The Haitian Revolution – Term Paper

The Haitian Revolution is recognized in history as the greatest rebellion by slaves due to the nature of its success. The rebellion was orchestrated by the Slaves of Saint Dominigue – present day Haiti – in the year 1791. The intention was to advocate for equality among the population made up of mixed races. At this point, Haiti was known as the most viable French colony in terms of financial contribution. The blacks, however felt oppressed and their human rights curtailed. For this reason, they were motivated by the French Revolution of 1789 to rebel against colonialists.

I agree that the organization of the revolution was done perfectly. The rebellion was actually a combination of many different regional revolutions organized independently. The blacks understood their tyranny of numbers for which they were 10 times the population of the whites. The plan involved extreme measures such as poisoning the white masters. The most significant organization was done by Toussaint l’Overture who advocated for the slaves to boycott against the planters. At some point, the French government found it necessary to reinforce troupes and thus sent more of their men to Haiti.  Their defeat came in 1798 when they surrendered but it was not until 1804 when independence was declared. At this point, Toussaint had been captured leaving a fellow former slave, Dessalines in power of the rebellion (Ott, 1973). 

The Haitian revolution can be described as being an eye opener since it was the first victory of slaves over their masters. The slaves even got more than freedom, they got the opportunity to rule their own country when France granted them independence. In my opinion, this success story proves the power of numbers. Despite the resources the French had, it was difficult to contain the highly motivated blacks.

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Ott, T. O. (1973). The Haitian Revolution, 1789-1804. Univ. of Tennessee Press.