Impact of French Revolution

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The French Revolution impacted many events on San Domingue. For example, the National Convention gave some mixed people more rights and abilities within society. All of the upheaval within France and the radical ideas would spread to Haiti. With sugar and coffee becoming luxuries in high demand, the slaves were overworked and the powersource of the island. For the French, the revolution meant the idea of freedom and rights for everyone.

This was a radical idea but the people were done with their king. For the Haitians, the idea of revolution meant freedom, but they did not think past that. The Haitians wanted revenge and to be free, but they did not have a full plan. These ideas are contradictory and dangerous because someone will win and someone will loose. Such weighted ideas as these lead to hatred and violence. The Haitian idea is contradictory because the slaves want the power and the revenge, where they would put the whites in their place. This would start another cycle of slavery.

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A slave in Haiti would not last more than 3 years when they arrived from Africa. This was because of the dangerous, deadly conditions. Working on the sugar plantations meant from sunrise to sunset the slaves were busy. The high demand for sugar and coffee meant that owners needed to turn a profit and fast. Slaves were overloaded working in the heat for extremely long hours. The torture and wear on their bodies lead to their premature deaths.

I would describe Toussaint Louverture as a very intelligent and educated man. He was able to see the people’s perspective as being a slave and as a owner. He was a great businessman and understood how the island functioned. He was able to think ahead and tried to be a humanitarian. Louverture was a fortunate boy who was able to rise in society and represent his people. He came to lead the revolution by taking over the rebels.

He tried to keep his people alive and treat the white slaves well. His first idea was to compromise with the whites, but after they declined he did what he thought he had to. As he became a leader, he saw many problems such as: the starvation in the winter, 4 months in the people lost their spirit, the original leaders did not have a future plan on how to survive after destroying the island, and the whites would not accept his first, generous compromise.

Vodou played a large role in the Haitian Revolution. Because the slaves were kidnapped and transported from all over Africa, they had few similarities. Vodou was their common religion that brought them together. They saw their Vodou god wanting revenge against the white God.

The US reacted to the Haitian Revolution by avoiding the French.They reacted like this because they did not want them to spread the word that Black generals and slaves were beating white armies. The US also relied on slavery so they did not want this news to reach their slaves and cause an uprising.

Haiti is so poor today because of the revolution. They destroyed their resources and the fighting was costly. Haiti ended up owing France tons of money when they helped them fight. They were never able to restart up the country with all of the plantations or another industry again. Toussaint thought the people needed to go back to working in the fields to fix the economy. The freed people did not want to go back to slavery and being forced to work on the plantation. This led to the poverty of the island.

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