You are here: Home » Toussaint L'Overture » The Richest Slave Colony Rebels...Haiti's Revolution

The Richest Slave Colony Rebels...Haiti's Revolution

Written Explanation of the Haiti Revolution

As a colony of France, Haiti had been the most prosperous one, especially due to the amount of slaves there were.  At first, wealthy whites wanted an opportunity to gain independence from France, which would allow elite plantation-owners to take control of the island and create trade regulations that would further their own wealth and power. 

In France, the majority of the Estates General, an advisory body to the King, constituted itself as the National Assembly, made radical changes in French laws, and on 26 August 1789, published the Declaration of the Rights of Man, declaring all men free and equal. The French Revolution shaped the course of the conflict in Saint-Domingue and was at first widely welcomed in the island. 

The conflict in the beginning, was between whites and free African men. The enslaved men didn't do anything.

However, in 1791, the slaves rebelled. The plantation owners asked Great Britain and Spain for help, in return for British sovereignty. 

Toussaint L'Overture fought for the Spanish side, until Commisioner Sonthonax proclaimed an end to slavery. Then he moved his troops back to the French side, and defeated the British and Spanish.

However, the French estabilished troops in the Spanish side, and attempted to bring back slavery. Toussaint L'Overture fought them, until the commander of the French forces (Leclerc) ordered a meeting, in which if Toussaint gave the French his troops, slaves would remain free.

The meeting was a trick, and Leclerc imprisoned him in France.

Jean Jacques Dessalines continued the revolution after France attempted to bring back slavery in October, 1802, because word got out that in other French colonies, slavery was returned.

Napoleon lost interest in North America and gave up on all colonies.

Part 1 of the Haitian Revolution

Part 2 of the Haitian Revolution