Haitian Revolution Overview

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Saint-Domingue, now known as Haiti, was the richest colony in the West Indies and probably the richest colony in the history of the world. Driven by slave labor and enabled by fertile soil and ideal climate. This island was adept with the production of sugar, coffee, cocoa, indigo, tobacco, cotton, sisal as well as some fruits and vegetables for the motherland, France. In France in the 18th century a movement for a general concept of human rights, universal citizenship and participation in government had developed among the intellectuals and was taking root among the common people. This movement finally broke into full revolution in 1789 and ordinary citizens, for the first time in France's history, had the rights of citizenship. People in France were divided into two camps, the red cockades, those in favor of the revolution and the white cockades, those loyal to the system of monarchy. (This had to do with the color of the hats they wore.) This whole social upheaval had a necessary impact on Saint-Domingue, and people had to begin to choose up sides. Back in Saint-Domingue there were two separate issues, each demanding different and contradictory alliances. It was these conflicting demands on peoples' loyalties which caused much of the shifting about in these early years. On the one hand the petit blancs and the white planters formed an uneasy union against the French bureaucrats. The issue was independence and local control. The bureaucrats were seen as strongly pro-French. Thus the battle lines were draw on the basis of loyalty to the new revolution in France. All the whites of Saint-Domingue began to sport the red cockade of the revolution, and the French bureaucrats were painted with the white cockade of French monarchy. On August 22nd 1791 100, 00 black slaves started a rebellion against plantation owners which lasted 12 years. They formed the second independent nation in the western hemisphere, with the formation of the first ever Black Governed republic....
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