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The Haitian Revolution: An Introduction and Background

Inspired by "The Choices Program" of Brown University

Patrick Livingstone

on 23 February 2011

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Transcript of The Haitian Revolution: An Introduction and Background

How and why do we create change? The haitian revolution:
"first fully free society in the atlantic world" the tainos indigenous to hispaniola
lived in villages governed by caciques (male or female chiefs)
farmed and fished
potters, farmers, weavers, woodworkers
population of 500,000-1 million at time of european arrival European settlement
spain colonizes hispaniola
develops northern and eastern portions of the island
tainos are enslaved island is used to add gold the to spanish empire
by 1509:
tainos population is desimated to 60,000 survivors (88-94 Percent depopulation)
mines are depleted
spain turns to sugar and cattle as new sources of profit
african slaves will provide the labor
threats from european powers means the economy suffers...and the island becomes isolated
inhabitants live near santo domingo France colonizes hispaniola (too)
plenty of room available to the west
location, location, location
fertile soil
by 1670s, france is growing tobacco, indigo, sugar, and coffee
african slaves provide the labor
1697, treaty of ryswick gives france 1/3 of hispaniola
saint-domingue is born!!!
saint-Domingue's economy
wealthiest colony in caribbean
World's #1 supplier of sugar
many more slaves than other colonies
france provides infrastructure
high production despite low population (32,000 whites/500,000 slaves)
"Life for enslaved people
consisted of dangerous work
in the mills or back-breaking work
in the fields. They generally
rose before dawn
and finished after dark."
controlling the population
700,000 new slaves during the 18th century
"managers" run the plantations
violence is used to subdue resistance
the black population is divided
"elites"-slaves in positions of authority (domestics, commandeurs, supervisors)
affranchis-free people of color
france's military
local police force
"Black codes" (slaves=property, restrict liberties, severe punishments) coping with vodou
"Assert some independent control"
reaffirm self-worth
develop sense of culture and community
unified people
created shared experiences
gave hope
religion versus reality
an early form of resistance population: 1791
32,000 whites
28,000 affranchis
500,000 slaves
gap btwn "have" and "have not" slave resistance
conspiring to murder slave holder
maintain dignity through religious or other customs
run away or become a "maroon"
develop own language Francois makandal (1757)
Full transcript