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Black Soldiers In The Haitian Revolution

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The enslaved Africans of Saint Domingue had an unwavering desire for freedom. They burnt cane fields and refineries in order to destroy the system that had held them captive. John K. Thornton believes that the contribution of African soldiers was the main reason for the success of the Haitian Revolution. In his article, “African Soldiers in the Haitian Revolution”, he noted that, ‘the rebellious slaves of Haiti inflicted grievous military defeat on all who opposed them.’ The majority of the enslaved persons in Saint-Domingue were not simply just agricultural workers, but from whence they came, they were soldiers, merchants and even kings. The African-born enslaved persons, who made up the majority of the masses, were able to use their prior military experience to assist them in their victory and some even participated in the Congolese wars. They were skilled in Guerilla Warfare which they used to defeat all the forces which they fought. Thornton noted, from an eye-witness’ account, that when the ex-enslaved persons engaged in battle ‘they never massed in the open or waited in line to charge.’ And these tactics ‘made them appear to be six times as numerous’ than they were. Thornton stated that if persons view the enslaved people of Haiti as people with strong militaristic backgrounds and not just agricultural labourers, the question as to what was the main reason for the success of Haitian Revolution may be answered.
Throughout the revolution there was an abundance of
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