The Haitian Revolution Essay

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Increasing Radicality of the Revolutions Once Enlightenment philosophies created new views on individual’s natural rights and their place in society, resistance to oppressive government was inevitable. The core beliefs of freedom and equality above all served as a catalyst for the revolutions in America, France, and Haiti. Because of these shared ideals each revolution is interconnected with the revolution before it. However, the waves of this revolutionary movement that swept through the Atlantic World became increasingly radical with each new country it entered. By looking at the citizen involvement and causes of the American, French, and Haitian revolutions, the growing radicality of these insurrections can be better understood. Even…show more content…
The island of Saint-Domingue was made up of a mixture of people including whites from France, creoles, free people of color, and slaves. Once sugar became a major cash crop on the island, an estimated half-million African slaves were brought in to work the land. These slaves outnumbered their white masters more than ten to one and made up the majority of the island inhabitants. Even so, the island had the most secure slave regime in the Caribbean because of the cooperation between masters and free men of color. Due to the difficult policing jobs given to the freed men with little reward, the communication between them and the white masters broke down. Now that the white slaveholders were on their own, it was only a matter of time before their brutal treatment of slaves would lead to an uprising. Once enslaved Africans received word of the revolution in France they too began demanding freedom. After years of civil unrest and vicious fighting, Haiti declared its freedom from France in January of 1804. What makes the Haitian Revolution more radical than the two before it is the fact that it was led by slaves. Throughout the previous revolutions, the main goal was for white men, essentially, to be free from oppressive government rule. There were few thoughts regarding the rights of slaves, even though they too were men. The fact that this group of people were able to remove the colonial authority and establish their own country during this period of time was particularly radical and unheard
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