The Impact of the Haitian Revolution Print

Impact On France 
Saint domingue was France's most Profitable colony and produced 60% of the coffee in the world and 40 % of the Sugar Worldwide. The revenues loss was tremendous, accompanied by loss of life and territories ( including Louisiana).  Bonaparte relentless attempts to regain control in Haiti and the 21 billion imposed on Haiti as compensation for the loss of slaves and other property seem to confirm it.  The greatest loss was the sense of invincibility that French armies inspired around the world and loosing to undisciplined illeterates finally took care of that.

Impact on The United States
 The Louisina Purchase: Because Napoleon Bonaparte was not capable to regain control over Haiti, he gave up hope of  rebuilding a French World empire.The loss of revenues from Saint-Domingue's sugar plantations made maintenance of Louisiana Impossible. As a result of debts incurred fighting the slave revolt,  Napoleon was forced to sell to the American government its territories in Louisiana  at a heavily discounted price. This transaction allowed the USA to nearly double it's territory.

 Impact on Africa and The world
The slave revolution that two hundred years ago created the state of Haiti alarmed and excited public opinion on both sides of the Atlantic. Its repercussions ranged from the world commodity 

markets to the imagination of poets, from the council chambers of the great  powers to slave quarters in Virginia and Brazil and most points in between. 

The Impact of the Haitian Revolution in the  World explores the multiple influence from economic to  ideological to psychological -- that a revolt on a small Caribbean island had on the continents surrounding it. Fifteen international scholars, including eminent  historians David Brion Davis, Seymour Drescher, and Robin Blackburn:  " explicate  such diverse ramifications as the spawning of slave resistance and the  stimulation of slavery's expansion, the opening of economic frontiers, and the   formation of black and white diasporas. " 

They show how the Haitian Revolution  embittered contemporary debates about race and abolition and inspired poetry,  plays, and novels. Seeking to disentangle its effects from those of the French  Revolution, they demonstrate that its impact was ambiguous, complex, and contradictory. 

While such a large-scale slave rebellion was never again repeated, the Haitian Revolution stood as a model for achieving emancipation for slaves in the rest of the Atlantic World. In 1807, Britain became the first major power to permanently  abolish the slave trade, although the practice of plantation slavery was not fully abolished in the British West Indies until 1833.  After the French Revolution,  Napoleon reinstated slavery in the remaining French Caribbean colonies, which  lasted until 1848. Slavery in the United States officially ended after the passage of the thirteenth Amendement in late 1865

Impact on Haiti and it's Citizens
Altough the First and only successful slave rebellion which resulted in the   creation of a new naton which in turn catalysed a series of independence movements   throughout Latin America. Simon Bolivar, liberator of much of S America, was  aided largely by the Haitian government and lived in exile in Haiti for a while   during the war the true impact caused Dangerous social reprocussions for both   Haiti and the Dominican Republic. In Haiti, a complex system of Afrocentrism and  Europhilia existed where although the people expressed pride in their  Africanness, they still idolised a Lightskinned, French Élite whose mannerisms  and behaviour and views were more French than Haitian. 

The  Economic reprocusions for  Haitian people: The revolt led to Haiti largely being ostracised by the Western powers. Unable to carry on trade, Haiti ended up returning to a state of  quasi-serfdom where people would work the land owned by a landowner. Profits  returned to 70% of the former french peak, but after the death of Alexandre Pétion, Dessalines Successor,  it fell apart.  Also, in order to be legitimised in the world community  Haiti was practically forced to pay the FRENCH for their "lost property" which   amounted to about 150 million francs, or 21 billion dollars in today's money. 

Imagine asking a bunch of impoverished, illiterate slaves to come up  with that kinda money? It basically crippled the economy worse than it already   did  finally, it set a precedent for social and political instability in  the region. Unlike the US and the English-Speaking Caribbean, where for the most  part people just vote out whomever they dont like, Haiti and the rest of Latin America still has a tradition of social upheaval whenever they have a ruler they  disagree with.

In closing, the Haitian Revolution had a rippling  effect on other colonies  around the world. It helped sparked revolts in the  United States, Jamaica and  in South America. It created fears among whites and  led to the protection of  several slaves who retreated to the safe haven of the  island.  The Haitian Revolution was the pride of all black globally. The belief was that while the Haitian example inspired a number of slave  conspiracies and  revolts, it had a deeper and more lasting impact on the  self-image and national identity of free blacks.

  • Sunday, 08 June 2014


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