There were no tri-coleur cockades for the slaves of the French colonies. Their cause was overlooked as Parisians flooded the streets, chasing liberté, egalité, fraternité. The social upheaval of the Revolution empowered the bourgeoisie and elevated the Third Estate to a ruling class; it encouraged class consciousness and political activism among the working class; it extended personal freedoms and religious toleration. The Revolutionaries abolished serfdom, feudalism, and seigneurial rights, thus it does not seem unreasonable to assume that slavery would be abolished as well. Yet the National and Legislative Assemblies refused to dismantle the slave trade or the institution of slavery; if anything, legislators took measures to preserve these practices. Surprisingly, during a struggle purportedly waged for equality and justice, the slave trade was maintained and in fact reached its peak during the period 1789-1791. 1