14 terms

Haitian Revolution, 1791

Be able to identify and apply understanding of the following terms to questions.
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Louverture, (Toussaint)
He was born into slavery but gained education and freedom to become a powerful general and independence leader. He built a unified army of free blacks, mulattos, and slaves and controlled most of Saint-Domingue by 1797. He created Haiti's first constitution in 1801, in which he declared the end of slavery and racial equality while naming himself governor for life. He was arrested by Napoleon's troops and died in France in 1803.
Dessalines, (Jean Jacques)
He was a former slave who followed Louverture as lead revolutionary general. He won the Battle of Vertières against the French troops and declared the independence of Haiti, like Louverture naming himself governor for life. He was assassinated in 1806 and initiated era of strong-men politics in the new nation of Haiti. (Analyze his leadership in Haiti's Declaration of Independence in 1804 and Constitution of 1805)
Sonthonax, (Léger-Félicité)
French Civil Commissioner who traveled to Haiti during the Haitian Revolution. He was an abolitionist who declared the end of slavery in Haiti in late 1793, and in doing he gained the support of Haiti's black population. His decree ending slavery was formalized in France in 1794. He was kicked off the island in 1797 because Louverture viewed him as a political rival.
President Jefferson & Haiti
U.S. President who initiated era of U.S. hostility towards the newly independent nation of Haiti because he feared the spread of slave uprisings in the U.S. He also bought Louisiana territory from Napoleon for 60M Francs. (He was not the only president to show hostility towards Haiti: the US did not recognize Haiti until 1862, the US navy invaded Haiti 17 times between 1862-1915, and US forces occupied Haiti from 1915-1934.)
Boukman, (Dutty)
According to oral tradition in Haiti, the slave revolt of 1791 was organized by a Voudou ceremony (Bois Caiman) led by this literate voudou priest (in white shirt in painting). Haitians believe he sacrificed a pig as part of the blood pact to bring unity between diverse African and creole slaves. Non-Haitian historians question his existence due to the lack of written records.
Slave uprising of 1791
This was a massive slave revolt that started the Haitian Revolution. Slaves attacked whites in a brutal race war, destroying nearly 200 sugar plantations and 1200 coffee estates, burning cane fields, ran-sacking houses, and destroying machinery. The rebels numbered between 20,000-80,000 in the first month of the revolt.
Code Noir
King Louis XIV & Colbert issued these decrees for French colonies in the Americas beginning in 1685. They made Catholicism the only religion, limited the rights of free blacks, and established conditions of slavery and harsh controls over the conduct of slaves. Though slaves had virtually no rights, it did encourage masters to take care of slaves who were sick and old. (See primary source in Week 2 readings.)
Slavery in Haiti
Slavery was especially brutal in sugar-growing regions because the crop was so labor intensive, because of the Code Noir, and because of the small number of white owners attempting to control black slaves (1 owner: 12 slaves). (See also Code Noir)
abolitionism & Haiti
Haiti's Revolution heightened debate about abolitionism. Soon after Haiti's revolution slavery ended in the British empire and Haiti directly inspired Simon Bolivar and other leaders of Latin America to end slavery as part of their independence wars against the Spanish. The slave trade continued in USA (until Civil War), and in sugar-growing regions such as Cuba & Brazil (until 1880s).
Bolívar, (Simón) & Haiti
He is considered a father of independence wars in South America. He sought sanctuary in Haiti in 1815, while planning independence. He received guns and ammunition from Haiti, and in return agreed to abolish slavery in new nations of South America. ~16 new nations formed in Latin America in the two decades after the Haitian Revolution, and most of them also followed Haiti's lead in ending slavery.
Bonaparte, (Napoleon) & Haiti
He reinstated slavery in Haiti as emperor of France and sent troops against Haitian revolutionaries. His troops arrested the Haitian leader, Louverture, but ultimately lost the war to Dessalines. He also sold Louisiana to USA for 60 million Francs to recover funds lost from his wars.
Saint Domingue
This colony was the eastern portion of the island the Spanish named Hispaniola. Columbus claimed the island for Spain in 1492 and France claimed this portion in 1640. It was the richest colony in the world before the revolution due to the cultivation of sugar and coffee on the island. The Haitian revolution ended both colonialism and slavery. The name of the new country changed to Haiti ("rugged terrain" in Taino) as the nation claimed independence in 1804. Haiti was the second independent nation of the Americas and the first to end slavery.
Haiti's reparations
France invaded Haiti in 1825 and forced it to pay out 150 million Francs in order to receive formal recognition from France as a new nation. France reduced the amount owed in 1838, but all told Haiti paid the equivalent of $21 billion dollars to France by 1949. (In image, see artist depicting France and Haiti in 1825 from French perspective.)
Social hierarchy before revolution in Haiti
Of a population of 519,000 in 1791: 8% were whites (rich sugar plantation owners and poor), 5% were free mulattos and blacks, and 87% were slaves (1/3 creoles and 2/3 African-born, outnumbering owners 12:1). (Image is a caste-painting from colonial era depicting the three social groups).