The Haitian revolution that started in August in 1791, defeated Napoleon's army in 1803 in what has become known as the most successful slave revolt in history.
This Haitian revolution created the first independent state in Latin America and the first black-led nation in the world. One of the many beneficiaries of this successful revolt is the United States of America.
Before the Haitian Revolution, Saint-Domingue(Haiti), the must successful colony for France at the time was furnishing 40 percent of the world's sugar.
Haiti played a critical role in the independence of the United states. As an allied to America during the American revolution, France used Saint-Domingue(Haiti) as a critical way station for French military assistance to United States. In addition, thousands of French troops from Saint-Domingue helped take Savannah.
Alexandre Dumas was one of the most famous novelist and playwright known to the world. Born on 24th July 1802, Alexandre Dumas was a French writer whose work has been translated in over 100 languages. Some of his widely popular novels include names like The Three Musketeers, The Count of Monte Cristo, The Vicomte de Bragelonne: Ten Years Later and Twenty Years After. 20th century onwards, many of his novels have been adapted in well over 200 movies.
Alexandre Dumas was one of the most prolific writers of his time. Capable of writing in multiple genres, Dumas' writing career started as a playwright and his first play was a huge success. The second play by Dumas was another hit which earned him enough money to get into full-time writing job. He wrote several travel books and magazine articles as well. Théâtre Historique was founded by Dumas in 1840 in Paris.
Saint Domingue on island of Hispaniola was once the most lucrative part of French colony on the Caribbean island from 1659 to 1809. But a slave revolt in which the battle of Vertierre or Vertieres was pivotal ended the colonization. With support of British government ended the French rule in Saint Domingue and the French were forced to withdraw themselves from this European colony in 1803.
The decisive encounter between General Rochambeau of the French army and the separatist British supported leader General Jean-Jacques Dessalines is known as 'War of Vertières'. General Dessalines who was born as a slave led the struggle against the French. The British weakened the French by naval blockades and supplied weapons and ammunitions to General Dessalines. Sensing danger, Rochambeau shifted French headquarters from Port-au-Prince to Cap Français. Dessalines went on capturing places one after another like Jacmel, Cayes, Jérémie and Léogane. When the French Commander surrendered himself on October 3 at Port-au-Prince, stage for physical attack was set on Le Cap Français.
Born a member of the gens de couleur libres, Alexandre Sabes Petion (1770 - 1818) began life between two worlds. It is a dichotomy he would continue, further marking his legacy as an instrumental force behind the struggle for independence of two lands, his own beloved Haiti, and the republic of Gran Colombia.
Alexandre Petion began his career, after an expensive education in France, by joining the fight to force the British out of Saint-Domingue between 1798 and 1799. He would subsequently fight on the side of the mulattos against Toussaint L'Ouverture and the blacks, and was exiled to France when the rebellion ended; he returned soon after with General Leclerc and his assemblage of warships and troops. In 1802, he joined the nationalist force and gave his support to Jean-Jacques Dessalines, the future proclaimer of the Haitian Independence and self-declared ruler for life of the newly formed country.
Hundreds of years of African slavery have been whittled down by most of the world as 'that thing most wished forgotten'. However, on Friday the 23rd of August, 2013, those who will never forget took the time to remember a past that still colors the present on the International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade.
Imagining what months spent on board a rocking ship along the middle passage was like is thrown into sharp context when the diagram of the slave ship the Brookes is shown, and one is hard-pressed to remain unmoved when remembering the 142 thrown overboard to make way for water during the Zong massacre. However, as many focus on the tales of the horrors, the indignities and the atrocities that prevailed then, what should not be forgotten is the way in which the slave trade ended.
The Haitian community is preparing for the 222nd anniversary of the Bois Caiman Ceremony. The ceremony is celebrated to mark a remarkable event which gave birth to the first ever black republic in the world. Bois Caiman Ceremony first celebrated on the 14th day of August 1791 remains a symbolic event in the history of humanity.
In reminder to the Haitian people Lesly Condé expressed his expectation for good participation from the Haitian Community during this important event. Lesly is the Consul General of the Republic of Haiti in Chicago.
Toussaint L'Ouverture, born circa 1741, began life on a plantation in Saint-Domingue. In 1776 he became a freed slave. Once released from servitude, he acquired properties and became a rich man.
In 1791, he assumed a role as one of the military leaders of the Haitian slave revolt. He sought support from the Spanish in Santo Domingo, which sent provisions for his battles against the French. In a ruse, L'Ouverture co-opted the philosophy of the French Revolution, ingratiating himself with the government, influencing them to abolish slavery. By then the Spanish had become alarmed about L'Ouverture's assimilation of large tracts of land that threatened their sovereignty. These two events led L'Ouverture to switch alliances from the Spanish to the French.
The Constitution of Saint-Domingue Haiti was signed in 1801 by Governor-General for Life Toussaint L'Ouverture, the ruler of Hispaniola before Haiti became a republic.
Title I. Refers to the colony of Saint-Domingue, the seat of cities and neighboring islands, subject to French rule. Sets up the divisions of departments, arrondissements, and parishes.
Title II. Abolishes slavery, introduces anti-discrimination rules, and employment rights.
Title III. Establishes Christianity as the official religion of the colony. Forbids men of God from organizing for political reasons.
The battle of Vertieres near Cap-Haitian was motivated by slaves who hat the condition under which they have been living.
Napoleon was confident that slavery would be reestablished in Saint-Domingue. General Rochambeau, who succeeded Leclerc as commander of the French army in Saint-Domingue, started implementing a series of atrocities including mass hangings and drowning of slaves suspected to be involved in insurrections.
Dessalines relentlessly attacks one town after another. He started in the South of the Country with Cayes, then Jacmel, Léogane, Jérémie, Saint Marc and Port-au-Prince. These actually set the stage for the assault on le Cap Français in the last great battle of independence in Vertieres.
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