentured laborers became French. Before WW1 a controversy flared up about whether or not Indians' sons should be sent to the front. In fact very few of them went to the war. Is that example symbolic of the issue of integration?
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Jean-Régis Ramsamy. Les travailleurs indiens sous contrat à La Réunion (1848 – 1948) : entre le retour programmé et le début des intégrations. Histoire. Université de la Réunion, 2012. Français. ⟨NNT : 2012LARE0017⟩. ⟨tel-01124001⟩

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