The French Revolution in Saint-Domingue (Haiti) from 1788 to 1790

The French Revolution begins in June 1788 with the Third Estate assembling in the tennis court at Versailles to draft a new constitution and declare itself as "the nation, the true representative of the people," being sworn as "a body, never to disperse." In fall 1788, Saint Domingue's Provincial Assembly receives a petition requesting "political rights for free persons of color." a similar petition is submitted in November by a white colonist.


In 1789, Martinique slaves revolt partly because of the influence of the French Revolution. The instability of Saint Domingue also increases. On 17th June 1789, the Third Estate declares itself the National Assembly in France. On 14th July 1789, the fall of the Bastille triggers commencement of the French Revolution. The social and political structures of France descent into chaos as violence break out. On 26th August 1789, the National Assembly adopts the declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizens.

In October, the Colonial Assembly in Saint-Domingue forms to counter the actions by the French National Assembly to free mulattoes and blacks. On 5th October, the Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizens is assented to by Louis XVI. On 22nd October, the petition of rights for "free citizens of colour" is accepted by the French National Assembly. On 8th March 1790, the Colonial Assembly is granted full legislative powers. In May 1790, Saint-Domingue receives the March 8 news. On 28th may 1790, a new decree is issued by the Colonial Assembly at Saint Marc declaring that its laws can only be sanctioned by the King. On 12th October, the Colonial Assemble at Saint Marc is dissolved by the French National Assembly.

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Read more: France, Martinique, French, Haitian Revolution, Saint Domingue, History

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