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The Haitian Revolution

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Mikayla Kaptzan

on 10 February 2015

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Transcript of The Haitian Revolution

1791
1793
1804
1791
1801
The Haitian Revolution
I. The Old Regime Begins to Lose Control
The state is economically weak
The central government is ineffective and cannot enforce its rules
New ideas circulate which challenge the older traditions
A vocally powerful and influential opposition arises
II. The Old Regime Finally Does Lose Control
The old social elites attempt to reassert their privileges
Some disaster rallies the forces who oppose the revolution
Some short-term event sparks a conflict
Government is too divided and weak to suppress the revolt
III. The Moderate Phase
The moderates come to control and initiate changes
Electorate expanded, constitution liberalized, reforms initiated
IV. Reaction to the Moderates
Moderates stop reforms at some point having achieved what they sought
Radicals feel the moderates are not moving too far or fast enough
Radicals mobilize their supporters
V. Radicals Seize Control
The radicals take control of the state and of the revolution
The radicals initiate sweeping changes eliminating old institutions completely
VI. Reign of Terror
Opposition both foreign and domestic arise to challenge the radical control
The radicals remove their opposition through violent methods
Radicals seek to institutionalize and spread their ideologies
VII. The Moderate Reaction
Moderates overthrow the radicals and reestablish a moderate regime
Moderates repress the more radical element
Moderates abandon many of the more radical reforms of the revolution
Moderates return some of the privileges and policies of the old regime
Moderates lose touch with the majority of the population
By: Mikayla Kaptzan
VII. The Rise of a Strong Leader
A leader, usually from the military, arises and focuses opposition to the moderates
The leader seizes control of the government, often ruling through the army
The leader blends better conservative, moderate, and radical policies
The leader establishes new, effective, stable, and generally popular institutions
The revolution ends
Compared to Crane Brinton's 8 stages of a revolution

Pre-Revolution Haiti
Very wealthy (because of the abundance of coffee, cotton, sugar, and indigo, and plantations)
Slaves outnumbered the white plantation owners approximately 10 to 1
There was a huge history or brutal slavery and awful treatment of the slaves
There was an extremely clear racial divide
apx. 20,000 whites (rich owners)
apx. 30,000 gens de color (free blacks)
apx. 500,000 blacks (slaves)
apx. 100,000 maroons (runaway slaves)
A. Opposition both foreign and domestic arise to challenge the radical control
Spain and Britain both launched military campaigns to take advantage of the weak state that Saint Domingue was in and tried to take over the colony
France tried to fight off Spain and Britain so that they could keep control of the island
Napoleon was scared of the amount of influence Toussaint had over people, so French troops lured him to a meeting and ended up arresting him and taking him to a prison in France
Dessalines took Toussaint's place of leadership
B. The radicals remove their opposition through violent methods
Dessaline started to kill all whites - including Gens De Colour - to wipe out the opposition and those who didn't agree to freeing the slaves and stopping the terrible treatment
"The Haitian Massacre"
C. Radicals seek to institutionalize and spread their ideologies
During the last battle - the "Battle of Vertierès" - Dessalines led his army to defeat the French, causing the French to surrender and evacuate their troops
Under Dessalines' rule, the new Haitian flag was created
Flipped the French flag and took out all of the white
A. Moderates stop reforms at some point having achieved what they sought
Having gotten freedom for the Gens de Colour, they stopped fighting and took no action for a while
B. Radicals feel the moderates are not moving too far or fast enough
Meanwhile, the slaves were not happy about that and were growing angrier and angrier
Also, discussions regarding slavery and possibly abolishing it were taking place in Europe at the same time
At this time, Toussaint left the Spanish to go and work with the French
C. Radicals mobilize their supporters
The slave army was ready to start an uprising and full out rebel against all the whites
As a last resort to keep the slaves from completely wiping out and killing everyone and gain back French control over Saint Domingue, Sonthonax (from the second Civil Commission) issued a General Emancipation decree, abolishing slavery in the North
Later on, the French National Convention officially abolished slavery in France and all of its colonies
A. The state is economically weak
Although the economy was doing well due to the huge amount of agricultural production (the plantations) taking place, the lifestyle and economy among the slaves was horrendous
This mattered because they outnumbered the whites of the island about 10 to 1
Dangerous for the slave owners
They kept the slaves ignorant and oblivious to the numbers
B. The central government is ineffective and cannot enforce its rules
The number of slaves and Gens de Colour was growing and the whites were being more and more outnumbered
C. New ideas circulate which challenge the older traditions
The Gens de Colour (who were sent to France for their education) were exposed to the Declaration of the Rights of Man that was instituted in France and learned about people having freedom and rights as well as they learned of a successful revolution
D. A vocally powerful and influential opposition arises
A group of Gens de Colour got together to form a group who would speak out for their rights and demand freedoms
A. The old social elites attempt to reassert their privileges
The first civil commission from France passed a decree allowing the Gens de Colour (free blacks) to have the freedom and rights of French citizens (Apr. 4, 1792)
B. Some disaster rallies the forces who oppose the revolution
The whites refused to implement the changes involved in the decree of April 4
As a result, the French sent in a second Civil Commission - including Léger Félicité Sonthonax and Polvérel - to help enforce it
C. Some short-term event sparks a conflict
When the second Civil Commission arrived in Saint Domingue, slaves tried to negotiate with them, lobbying for their own rights
The Civil Commission says no to the slaves' requests, leading to an uprising among the slaves
The start of the rebellion sparked fear among the whites, causing many of them to flee to America (some with their slaves)
eventually leading to the creation of the Monroe Doctrine - which stated that Haitians and their slaves were no longer welcome as immigrants in America
D. Government is too divided and weak to suppress the revolt
The whole political structure of Saint Domingue began to fall apart
The whites were divided into royalists and those who supported the new republic in France
The army of dissatisfied slaves who wanted to rebel was growing very rapidly
A. The moderates come to control and initiate changes
The second Civil Commission and the Gens de Colour teamed up with each other to fight against the whites (who were adamant about preventing the Gens de Colour from having rights)
They end up defeating them
Meanwhile, Toussaint L'Ouverture was temporarily offering his services as a military commander to Spain so he could aid in defeating the French attempts to re-establish slavery
B. Electorate expanded, constitution liberalized, reforms initiated
Upon defeating the whites, they enforced, the decree that they originally made on April 4 of the previous year - granting freedom and rights to the Gens de Colour
A few months later, British troops landed in Saint Domingue
Meanwhile, Toussaint was leading the Spanish in taking control over certain parts of the island
A. The radicals take control of the state and of the revolution
The generals of the colony met in Port au Prince (the capital) and named Toussaint the lead commander
B. The radicals initiate sweeping changes eliminating old institutions
Toussaint led an invasion into the Eastern part of Hispaniola and captured Santo Domingo, where he declared freedom for all slaves and put together a 10-member Central Assembly to issue a constitution
Toussaint's new constitution was promoted and led to him becoming Governor General for life
A. Moderates overthrow the radicals and reestablish a moderate regime
Dessalines - who had crowned himself as the emperor of Haiti - was killed by members of his administration who didn't agree with the way he ran things
Henri Christophe was put in charge in place of Dessalines
B. Moderates repress the more radical element
Christophe wrote up and implemented a new constitution
C. Moderates abandon many of the more radical reforms of the revolution
Christophe's new constitution got rid of some of the more radical ideals
D. Moderates return some of the privileges and policies of the old regime
He was a supporter of the arts, he created an education system, and built massive edifices
E. Moderates lose touch with the majority of the population
Eventually, Christophe's ruling methods took on those of a tyrant and he started having massive fortresses built (essentially using slave labor to do so)
After Henri Christophe's reign, a succession of other similar rulers followed in his path
CITATIONS
http://classroom.monticello.org/images/handouts/FrenchHatianTimeline.pdf
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_Haitian_history
http://library.brown.edu/haitihistory
Toussaint L'Ouverture
"Black George-Washington"
Ex-slave with no military background
Quickly rises to be commanding general because he could relate to all the groups of people
By July, 1791, his army had grown to 20,000 supporters
January, 1804 - Haiti became an independent nation
Henri Christophe
Born a slave
Originally from the British Isle St. Christopher
Bought his freedom in Saint Domingue
Served as a general under Dessalines
Jean-Jacques Dessalines
The first ruler of Haiti (as an independent nation)
Served as an officer in the French army when the colony was defending itself against Britain and Spain
His reign last from September, 1804–to October, 1806
I found that stage 7 and 8 were sort of merged in the case of the Haitian Revolution. I think that this is partially due to the fact that Haiti never really had a strong leader who took over and pushed the nation forward (politically or economically) and since the revolution - even to this day - has been stuck in a succession of rulers who fail to pull the nation out of its impoverished state.
Conclusion
From my research, I would conclude that Crane Brinton's 8 Stages of a Revolution are quite an accurate representation of the events that took place during the Haitian revolution. Although there may have been one or two parts that may not have perfectly matched up, I believe that Crane Brinton's Stages act as more of a general model than an exact replica. Not every revolution is exactly the same and as a result, I don't think that it is possible to make a model that would perfectly represent every single revolution that takes place.

EFFECTS:
As a result of how the slaves were treated (lack of education and the encouragement of ignorance among them) and their lifestyle, modern day Haiti is an impoverished nation with a weak political, economic, and social structure. Many signs of the revolution can still be seen in modern day Haiti with the massive amounts of illiteracy among the Haitian population and the consistently weak state that the nation's economy is in.
Causes
Introduction / Thesis
The Haitian Revolution - taking place in the 1790's and early 1800's - is quite an accurate example of Crane Brinton's 8 Stages of a Revolution. Other than a few areas that don't match up 100 percent, this particular revolution follows almost all of the same steps as shown in Crane Brinton's model. The Haitian Revolution was the only ever slave revolt that resulted in the founding of a new state. Many people refer to it as a successful revolution, however, I would disagree and say that it would be more accurate to call it a successful rebellion. This is because although the liberals succeeded in getting what they originally wanted - freedom and independence - they did not prosper or improve as a nation because of it. Even today, evidence of the revolutionary and pre-revolutionary era can be seen in the modern Haitian lifestyle. The Haitian Revolution was inspired greatly by the French Revolution and most likely would not have taken place without it.
greatly influenced by the French Revolution of 1789
creation of the Declaration of the Rights of Man in France
dissatisfaction among the Gens de Colour - who were treated inferior to the whites and could never fully move up in life
unrest among the slaves (who greatly outnumbered their owners)
long history of abuse and terrible treatment towards the slaves
slave owners violated natural rights of slaves for their own profit
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