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Why was the Haitian Revolution of 1804 significant?

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t521863 | Student, Grade 10 | (Level 1) Valedictorian

Posted March 16, 2012 at 2:38 AM via web

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Why was the Haitian Revolution of 1804 significant?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted March 16, 2012 at 2:47 AM (Answer #1)

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Of course, the major significance of the Haitian Revolution was that it freed the slaves in Haiti.  This was the greatest significance of the Revolution for those who were involved in it.

Looking beyond those directly affected, we can see at least two major reasons why this was significant.  First, it increased the fear of slave rebellions in the United States.  It can be said to have helped cause slaveowners in the South to treat their slaves more harshly and to react with more anger towards abolitionists from the North.  This helped push the North and South farther apart, eventually leading to the Civil War.

Second, the revolution helped to cause Napoleon to want to get out of the Americas.  This helped lead to his decision to sell the Louisiana Territory to the United States.  In this way, the Haitian Revolution helped to enlarge the US.


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gsenviro | College Teacher | (Level 1) Senior Educator

Posted April 28, 2015 at 2:03 PM (Answer #2)

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The Haitian Revolution was a slave uprising that culminated in ending slavery in Haiti and the emergence of the Republic of Haiti. It had far-reaching impacts on the slave-dominated economies, namely US and Britain.

The successful slave revolt led to fears of similar uprisings in the slave-dominated Southern States in the US. To prevent such future uprisings, the planters used harsh measures. An example is the harsh measures used to put down the 1811 German Coast Uprising in Louisiana. These measures intensified the class divide in American society and increased the differences between the Northern and Southern states, which ultimately led to civil war. The US also received a large number of refugees who fled the Haitian revolution. This was the first refugee crisis for the young nation. 

The Haitian revolution also led to abolitionist movements in other countries. Britain abolished the slave trade in 1807, the US did the same after the Civil War. 

Another advantage of the revolution to the US was that Napoleon sold the territory of Louisiana after realizing that Haiti was lost. 

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