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The Influence of Toussaint Louverture on American Abolitionists

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With the advancement in irrigation technology by French engineers and the increase in the popularity of sugar, the French colony of Saint Domingue became one of the worlds largest sugar producers. With sugar came problems for the many enslaved Africans that were forced to provide manual labor for the colony's sugar harvesting efforts. Oppression, violence, inequality (of a caste-like system), and many other hardships led to hard feelings between the Africans and their white masters, the French. (Talk about here that the slaves in america were facing the same type of thing that was happening in Haiti but with cotton rather than with sugar) With such exploitation of the African slaves, which constituted a majority of the population, the white population, hiding behind the facade of physical violence to maintain control, feared a slave rebellion. Their fears were quickly given life when Toussaint Louverture took control of the slaves and led the most successful slave uprising in history. The American Civil War, much like the Haitian Revolution, consisted of oppression, violence, and inequality towards slaves. Toussaint Louverture’s bold display of leadership during the Haitian Revolution influenced antebellum America, especially abolitionist leaders such as John Brown to fight for the abolitionist cause.

For decades after the rise and fall of Toussaint Louverture, historians from around the world have been intrigued with his raise to fame. Louverture went from being a slave himself, to commanding an army against the French in order to emancipate his brothers and sisters from slavery and create the independent nation of Haiti. Historians have commonly believed and retold of Louverture's influence on the American Revolutio...

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...ussaint Louverture and the Haitian Revolution in the American Civil War. Dissertation Abstracts International, 2006.

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Clavin, Matthew Toussaint Louverture and the American Civil War: The Promise and Peril of a Second Haitian Revolution. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2010.

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