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Évolution et adaptation des industries sucrière et rhumière en Guyane, XVIIe-XXe siècle

Abstract : The history of the sugar industry in French Guiana has fluctuated since its beginnings between fascination and despair, because of the misleading luxuriant forest which seemed to imply a prosperous future to it. This adventure is naturally related to the history of the sugar industries of the Americas, but has only recently been considered as a research subject by the French historians, even if it is totally involved in the colonial history of America. A cause of such a delay may be due to a “painful” and “shameful” feeling regarding these years of the past. Archives are subjective and silent about a great part of the history (daily life of the settlers and their slaves, settlement strategies, evolution in the landscapes,…). This fact may have hidden all the interest that brings the sugar industry to understand the colonial phenomenon. The present work lies on an analysis of the difficulties met by the settlers who wanted to establish a profitable sugar- then rum-industry in French Guiana, and aims to show the importance and prominent role that colonial archaeology in French Guiana must play in the elaboration of a more exhaustive and consistent vision of this territory. A first part deals with the high constraint of the Amazonian environment upon a human settlement; a second part will bring to the fore how imperative it is to know the territory and its past due to the conditions of an archaeological research in French Guiana. Eventually, the presentation of the author’s archaeological works allows to insist on the human ingenuity to continuously adapt to the environment.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, April 17, 2019 - 9:43:41 AM
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  • HAL Id : tel-02102144, version 1

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Nathalie Cazelles. Évolution et adaptation des industries sucrière et rhumière en Guyane, XVIIe-XXe siècle. Histoire. École pratique des hautes études - EPHE PARIS, 2016. Français. ⟨NNT : 2016EPHE4038⟩. ⟨tel-02102144v1⟩

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