When the French Revolution liberated slaves in the colonies, Saint Domingue, the former name of Haiti, was a long ways from Paris, France, and the French landowners on the island did not wish to liberate their slaves. So, the slaves entered into a revolt against their masters.
Three years later, in 1794, the French found themselves engaged again in war with England, and their troops were decimated. With this grave situation, the governor met with the chief of the slaves, Toussaint L'ouverture, and struck a bargain. L'ouverture told the governor his men would fight against the English if they could be guaranteed their liberty; the governor accepted. In July, 1795, Toussaint L'ouverture was Brigadier General and Vice-Governor of Saint-Dominique, leading the country to economic independence.