The Haitian Revolution (1791-1804)
Many people believe that the Haitian Revolution was the sucessful slave revolt in history and to establish an independent country called Republic of Haiti today. The colonial system of slavery had been successfully functioning until a violent slave revolt in 1791. After the slave uprising in French colony of Saint- Domingue, this event news of insurrection in Saint- domingue spread quickly across the Atlantic world and overturn plantation economy. Haitian revolution brought mass moblization and France declared war with Britian and Spain over Saint- Domingue and leader’s commited to full emancipation.
Saint- Domingue had been known for fastest-growing and wealthiest in new world colonies. Saint- Domingue produces sugar, coffee, and cotton which generate to the French. It was also known as a place for rooted slave and the level of wealth was based on human capital. The demographic was important during the Haitian revolution which was that majority of people in Haiti were African but they speak different language, have different political ideologies and religion. The way of colonical system of slavery in Saint- Domingue was crucial because tortures to slaves were horrible and human life was little value under the French colonial regime. There was time when Africans slave decided to no longer to be slaves and hope to became free. Many slaves attacked and killed their masters and burned plantation and houses.
The most influential and revolutionary leader was Tourssaint Louverture. He was considerd as privileged slave and had responsible to make abolished slavery. He was charismatic and encourgaed to the process the emancipation in Saint- Domingue. He mainly explained the situation to people and he mobilized the masses and told them what they think they should do. It seems like he had great respect from his fellowers and he proclaimed that he would brought freedom in this island. The slave revolt given fear througout to slave owners and overthrow the system of slavery was terrified for them. At the same time, it was good source of inspiration to Africans slave and encouraged to emancipation. A Large number of group of Afrian slaves who claimed thieir own freedom and racial eqaulity. Some free colored had been granted eqaulity but many people did not have same eqaulity as whites. They sought courage and determination helps to unite many different African ethnic group and became collective action to against to slavery anf fight for their own freedom.The French National assembly sent second civil commission to save the French colony and maintain social order in Saint- Domingue and insure the enforcement of the April 4th decree. One of commissioner Leger Felicite Sonthonax arrived in Saint- Domingue in 1972. He bagan to alliance to the free man of color and insure their citizenship. In 1793, French declared war with Britan and Spain, France had faced invasion from them. Toussaint Louverture joined Spainsh side to against the France.The Cvil commisionar attemted to hired the slave insurgent who defend the France which offered freedom to them. At the same time, Many people prefered to join in the Spanish side. So Sothonax decided to grant slaves to freedom in the North Province. ” The emancipation proclamation of 29 August 1793 applied only to the devastated North Province at first, but it was quickly extended to the rest of Saint- Domingue, where planter were welcoming Spainsh and British invaders” (Geggus, pp. 99). However, Slaves were changed called ” laborers” in the colony Theier daily live did not change at all and they were still restricted by government. In 1704, the French National convention in Paris approved abolished slavery all its colonies.
Napoleon’s seizure of power in 1799 represented a triumph for pragmatists who had little concern for liberty and were more interested in expanding France’s power by building up a strong government” ( Popkin pp. 114). Toussaint Louverture proclaimed the Saint – Domingue constitution and proclaimed the abolition of slavery in 1801. He proclaimed that he would promised to full rights to them. The consitution sent to France, but Saint- Domigue still indentified as a French colony. Nepoleon believes that it is not formal declaration of independence and he refused and reimposed slavery.In 1804, Dessaline proclaimed Haiti’s independence.
1) Jeremy D. Popkin, A Concise History of The Haitian Revolution
2) David Geggus, The Haitian Revolution