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The Haitian Revolution. Important Concepts Enlightenment ideas inspired revolutions in the United States and France, which would in turn inspire people.

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Presentation on theme: "The Haitian Revolution. Important Concepts Enlightenment ideas inspired revolutions in the United States and France, which would in turn inspire people."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Haitian Revolution

2 Important Concepts Enlightenment ideas inspired revolutions in the United States and France, which would in turn inspire people of Saint-Domingue to demand independence from France BUT, the different social groups within S-D wanted independence for different reasons Planters desired independence for economic gain Petit blancs wanted independence to advance their position in society ahead of blacks Free blacks & mulattoes wanted rights Slaves wanted to not be slaves anymore (pretty easy concept) War raged between France, England, and Spain during and after the Haitian Revolution.

3 Brief History of Haiti Columbus landed on Hispaniola in 1492 – Inhabited by Taino natives French settled western half of island in 1600s = Saint Domingue – Spanish in Western half – Pirate outpost – British there too – All battled for control& influence throughout the Haitian Revolution Began cash crop farming by 1700s – Tobacco, indigo, sugar plantations – Need large labor force – Import large number of slaves

4 Social Hierarchy Whites (~20,000) – Gran Blancs – plantation owners Disenchanged by France by 1770 for reasons similar to those of American colonists (trade rules & representation) – Petit Blancs – artisants, shop keepers, merchants, teachers, & other middle- and under-class whites Usually more loyal to France Committed to slavery & very anti-black, which would cause tensions with France as French Revolution progressed Free Persons of Color (~30,000) – Freed blacks = affrancis – Mulattoes = children of white Frenchmen & slave women, often freed by masters – Black slaves could purchase own freedom too – Often more wealthy than petit blancs or even planters – Could own plantations & slaves – Did not have rights as citizens of France – Tended to side with planters as being pro-independence Black Slaves (500,000) – Domestic Slaves – cooks, servants, artisans – Field hands – agricultural workers; illiterate – Maroons – runaway slaves living in small villages; bitterly anti-slavery

5 Tensions in the Colony s – Free blacks & mulattoes began to amass wealth & power – Threatened petit blancs – Wanted rights of French citizens – whites tried to control affrancis – Legislation forbade them from holding public offices, practicing certain trades (law, medicine, etc.), assembling in public, sitting or dressing like whites, gambling, traveling, or entering France 1763 – End of Seven Years’ War = colonists increasingly resent France’s mercantilist policies, preventing profitable trade 1771 – Louis XV issues more laws elaborating on Code Noir of 1685, stripping mulattoes of many privileges & freedoms in colony 1776 – US Decl. of Independence inspires slaves in Saint-Domingue 1784 – France re-imposes the Code Noir, but with some enhancements to slaves’ work hours, rations, and quality of life, although most can’t take advantage of new rules

6 French Revolution Begins Third Estate battled for voice as well as Mulattoes and Free Blacks, but were blocked by white colonists 1789 – DRMC adopted in France Oct – Colonial Assembly forms in S-D to combat actions from National Assembly on behalf of free blacks & mulattoes 1790 – full legislative powers given to the Colonial Assembly, giving colony almost complete autonomy but sidestepping the mulatto issue

7 Slave Resistance Gains Momentum Oct.1790 – Oge Rebellion – affrancis led revolt against white colonial authorities, escaping to England and going to the US; managed to amass 300 troops to march against white supremacy… eventually caught & executed 1791 – Insurrections begin amongst 10-15,000 slaves; armed rebellion begins Summer 1791 – black & mulatto leaders increase organizational efforts + slaves form independent movement for emancipation

8 Haitian Revolution Begins August – Bois Caiman Ceremony – plantations set aflame by slaves; successfully unite network of Africans, mulattoes, maroons, house slaves, field slaves, and free blacks 8 Sept. – Revolution spreads, becoming more militant & organized; slaves desert or stop working; plantations destroyed

9 Revolution Builds Sept. - National Assembly revokes May 15 decree, which had granted limited rights to free blacks & mulattoes 26 Sept. - Le Cap is burned by rebelling slaves Oct. – Port-au-Prince is burned to the ground + Toussaint L’Ouverture gains recognition as promising leader in rebel army 4 April 1792 – Louis XVI affirms Jacobin Decree, granting equal political rights to free blacks & mulattoes in S-D May & June – Spain declares war on England, then France; battle for control of S-D; blacks & mulattoes ally with British in the south

10 Upheavals in France & S-D Sept – Republic established; Louis XVI beheaded Feb –Rebel leaders join Spanish forces v. France; France declares war on England & Holland Aug – certain slaves freed on sequestered plantations of emigres and deportees 29 Aug. – General Emancipation decree abolishes slavery in the north; now slaves are ‘laborers’ with wages, but still legally bound to property & daily life changes little Feb – Convention officially abolishes slavery in France & its colonies Late 1794 – Maroon bands join with L’Ouverture’s forces & launch attacks against the British

11 Toussaint L’Ouverture in Power Winter – L’Ouverture’s army conquers most of British- occupied SD in the west; Rigaud’s army conquers British in the south March 1798 – British surrender & negotiate peace with L’Ouverture 1799 – Napoleon overthrows the Directory & restores the pre- Revolution status quo of white rule July 1801 – L’Ouverture proclaims new constitution & declares himself Governor General for life – SD is still a French colony, but slavery is abolished & colony will be autonomous – Rejected by Napoleon, who sends General Victor-Emmanuel LeClerc to reimpose slavery & the Code Noir Planters increasingly unhappy with affairs in SD & request Napoleon unseat L’Ouverture & restore slavery

12 Leclerc in Saint-Domingue Oct – sent to S-D to convince residents of France’s good will, wage war against rebel army generals, disarm blacks & mulattoes, & reimpose slavery Feb – L’Ouverture sends letters warning of French intention to restore slavery, but all are intercepted; half of his army fights under Leclerc, who gains control of the south April 1802 – warrant issued for L’Ouverture’s arrest; accepts offer from Leclerc – Dessalines, L’Ouverture’s colleague, also submits & bides his time to unite colony’s blacks against the French – Napoleon reinstitutes slavery in several colonies, but not S-D June 1802 – Leclerc betrays agreement with L’Ouverture & arrests him; he dies of consumption in prison July 1802 – new waves of rebellion erupt as Leclerc tries to disarm & suppress laborers August 1802 – black & mulatto officers in French army rejoin revolutionary troops & maroon guerilla bands – *core of revolution now average laborers, not military leaders, who had already been fighting for 10 years – Leclerc realizes he will have to kill all blacks to complete his mission – By October, he suggests completely restarting the colony, eliminating rebels & importing new slaves

13 Final Years of Revolution Oct – Dessalines & Cristophe (leaders) defect from French army & take black/mulatto officers with them, forming national identity among blacks Nov – Leclerc dies of yellow fever April 1803 – Louisiana Purchase signed Aug –French evacuate troops from South; revolutionary army in control by Oct. Nov 1803 – General Rochambeau surrenders to Dessalines

14 Haitian Independence 1 Jan – Dessalines proclaims Haiti’s independence – World’s first black republic – Taino name of island “Hayti” restored Jan-Feb – Dessalines orders slaughter of remaining French residents in Haiti (4,000 killed) Oct 1904 – Dessalines crowned Emperor Jacques I May 1805 – Dessalines ratifies Haiti’s first constitution, proclaiming all Haitians black & permanently removes slavery

15 Importance Second free state in the Western hemisphere First independent country ruled by blacks Loss of French power in the Caribbean


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