Revolution in Haiti • The vast majority of Saint Domingue’s population were enslaved Africans. • Other groups included native people, French plantation owners, people of mixed-races • Combo of traditional tribal religions and Catholicism/Chrisitianity led to the “new” religion of voodoo • August of 1791 • 100,000 slaves rose in revolt after being refused the same rights as the French citizens under the new National Assembly • Toussaint L’Ouverture emerged as the leader of the slave revolt. • By 1801 L’Ouverture had control of the territory and freed the slaves.
Revolution in Haiti • During the civil war that followed the Haitian slave uprising, British and Spanish forces invaded the French colony. Haitian leader Toussaint L'Ouverture defeated the European generals in battle, then ruled Haiti until 1802.
Revolution in Haiti • 1802, 16,000 French troops are sent by Napoleon to depose Toussaint and regain control of Haiti. • Toussaint died while in prison in 1803
Revolution in Haiti • Toussaint’s general Jean-Jacques Dessalines continued the fight against the French in 1804. • The French eventually withdrawal and he declared the colony an independent country. • Haitian declaration of freedom is officially written in 1805 • The Haitians are required to pay 150 million francs to the French government !
What is the big deal? • The first successful slave revolt • Allowed Napoleon to focus on building an Empire in Europe • This set Haiti up for a lifetime of debt and struggle • The revolution directly impacted the United States. • Refugees from Haiti pored into Louisiana. • These refugees from Saint-Domingue—white planters, mulatto artisans, and some African slaves—brought with them their language, religion, laws, newspapers, education, art, and their skills at growing sugar, all of which strongly influenced the culture of the lower South.
French Imperialism and the U.S. • The French failure to regain control over Saint-Domingue also influenced Napoleon to abandon efforts to build an empire in the western hemisphere. In 1803 France sold its North American province of Louisiana for 15 millions ($233 million in modern US dollars).
Haitian Influence throughout South America • Haiti was the 2nd independent nation (free from European rule) • What was the first? • Haiti gave support to Simón Bolívar, leader of the movement for South American independence from Spain in the early 1800s. • In return, Bolivar made abolition of slavery one of the goals of his movement.