Haitian Independence

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What are the disadvantages or advantages to the approach taken by slaves in their 1790 revolt in Haiti?

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First, the revolt that took place in 1790 was not a slave revolt per se, but an attempt by the Haitian free men of color to seize control of government, or at least claim more political rights in the wake of the French Revolution. The larger revolt by black slaves occurred in 1791. Second, the 1791 revolt, while astonishingly bloody, was a military, and in the short term, political success. The most immediate effect was the abolition of slavery on the island, and the forced emigration of most whites. It also led to independence in the short-term, though Napoleon would attempt to restore French control of the colony in 1801. This attempt was ultimately unsuccessful. So while there was an extreme amount of violence, with over 100,000 blacks and several thousand whites perishing, it brought about abolition in Saint-Domingue. Established independence would have to wait, however.

Source: Wim Klooster, Revolutions in the Atlantic World: A Comparative History (New York: New York University Press, 2009)84-116.

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