Haitian revolution e1544608014759

Haitian Revolution

  • Rising Status

    Mulattoes and free black people begin to accumulate money and more power. This increases their status.
  • Key Groups

    Planters: wealthy, owned plantations and slaves
    Small whites: lower-class whites, typically artisans, merchants, and some were even former prisoners. Free persons of color/mulatto: higher status than slaves. Did not have rights under French law, but could own land and have money.
    Slaves: slave population outnumbered the white population and the mulatto population. The economy was reliant on slave labor.
    Maroons: fugitive slaves that would run away to the mountains of Saint Domingue.
  • Saint Domingue Sugar

    Saint Domingue has a sugar boom. Plantations have a growing demand for labor and need slaves.
  • Demographics

    The French controlled the colony Saint Domingue.
    The slave population was an estimated 500,000 in the late 1750s.
    A large percentage of the slave population was Kongolese.
    The white population was an estimated 32,000 in the late 1750s. Bradshaw, Jim. “Saint-Domingue Revolution.” 64 Parishes, June 4, 2021. Davis, Chris. “Before They Were Haitians: Examining Evidence for Kongolese Influence on the Haitian Revolution.” Journal of Haitian Studies 22, no. 2 (2016): 4–36.
  • Makandal

    François Makandal, a maroon (fugitive slave), conspired to poison white masters and slaves who were believed to be aligned with the white population. Those who were loyal to Makandal carried out a series of poisonings that lead to death and illness. Maroons during this time would also carry out attacks on the colonists. This group would be crucial to the Haitian Revolution. Shen, Kona. The Haitian Revolution 1750-1784. Brown University, October 27, 2015.
  • Execution of Makandal

    Makandal was executed by white colonists. Masters brought their slaves to watch the execution of Makandal making an example out of him. Makandal became an inspirational figure for slaves who wished to go against their Masters. Shen, Kona. The Haitian Revolution 1750-1784. Brown University, October 27, 2015. https://library.brown.edu/haitihistory/2frt.html.
  • Growing Affranchis

    Affranchi is the French legal term for the class of free people of color. This class mostly consisted of mulattos. The Affranchi were legally allowed to own land. However, they could not hold legal positions. The population of the Affranchi was growing during this time, which threatened the white population.
  • American Revolution

    American colonists rebelled​ against the British Crown.
  • A Change to Code Noir

    A Change to Code Noir
    Slaves were regularly abused and tortured in Saint Domingue. King Louis XVI revised Code Noir and prohibited the inhumane treatment of slaves. The Governors were given the responsibility to prosecute Masters who continued to abuse their slaves. Ghachem, Malick W. “Prosecuting Torture: The Strategic Ethics of Slavery in Pre-Revolutionary Saint-Domingue (Haiti).” Law and History Review 29, no. 4 (2011): 985–1029. doi:10.1017/S0738248011000514.
  • The Monsieur Le Jeune Case

    A slave owner named Le Jeune was killing and abusing his slaves. The slaves filed complaints which were investigated. Even though the evidence was against Le Jeune, his case was voided.
  • Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Citizen

    The French National Assembly issues the Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Citizen. Defines natural/human rights for all men. Push for rights for free citizens that are people of color.
  • Tennis Court Oath

    Tennis Court Oath
    Third Estate (commoners) gathers to create a new constitution for the people.
  • Storming of the Bastille in France

    Storming of the Bastille in France
    Beginning of the French Revolution. Bastille is stormed by Parisians. Violence begins to erupt throughout France.
  • Increasing tensions

    Increasing tensions in Saint Domingue due to the push for political rights for free people of color/mulattos. Many planters declare that political rights will never be given to mulattos due to their racial inferiority. Shen​, Kona. The Haitian Revolution 1750-1784. Brown University, October 27, 2015. https://library.brown.edu/haitihistory/2frt.html.
  • The Ogé Rebellion

    The Ogé Rebellion
    A small rebellion led by Jacques Vincent Ogé in the North of Saint Domingue​. Ogé and his men were outnumbered. Ogé fled, but was eventually caught and executed. Shen, Kona. The Haitian Revolution 1750-1784. Brown University, October 27, 2015. https://library.brown.edu/haitihistory/2frt.html.
  • Jacques Vincent Ogé to the Assembly of North Province

    Jacques Vincent Ogé asks the Assembly of North Province to uphold the March 28th decree, which gives all free citizens (even those who are people of color) the right to hold all posts and employment. Ogé clarifies that he is not asking for rights for slaves. He threatens that if they do not uphold the decree, there will be vengeance​.
  • National Assembly grants political rights to freeborn men of color

    Political rights are given to freeborn men of color. However, this decree becomes quickly annulled.
  • Jacques Vincent Ogé and Jean Baptiste Chavannes are executed

    Jacques Vincent Ogé and Jean Baptiste Chavannes are tortured then executed for their role in the rebellion. Their rebellion was not very bloody.
  • Decree of Léger-Félix Sonthonax

    Decree of Léger-Félix Sonthonax
    Through a decree, Sonthonax abolishes slavery in the North. He was eventually expelled from Saint Domingue by Toussaint Louverture in 1797.
  • Execution of Louis XVI

  • Toussaint L’Ouverture: Letter to the French Directory

    Toussaint L’Ouverture: Letter to the French Directory
    Toussaint L’Ouverture was a former slave. Due to his intelligence and physical attributes, he was given higher up positions on the plantation. Toussaint L’Ouverture wrote a letter to the french directory stating his position on universal human rights and warning them that slavery can never be reinstated in the colonies since the former slaves have now experienced freedom.
  • Napoleon rises to Power

  • Rebellion of Moyse

    Rebellion against Toussaint Louverture's reign. Moyse, Louverture's nephew, was in opposition to his uncle. When the revolt breaks out, Louverture gets word that Moyse is involved. Louverture executes him without trial and suppresses​ the revolt.
  • Constitution of 1801

    Constitution of 1801
    The Constitution of 1801 was created by Toussaint Louverture. This Constitution along with a letter was sent to Napoleon Bonaparte. Louverture declares himself Governor-General for life.
  • Napoleon Reinstates Slavery

    Napoleon Reinstates Slavery
    Napoleon reverses the abolition of slavery. Slavery becomes reinstated in French colonies.
  • Toussaint is arrested

  • Saint Domingue pushes for Indpendence

  • French Troops Evacuate the island

  • Haitian Independence

    Haitian Independence
    Haiti formally declares independence. However, many nations didn't recognize their independence. The United States didn't recognize Haiti's independence until 1862.