Corvée is unfree labour
Unfree labour
Unfree labour includes all forms of slavery as well as all other related institutions .-Payment for unfree labour:If payment occurs, it may be in one or more of the following forms:...

, often unpaid, that is required of people of lower social standing and imposed on them by the state or a superior (such as an aristocrat or noble). The corvée was the earliest and most widespread form of tax
To tax is to impose a financial charge or other levy upon a taxpayer by a state or the functional equivalent of a state such that failure to pay is punishable by law. Taxes are also imposed by many subnational entities...

ation, which can be traced back to the beginning of civilization
Civilization is a sometimes controversial term that has been used in several related ways. Primarily, the term has been used to refer to the material and instrumental side of human cultures that are complex in terms of technology, science, and division of labor. Such civilizations are generally...

. It was state-imposed forced labour on peasant
A peasant is an agricultural worker who generally tend to be poor and homeless-Etymology:The word is derived from 15th century French païsant meaning one from the pays, or countryside, ultimately from the Latin pagus, or outlying administrative district.- Position in society :Peasants typically...

s too poor to pay other forms of taxation (labour in ancient Egyptian
Ancient Egyptian literature
Ancient Egyptian literature was written in the Egyptian language from Ancient Egypt's pharaonic period until the end of Roman domination. It represents the oldest corpus of Egyptian literature...

 is a synonym for taxes).

It differs from chattel slavery in that the worker is not owned outright – being free in various respects other than in the dispensation of his or her labour – and the work is usually intermittent; typically only a certain number of days' or months' work is required each year. It is a form of unfree labour where the worker is not compensated. Unlike other forms of taxation, such as a tithe
A tithe is a one-tenth part of something, paid as a contribution to a religious organization or compulsory tax to government. Today, tithes are normally voluntary and paid in cash, cheques, or stocks, whereas historically tithes were required and paid in kind, such as agricultural products...

, the corvée does not require the population to have land, crops or cash and thus it tends to be favored in economies where money is in short supply. Corvée is thus most often found in economies where barter
Barter is a method of exchange by which goods or services are directly exchanged for other goods or services without using a medium of exchange, such as money. It is usually bilateral, but may be multilateral, and usually exists parallel to monetary systems in most developed countries, though to a...

 is the usual method of trade.

The term is most typically used in reference to Medieval or early modern Europe, where work might be demanded by a feudal lord of his vassal or by a monarch of his subject; however the application of the term is not strictly limited to that time or place: the practice is widespread, of great antiquity, and not extinct. Corvée has existed in modern and ancient Egypt, ancient Rome, China and Japan, France in the 17th and 18th centuries, Incan civilization, Haiti
Haiti , officially the Republic of Haiti , is a Caribbean country. It occupies the western, smaller portion of the island of Hispaniola, in the Greater Antillean archipelago, which it shares with the Dominican Republic. Ayiti was the indigenous Taíno or Amerindian name for the island...

 under Henri Christophe
Henri Christophe
Henri Christophe was a key leader in the Haitian Revolution, winning independence from France in 1804. On 17 February 1807, after the creation of a separate nation in the north, Christophe was elected President of the State of Haiti...

 and under American occupation of Haiti (1915–1934), and Portugal's African colonies until the mid-1960s.


The actual word "corvée" has its origins in Rome, and reached the English language via France. In the Late Roman Empire the citizens performed opera publica
Opera Publica
Opera Publica is the latin name used by Ancient Rome for their Public Works, the construction or engineering projects carried out by the state on behalf of the community....

 in lieu of paying taxes; often it consisted of road and bridge work. Roman landlords could also demand a number of days' labour from their tenants, and also from the freedmen; in the latter case the work was called opera officiales. In Medieval Europe, the tasks that serf
A spin exchange relaxation-free magnetometer is a type of magnetometer developed at Princeton University in the early 2000s. SERF magnetometers measure magnetic fields by using lasers to detect the interaction between alkali metal atoms in a vapor and the magnetic field.The name for the technique...

s or villeins were required to perform on a yearly basis for their lords were called opera riga. Plowing and harvesting were principal activities to which this work was applied. In times of need, the lord could demand additional work called opera corrogata (Latin corrogare, "to requisition"). This term evolved into coroatae, then corveiae, and finally corvée, and the meaning broadened to encompass both the regular and exceptional tasks. This Medieval agricultural corvée was not entirely unpaid: by custom the workers could expect small payments, often in the form of food and drink consumed on the spot. Corvée sometimes included military conscription, and the term is also occasionally used in a slightly divergent sense to mean forced requisition of military supplies; this most often took the form of cartage, a lord's right to demand wagons for military transport.

Because corvée labour for agriculture tended to be demanded by the lord at exactly the same times that the peasants needed to attend to their own plots – e.g. planting and harvest – the corvée was an object of serious resentment. By the 16th century the use of corvée in the agricultural setting was on the wane; it became increasingly replaced by money payments for labour.

Ancient Egypt

From the Egyptian Old Kingdom
Old Kingdom
Old Kingdom is the name given to the period in the 3rd millennium BC when Egypt attained its first continuous peak of civilization in complexity and achievement – the first of three so-called "Kingdom" periods, which mark the high points of civilization in the lower Nile Valley .The term itself was...

 (ca 2613 BC) onward, (the 4th Dynasty
Fourth dynasty of Egypt
The fourth dynasty of ancient Egypt is characterized as a "golden age" of the Old Kingdom. Dynasty IV lasted from ca. 2613 to 2494 BC...

), corvée labour helped in 'government' projects; during the times of the Nile River floods, labour was used for construction projects such as pyramids
Egyptian pyramids
The Egyptian pyramids are ancient pyramid-shaped masonry structures located in Egypt.There are 138 pyramids discovered in Egypt as of 2008. Most were built as tombs for the country's Pharaohs and their consorts during the Old and Middle Kingdom periods.The earliest known Egyptian pyramids are found...

, temples, quarries, canals, roads, and other works.

The 1350 BC Amarna letters
Amarna letters
The Amarna letters are an archive of correspondence on clay tablets, mostly diplomatic, between the Egyptian administration and its representatives in Canaan and Amurru during the New Kingdom...

Text corpus
In linguistics, a corpus or text corpus is a large and structured set of texts...

, (mostly addressed to the Ancient Egypt
Ancient Egypt
Ancient Egypt was an ancient civilization of Northeastern Africa, concentrated along the lower reaches of the Nile River in what is now the modern country of Egypt. Egyptian civilization coalesced around 3150 BC with the political unification of Upper and Lower Egypt under the first pharaoh...

ian pharaoh
Pharaoh is a title used in many modern discussions of the ancient Egyptian rulers of all periods. The title originates in the term "pr-aa" which means "great house" and describes the royal palace...

), has one short letter, with the topic of corvée labour. Of the 382–Amarna letters, it is an example of an undamaged letter, from Biridiya
Biridiya was the ruler of Megiddo in the 14th century BC. Biridiya authored five of the Amarna letters correspondence. He is also mentioned in the corpus from the city of 'Kumidu', the Kamid al lawz.-See also:...

 of Megiddo
Megiddo (place)
Megiddo is a tell in modern Israel near Megiddo Kibbutz, known for its historical, geographical, and theological importance especially under its Greek name Armageddon. In ancient times Megiddo was an important city-state. Excavations have unearthed 26 layers of ruins, indicated a long period of...

, entitled: "Furnishing corvée workers". See: city Nuribta
Nuribta, also Nuribda, was a city, or city-state located in the vicinity of Magiddo in Israel, in historical Canaan during the time of the Amarna letters correspondence, a 15-20 year period of about 1350-1335 BC....


In later Egyptian times, during the Ptolemaic dynasty
Ptolemaic dynasty
The Ptolemaic dynasty, was a Macedonian Greek royal family which ruled the Ptolemaic Empire in Egypt during the Hellenistic period. Their rule lasted for 275 years, from 305 BC to 30 BC...

, Ptolemy V, in his Rosetta Stone Decree
Rosetta Stone
The Rosetta Stone is an ancient Egyptian granodiorite stele inscribed with a decree issued at Memphis in 196 BC on behalf of King Ptolemy V. The decree appears in three scripts: the upper text is Ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs, the middle portion Demotic script, and the lowest Ancient Greek...

 of 196 BC, listed 22 accomplishments for being honored and the ten rewards granted to him for his accomplishments. The last reward listed is his making of the Rosetta Stone
Rosetta Stone
The Rosetta Stone is an ancient Egyptian granodiorite stele inscribed with a decree issued at Memphis in 196 BC on behalf of King Ptolemy V. The decree appears in three scripts: the upper text is Ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs, the middle portion Demotic script, and the lowest Ancient Greek...

, (the Decree of Memphis (Ptolemy V)), in three scripts, to be displayed to the public in the temples-(two near complete copies).

One of the shorter accomplishments listed near the middle of the list,
"He (pharaoh) decreed:—Behold, not is permitted to be pressed men of the sailors."

The statement implies it was a common practice.

During the 19th century, many of the Egyptian Public Works
Egyptian Public Works
The Egyptian Department of Public Works was established in the early Nineteenth Century, and concentrates mainly on public works relating to irrigation and hydraulic engineering. These irrigation projects have constituted the bulk of work performed by this entity in Egypt...

 until the Suez Canal
Suez Canal
The Suez Canal , also known by the nickname "The Highway to India", is an artificial sea-level waterway in Egypt, connecting the Mediterranean Sea and the Red Sea. Opened in November 1869 after 10 years of construction work, it allows water transportation between Europe and Asia without navigation...

  were built using corvée labour.


In France the corvée existed until August 4, 1789, shortly after the beginning of the French Revolution
French Revolution
The French Revolution , sometimes distinguished as the 'Great French Revolution' , was a period of radical social and political upheaval in France and Europe. The absolute monarchy that had ruled France for centuries collapsed in three years...

, when it was abolished along with a number of other feudal privileges of the French landlords. In these later times it was directed mainly towards improving the roads. It was, again, greatly resented, and is considered an important cause of the Revolution. Counterrevolution revived the corvée in France, in 1824, 1836, and 1871, under the name prestation; every able bodied man had to give three days' labour or its money equivalent towards upkeep of his local roads. The corvée also continued to exist under the Seigneurial system
Seigneurial system of New France
The seigneurial system of New France was the semi-feudal system of land distribution used in the North American colonies of New France.-Introduction to New France:...

 in what had been New France
New France
New France was the area colonized by France in North America during a period beginning with the exploration of the Saint Lawrence River by Jacques Cartier in 1534 and ending with the cession of New France to Spain and Great Britain in 1763...

, in British North America
British North America
British North America is a historical term. It consisted of the colonies and territories of the British Empire in continental North America after the end of the American Revolutionary War and the recognition of American independence in 1783.At the start of the Revolutionary War in 1775 the British...

It remains a daily practice in the French Foreign Legion
French Foreign Legion
The French Foreign Legion is a unique military service wing of the French Army established in 1831. The foreign legion was exclusively created for foreign nationals willing to serve in the French Armed Forces...

, and focuses on the cleaning of the living quarters.

On June 30, 2004, a law from Jean-Pierre Raffarin's Government established the first working and not paid holiday, officially known as Journée de solidarité envers les personnes âgées
Journée de solidarité envers les personnes âgées
The French Journée de solidarité envers les personnes âgées , established on June 30, 2004 under the government of Jean-Pierre Raffarin, was one where employees work one additional day each year , and one for which employers pay the state the approximate value of this day's work in increased...

(Day of solidarity with the elderly).


The independent Kingdom of Haiti based at Cap-Haïtien
Cap-Haïtien is a city of about 190,000 people on the north coast of Haiti and capital of the Department of Nord...

 under Henri Christophe
Henri Christophe
Henri Christophe was a key leader in the Haitian Revolution, winning independence from France in 1804. On 17 February 1807, after the creation of a separate nation in the north, Christophe was elected President of the State of Haiti...

 imposed a corvée system of labor upon the common citizenry which was used for massive fortifications to protect against a French invasion. Plantation owners could pay the government and have laborers work for them instead. This enabled the Kingdom of Haiti to maintain a stronger economic structure than the Republic of Haiti based in Port-au-Prince
Port-au-Prince is the capital and largest city of the Caribbean nation of Haiti. The city's population was 704,776 as of the 2003 census, and was officially estimated to have reached 897,859 in 2009....

 in the South under Petion which had a system of agrarian reform distributing land to the laborers.

After deploying to Haiti in 1915 as an expression of the Roosevelt Corollary
Roosevelt Corollary
-Background:In late 1902, Britain, Germany, and Italy implemented a naval blockade of several months against Venezuela because of President Cipriano Castro's refusal to pay foreign debts and damages suffered by European citizens in a recent Venezuelan civil war. The incident was called the...

 to the Monroe Doctrine
Monroe Doctrine
The Monroe Doctrine is a policy of the United States introduced on December 2, 1823. It stated that further efforts by European nations to colonize land or interfere with states in North or South America would be viewed as acts of aggression requiring U.S. intervention...

, the United States military enforced a corvée system of labor in the interest of making improvements to infrastructure. By official estimates, more than 3,000 Haitians were killed during this period.

Imperial China

Imperial China had a system of conscripting labour from the public, equated to the western corvée by many historians. Qin Shi Huang
Qin Shi Huang
Qin Shi Huang , personal name Ying Zheng , was king of the Chinese State of Qin from 246 BC to 221 BC during the Warring States Period. He became the first emperor of a unified China in 221 BC...

, the first emperor, imposed it for public works like the Great Wall and his mausoleum
A mausoleum is an external free-standing building constructed as a monument enclosing the interment space or burial chamber of a deceased person or persons. A monument without the interment is a cenotaph. A mausoleum may be considered a type of tomb or the tomb may be considered to be within the...

. However, as the imposition was exorbitant and punishment for failure draconian, Qin Shi Huang was criticised by many historians of China.


France annexed Madagascar
The Republic of Madagascar is an island country located in the Indian Ocean off the southeastern coast of Africa...

 as a colony
In politics and history, a colony is a territory under the immediate political control of a state. For colonies in antiquity, city-states would often found their own colonies. Some colonies were historically countries, while others were territories without definite statehood from their inception....

 in the late 19th century. Governor-General Gallieni
Joseph Gallieni
Joseph Simon Gallieni was a French soldier, most active as a military commander and administrator in the French colonies and finished his career during the First World War. He was made Marshal of France posthumously in 1921...

 then implemented a hybrid corvée and poll tax
Poll tax
A poll tax is a tax of a portioned, fixed amount per individual in accordance with the census . When a corvée is commuted for cash payment, in effect it becomes a poll tax...

, partly for revenue, partly for labour resources (the French had just abolished slavery
Slavery is a system under which people are treated as property to be bought and sold, and are forced to work. Slaves can be held against their will from the time of their capture, purchase or birth, and deprived of the right to leave, to refuse to work, or to demand compensation...

 there), and partly to move away from a subsistence economy
Subsistence economy
A subsistence economy is an economy which refers simply to the gathering or amassment of objects of value; the increase in wealth; or the creation of wealth. Capital can be generally defined as assets invested with the expectation that their value will increase, usually because there is the...

; the last feature involved paying small amounts for the forced labour. This solution to problems typical of colonialism
Colonialism is the establishment, maintenance, acquisition and expansion of colonies in one territory by people from another territory. It is a process whereby the metropole claims sovereignty over the colony and the social structure, government, and economics of the colony are changed by...

, and contemporary thinking behind it, are described in a 1938 work:
There was the introduction of equitable taxation, so vital from the financial point of view; but also of such great political, moral and economic importance. It was the tangible proof of French authority having come to stay; it was the stimulus required to make an inherently lazy people work. Once they had learned to earn they would begin to spend, whereby commerce and industry would develop.

The corvée in its old form could not be continued, yet workmen were required both by the colonists, and by the Government for its vast schemes of public works. The General
Joseph Gallieni
Joseph Simon Gallieni was a French soldier, most active as a military commander and administrator in the French colonies and finished his career during the First World War. He was made Marshal of France posthumously in 1921...

 therefore passed a temporary law, in which taxation and labour were combined, to be modified according to country, the people, and their mentality. Thus, for instance, every male among the Hova
Hova may refer to:* One of three Merina classes in Madagascar , incorrectly used by the French to mean Merina.* A nickname for the rapper Jay-Z....

s, from the age of sixteen to sixty, had either to pay twenty-five francs a year, or give fifty days of labour of nine hours a day, for which he was to be paid twenty centimes, a sum sufficient to feed him. Exempted from taxation and labour were soldiers, militia, Government clerks, and any Hova
Hova may refer to:* One of three Merina classes in Madagascar , incorrectly used by the French to mean Merina.* A nickname for the rapper Jay-Z....

 who knew French
French language
French is a Romance language spoken as a first language in France, the Romandy region in Switzerland, Wallonia and Brussels in Belgium, Monaco, the regions of Quebec and Acadia in Canada, and by various communities elsewhere. Second-language speakers of French are distributed throughout many parts...

, also all who had entered into a contract of labour with a colonist. Unfortunately, this latter clause lent itself to tremendous abuses. By paying a small sum to some European, who nominally engaged them, thousands bought their freedom from work and taxation by these fictitious contracts, to be free to continue their lazy, unprofitable existence. To this abuse an end had to be made.

The urgency of a sound fiscal system was of tremendous importance to carry out all the schemes for the welfare and development of the island, and this demanded a local budget. The goal to be kept in view was to make the colony, as soon as possible, self-supporting. This end the Governor-General
Joseph Gallieni
Joseph Simon Gallieni was a French soldier, most active as a military commander and administrator in the French colonies and finished his career during the First World War. He was made Marshal of France posthumously in 1921...

 succeeded in achieving within a few years.

The Philippines

The system of forced labor otherwise known as polo y servicios evolved within the framework of the encomienda system, introduced into the South American colonies by the Conquistadores and Catholic priests who accompanied them. Polo y servicios is the forced labor for 40 days of men ranging from 16 to 60 years of age who were obligated to give personal services to community projects. One could be exempted from polo by paying the falla (corruption of the Spanish Falta, meaning "absence"), a daily fine of one and a half real. In 1884, labor was reduced to 15 days. The polo system was patterned after the Mexican repartimento, selection for forced labor.

Portugal, African colonies

In Portugal's African colonies (e.g. Mozambique
Mozambique, officially the Republic of Mozambique , is a country in southeastern Africa bordered by the Indian Ocean to the east, Tanzania to the north, Malawi and Zambia to the northwest, Zimbabwe to the west and Swaziland and South Africa to the southwest...

), the Native Labour Regulations of 1899 stated that all able bodied men must work for six months of every year, and that "They have full liberty to choose the means through which to comply with this regulation, but if they do not comply in some way, the public authorities will force them to comply."

Africans engaged in subsistence agriculture on their own small plots were considered unemployed. The labour was sometimes paid, but in cases of rule violations it was sometimes not—as punishment. The state benefited from the use of the labour for farming and infrastructure, by high income taxes on those who found work with private employers, and by selling corvée labour to South Africa
South Africa
The Republic of South Africa is a country in southern Africa. Located at the southern tip of Africa, it is divided into nine provinces, with of coastline on the Atlantic and Indian oceans...

. This system of corvée labour, called chibalo
Chibalo is the concept of debt bondage or forced labour in the Ultramar Português , most notably in Angola and Mozambique...

, was not abolished in Mozambique until 1962, and continued in some forms until the Marxist revolution in 1974.


In Russia, the term used for corvée is barshchina or boyarshchina , and refers to the obligatory work that the serfs
Serfdom is the status of peasants under feudalism, specifically relating to Manorialism. It was a condition of bondage or modified slavery which developed primarily during the High Middle Ages in Europe and lasted to the mid-19th century...

 performed for the landowner on his portion of the land (the other part of the land, usually of a poorer quality, the peasants could use for themselves). While no official government regulation to the extent of barshchina existed, a 1797 ukase
A ukase , in Imperial Russia, was a proclamation of the tsar, government, or a religious leader that had the force of law...

 by Paul I of Russia
Paul I of Russia
Paul I was the Emperor of Russia between 1796 and 1801. He also was the 72nd Prince and Grand Master of the Order of Malta .-Childhood:...

 described a barshchina of three days a week as normal and sufficient for the landowner's needs.
In the black earth region 70-77% of the serfs performed barshchina, the rest paid rent (obrok) Owing to the high fertility, 70% of Russian cereal production in the 1850s was here.[12] In the 7 central provinces, 1860, 67.7% of the serfs were on obrok.

United States

Corvée was used in some of the English colonies of North America especially for road maintenance, as was also common in England at the time, and this practice persisted to some degree in the United States. Its popularity with local governments gradually waned after the American Revolution
American Revolution
The American Revolution was the political upheaval during the last half of the 18th century in which thirteen colonies in North America joined together to break free from the British Empire, combining to become the United States of America...

 with the increasing development of the monetary economy. After the American Civil War
American Civil War
The American Civil War was a civil war fought in the United States of America. In response to the election of Abraham Lincoln as President of the United States, 11 southern slave states declared their secession from the United States and formed the Confederate States of America ; the other 25...

, some Southern
Southern United States
The Southern United States—commonly referred to as the American South, Dixie, or simply the South—constitutes a large distinctive area in the southeastern and south-central United States...

 states, with money in short supply, reverted to taxing their inhabitants in the form of labour for public works. The system proved unsuccessful because of the poor quality of work; in 1894, the Virginia state supreme court ruled that corvée violated the state constitution, and in the 1910s Alabama
Alabama is a state located in the southeastern region of the United States. It is bordered by Tennessee to the north, Georgia to the east, Florida and the Gulf of Mexico to the south, and Mississippi to the west. Alabama ranks 30th in total land area and ranks second in the size of its inland...

 became the last state to abolish it.

Modern instances

According to the American Anti-Slavery Group
American Anti-Slavery Group
The American Anti-Slavery Group is a non profit coalition of abolitionist organizations that engages in political activism to abolish slavery in the world today...

, the government of Myanmar
Burma , officially the Republic of the Union of Myanmar , is a country in Southeast Asia. Burma is bordered by China on the northeast, Laos on the east, Thailand on the southeast, Bangladesh on the west, India on the northwest, the Bay of Bengal to the southwest, and the Andaman Sea on the south....

 imposes unpaid mandatory labour on its citizens.

In Bhutan
Bhutan , officially the Kingdom of Bhutan, is a landlocked state in South Asia, located at the eastern end of the Himalayas and bordered to the south, east and west by the Republic of India and to the north by the People's Republic of China...

, the driglam namzha
Driglam namzha
The Driglam Namzha is the official behaviour and dress code of the Kingdom of Bhutan. It governs how citizens should dress in public and how they should behave in formal settings. It also regulates a number of cultural assets such as art and architecture...

calls for citizens do work, such as dzong construction, as part of their tax obligation to the state.

In Rwanda
Rwanda or , officially the Republic of Rwanda , is a country in central and eastern Africa with a population of approximately 11.4 million . Rwanda is located a few degrees south of the Equator, and is bordered by Uganda, Tanzania, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of the Congo...

, the centuries-old tradition of umuganda, or community labor, still continues, usually in the form of one Saturday a month when citizens are required to perform this work.

Today most countries have restricted corvée labour to military conscription
Conscription is the compulsory enlistment of people in some sort of national service, most often military service. Conscription dates back to antiquity and continues in some countries to the present day under various names...

 and prison labour. Jury service and so called volunteer obligation widely practiced in USA are arguably a modern remnant of forced corvée labour.

See also

  • Tax farming
    Tax farming
    Farming is a technique of financial management, namely the process of commuting , by its assignment by legal contract to a third party, a future uncertain revenue stream into fixed and certain periodic rents, in consideration for which commutation a discount in value received is suffered...

  • Impressment
    Impressment, colloquially, "the Press", was the act of taking men into a navy by force and without notice. It was used by the Royal Navy, beginning in 1664 and during the 18th and early 19th centuries, in wartime, as a means of crewing warships, although legal sanction for the practice goes back to...

  • Indenture
    An indenture is a legal contract reflecting a debt or purchase obligation, specifically referring to two types of practices: in historical usage, an indentured servant status, and in modern usage, an instrument used for commercial debt or real estate transaction.-Historical usage:An indenture is a...

  • Serjeanty
    Under the feudal system in late and high medieval England, tenure by serjeanty was a form of land-holding in return for some specified service, ranking between tenure by knight-service and tenure in socage...

  • Nuribta
    Nuribta, also Nuribda, was a city, or city-state located in the vicinity of Magiddo in Israel, in historical Canaan during the time of the Amarna letters correspondence, a 15-20 year period of about 1350-1335 BC....

    , (corvée letter to pharaoh)
  • Mita
    Mita (Inca)
    Mit'a was mandatory public service in the society of the Inca Empire. Historians use the hispanicized term mita to distinguish the system as it was modified by the Spanish, under whom it became a form of legal servitude which in practise bordered slavery.Mit'a was effectively a form of tribute to...

  • Indigénat
    The Code de l'indigénat was a set of laws creating, in practice, an inferior legal status for natives of French Colonies from 1887 until 1944–1947. First put in place in Algeria, it was applied across the French Colonial Empire in 1887–1889...

    for instances of corvée in French colonial Africa
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