Brief History Of The Haitian Revolution
Our 500 Year Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade Anniversary feature continues with the Haitian Revolution.
Arguably, the most significant Revolution in Human History in which the Slave class rebelled to create an independent State…In this case, the first independent Black State outside the African continent.
The Haitian Revolution: Revolt
Situated on the Island of Hispaniola, Saint-Domingue, was the main Hub French of the sugar driven French Colonial Economy, and in 1791 a rebellion by the African slaves on the Island Colony erupted.
After a significant number of casualties on both sides, the Slaves won an unprecedented victory which ’embarassed’ the French as thousands of the Island’s inhabitants were left dead.
Under the leadership of Toussaint Louverture the world’s first Black Republic was born, symbolising the highest ideals of the Enlightenment’s concept of individual freedom and liberty…Indeed the Revolution can be viewed as perhaps the most radical Revolution of the Post-Enlightenment era.
The French kept up the effort to regain the lost Island however in order to reverse the ’embarassing’ defeat.
After Napoleon concluded the Peace of Amiens with Britain in 1800, He set in motion his plan to place the island under French dominion once again.
In 1801, a French Fleet 50, 000 men strong was dispatched to Saint-Domingue with orders to annihilate the ’embarassing’ new Black Republic.
Although the French successfully captured Toussaint and imprisoned him in a remote French fortress, Napoleon did not succeed in decimating the new Black Republic.
So it was that on 1 January 1804, Africans who had survived the Middle Passage, slavery, revolution, and war affirmed the independence of the country, they called Haiti.
Legacy: The Success Of The Haitian Revolution
The Haitian Revolution thwarted Napoleon and also ended the first form of New World slavery based on the Caribbean Sugar Islands shifting it to the Cotton fields of the American South.
In 1807, the British Parliament abolished Slavery, and the rest of the World Powers in time followed suit.
Its reported that the Revolt was preceded by a Slave Voodoo ceremony, and for this reason, we must not forget the role played by Voodoo, the new Hybrid Slave Religion born of the New World in the liberation struggle of the Slaves of Saint-Domingue.