St. Domingue: The Haitian Revolution

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Haiti the French colony of St. Domingue (Santo Domingo) was the most productive and one of the wealthiest colonial economies throughout the world. St. Domingue had established three prominent classes. Firstly, there were the Whites, who controlled the activities on the land. These Whites composed of a planter élite also known as the grands blancs and they also had a larger class of petits blancs. It should be noted that the foreign born French whites saw themselves as superior to the whites who were locally born. Secondly, there were the free Mulattoes, who straddled a very tenuous position within the Haitian Society. Even though the free Mulattoes enjoyed a degree of freedom which had its limitations, they also faced a precarious situation …show more content…
This declaration was led by several mixed-race leaders like Vincent Ogé, Henri Grégoire and Julien Raimond who petitioned the French Assembly Constituent Assembly for their equal rights. The National Constituent Assembly declared on May 15, 1791 that the free coloureds had the right to vote. The white colonists resisted this new law which was cited by the insurgents as one of the causes of the slave revolt which eventually became the Haitian Revolution of 1791. Due to the active role that Vincent Ogé played in the lives of the slaves he was disliked by the whites for they drive he instilled in the free coloureds. He was a mulatto who was a very active member on the side of the free coloureds who was executed. His execution also played an important role in the Haitian revolution. The execution of Vincent Ogé created a scandal in France forced the hands of the National Assembly to legislate equal equality for free coloureds born free of their parents. This however, caused the whites to lash out as they wanted to maintain slavery as it was the basis of the economic power and wealth. As a result the slaves can now claim that they are …show more content…
It set precedents for overthrowing an old regime. The role of gens de couleur libres changed drastically by the ideas of the French Revolution. After the French Revolution the docks and ports became a center of news to the islanders. Due to this occurrence the islanders opted to adopt the revolutionary mindset of the French mainland resulting in the rise of the slaves. So, in August of 1791 an organized slave rebellion broke out. Of course, the slaves’ ability to organize themselves was underestimated by everyone. In the rebellion voodoo played a very important role as this was their form of communication. For many years the violence of the slave rebellion lasted however, when it was over there were many effects on the people and the island. These exploited slaves created a colony that successfully liberated them and permanently transformed the manner in which the island and its society functioned. After the slaves defeated the french forces, Jean Jacques Dessalines, the leader of the Haitian Revolution declared the Independence of the island and gave the country of Haiti its name. The Haitian Revolution abolished slavery on the island resulting in the freedom of the slaves from their masters and plantation owners. These citizens of the new nation now referred to themselves as black Haitians. The citizens of Haiti were now all legally equal regardless of color,

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