How Did The French Revolution Affect The French Colony Of Saint-domingue, Or Haiti

Haitian Revolution

Frequently Asked Questions

What was the Haitian Revolution?

a series of fights between Haitianslaves, colonists, the forces of the British and French conquerors, and a variety of other groups that occurred between 1791 and 1804 in the Caribbean country Haiti By persevering in their battle, the Haitian people were eventually able to achieve independence from France, making them the world’s first country to be formed by former slaves.

Colonial rule and slavery

The Spaniards began enslaving the indigenous Taino and Ciboney people shortly after the arrival of Italian navigator Christopher Columbus on the island he named La Isla Espaola (“The Spanish Island,” subsequently anglicized asHispaniola) in December 1492. In the 16th century, the island’s indigenous population was forced to mine for gold, and they were decimated by European illnesses and harsh working conditions, and they were all but extinct by the end of the 16th century. Thousands more slaves brought in from other Caribbean islands suffered the same fate as those brought in from Africa.

  • A growing number of African slaves were being brought by landowners in western Hispaniola, with a total population of around 5,000 in the late 17th century.
  • This population comprised around 500,000 African slaves and 32,000 European colonists, as well as 24,000 agribusinesses, according to the French (free mulattoesor blacks).
  • Theaffranchis, the majority of whom were mulattoes, were occasionally slave owners themselves and desired to reach the economic and social levels of Europeans and their descendants.
  • It was the ambitions of the affranchis that played a significant role in the colony’s fight for independence.
  • The great majority of them worked in the fields; some were home servants, boilermen (at sugar mills), and even slave drivers in some instances.

Malnutrition and hunger were also typical occurrences. Some slaves were able to make their way into the mountainous interior, where they became known as Maroons and engaged in guerrilla warfare against colonial forces.

Factional conflict and the rise of Toussaint Louverture

In this context, a revolution erupted, which began as a series of clashes in the early 1790s and progressed through the rest of the century. The dissatisfaction of the affranchis with a racist society, the upheaval caused in the colony by the French Revolution, nationalistic rhetoric voiced during Vodouceremonies, the continued cruelty of slave masters, and wars between European countries were all factors in the confrontations. After lobbying the Parisian parliament for colonial changes, Vincent Ogé, a mulatto, organized a rebellion in late 1790 that was arrested, tortured, and eventually murdered.

  1. Within two months, minor clashes erupted between Europeans and affranchis, and thousands of slaves rose up in revolt in August.
  2. Contradictory factions fought for control of the nation, some of which were backed by Spanish colonists based in Santo Domingo (located on the island’s eastern half, which would eventually become the Dominican Republic) or British forces stationed in Jamaica.
  3. Léger-Félicité Sonthonax gave freedom to slaves who joined his army, and his decision was validated by the French government in the following year, bringing slavery to an end.
  4. He pledged his nominal allegiance to France while also pursuing his own political and military objectives, which included negotiations with the British government.
  5. He returned the peasants to their plantation jobs under military administration and persuaded many former French plantation owners to return to the country.
  6. Toussaint fought against Leclerc’s army for many months before agreeing to an armistice in May 1802; however, the French refused to honor the agreement and imprisoned him in France for the rest of his life.

Independent Haiti

Toussaint’s lieutenants, including Jean-Jacques Dessalines and Henry Christophe, re-entered the struggle against the French in 1802, and several of them were killed. They were quickly joined by Pétion and other mulatto leaders, who were enraged by the reintroduction of limits on their caste’s freedom of movement. Due to news that France had re-established slavery in Guadeloupe and Martinique, both blacks and mulattoes were outraged, and the battle continued despite the fact that it was becoming increasingly desperate.

  • The French situation in Haiti was rendered hopeless less than three weeks later, on May 18, 1803, when hostilities between France and Britain were re-established between the two countries.
  • Jean-Baptiste-Donatien de Vimeur, comte de Rochambeau abandoned Cap-Français (today Cap-Hatien), the last substantial French bastion.
  • Derisive responses followed, with Dessalines threatening to fire his cannons at the French ships anchored at the port of Cap-Français.
  • Capt.
  • Despite the fact that this marked the end of French military operations in Haiti, France continued to retain a presence in the eastern half of the country until 1809.
  • As a result of the rebellion, many European powers and their Caribbean surrogates shunned Haiti, fearing that slave revolts would spread.
  • More importantly, practically the whole population was completely poor, a legacy of slavery that has had a tremendous influence on Haitian history that has endured to the present.
  • After that, a civil war erupted between Christophe and Sabès Pétion, who was stationed in the southern city of Port-au-Prince.
  • He erected a magnificent mansion (Sans Souci) as well as an enormous castle (La Citadelle Laferrière) in the hills south of the city of Cap-Hatien, where he committed suicide in 1820 when mutinous soldiers were on their way to his door.

This recognition came only in return for a huge indemnity of 100 million francs, with a payback term of up to 30 years beginning in 1887. Those in charge of editing the Encyclopaedia Britannica Michael Ray has made several revisions and updates to this article in the most recent version.

The Haitian Revolution

The Haitian Revolution was the result of a long struggle on the part of the slaves in the French colony of St. Domingue, but was also propelled by the free Mulattoes who had long faced the trials of being denoted as semi-citizens. This revolt was not unique, as there were several rebellions of its kind against the institution of plantation slavery in the Caribbean, but the Haitian Revolution the most successful. This had a great deal to do with the influence of the French Revolution, as it helped to inspire events in Haiti. The Haitian Revolution would go on to serve as a model for those affected by slavery throughout the world.There were three distinct classes in St. Domingue. First, there were the Whites, who were in control. Then there were the free Mulattoes, who straddled a very tenuous position in Haitian society. While they enjoyed a degree of freedom, they were repressed by the conservative White power structure that recognized them only as being people of color. Next came the slaves who, in Haiti suffered under some of the harshest treatment found in the Caribbean. Slaves in Haiti were legally considered to be property of the public and with little choice, yielded obedience. The master provided for the barest necessities of life for his slave “while he secures himself from injury or insult by an appeal to the laws.” (Source 1, p. 406) The conditions in Haiti at this time were ripe for a Revolution and the only thing lacking was the proper action, which would soon come in the form of the French Revolution and a man named Toussaint, who after a brief delay, sprang to action and led one of the most successful insurgencies in history.The Mulattoes in Haiti faced a precarious situation in Haiti, even though they did possess their freedom, in a limited sense. Upon reaching manhood, Mulattoes were required to enlist for a mandatory three-year term in the military establishment known as the marechaussée. Its purpose was to arrest fugitive Negroes, protect travelers and even to collect taxes, all in an effort to have the marechaussée “rendered instrumental in the hands of the magistracy in carrying into execution the decisions of the law…In short, it was a three year’s guard on the public tranquility.” (Source 1 – p. 406) Upon completion of this term, Mulattoes were then forced to serve in their local militia without compensation. They were also required to provide their own supplies for as long as it was deemed necessary and could only be released from this service if it was deemed that their presence was no longer necessary.Free Mulattoes were further disgraced by being outlawed from holding office and were totally excluded from Haitian society. While a scant few of these laws were not enforced, there was enough latitude that “others, who thought proper to gratify private revenge, had only to wait an opportunity after they had given provocations.” (Source 1 – p. 407) This meant that the free Mulattoes had been provoked to such a degree that some of them sought revenge on those that had disgraced them. Mulattoes were allowed to own land, but as Coke notes, this was done with the realization that society’s restraints on Mulattoes made it highly unlikely that they could do anything with that land.The French Revolution furnished the Mulattoes and slaves with an opportunity and an inspiration after having witnessed the successful insurrection in France against the government’s long-standing denial of equal representation of the Commons to that of the Nobility and Clergy. This was such a revolution in the structure of French society that its news spread like wildfire and was exactly the stimulus the slaves and Mulattoes in Haiti needed to inspire their revolt. The Governor of Haiti, Mon. Duchilleau, sought to slow down the process of insurgency in an effort to give the French government more time to formulate a policy on slavery in the Caribbean, as well as for the political representation of the colonies in the National Assembly. However, his efforts to stall were not successful as the Haitian Revolution grew in scope and participation, eventually bringing slavery in Haiti to an effective end.The radical slave revolt in St. Domingue occurred before the most turbulent years of the French Revolution. This reflects just how bad things in St. Domingue were, and also shows that though some inspiration was needed to spark the slave revolt in St. Domingue, it was not necessary for those there to see how the French Revolution played out, as they were not concerned with the consequences of the revolution, they were simply interested in the ideas put forth by it. Now that the inspiration for the revolt in St. Domingue was found, a leader was needed to take charge of the insurgency, and that leader was Toussaint.Toussaint was the son of an educated slave who would go on to lead the most significant and successful slave rebellion and history, partly inspired by the developments that occurred simultaneously in France. Although at first he was uncommitted to the revolutionary goal, events in France would soon inspire him to take action. As a leader, Toussaint was nothing less than inspirational, taking of the hundreds of slaves and free Mulattoes who were revolting. Having found local leaders of the rebellion to be inept, he formed his own army, inspiring hundreds to join him and displayed an impressive talent for designing and leading militaristic strategies and tactics that would enable him to make the slave insurgency in St. Domingue one of the most successful in history.In conclusion, the circumstances in Haiti just before the French Revolution were prime for an insurrection to occur. Lacking a clear and defined political authority, the White colonists were unable to contain adequately the rebellion that they had been forcing upon themselves for years. Their contemptible treatment of Negroes and Mulattoes in Haiti sped up the progress of the cause of the abolition of slavery in Haiti. The excesses of that contemptible treatment is the very reason why the Haitian Revolution was so successful: the treatment of slaves and Mulattoes in Haiti was so bad that it forced the most violent and ultimately, the most successful slave insurrection in history. The French Revolution provided the necessary spark for the revolution in Haiti to occur: it was the inspiration the cause of the abolition of slavery in Haiti needed to actualize its goals.
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It was called “Haiti During the Revolution.” “St. Domingue Demographics” is a collection of statistics on the city of Saint Domingue. “Excrutable Human Trafficking, or The Affectionate Slaves” is a book about human trafficking. “Slave and Free Blacks in Saint Domingue” is the title of this article. The Indigo Plant Farm is a place where you may grow indigo plants. The Sugar Mill is a type of mill that produces sugar. The Agricultural Barnyard The Cap Français Explosion Toussaint L’Ouverture is a saint who was born in the year of the opening.

  • Domingo, the method of training bloodhounds is unique.
  • Even before the American Revolution, opponents decried the slave trade and slavery in the colonies.
  • The most significant of these colonies was Saint Domingue (later Haiti), which had 500,000 slaves, 32,000 whites, and 28,000 free blacks at the time of the French invasion (which included both blacks and mulattos).
  • The slave system in the colonies was governed by a succession of royal edicts, the most significant of which was proclaimed by Louis XIV in 1685 and which established the slave trade in the colonies.
  • Slaves who fought their captivity, particularly those who attempted to hurt their masters in any manner, were subjected to a rigorous regime of punishments outlined by this code.
  • French slaveholders were required to understand at least a rudimentary knowledge about their slaves in order to preserve their assets.

Slaveholders were alarmed by a number of aspects of slave life described by him, including the presence of voudoo imported from Africa, the large number of people of mixed race (mulattos), the threat of slaves becoming Maroons (runaways), and the intense fear felt by slaveholders that their slaves would attempt to poison them.

  1. As a result of their findings, we have another another contemporaneous viewpoint on the plantation and slavery system.
  2. The white planters of Saint Domingue, as well as the mulattos, dispatched delegates to France in order to demand participation in the newly formed National Assembly.
  3. When these suggestions fell on deaf ears, those delegates sympathetic to blacks shifted their focus to advocating that free blacks in the colonies should be allowed full civil and political rights as citizens of the United States.
  4. Besides being a pioneering feminist and dramatist, Olympe de Gouges also authored a pamphlet in which she challenged the colonial pro-slavery movement to do more to ameliorate the plight of black people.
  5. As a result, the white planters launched their own counter-offensive and even considered declaring independence from the French government.
  6. However, the royal governor of Saint Domingue showed worry about the consequences of the Revolution on the slave population of the colony during the Revolution.

the blacks all share an idea that struck them spontaneously: that the white slaves killed their masters and that, now free, they govern themselves and regain possession of their land.” In other words, the black slaves planned to follow in the footsteps of their white forefathers, liberating themselves, assassinating their owners, and wresting control of the country.

  • As well as shipbuilding, sugar refining, and a slew of other subsidiary businesses, slavery was responsible for incredible amounts of riches.
  • Because of the United States’ failure to abolish slavery or the slave trade, they were able to gain further support for their cause.
  • The proposal was defeated.
  • The edict of March 1790 mentioned nothing concerning the political rights of free blacks, who continued to urge their claims both in Paris and at home, but to little success, until the end of the century.
  • Soldiers from the French army worked with local planter militias to disperse and apprehend the protesters.
  • Nonetheless, on 15 May 1791, in response to fresh pressure from the abbé Grégoire and others, the National Assembly gave political rights to all free blacks and mulattos who were born to free mothers and dads and who were born free mothers and fathers.
  • Just a few months later, on August 22, 1791, the slaves of Saint Domingue rose up in revolt, igniting what would eventually become the first successful slave uprising in history, lasting many years.

In March 1792, free black rights were examined again by the new Legislative Assembly (which had succeeded the National Assembly in October 1791), which continued the battle that had begun earlier in the year.

Slavery was not addressed in any way.

Rebel slaves in the region began to make pacts with the British and Spanish governments in order to earn their freedom.

They only desired to take advantage of France’s difficulties.

On 4 February 1794, the National Convention passed a resolution to abolish slavery in all of France’s colonies, even though the Convention first condemned the action as part of a scheme to help the British Empire.

It was practically impossible for Saint Domingue’s economy to function properly after more than two years of uprising, invasion, attack, and counterattack.

Despite the good intentions of the deputies, the issue remained ambiguous in virtually all of the colonies: some local authorities simply ignored the order, some changed slavery into forced labor, and others were too preoccupied with fighting the British and Spanish to make a decision.

Toussaint had to overcome impossibly difficult difficulties in order to organize a cohesive opposition.

In the areas under Toussaint’s influence, army commanders or government officials seized control of the large estates and forced the former slaves to labor under military-style discipline.

He also restricted political rights to free blacks in the colonies that were still under French rule.

It apprehended Toussaint and sent him to France, where he perished as a prisoner of war.

The French army was forced to return home after suffering thousands of casualties as a result of sickness and intermittent combat.

The events at Saint Domingue were closely observed by Americans in the newly formed United States with apprehension.

Furthermore, as white settlers began abandoning Saint Domingue, a large number of them made their way to the United States.

Newspapers in the United States carried letters from people who had witnessed the rebellion (and who had heard reports about it). The stories published in the Pennsylvania Gazette are reproduced here with permission.

Saint-Domingue Revolution

The public domain is a term used to describe a piece of property that is owned by the public. An etching depicts a scene from the Battle of Vertières, which took place during the Saint Domingue Revolution in 1789. On the 18th of November, 1803 at Vertières, Haiti, a fight took place between Haitian insurgents and French invading soldiers. It was during the Saint-Domingue revolution in the West Indies between 1791 and 1804 that slavery was abolished in the former French colony. It was also during this time period that Haiti was established as a second independent republic in the Western Hemisphere and the first Western nation governed by people of African descent.

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Planters and laborers with experience in cultivating and refining sugar, an industry that was just beginning to emerge as a substantial crop in Louisiana, as well as craftsmen skilled in a variety of arts and crafts, were among the immigrants who arrived.

Dominica encompassed nearly one-third of the western section of Hispaniola, the island Christopher Columbus claimed for Spain in 1492, and was historically known as the “Little Spain.” The local Arawakan population was rapidly depleted as a result of Spanish exploitation, to the point that colonists were forced to import slaves from Africa.

  1. After the Spanish discovery of the New World, small groups of French colonists began to gather in the West Indies, but it was not until 1664 that the newly founded French West Indies Company was able to take control of western Hispaniola from Spain.
  2. Large numbers of French emigrants followed, settling mostly in the more accessible coastal sections of the hilly island; around three-fourths of the island is made up of rocky mountains mixed with fertile valleys, with the remaining quarter made up of arid desert.
  3. The island of Saint-Domingue thrived from the mid-eighteenth century until the French Revolution (1789–1799), becoming the richest colonial property in the world and the foundation of French colonial prosperity in the Western hemisphere.
  4. Fearing a revolution, the French instituted a tight caste structure ruled by grand blancs, white planters born in the colony (known as Creoles), and French-born officials and landowners who dominated the colony’s government.
  5. Enslaved Africans were found at the bottom of the pile.
  6. People who deserted the plantations or defied their masters were lashed mercilessly and occasionally subjected to more harsh types of punishment, such as beheading.
  7. Moreover, during the eighteenth century, local lawmakers overturned portions of the code to suit their needs.

Other slaves went to towns, where they were able to mix in with the urban population and liberated slaves (free persons of color) who were already living there.

The arduous nature of the job on sugar plantations resulted in an extraordinarily high mortality rate among the slaves who were forced to labor on them.

Thus, it is believed that Saint-Domingue alone brought up to 40,000 Africans into the country each year, accounting for nearly one-third of the total transatlantic slave trade.

The French Revolution, which began in 1789, only heightened the turbulence.

These tensions resulted in an increase in confrontations, first between groups of whites and subsequently between whites and free people of color, which became increasingly violent.

Toussaint L’Ouverture, Jean-Jacques Dessalines, and Henri Christophe were the three primary black commanders of the uprising, each of whom had previously served whites in a variety of roles, ranging from slave to French army officer, before rising to prominence in the insurrection.

While he put an end to slavery on August 29, 1793, he had very limited success in his efforts.

When France declared war on England the following year, the white planters (grand blancs) readily resolved to back Great Britain.

When the British attacked Saint-Domingue, however, L’Ouverture informed the French that he would fight on their side provided they would agree to the freedom of all enslaved individuals.

After having convincingly established his dominance, L’Ouverture seemed hesitant to surrender it.

He also constructed a constitution for Saint-Domingue that designated him governor for life.

The troops had secret instructions to restore slavery at least in the part of the island formerly held by Spain.

Upon their arrival, they soon found themselves contending with malaria and yellow fever epidemics in addition to revolutionaries.

French leaders promised L’Ouverture his freedom if he agreed to integrate his remaining troops into the French army, which he did in May 1802.

The last battle of the Saint-Domingue revolution was fought on November 18, 1803, between rebels led by Dessalines and the decimated French forces commanded by Leclerc’s successor, Donatien-Marie-Joseph de Vimeur, Vicomte de Rochambeau.

The victorious Dessalines named himself “Emperor Jacques I” of the new republic and renamed it Haiti, which meant “land of mountains” in the indigenous Arawakan language.

Napoleon had hoped to retake Saint-Dominque in order to revive the sugar trade and reestablish the island as a source of wealth for France.

When French forces were defeated by Haitian rebels, Napoleon no longer needed the colony of Louisiana and decided to sell the entire colony to the United States in April 1803.

Napoleon, who realized he could use the sale to finance his planned campaign against Great Britain, then offered to sell the entire colony for $15 million.

The revolution also had a great impact on Louisiana’s slave and immigration policies.

The discovery of a planned slave rebellion on Julien Poydras’s plantation in Point Coupee in 1795 seemed to confirm this suspicion.

Though the rebellion was aborted, white anxieties about slave insurrections remained.

As tensions between Spain and France over the Napoleonic wars escalated, these refugees found themselves unwelcome in Cuba by 1809.


In 1809 and 1810 Claiborne believed that their presence would be a hindrance to the growth of American democratic principles.

slave laws passed in 1807 prohibited the importation of slaves from outside the nation.

On the other hand, Claiborne prohibited the immigration of free men of color but allowed free women of color passage.

In all, some ten thousand Saint-Domingue refugees arrived in Louisiana between 1809 and 1810.

In 1812 the largest slave revolt in U.S.

Once again, U.S.

While the rebellion was ultimately put down, the political legacy of Haiti’s success was great and far-reaching.

The number offree people of colorin New Orleans doubled, as did the number of French speakers in the city.

Some immigrants became citizens of great standing in the community.

He served as city surveyor, beginning in 1818, and mapped out the plan for the Esplanade Prolongment (Esplanade Avenue), which serves as the lower border of the French Quarter and connects the Mississippi riverfront to City Park.

He is also credited with designing the main iron gate of the Cabildo entrance and the iron fence around Jackson Square.

The large influx of Saint-Domingue immigrants helped to further develop Louisiana’s nascent sugar industry.

This development made the crop more profitable.

New Orleans’s signature dish, red beans and rice, is also credited to the Saint-Dominguans.

Today in Haiti riz national, the Creole dialect term for “national rice,” is the nation’s most popular rice-and-beans dish.

The Saint-Domingue refugees also left a considerable cultural mark on New Orleans.

The religion is essentially a syncretic blend of West African spiritual beliefs and Catholicism.

The influx of voodoo practitioners from Saint-Domingue in the early 1800s added another layer of voodoo culture, which became more prominent in the mid-1800s under priestess Marie Laveau and her daughter.

Quadroon balls, in which balls only admitted free women of color and free white men, were practiced in Saint-Domingue in the 1790s, and the practice was employed to a limited degree in New Orleans during the 1810s.

Travelers’ accounts of the balls and the practice of placage helped to associate the practice with the city and become part of New Orleans’s exaggerated and inaccurate history promoted by tour guides in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.


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Suggested Reading

Elizabeth Abbott is a writer who lives in the United Kingdom. The History of Sugar Is a Bittersweet One. Overlook Press, New York, published a book in 2010. Carl A. Brasseaux and Glenn R. Conrad wrote the book. A History of the Saint Domingue Refugees, 1792–1809. The Road to Louisiana: The St. Domingue Refugees, 1792–1809. The Center for Louisiana Studies published a book in 1992 in Lafayette, Louisiana. “The Common Routes of Louisiana and Haiti: A Creative Power,” The Southern Quarterly 44, no.

  1. Chambers, Douglas B., ed.
  2. The Strange History of the American Quadroon: Free Women of Color in the Revolutionary Atlantic World is a book on the strange history of the American quadroon.
  3. The Haitian Revolution is the subject of the book Avengers of the New World: The Story of the Haitian Revolution.
  4. Laurent Dubois and John D.
  5. Brief History of the Slave Revolution in the Caribbean, 1789–1804, Including Source Materials The Bedford/St.
  6. Geggus, David Patrick, and others.
  7. Clarendon Press, Oxford, United Kingdom, 1982.
  8. Written in Blood: The History of the Haitian People from 1492 to 1971 is a book written in blood.
  9. A Slumbering Volcano in the Caribbean: Haiti’s Influence on Antebellum America, by Alfred W.
  10. New York: Oxford University Press, 2003.
  11. Lachance, Paul F., “The 1809 Immigration of Saint Domingue Refugees,” Louisiana History 29 (1988): 109–141.Latorture, Francis, “The 1809 Immigration of Saint Domingue Refugees,” Louisiana History 29 (1988): 109–141.

Additional Data

Entry Published October 22, 2014
Entry Last Updated June 4, 2021
Coverage 1791-1804
Category GovernmentPolitics,History
Regions Greater New Orleans,Orleans
Time Periods Antebellum Period,French Colonial Period,U.S. Territorial Period
Index letter S

Research Guides: Women of the French Revolution: A Resource Guide: Women in the Haitian Revolution

Haiti is a country in the Americas (100 Photographs). 1930. The Music Division of the Library of Congress. The slave rebellion in Saint-Domingue in 1791 was the greatest and most successful slave revolt in modern history, with over a million people taking part. Because of the Revolution, one of the world’s wealthiest colonies was turned into a new nation headed by African-American revolutionaries. Given the fact that Saint-Domingue was a French colony, the French Revolution was intrinsically tied to the Revolution in Saint-Domingue; nonetheless, the two Revolutions functioned in very different domains, not the least of which was the ocean that divided the two.

With other French Caribbean colonies (such as Martinique and Guadeloupe), it set the stage for a centuries-long struggle for “hexagonal” France (also known as continental or metropolitan France) to justify, reject, incorporate, and finally atone for their overseas colonies, and later territories in the Pacific.

  • Even in situations when black women had full parental authority and autonomy within the family unit (as was often the case), they have suffered as a result of their colonial position.
  • It was common for the urgency of patriotic objectives to overwhelm what appeared to be a secondary battle for gender equality.
  • Not only did it deprive them social justice and equality at the time, but it also created a legacy in research that minimizes the value of their achievements.
  • (1804-1814).
  • A terrible debt that would be paid to France over the following many decades would also be imposed on Haiti, presumably eliminating the country’s potential to maintain a prosperous economy.
  • The question of who was eligible for citizenship, as well as the terms of acceptance, has been a source of contention from the beginning of time.
  • Historiographers, as well as the cultures and nationalities who were impacted by colonial dominance, are becoming increasingly interested in filling in the gaps in the history of enslaved, native, and creole communities.
  • More works by or about women in the Haitian Revolution may be found at Haiti-History-Revolution, 1791-1804 (Haiti-History-Revolution, 1791-1804).
  • This annotated bibliography of books, journal articles, book chapters, conference papers, maps and atlases, and e-resources is part of the Handbook of Latin American Studies (HLAS).

The PALABRA Archive, which comprises audio recordings of poets and authors from Latin America, the Iberian Peninsula, the Caribbean, and other countries with a Luso-Hispanic background reading from their works, is another valuable resource for academics.

Legendary Women in the Haitian Revolution:

  • A Haitian revolutionary commander known as Sanité Bélair, Suzanne Bélair was a member of the Toussaint Louverture’s army during the Haitian Revolution. It was Napoleon’s instruction that she and her husband, who was also a lieutenant in Louverture’s army, were finally discovered and killed.
  • During the Haitian Revolution, Marie Sainte Dédée Bazile was a pivotal role, and she is credited with assembling the remains of the country’s first Emperor, Jean-Jacques Dessalines, following his horrific death.
  • Marie-Louise Coidavid was the first and only Queen of Haiti after the country gained independence from France. They, along with her husband, Henri I of Haiti, had to deal with the rigors of military life, and she was forced to watch the killing of her firstborn child. Following the death of her husband, she relocated to Italy as an exile.
  • Catherine Flon was a seamstress who is most known for sewing the first Haitian flag at the behest of Dessalines, but she is also remembered for caring for the ill and injured during neighboring fights.
  • On the island of Haiti, Cécile Fatiman is thought to have developed networks of mambos (vodou priestesses) who were responsible for transferring knowledge from plantation-to-plantation.
  • Marie-Claire Heureuse Félicité was a French schoolteacher who taught free blacks how to communicate effectively in French. She was married to a French painter who died shortly after, and she went on to become the first Empress of Haiti after her marriage to General Jean-Jacques Dessalines, who crowned himself emperor of Haiti on October 8, 1804. She was the first Empress of Haiti after her marriage to General Jean-Jacques Dessalines. Assassination of Emperor Jacques I took place on October 17th, 1806.
  • Marie-Jeanne Lamartiniére was a Haitian soldier who was renowned not just for her bravery, but also for her tactical and strategic abilities in battle. She played an important role in the decisive Battle of Crête-à-Pierrot, which took place in 1802. Despite the fact that she fought in a male uniform, she was well-liked and respected by her male counterparts.
  • Suzanne Simone Baptiste Louverture was the devoted wife and carer of Toussaint Louverture, who died in a car accident in 1890. Although several accounts of her life contradict one another, it is evident that she was subjected to horrible torture when caught by the French. They requested information about her husband’s location, which she refused to provide and ended herself in prison. Uncertainty surrounds the circumstances of her death.
  • The Haitian Revolution was fought by Victoria Montou, also known as “Toya,” who was a combatant in Jean-Jacques Dessalines’ army. She had previously fought as a warrior for the Empire of Dahomey in Africa before being sold into slavery and transported to Haiti. It is reported that she quickly left the plantation and volunteered to rescue a newborn infant and teach him in the combat techniques she had learnt as a warrior in Africa, according to some accounts. Dessalines, the future leader, is said to have been inspired by this little youngster.
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The Haitian Revolution and the Hole in French High-School History

France was obliged to abolish slavery as a result of the revolution, which was led by Toussaint Louverture, who had previously been slaves. George DeBaptiste’s artwork is housed in the Library of Congress. According to the academic Sudhir Hazareesingh, Toussaint Louverture was “the first black superhero of the contemporary era,” as he was “the first black superhero of the modern era.” At some point in the early seventeen-forties, Louverture was born into slavery on a sugar plantation in Saint-Domingue, a French possession on Hispaniola’s island of Hispaniola.

  1. He then united the island’s Black and mixed-race populations under his military command, outmaneuvered three successive French commissioners, defeated the British, and overpowered the Spanish.
  2. To ensure that those who seek to re-enslave us constantly have before their eyes the vision of hell that they deserve, Louverture ordered Jean-Jacques Dessalines to set fire to the city’s central business district.
  3. During the Battle of Saint-Domingue in 1803, Bonaparte’s army suffered a greater number of casualties (including his brother-in-law) than he would suffer twelve years later at the Battle of Waterloo.
  4. A normal French student will complete her high-school education without hearing anything about any of this for the time being.
  5. Some of France’s overseas territories have high schools that teach the history of the revolution that took place in his home country.
  6. However, it does not appear in the normal lycée curriculum.
  7. After being established by François Hollande in 2016, the Fondation pour la Mémoire de l’Esclavage (Foundation for the Memory of Slavery) is now urging French authorities to remedy these omissions.
  8. As a result of the law’s passing, tremendous work was made in updating historical records, educating instructors, and modifying textbooks in the years after its implementation.
  9. Chirac delivered a ground-breaking speech in which he openly mentioned Haiti, referencing leaders of resistance like as Louverture, Solitude, Cimendef, and Dimitile, among others.

“However, they are a part of the history of France.” However, according to a statement from the Taubira Foundation, the impetus acquired with the passage of the Taubira statute “has steadily waned over time.” Former French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault, who now serves as the organization’s president, told me that he was concerned that the Taubira law, which was passed unanimously in 2001, would be upheld without opposition today, given the growing polarization in French society over issues of race and identity.

As he put it, “When we talk about the history of slavery, we get the sensation that we practically have to apologize for bringing it up.” “That’s an environment that makes me nervous.” The general high-school history program was modified by the Ministry of Education last year, according to the ministry.

Ayrault and Christiane Taubira, a former justice minister who supported the 2001 law and currently serves as a patron of the Foundation for the Memory of Slavery, were successful in their efforts to get it included in the constitution.

Among the points made by Philippe Raynaud, vice-president of the Conseil Supérieur des Programmes, the ministry body that advises on school curricula, are that eighth graders study slavery and that teachers are free to include Haiti in a unit on the French Revolution, “even if it does not occupy the same position in all high school programs.” Ayrault and others believe that this is insufficient compensation.

  1. “This history has to be heard,” said Marc Lienafa, a history and geography teacher at a technical high school in Caen.
  2. “I believe that to conceal this colonial past is to feed resentments and to encourage individuals to withdraw into their own identities,” Lienafa concluded.
  3. This incredulity has, in some ways, never really faded.
  4. Yet, even as French historiography has obscured the Haitian Revolution, its consequences endure today.
  5. Even though the debt was later reduced to ninety million francs, Haiti didn’t finish paying it off until 1947, and, according to Marlene Daut, an expert on Haiti at the University of Virginia, its effects are still being felt.

Daut, who taught English at the Lycée Camille Saint-Saëns, in Rouen, in 2002, recalled, “On one occasion, a student asked me where my family was from, and, when I said ‘Haiti,’ he started doing the hula because he thought I said ‘Tahiti.’ ” During the 2017 Presidential race, Emmanuel Macron spoke of the need to face history honestly, calling colonialism a “crime against humanity,” but, recently—with another election coming in 2022 and the far right as one of his strongest competitors—he has struck a less progressive tone.

Jean-Michel Blanquer, the Minister of Education, does not appear to be particularly interested in examining the education system’s treatment of colonization.

In an interview following the attack, Blanquer linked the fragmentation of French society to “an intellectual matrix coming from American universities and intersectional theses, which want to essentialize communities and identities”—a statement that the far right accused him of plagiarizing from its literature.

But he was one of the most exemplary ones France has had.

“If we try to cover up this history, it comes back and it often comes back in a more violent manner.”

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