Haitian Revolution Essay

1328 Words6 Pages
Revolutions are the worst thing for a nation 's economy, especially if the country is a non-white nation in the 19th century. The colony of Saint - Domingue (modern day Haiti) witnessed the impact that a brutal civil war can have on the nation and its inhabitants. Original a pirate outpost and later sugar plantations, the island was deemed an important trading and military post in the Caribbean. It served as a place where ships coming to and from North America could stop, resupply, and trade before heading off to their intended destinations. Eventually supplying Europe with a majority of its sugar and indigo, Haiti was the financial powerhouse that kept France strong during its turbulent revolution. Moreover, Haiti was not only an economic…show more content…
Being in the center of the Caribbean, the French used the island to demonstrate its military authority to the surrounding powers in North and South America. However, after a crippling revolution sparked by the French Revolution Haiti became a destitute island, with no major allies, and a debilitating debt. The 13 years of fighting had an impact, and with a new freed ex-slave population, Haiti was struggling to redefine its society. Unlike other famed and known revolutions, such as the American Revolution, Haiti’s economy greatly suffered due to a combination of: racism, lack of international partners, and a new and redefined social structure. The combination of these three areas are what would culminate into Haiti suffering greatly after its revolution. The struggle between white and black in colonial Haiti was a defining characteristic of its society. With over 550 000 slaves and only 32 000 whites, the eurocentric attitude towards people of other cultures and ethnicities was not just a problem in Haiti but also around the world. Unlike the American Colonies, who had a large population of white people of all economic standards, Haiti’s colour imbalance was most prevalent at the top. With a white ruling and working class in America, the relationship established between the United Kingdom (UK) and it’s…show more content…
With an imbalance of white to blacks greater than the rampant economic inequality in America today, the lone island nation witnessed a grand upheaval when the the National Assembly abolished slavery. Many of the white rich plantation owners packed their bags and headed to France or America, this power vacuum at the top of the aristocracy in the society caused for quick and sudden destabilization of many bureaucratic organizations. Former slaves were now expected to fill these jobs, however the lack of infrastructure to educate them caused for many to return to poverty or slavery. At the time the technology was not advanced enough for the whole island to be aware of the fact that slavery was outlawed and many regions still enforced it, especially if the region had its own police force and judicial system. The struggle for the nation to achieve an identity and a developed social structure caused for severe unorganization in Haiti and prevented institutions from being built that would improve the nation. The American colonies did not deal with this problem. In “The Forging of America” Jim Thompson examines how the American Revolution was that of elites overthrowing other elites, not oppressed slaves in Haiti. As well, America possessed the theme of patriotism that was propagated by the American Congress, Haiti did not use this as the
Open Document