Haitian revolution Essay

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In 1791 revolution broke out in the French colony of Saint Domingue, later called Haiti. The Haitian Revolution resounded in communities surrounding the Atlantic Ocean. One of the wealthiest European outposts in the New World, the Caribbean island's western third had some of the largest and most brutal slave plantations. Slave laborers cultivated sugar, coffee, indigo, and cotton, and they endured horrible death rates, requiring constant infusions of slaves from Africa. In 1789 roughly 465,000 black slaves lived in the French colony on the island, along with fewer than 31,000 whites. In addition, there were about 23,000 free blacks and mixed-race people called gens de couleur, who might own land and accrue wealth but had no political …show more content…

The war became more complicated in 1793 when the British invaded Saint Domingue. The Spanish, who had a colony on the eastern two-thirds of Hispaniola, also entered the fray by supporting armies of escaped slaves, including a force under the command of an ex-slave named Toussaint Louverture. Pressed on all sides, commissioners from republican France, led by Leger Felicte Sonthonax in the northern part of the colony, began to extend freedom and citizenship to every slave in summer and autumn 1793. Inspired by this application of the rights of man, the French National Convention abolished slavery in all French possessions on February 4, 1794. This action transformed the conflict. Louverture abandoned the Spanish and began to fight for the French and the freedom of his people. Over the next couple of years, Louverture consolidated power on the island and created rigid rules that compelled ex-slaves to work on plantations so as to make the island productive again. In 1795, because of events in Europe, the Spanish signed a peace treaty that ceded their colony on the island to the French. In 1798 Louverture negotiated a treaty with the British, convincing them to leave the island and promising not to support any slave rebellions in British colonies. He also sought to develop commercial relations with the United States, even as the Quasi-War (1798-1800) broke out with France, by sending Joseph Bunel to Philadelphia. Bunel was so successful that he dined

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