The Haitian Revolution

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The cause and effects of the Haitian Revolution have played, and continue to play, a major role in the history of the Caribbean. During the time of this rebellion, slavery was a large institution throughout the Caribbean. The success of the sugar and other plantations was based on the large slave labor forces. Without these forces, Saint Domingue, the island with the largest sugar production, and the rest of the Caribbean, would face the threat of losing a profitable industry.

The Haitian Revolution did not just start and end in one day. Instead, the entire revolution took place over a very event filled thirteen years. The start of the revolution was influenced by many other incidents. Including slave revolts throughout Saint Domingue beginning in the 1790s, and other world affairs such as the French Revolution in 1789, the passing of United Sates Bill of Rights in 1791, and the French Declaration of the Rights of Man in 1794.

Of the three, The Rights of Man probably was probably the one affair that truly angered the people of Saint Domingue the most. In France, this law was supposed to provide people with the rights of liberty, equality, and fraternity. Therefore, the people of Saint Domingue felt that because they were a French colony that they should be entitled to the same rights as the citizens of France. Unfortunately, the French government did not feel the same, and this angered the inhabitants of Saint Domingue. But the slaves of Saint Domingue "did not need to hear the revolutionary slogans of ?liberty, equality, and fraternity? or ?the rights of man ? to plot their freedom. Slave revolts were endemic in every slave society, and the quest for freedom was never far from the minds of many great slaves" (Knight 201).

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... were other people who were also essential in the successful outcome of this rebellion. This Revolution sparked a new hope in the eyes of slaves across the world. It marked only the beginning of the end to a treacherous institution. For the state newly renamed Haiti, the birth of the first republic in the world led by persons of African descent had emerged.


Knight, Franklin. The Caribbean: The Genesis of a Fragmented Nationalism. New York: Oxford University Press, 1978.

Steward, T.G. The Haitian Revolution 1791 to 1804. New York: Russell & Russell, 1914.

Bellegrade-Smith, Patrick. Haiti: The Breached Citadel. San Francisco: Westview Press, 1990

Ott, Thomas. The Haitian Revolution 1789-1804, Tennessee: University of Tennessee Press, 1973.

Parkinson, Wenda. ?This Gilded African?: Toussaint L?Ouverture. New York: Quartet Books, 1978.
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