WOH 1022 – Introduction to World History - Spring 2013
February 22, 2013
Enlightenment philosophes triggered a series of intellectual and social revolutions that shattered the Old Regime. These social revolutions include the American Revolution, The French Revolution, and the Haitian Revolution. The Enlightenment was a movement for general human rights, equal citizenship, and equal participation in government. At the time the world was ruled by kings and governments that lacked equality in the form of their citizens representation. So people started to believe that they would be better off rulling themselves and overthrowing their governments. These ideas became actions with the American Revolution. After the American Revolution’s success the enlightenments ideas became strengthened. This led to the starving disenfranchised French citizens starting their own revolution. As the French revolution was taking place, people like Vincent Oge carried the enlightenment’s ideas to Haiti. Oge was a mixed raced plantation owner in Haiti. He came from France and was well aware of the enlightenments ideas and their cause of the French Revolution. Like other enlightened revolution starters, Oge was upset that his government was not providing him with equal rights and government representation. So he started a revolution in Haiti with 300 followers. This revolution was fought on the basis of equal rights for free men of color that were landowners. Although that revolution was unsuccessful and not fought to end slavery, it spread the ideas of the enlightenment movement to the Haitian slaves (specifically the idea that people can govern themselves and overthrow their oppressor). The Haitian Revolution was uniquely radical as a historical process because it was the only successful revolution of slaves. Proof of the enlightenment’s ideas spreading to the Haitian slaves is shown in documents like History of the Revolution of...