West Indian History
18 March 2014
Haitian Revolution: Circumstances
Haiti was the French of Santo Domingo, the most prolific colonial economy in the world. Monopolized by plantation agriculture, mainly to stock coffee and sugar to the world market, practically 90 percent was Haiti’s slave population. African slaves were brought to the island in the Atlantic slave trade. The fragment of the populace subsisted of peoples of European ancestry and of mixed heritage, delineated in the law of the colony as “white” or people of color, proportionately. Both of these groups owned slaves. French bureaucrats subjugated the island. By 1788, the native Indian populace had died out completely as result of strident labor polices, Spanish conquest and influx of virulent diseases from Afroeurasia.
In no way were any of these tribal factions integrated. Except perchance in hostility to each other. There were even distributions within the slave populace, generally between a preponderant body of agricultural laborers and a smaller faction involved in private maintenance and sometimes the administration of the plantation scheme. The white populace subsisted of a planter elite known as Grans Blancs and a larger class of Petits Blancs, men and women who engaged in the economy mainly as builders or vendors in the cities. Gens de couleur, like whites, were branched by class, nevertheless the discrepancy of riches was not as great as the between Grands and Petits Blancs.
The source of the Haitian revolution was the crucial inequality in the Haitian society. The ample bulk of the population was made up of slaves and were exploited on a regular basis in the rawest forms and assiduously dispossessed prudently in a system that composed considerable riches. For this slave populace, the most imperative controversy was the completion of slavery and the social diversity it encompassed. As 90 percent of the colony was slave, this controversy was
Cited: . Popkin Jeremy, Haitian Revolution. University of Kentucky, 2003 Bryan, Patrick. The Haitian Revolution and It’s Effects. London: Athenaeum, 1984.