Presentation on theme: "Events within the French Revolution helped lead to the largest slave revolt in human history."— Presentation transcript:
Events within the French Revolution helped lead to the largest slave revolt in human history.
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
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
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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
By the time that Civil War had broken out, Louverture was the most powerful force in the colony. Rigaud Louverture
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.
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