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The Slave Revolution: The Causes Of The Haitian Revolution

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Slave revolts are common events in history, the outcome is usually predictable, the slaves demand rights only to be decimated by their landowning counterparts. The Haitian revolution was the first successful large scale slave rebellion. From the early 1790’s to late 1800’s the Haitians fought against the French for control of Saint-Domingue. This revolution was noticed created a global stir due to its unique formulation, which was rooted in oppression from the French. The revolution itself fostering a new sense of nationalism, and ultimately it resulted in many new revolutionary thoughts from spectating countries and a newly found debt to Haiti itself.
The Haitian revolution came about as a result from French oppression. Not only were the
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The slaves had a sense of unity that helped demoralize and weaken french forces with ultimately helped them win the rebellion. The slaves were very patriotic; often singing revolutionary songs during battle. One French officer Lacroix was unsure about his feelings on the war after listening to the slaves. “Have our barbarous enemies justice on their side? Are we no longer the soldiers of Republican France? and have we become the crude instruments of policy?”(Doc 4). Due to the slave 's devotion to their freedom, they made the French question if fighting the slaves was the right thing. The French began to understand the slaves had a reason to be upset. The slaves also began to develop a new culture: “At a secret forest meeting held on August 14, 1791 the persons who were to lead the initial stage of the revolution gathered to affirm their commitment to one another at a voodoo ritual.” (Doc 5). The slaves also begin to connect using spiritual rituals, which foreshadows that eccentric culture they will develop into. Furthermore when fighting the French the Haitians had lots of anger coiled up inside themselves, so once they had to opportunity to fight, they showed their worth. The sketch “An historical account of the Black Empire of Hayti” shows Haitians hanging a Frenchman, symbolism for the end of French reign. (Doc…show more content…
In 1804 the Haitians finally reached independence: “Let us swear to the entire universe, to posterity, to ourselves, to renounce forever to France, and to die rather than live under its domination.” (Doc 7). This rebellion was the first successful slave revolt, it was the first time in history a large scale slave uprising was successful. Not only did the slaves overthrow the French, they created a new government where equality was prevalent, foreshadowing the freedom of slaves around the world. Sensing that the news of this rebellion would create unrest in America Thomas Jefferson attempted to America from coming into contact with Haiti because he feared American slaves would be inspired to revolt. He “denied that Haitian revolutionaries had the same right to independence and autonomy that he claimed for American patriots” (Doc 9). Jefferson’s reaction towards the Haitian Revolution shows how the ideas the revolution supported was different than those he supported and illustrates the revolutionary significance of the Haitian Revolution. Laws were also passed around the Caribbean and in North America that restricted immigration from Haiti. It was again feared that slaves would be inspired to revolt. “Slaves in Jamaica were singing songs about the uprising, and before long whites in the West Indies and North America were complaining uneasily of a new ‘insolence’ on the part of their slaves” (10). It is
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