Essay on The Revolution That Never Happened

Essay on The Revolution That Never Happened

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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. He took on a white planter who was controlling slaves, on August 21, 1791. Many people during this time period wondered how and why this revolution took place, Michel-Rolph Trouillot even stated that it was unthinkable. In his book, Silencing the Past: Power and the Production of History, Trouillot argues that the Haitian Revolution was and remains unimaginable today; the ideas of race and slavery are challenged, along with the ostracism of Haiti.
Trouillot argues that the Haitian Revolution was unlikely because it defied the idea of race in respect with slavery. His opinions are valid in that the black man was implied to be inferior to the dominant race in that time period, which was the white man; this is implicitly defined as racism. Post-Colonial Studies: The Key Concepts, written by Bill Ashcroft, defines the term racism as: “a way of thinking that considers a group’s unchangeable physical characteristics to be linked in a direct, casual way . . . distinguishes between ‘superior’ and ‘inferior’ racial groups” (181). Trouillot and I would both agree that this statement is co...


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...f Haiti was extremely deprived and the political power was non-existent. Second, the slaves who were supposedly going to take over Haiti, did not have the proper education or leadership to run Haiti as a successful country. Both Trouillot and I stand to affirm that the Haitian Revolution truly was unthinkable and pointless, but it did make an overall impact on the fight against slavery.



Works Cited

Ashcroft, Bill, Gareth Griffiths, and Helen Tiffin. Post-colonial Studies: The Key Concepts.
London: Routledge, 2009. Print.

Sutherland, Claudia E. "Haitian Revolution (1791-1804) | The Black Past: Remembered and
Reclaimed." The Black Past: Remembered and Reclaimed. Web. 25 Mar. 2012.
http://www.blackpast.org/?q=gah/haitian-revolution-1791-1804.

Trouillot, Michel-Rolph. Silencing the Past: Power and the Production of History. Boston:
Beacon, 1995. Print.

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