While the revolutions in colonial America and Haiti had many parallels, they were also unique in their own ways. In both revolutions, the rebels revolted against a foreign superpower that was in a weakened economic state in order to gain economic and social freedom. However, the Haiti revolution stressed freedom for everybody (including slaves), whereas the American Revolution focused more on the needs of the Bourgeois, or middle class.
The revolutions in both of these countries would have been unsuccessful were it not for the crippling problems faced by both opposing superpowers. The success of the Haitian revolution was due in no small part to the political turmoil brought about by the French revolution. This weakened the ability of the colonial administrators in Haiti to maintain order and caused the authority of colonial officials to no longer be clear; even the very legitimacy of slavery was even being challenged in France. The turmoil in France and Haiti paved the way for a struggle between the elite plantation owners and the free black slave owners. This fighting in turn gave the slaves, under the leadership of Toussaint L'Ouverture, the unheard of opportunity to revolt against their owners and emancipate themselves from a brutal system of bondage (Corbet).
The revolution in the Americans was against its mother country, Great Britain, and unlike Haiti, the British army was in full force when war broke. There were, however, economic weaknesses that led to the inevitable revolution against Britain. Britain was burdened by debts from the French and Indian War, and therefore taxed the colonies substantially to make up for this.
The ideologies of the revolutions in both Haiti and America were very similar. In America, philosophers such as Thomas Paine and John Locke preached social and economic freedom. Thomas Paine writes, "And he hath shown himself such an inveterate enemy to liberty, and discovered such a thirst for arbitrary power, is he, or is he...
Bibliography: Corbett, Bob. The Haitian Revolution of 1791-1803. 21 Mar. 2001. Webster University.
New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1997.
Middlekauff, Robert. The Glorious Cause: The American Revolution, 1763-1789. Vol. II
of the Oxford History of the United States
Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 2001.
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