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Events within the French Revolution helped lead to the largest slave revolt in human history.

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Presentation on theme: "Events within the French Revolution helped lead to the largest slave revolt in human history."— Presentation transcript:

1 Events within the French Revolution helped lead to the largest slave revolt in human history.

2  How did people in France view slavery? ◦ Enlightenment thinkers saw slavery as evil but… ◦ Most revolutionary leaders did not want to abolish slavery b/c they knew the French economy relied on goods produced by slave labor, so… ◦ The constitution created by the Nat’l. Assembly did not apply to French colonies

3  How did events in France effect Saint-Domingue? ◦ Slaves were encouraged by the Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen, but… ◦ Whites interpreted it differently…  Wealthy white colonists believed the DRMC only applied to them  Poor whites believed it provided them equal privileges to the wealthy  Nearly all whites wanted to maintain slavery and limit the affranchi population, who… ◦ Wanted equal rights to whites but not necessarily an end to slavery ◦ These power struggles distracted people from the growing unrest in the slave population

4  The Rebellion was the result of careful planning by slaves, maroons and some free blacks in the North led by a slave named Boukman Dutty ◦ August of 1791 was the date set for the rebellion  Boukman Dutty

5  What happened in the early months of the rebellion? ◦ From the first night, this slave revolt was the largest ever experienced in the American colonies, quickly… ◦ The revolt spread from plantation to plantation, and… ◦ By the end of September, one thousand plantations were burned and hundreds of whites murdered, rebel armies grew and… ◦ By November, nearly half of all slaves in the North were in open rebellion

6  What did the rebels want? ◦ Not all rebels wanted the same thing. Most wanted better working conditions (additional days of rest, the end of the use of the whip), however… ◦ As the rebellion progressed, it became more radical, rebels began to see  Emancipation, and the  Expulsion of whites from the colony as the ultimate goals of the struggle.

7  How did the affranchis and whites use slaves in their own power struggles? ◦ In May, 1791, the French gov’t. declared that all free ppl. of color born of free parents had equal rights to whites, this… ◦ Caused affranchis and whites to form their own armies to fight for power, meanwhile… ◦ Divisions between colonists loyal to Louis XVI and those who wanted independence from France began to deepen.

8  When Louis XVI was executed, Spain and G.B. went to war with France. This war became an opportunity for them to seize Saint- Dominuge, a colony which produced more exports than all Spanish and British colonies combined.

9  How did the involvement of European powers affect the colony? ◦ British, Spanish and colonial gov’t. leaders tried to win the loyalty of rebel leaders, who in turn… ◦ Played the Europeans off one another, until… ◦ The Spanish promised land and freedom to all rebel soldiers and their families, so… ◦ By 1793, many rebel leaders joined the Spanish against the French including… ◦ Toussaint Louverture who became a central leader of the Revolution  Toussaint Louverture

10  How did the involvement of European powers affect the colony? ◦ During this period, G.B. was able to gain control of Southern Saint-Domingue by allying themselves w/white planters, meanwhile… ◦ In 1794, the French gov’t. abolished slavery in part to… ◦ Win the support of the rebels and it worked b/c… ◦ Louverture and his troops abandoned the Spanish and joined the French, and together they were able to… ◦ Expel the Spanish from Saint-Domingue, France was able to keep control of the colony and Louverture continued to gain power and… ◦ In 1797, Louverture and Andre Rigaud, an Affranchi rebel leader joined forces to push the British out of the colony, however… ◦ By 1799 a civil war broke out between the 2 for control of the colony

11  By the time that Civil War had broken out, Louverture was the most powerful force in the colony.  Rigaud  Louverture

12  Why did war break out between Rigaud and Louverture? ◦ Rigaud was fighting in the interests of the Affranchi (mostly mulatto) population who held a significant amt. of wealth and property, while… ◦ Louverture was fighting mainly in the interests of the black population who wanted to ensure an end to slavery and the promotion of equality ◦ This war, known as the War of Knives, lasted a little more than a year and was extremely violent.

13  How were foreign powers involved in the war? ◦ The U.S. and G.B. supplied funds to feed and equip Louverture’s troops because… ◦ Both wanted to see Louverture win the civil war, declare independence and thus… ◦ Weaken France’s position in the Caribbean ◦ In July of 1800, Rigaud was defeated, forced into exile in France and Louverture set out to rebuild Saint-Domingue

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