Thursday, December 9, 2010

Causes and Effects of the Haitian Revolution

The most important things that we discussed in our analysis of both the American and French Revolution were their respective causes and effects. I would like to look at the causes and effects of the Haitian Revolution in this blog post.
First, to provide some background the French for the manufacturing of sugar was using information, Haiti, or Saint Domingue. Sugarcane was abundant on Haiti and therefore made it the perfect location for production. However, the cultivation of the sugarcane required much manual labor. This is where the enslaved population of Haiti came into play. These slaves were Africans who had been brought to Haiti by boat. The first cause of the Haitian Revolution is the extreme pain and oppression that was endured by the slaves of the sugar plantations. They were forced to work long hours in the hot Sun and were tortured and battered by their masters and plantation owners. This would ultimately lead to wide rebellion across the island.
Another cause of the Haitian Revolution was the class system that had been imposed. This social ladder was determined predominantly on the sole basis of skin color and race. The more African blood you had in your family lineage, the lower on the social ladder you were. This led them essentially live at the mercy of their white counterparts who controlled their very existence.
The final cause of the Haitian Revolution, and perhaps the most significant, was the influence of the French Revolution. Before the violence of the Haitian Revolution broke out, the French Revolution had already begun. Since many boats constantly traveled from France to Haiti, news of the Revolution was transported to the islanders. The docks and ports became a center of news to the islanders. It was by this occurrence that the islanders adopted the revolutionary mindset of the French mainland and the slaves began to rise up.
The violence of the slave rebellion lasted for many years, but when it was over, there had been many effects on the island and its people. Ultimately, after defeating the French forces, Jean Jacques Dessalines declared the independence of the island of Saint Domingue, and also created the new sovereign nation called Haiti. Haiti was the second independent state of the Americas, and had become so as a result of the first successful large-scale slave rebellion in history. Therefore, the slaves gained freedom from their masters and plantation owners as another effect. Despite these effects that the Haitian Revolution had on the island and its people, the United States initially refused to recognize the new nation. However, this soon changed as both America and France required Haiti for economic interests. This effect of the revolution revealed the nations' dependency on Haiti making it all the more important.


How were the causes and effects of the Haitian Revolution similar to those of the American and French Revolution?

If so, how were they similar?

If not, what made them different?



  1. Jeff,

    I think the causes are enough for one post, really, because there are questions your analysis raises that are worth further discussion. For example, you suggest that foreign (in this case, French) influences were the most significant factor in causing the revolution. But now extend that idea: are foreign influences always most significant (e.g., is that true also of America and France), and if so, why do they matter so much? And if not, why are they so significant here?

  2. Dr. Korfhage,
    In response to your question, I do believe that foreign influences can be the most significant. You are also correct that in the case of the French Revolution the Americans had a large impact on them. France saw that the Americans had successfully changed their government, breaking free from tyrannical rule, and the French soon sought to do the same. The reason that this is so significant is because as humans, we constantly seek to meet and exceed those around us. I believe that this is just part of human nature. Therefore, if one nation has done something well, then other nations will soon seek to meet and exceed them. That is why it is such a driving force.

  3. thanks a lot, this information has really being helpful to me. another cause is that the whites wanted to rule themselves and the rest of the people.

  4. Glad that this was helpful to you! Yes, the desire of the white population to control the island as well as the "rest of the people" certainly created racial tensions between the groups. This tension contributed to the black outbreaks of slave revolts across the island, such as on the night of 21 August 1791, when the slaves of Saint Domingue rose up against their white owners.

  5. jeff i like your site very much one thing i would like to point,the so called whitr and light skinned are still doing the samething they have been doing to haiti since then.he first mistake we made was to let them back in the country they dont consider themselve to be haitian they are all pretenders theives all they care about is how much more money they can still looks whats happening right now in haiti where did all the donnation money go not in to help haitian they took it for them selves they are selling the country little by little and making a fortune we can all talk about the past how our ancestors did things ,can you immagine if they could see us right now all their sacrifices the thirteen years war they fought for our independence. its time for all haitian to get up revolt once more and this time dont let them get away we need to capture these individual and burn them publicly let the world see we are not going to take it any morewe need a deshoucage its time to purge the country of these people.