The Haitian Revolution

"The greatest revolution of our generation is the discovery that human beings, by changing the inner attitudes of their mind, can change the outer aspects of their lives"


Haiti was a French colony in the Carribean, at the time, was called Saint Domingue

Plantation colony

Massive producer of sugar and coffee

Due to the extensive labor needed for sugar and coffee production, African slaves were imported into the colony to work the fields.


Grands Blancs- wealthy plantation owners, merchants, lawyers

Petite Blancs- poor whites

Gens de couleur libres - free people of color

Slaves- imported Africans

Distinct social classes and terrible treatment of colored people and African slaves would be the first sparks of the revolution.

Fever Rising:

Tension increased between slaves/colored and the White upper class. The following events are what fueled the fire for the Haitian Revolution

Histoire Philosophique by Guillaume Raynal

This book predictrf the decline of slavery in Haiti and other surrounding colonies due to the fact that slaves were an unreliable source of labor.

The Rumor:

1791- Rumor spread that King Louis XIV of France would abolish slavery in the French colony of Haiti.

Following a Model:

The slaves/ colored people heard about the revolution in France (1789-1799) and were inspired by the movement.


The Rumor and Revenge:

Confident because of the impending rumor of the abolishment of slavery, Haitian slaves began revolting and attacking their masters as acts of revenge.

General Toussaint

Successful black commander

self educated former domestic slave

called "Black Napoleon"

Lead the Haitians slaves and defeated Napolean Bonaparte (Bonaparte attempted to regain control of the colony.

Battle of Vertieres:

The Battle of Vertieres was the final part of Haitian Revolution

Fought between Haitian rebels and French forces on Nov. 18, 1803 at Vertieres.

1,200 French were dead or wounded

3,200 Haitian Rebels were dead or wounded


The Haitian Revolution ended in 1804, with Black slaves free and victorious.

Toussaint, a successful military leader from the revolution wrote a the Haitian Constitution of 1801.

This constitution formally recognized the liberty of all Haitians by abolishing slavery and racial restrictions on employment.

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