Haitian Revolution

Niharika Bhat, Philip Brazelton, Camille Daszynski, and Stefan Soriano

A Moment on the Battlefield

The Battle of Vertières on November 18th of 1803 is pictured above. This was one of the most major battles of the revolution against France, led by François Capois. The Haitian Revolution was the first time in history that a slave army had one against a superior military force of an established nation. This day is still widely celebrated in Haiti and a national Day of Army and Victory in Haiti.

Before the Revolution

The above picture is a rigged ball and chain from the days of slavery. It was a frame of iron that one had to step into and get over their shoulders in order to be kept under control. Slaves in Haiti were almost exclusively black and had no social, political, or economical rights in their own lands.  The establishment of slavery within Haiti contributed to the black and mulato populations growing dissatisfaction with the French, showing symptoms of revolution.

The above painting of the Storming of Bastille is called the Arrest of de Launay by Jean-Baptiste Lallemand painted in 1790. Bastille fell in 1789 and after this event, Haitians heard a rumor that slavery would be abolished. This soon sparked a revolution to ignite on the Haitian island. The symptom of a rising fever and a desire for takeover is yet another common symptom of revolutions throughout the ages.

During the Revolution

This above picture is one of Toussaint Louverture, an important leader who unified both black and mulattoe populations within Haiti against the oppressive French colonial rule. As a former slave, Louverture had established relationships with the slave community and thus was able to establish close ties and gather a strong army to oust the French forces. Toussaint holds the role of a radical leader who overthrew the modern government during the crisis period.

Vincent Ogé was a rich man of color who was instrumental in the rebellion against French, white, colonial authority. He led a revolt that started in 1789, but was violently suppressed by 1791. Ogé helped to lead a revolution that promoted a rising fever that is a common aspect of revolution.

This is an early 19th century engraving, titled Revenge Taken By The Black Army. It shows Haitian soldiers hanging French soldiers, representative of their distaste with the troops and upheaval against them. The traditional government and society was being overthrown by the people furthering the crisis period during the Haitian Revolution.

After the Revolution

Above is a picture of Dessalines, who defined Haitian citizens as black and legally equal, regardless of class or color. The flag behind him is the first flag of the Haitian revolution, depicting the white of the French flag being torn out and the blue of the Haitian flag being put together—all in resemblance of unity. Dessalines took  power after Louervetrue was arrested by the French government. Under his strong central rule, Haiti entered a period of post-war convalescence.

The above document is called the Republique Dhaytl Programme. In this document, the Frnch King comes to recognize Haiti's independence in 1825. Haitians declared independence from France on January 1st of 1804 but was not recognized until April 17th of 1825. The revolution ended up where it began as the lighter skin mulattoes established a racially biased government.

Haitian Revolution via
John Green

Here is a Crash Course video from John Green, who explains and delves deeply into the causes and effects of the Haitian Revolution.

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