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The Haitian Revolution (1791 - 1804)

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Dawson McCall

on 10 February 2015

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Transcript of The Haitian Revolution (1791 - 1804)

Raw Materials To France
Caribbean - 48%
The Haitian Revolution (1791 - 1804)
18th Century France
One of the most powerful countries in the world.
18th Century French Empire
Included territories in the Caribbean, North America, and India (lost after 1763).
French Colony of Saint-Domingue (Modern-Day Haiti)
Home to 1/2 of the Caribbean's slave population.
Most valuable colony in French Empire (1/3 of French trade revenue).
World's lead producer of sugar & coffee.
The Middle Passage & Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade
Haitian Slave System - One Of The Most Brutal in the New World
Haitian slaves had a higher death rate than birth rate.
Up to 1/3 of all imported slaves died within 3 years.
There was a complete turnover of slaves every 20 years.
Conditions on Haitian Sugar Plantations
Treatment of Haitian Slaves
- 40% of all global sugar production
- 60% of global coffee production
Approx 8,000 plantations producing coffee, sugar, cotton, indigo, cocoa, sisal.
Haitian Social System
Slaves - 500,000
100,000 Domestic Servants
400,000 Field Hands
Free People of Color - 25,000 to 30,000
Approx 1/2 were mixed race (mullato)
Whites - 20,000 to 30,000
Grand Blancs (PLanters)
Petit Blancs (Merchants, Artisans, Shopkeepers, etc.)
Maroons - Over 10,000
Runaway Slaves - lived mostly in mountaineous regions in small subsistence communities.
Systemic Cause #2
The French "Exclusif"
Under French laws, colonies were only allowed to trade with the "Mother Country" (France).
French colonies could not manufacture goods from raw materials.
Manufactured Goods From France
Other French Colonial Laws
60 - 70% of the slaves in Haiti at the time of the revolution were born in Africa.
Other Causes of the Haitian Revolution
1) The French Revolution inspired plantation owners and free people of color to seek increased political control of Haiti and its export trade goods.
2) The American Revolution provided an example for the planter class.
French Revolution
American Revolution
3) The ideas of the European Enlightenment provided the philosophical justification.
Liberty Fraternity Equality
Brazil - 40%
North America - 4%
Spanish South & Central America - 6%
Arab Slave Trade
Estimated 9.5 - 14 Million people from East Africa sent to the Arab world as slaves.
Systemic Cause #1
Three Phases of the Haitian Revolution
Phase #1 - Against the French Government
Led by Mulatto leader Vincent Oge.
Lasted three weeks & was easily put down by Grand Blanc leaders.
Slave Revolt Against French Slave Owners & French Colonial System (1791 - 1794)
Initially led by Voodoo priest Boukman.
Rise of Toussaint Louverture.
Louverture & Slaves Change Sides & Support the French Against Britain/Spain (1795 - 1797)
1794 - National Assembly abolishes slavery in French colonies (over 1 Million slaves are freed).
Civil War Between Mulattoes & Slaves (1799 - 1800)
Known as the "War of the Knives."
Fight b/twn Mulattoes and slaves for control of Saint-Domingue.
Anywhere from 2,000 - 10,000 Mulattoes massacred by slave General Jean-Jacques Dessalines.
Phase #3 - Louverture's Constitution, Napoleon's Reaction, & Independence (1801 - 1804)
"Total War" Military Tactics
Dessalines embarks on a campaign of total war.
Burns thousands of plantations.
Massacres white French citizens (does not attack whites from other countries).
Kills surrendering French soldiers.
Leclerc's Brutal Military Tactics
Leclerc employs brutal military tactics aimed at terrorizing slave population.
French import attack dogs and use them against non-military slave populations.
French soldiers and generals execute thousands of women and children suspected of being family members of slave soldiers.
The Human Cost of the Haitian Revolution
One of the bloodiest revolutions in modern history.
Haitian Casualties/Deaths
100,000 - 250,00 Haitian Rebels and Civilians
French Casualties/Deaths
50,000 - 60,000 French Soldiers & Civilians
Between 25% - 50% of all residents in Saint-Domingue were killed or injured during the Haitian Revolution (in addition to 37,000 French soldiers who died primarily from tropical disease).
Haitian Independence
French troops leave by the end of 1803.
Haiti declares official independence on January 1, 1804.
Landmark Event in World History
Haiti becomes 1st independent nation in Latin America.
Haiti is the ONLY successful slave revolt in history.
Haiti becomes the 1st black constitutional republic in the world.
Political Precedents Of Haitian History
Within the first year of independence, Jean-Jacques Dessalines declares himself Emperor for life and instituted a new Constitution.
Haiti has had 23 different Constitutions in its history.
27 out of 55 Haitian leaders have been assassinated.
1806 - Dessalines is assassinated.
French Reparations
1825 - Fourteen French warships enter the Haitian capital city of Port-au-Prince.
In 1838, France agreed to reduce this amount to 60,000,000 Francs.
France demands that the Haitian Government pay 150,000,000 Francs as compensation for property lost from the Haitian Revolution.
Haiti made the final payment on these reparations in 1947.
The Haitian government had to take out loans from European governments to pay reparations.
Haitian Revolution Take-Aways
1) Haiti becomes the 1st independent nation in Latin America.
Puts in motion Latin American movements for independence.

2) Anywhere from 1/4 to 1/2 of all residents of Saint-Domingue are injured or killed during the Revolution.
Total War in Action

3) Over 1/2 of all sugar plantations in Saint-Domingue are destroyed during the Revolution.
Economically crippling for Haiti.

4) Haiti becomes a symbol for slave revolt and the violent overthrow of slave societies.
American & Caribbean slave holders view w/ disdain.

The Psychological Factor
Video Notes
Why was Saint-Domingue such an important colony for France?

Saint-Domingue Before the Revolution

Role of Britain & Spain

Important People:
Toussaint Louverture
Jen-Jacques Dessalines
The Haitian Revolution
Revolt of the Free People of Color (1791)
Phase #2 - With the French Government
1801 - Toussaint Louverture writes a Constitution (Governor for Life) - Does not declare independence.
Napoleon & General Leclerc - Napoleon has Louverture arrested and sent to prison in France - dies in jail.
Napoleon begins to reinstate slavery in Caribbean colonies (Guadalupe, French Guiana, Martinique).
Slaves Revolt against Napoleonic France & Leclerc - Jean-Jacques Dessalines as leader (1802 - 1804)
1804 - Haitian Independence Declared...Hurray for Freedom !!!!
Full transcript