1789 marked a historic year in the struggles against slavery in the French colony of Saint-Domingue. The French Revolution played an important part in influencing the Haitian Revolution of 1791; it gave way to the Haitian Revolution which consisted of many other separate revolutions that occurred at the same time. Saint-Domingue, now known as Haiti, had the most wealth in terms of crops that could be excavated by black slaves. Toussaint l’Overture was a former black slave who was forced to pick up these crops; little did he know he was the person who sparked the Haitian Revolution. Toussaint, the leader of the Revolution, was the first person to strike.
The Haitian revolution became the pedestal of slave or black rebellion across many nations in the world. Slaves around the world were seeking to be recognized as equals to their conquerors or colonizers and therefore uprisings began to develop after the orchestration of the first black uprising known as the Haitian revolution. A distinguished black leader Toussaint L’ouverture was one of the prominent leaders of the Haitian revolution. He advocated for equality, fraternity and liberty. He was also well known for being a pioneer of the abolishment of slavery.
The revolution of Haiti was successful in a great extent. The slaves who were the first ones to revolt against their settlers and the French had one goal in mind, to have their own rights, liberty and not be controlled by the French. When the Hispaniola Island had gained their independence in 1804, the slaves gained their freedom, their rights and being filled with joy, they had a new notion, called, Haiti. Slaves were treated poorly and throughout time and a lot of fights the revolution they started ended with the slaved and the real people from Haiti in victory.
As the plantation systems became successful labor was needed in order to progress. Slavery became the answer to the problem. Slavery played an important role in the how the economy changed the islands because there was a shift on the main economic ingredient, Sugar. Section 2 of Caribbean Slave Society and Economy shows how the economy shifted during this expansion. Before sugar became the main export in 1643, tobacco, sugar, indigo and ginger were the main exports in the English and French Antilles.
The Slave Revolution in the Caribbean Colonists in the eighteenth century created plantations that produced goods such as tobacco, cotton, indigo, and more importantly, sugar. These plantations required forced labor, and thus slaves were shipped from Africa to the new world. “The Caribbean was a major plantation that was a big source of Europe’s sugar, and increasing economic expansion. The French had many colonies, including its most prize possession Saint- Domingue (Haiti).” Life on the plantations of Saint- Domingue was very brutal and most of the salves who survived the journey to the New World died within a few years of their arrival (Slave Revolution 7). This brutal force used on the slaves caused the slaves to rebel.
Even today the beliefs and herbal practices of the Maroons are still evident in Jamaican culture. Their trouble past has made their life difficult but even today they are a presence in Jamaica. The First Deserters The idea of runaways did not take long in the Caribbean islands. Jamaica was not the only island experiencing runaways, Haiti, Cuba, and many Latin American countries were all falling victim to these guerilla style warfare tribes. During the first years of Spanish control the island of Hispaniola (Spanish Jamaica) experienced many problems with slaves.
Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass. The Classic Slave Narratives. Ed. Henry Louis Gates, Jr. New York: Penguin Group, 1987. Gates, Henry Louis, Jr. Introduction.
It was the revolution that altered the way individuals and groups saw themselves and their place in the world is how one scholar describes it. Which revolution could this scholar have been describing, was it the American Revolution or even the French Revolution? No! It is the Haitian Revolution, which is the only successful slave revolt in history. This revolution represents the most thorough case study of revolutionary change anywhere in the history of a modern world and is regarded as a defining moment in the history of Africans in the new world.
Life of a Slave in the Caribbean The experience of Caribbean slavery is vital in understanding the contemporary social structure of the region. It was the introduction of an estimated four million Africans to the Caribbean which made these islands melting pots of culture and society. Since Africans had such a tremendous impact on the region, it is important that we recognize the nature of slavery and how it transformed their lives. Although most agree that the institution was dehumanizing, the social relations of slavery help to explain the development of the Caribbean’s identity. In order to understand slavery it is imperative to recognize that it’s introduction to the Caribbean was driven by colonizers need for economic expansion and development.
Jamaican Sugar Plantations When beginning to discuss sugar plantations in Jamaica, the word slavery comes to mind. This thought occurs because of the crucial role that the slaves played in attempting to make these plantations successful. During the 18th century, "the so-called sugar colonies were the most valuable possessions of overseas empires" (Floyd, 38). Sugar plantations produced money for not only the economy of Jamaica, but for their motherland England as well. Essentially these plantations were created because the aristocrats in Europe needed something to sweeten all of their drinks.