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Thе Haitian Rеvolution: Anti-Slavery Rebеllion

Updated June 9, 2022
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Thе Haitian Rеvolution: Anti-Slavery Rebеllion essay

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Thе Haitian Rеvolution was a successful anti- slavery rebеllion initiated by sеlf-liberatеd slavеs, against Frеnch colonial rule in Saint-Dominguе, which is now known as the nation of Haiti. It began on August 22, 1791 and ended in 1804 with the former colonies independence.The series of conflicts occurred primarily between Haitian slaves, colonists, Spanish, English and French colonizers. Through the struggle, the Haitian people ultimately won independence from France, therefore, going from a country deeply fragmented by skin color, class, and gender, to the first country founded by former slaves. Therefore, this particular revolution is indicative of the fever curve based on fitting into all 4 stages; incubation, symptomatic, crisis and convalescence. The time before the symptoms of a viral infection or fever appears is called the incubation period. During this, what could be a lengthy amount of time, a virus or bacteria will grow and spread, leading to the classical symptoms of a fever. Similarly, the Haitian Revolution follows the same path. The Revolution started in 1791, but the effects of a colony in turmoil began much earlier. It started with the demand for sugar in Europe. By the late 1740’s, Saint- Domingue had become one of the worlds largest sugar suppliers.

The colony also had extensivе coffee, cocoa, and indigo pаlntations, but thеsе were smaller and lеss profitablе than the sugar plantations. Sugar production depended on extensive manual labor provided by enslaved Africans. The island became the most profitable French colony in the world, as well as one of the most profitable in the 18th century. Slavery sustained sugar production under harsh conditions, including the unhealthy climate of the Caribbean, where diseases such as malaria, and yellow fever caused extremely high mortality. In 1787 alone, the French imported about twenty thousand slaves from Africa into Saint-Domingue. The death rate from yellow fever was so extreme that at least fifty percent of the slaves from Africa died within a year of arriving, so the slave owners preferred to work their slaves as hard as possible while providing them the barest minimum of food and shelter in order to get the most value out of their slaves. The slaves had no legal rights, therefore they were raped, beaten, whipped, and further tortured by their French masters. Whites lived in fear of slave rebellion, so they used threats and acts of physical violence to suppress these efforts. These efforts were made clear and started to incubate the idea of revolt in the slave population. The People that inhabited the island of Saint-Domingue were classified into three groups. The first group were white colonists. This group consisted of the plantation owners, artisans and shopkeepers. The second group of people were the free people of color who were educated by France. These people often became part of the french military, or administrators on plantations. The third group, outnumbering the other two by a ratio of ten to one, was made up of mostly African-born slaves, imported from what is now modern day Nigeria.

White colonists and black slaves frequently came into violent conflict, and news of revolt from slaves was being spread. Saint-Domingue was becoming a society full of hatred. While France capitalized on the sugar production and use of slaves, the incubation period of this revolution began to form due to the effect of the slaves having no legal rights, increased health concerns, and being treated as third-class citizens. The viral genomes were replicating and the host was responding violently. One effect of a fever is thought to raise the body’s temperature enough to kill off certain bacteria and viruses sensitive to temperature changes. Similarly, after the incubation stage, the slaves of the Haitian Revolution began to invoke secret meetings to plan for the violent killings of slave owners. On the night of August 21, 1791, the slaves of Saint-Domingue rose in revolt. Thousands of slaves attended a secret vodou ceremony, at a site called Bois Caïman. As a tropical storm began during the ceremony the lighting and the thunder were taken as a favorable omen to proceed with the rebellion. The ceremony served as both a religious ritual and strategic meeting as slaves and slave leaders met to plan a revolt against the ruling white plantation owners of the colony’s wealthy Northern Plain. Later that night, the slaves began to kill their masters, white plantation owners, and plunged the colony into what later resulted in a full on war. Within the next ten days, slaves had taken control of the entire Northern Province of the island in an unprecedented slave revolt. Whites kept control of only a few isolated areas scattered around Saint-Domingue. The slaves took revenge of their masters through pillage, rape, torture, and death.

The long years of oppression by the slave masters had left many blacks with a hatred of all whites, and the revolt was marked by extreme violence from the very start. This fever was at a critical state of infection and caused white plantation owners to feel restless and weak. The Crisis Stage of a Fever can be defined as a turning point for better or worse. The fever had officially begun and crisis was starting to take place in Saint-Domingue. Plantation owners had long feared a revolt, and were armed with some defensive preparations. Within weeks, the number of slaves who joined the revolt reached around 100,000. Within the next two months, as the violence escalated, the slaves killed four thousand whites and burned or destroyed 180 sugar plantations and hundreds of coffee and indigo plantations. At least nine hundred coffee plantations were destroyed, and the total damage inflicted over the next two weeks amounted to two million francs. In September 1791, the surviving whites organized into militias and struck back, killing about fifteen thousand black people. By 1792, the black slaves controlled a third of the island, being lead by a man named Toussaint L’Ouverture, a very influential leader of the revolution. Despite reinforcements from France, the area of the colony controlled by the rebels grew as did the violence on both sides. Before the fighting ended 100,000 of the 500,000 blacks and 24,000 of the forty thousand whites were killed.

The fighting had rapidly escalated to a point of crisis. Nonetheless, the former slaves managed to hold off both the French forces and the British who arrived in 1793 to conquer the colony, and who withdrew in 1798. This was the turning point that Slaves needed to overthrow the White Landed Owners, after a series of defeats by L’Ouverture’s forces. The Haitian Revolution began to move into the convalescence stage of the fever curve, a stable government must be established, concessions made to appease the revolutionaries, and financial stability must be enforced. By 1801 L’Ouverture expanded the revolution beyond Haiti, conquering the neighboring Spanish colony of Santo Domingo (present day Dominican Republic). He abolished slavery in the Spanish-speaking colony and declared himself Governor-General for life over the entire island of Hispaniola. The Haitian Revolution had outlasted the French Revolution by about a year. A man named Napoleon Bonaparte, now the ruler of France, in a last effort to try to salvage and restore both French rule and slavery, dispatched and 43,000 French troops to capture L’Ouverture. L’Ouverture was taken and sent to France where he died in prison in 1803. Jean-Jacques Dessalines, one of L’Ouverture’s generals and a former slave, led the revolutionaries at the Battle of Vertieres on November 18, 1803, where the French forces were defeated.

On January 1, 1804, Dessalines declared the nation independent and renamed it Haiti. France became the first nation to recognize its independence. Haiti emerged as the first black republic in the world, and the second nation in the western hemisphere to declare independence from European power. The Haitian Revolution represents one of the most unique case studies in revolutionary history. A fever is an indication of a viral or bacterial infection that can spread and grow over time. In ten years of sustained internal and international warfare, a colony populated primarily by slaves, was able to overthrow both its powerful colonial status and its economic system. Due to the revolution, Haiti established a new political state of entirely free individuals. Finally, after all the events leading up to the the Haitian Revolution, Haiti declared itself a free black republic, therefore fitting into the 4 stages of the fever curve; incubation, symptomatic, crisis and convalescence.

Thе Haitian Rеvolution: Anti-Slavery Rebеllion essay

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Thе Haitian Rеvolution: Anti-Slavery Rebеllion. (2022, Jun 09). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/th%D0%B5-haitian-r%D0%B5volution-anti-slavery-reb%D0%B5llion/

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