The Course of the Haitian Revolution Essay

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The Course of the Haitian Revolution

1789: French Revolution. French National Assembly issued ‘Declaration of Rights of Man’. The keywords of the French revolution- ‘Liberty, Equality and Fraternity’ soon spread to the French Colonies. 1790: The National Assembly granted the West Indian assemblies to make their own laws. The mulattoes feared the whites would make more racist laws. There was an unsuccessful mulattoe revolt against the whites. This revolt was led by Vincent Ogé and Chavannes. 1791: The National Assembly gave coloureds the right to vote.

Whites protested against this and did not want to put the law in effect in their colonies. Mulattoes in desperation tried to build armies. They even armed the slaves. The slaves did not fight for the planters or mulattoe, but for themselves. There was a slave revolt led by Boukeman and Jean Baptiste. This revolt was for blacks against coloureds and whites. 1792:The arrival of a revolutionary force with its leader Sonthonax. 1793:Sonthonax declared emancipation of slaves, due to the refusals of the mulattoes and whites on terms. British landed on St. Domingue, with an army under General Maitland. 1794:British took over St. Domingue southern providence.

1794-1798:Toussaint deserted Spanish army in Santo Domingo.
Toussaint joined with Sonthonax’s forces.
Toussaint had risen to be commander of the united French revolutionary and black army.(1797) Sonthonax and his soldiers leave St. Domingue. (1798)
Toussaint army completed the defeat of the British Army (along with the help of United States, who gave supplies.). General Maitland agreed to withdraw. (1798) 1798-1799: Riguad and Alexander Pétion (both were mulattoes) did not like ex-slaves. They tried to start their own coloured republic. Toussaint did not stand for this and sent his two generals Dessalines and Christophe and crush the move to divide St. Domingue. The two generals worked together and massacred 10,000 mulattoes.

`Toussaint was now the master of St. Domingue (for defeating the coloureds) and was appointed Governor-General by the French government. (1799)
1800-1802:Toussaint ordered blacks back to the plantations and revived agriculture. Toussaint also brought back white planters.

Toussaint invaded and captured Santo Domingo.
1803-1804:Napoleon Bonaparte (Emperor of France) sent General Leclerc and armed forces for his “American Scheme” (rebuild a French empire in the Americas) to St. Domingue. Leclerc found it impossible to defeat the black army, so he used deceit. Leclerc negotiated with Dessalines and Christophe about reintroducing slavery, the two generals were given a bribe and agreed to introducing slavery again. Toussaint did not agree.

Toussaint was tricked and captured by Leclerc. Toussaint sent to France. Toussaint was put into a French prison. Toussaint died in solitary confinement in late 1803. Leclerc died in August 1803 by yellow fever and thousands of his troops. Leclerc was then replaced by General Rochambeau who also found the task of defeating the black army impossible. 1804: Dessalines declares St. Domingue independent and is given a new name ‘Haiti’. Haiti is a Taino word for mountainous.

Dessalines declares himself emperor.
1805-1806:Dessalines is assassinated in his 2 years of being emperor.

1811:Christophe declares himself President / King Henri I of Haiti. Political havoc developed after this (the coloured refused to accept Christophe as their King or president). The south of Haiti was being governed by General Pétion and the north by Christophe. 1818: Alexander Pétion died. The new president of the South was Jean- Pierre Boyer. 1820:Christophe committed suicide after a stroke.

1821: Boyer united the two halves of the country. It became a whole island filled with hope and prosperity.

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