Before the French Revolution in 1789, France had three colonies of the Caribbean - Martinique, Guadeloupe and San Domingo under its control. These places were major suppliers of sugar, coffee, indigo and tobacco.
The triangular slave trade between Europe, Africa and America began in the 17th century.
Merchants sailed from the French ports to the African coast where they bought Negroes, who are natives of Africa, from the local chieftains.
Port cities like Bordeaux and Nantes were flourishing economically because of the slave trade.
The National Convention voted to abolish slavery in all the French colonies on February 4, 1794.
Slavery was reintroduced in the French colonies by Napoleon Bonaparte. Slavery was finally abolished in 1848 by the French Second Republic.