Haitian Revolution: Toussaint Louverture

Haitian Revolution: Toussaint Louverture

2009, History  -   50 Comments
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Ratings: 7.79/10 from 97 users.

Haitian Revolution: Toussaint LouvertureThe Haitian Revolution represents the only successful slave revolution in history; it created the world's first Black republic - traumatizing Southern planters, inspiring U.S. Blacks, and invigorating anti-slavery activist world-wide.

At the forefront of the rebellion was General Toussaint Louverture, an ex-slave whose genius was admired by allies and enemies alike.

The Haitian Revolution (1791–1804) was a period of conflict in the French colony of Saint-Domingue, which culminated in the elimination of slavery there and the founding of the Haitian republic.

Although hundreds of rebellions occurred in the New World during the centuries of slavery, only the St. Domingue Slave Revolt, which began in 1791, was successful in achieving permanent independence under a new nation. The Haitian Revolution is regarded as a defining moment in the history of Africans in the New World.

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Barbary
Barbary
1 year ago

Bravo to the Haitians! Freedom from slavery and to transform a rich tropical paradise into a black utopia! After 600 years of enslaving white Europeans I'm sure their forefathers spirits are relieved! That spirit didn't stop with Haiti, either, as across the nearby United States major cities finally majority black are being likewise transformed! And in Europe as well! The revolution continues!

Adrianople
Adrianople
4 years ago

interesting how Thomas Jefferson supported the bloodletting of the French Revolution which led to Napoleon, but refused to support people just trying to be free.

Terence
Terence
6 years ago

I really enjoyed this documentary except for the fact that the woman narrating kept saying idear instead of idea. It was driving me nuts!

Doris Suciu
Doris Suciu
6 years ago

Read Randall Robinson's 2007 book on the Haitian Revolution, "An Unbroken Agony."

mee
mee
8 years ago

I am white . I am proud on it. I have no issue with blacks. They should build their own future...today they are free to do it (almost for some 100 years actually)...that is multiple generations... this is multiple the times Germans re-built their country from scratch...the blacks just do not seem to have the faculties to do it...their priorities are different... they live for now, so their future is not planned (thus they do not build their society towards future)...Haiti after earthquake is typical example (when was it ... 6 years ago already ? ..how much aid they got ? ..how come they are still living in chaos over there !?)... this is NOT a problem of any white human !

C. Mac
C. Mac
8 years ago

Toussaint was not half white. Unlike the U.S., in Haiti there was a very clear distinction between being black and mulatto. In fact Toussaint's army battled armies of mulatto leaders before they decided to join forces against the European powers.

Rudy Nathan
Rudy Nathan
8 years ago

Somehow we ''whites'' have a hard time reconizing black history. It is really childish and a sign of lack of self confidence.

Sarahgrace Cox
Sarahgrace Cox
9 years ago

interesting

asdasd
asdasd
9 years ago

shame we don't learn about him in school but of course that would wake to many people up

Alexandro Kelly McNamee
Alexandro Kelly McNamee
11 years ago

Thank you for this helpful information

Oligario
Oligario
12 years ago

best slave revolution of all time!

Celestine Urban
Celestine Urban
12 years ago

how do you spell the french enlightenment writer's name that Madison Smartt Bell mentioned? i want to search him because of a research project im doing, but the way i was spelling it, nothing came up. thanks :) you can find the moment at 11:08 on the second part

mammoor
mammoor
12 years ago

there is nothing compare to freedom my brothers and sisters ..nothing

Liam Fionescu
Liam Fionescu
12 years ago

I just find it amazing that people actually think there is a god... this is clear evidence that humans are in the process of creating right and wrong

brian stoll
brian stoll
12 years ago

it just goes to show that there can be a successful black nation :P

GABRIEL MCKINLEY
GABRIEL MCKINLEY
12 years ago

They were just some troublemakers... nothing more but probably alot less!!!

Berty Trouser
Berty Trouser
12 years ago

this stops before the end- where can i find the rest?

Kathleen Francis
Kathleen Francis
13 years ago

this is so sad, he froze to death in a cell in the mountains in France, they punished him for only wanting himself and others like him to be free and live a humane life. As a black Caribbean woman i have the most respect for Toussaint Louverture and what he stood for.

borsuk88
borsuk88
13 years ago

And so they all lived happily ever after...

judoxca
judoxca
13 years ago

What an enlightening story. I am French-Canadian, born and raised in the province of Ontario, Canada. I attended French-Catholic primary schools, public English high-school and college. The Haitian revolution was never mentioned to us. Ever. I understand the reasons now, after seeing this documentary.
As a matter of fact, it was much later, in the past 20 years I would say, that I learned that there were African slaves in the province of Quebec until at least 1760 and even after under British rule. Well kept secrets by the catholic church.
I did of course, learn that one of the countries in the Caribean area was called Haiti during geography lessons. Not its history, however, until today.
Lately, everyone learned about the earthquakes, thanks to the Internet. Still, no history of the country, except that it was very poor and troubled by inadequate and crooked governments and still is.
The most troubling about this, to me, is the fact that Haiti had to make payments to France in retribution for its revolt and this lasted until the most recent earthquakes and shortly after, when this was stopped by France. Shame on France.
Toussaint is a hero who tried, hoping that his half whiteness, could impress those in France.
Desalline too, is a true hero to me now, except for the fact that he named himself Emperor. He had to submit to the fact that he was totally black and everyone, French, English, Spanish and American would not even give him the time of day.
Did not Napoleon do the same as he did by naming himself Emperor of France?
50,000 French troops died, the rest kicked out of Haiti, forever. Imagine that.....
I wonder whether France sent medical assistance or any other aid to Haiti since the earthquakes?
By the way, there is still slavery going on in the Dominican Republic just across their border next door, where Haitians are pressed to cut the sugarcane for owners of vast cane fields owned and run by exiled Cuban brothers living in the good ol USA. There is a documentary about this within this site. Check it out.

Damballa La Flambeau
Damballa La Flambeau
13 years ago

The Black Jacobins

Lacresha Huffman
Lacresha Huffman
13 years ago

I knew about him. Its Black people's jobs to teach their children.The school system never teaches about Africans and African Americans past MLK, or to down discredit their ideas like the Black Panther Party.

g isaac
g isaac
13 years ago

Oh yeah, "Lies My Teacher Told Me" records nothing of the life of Dessalines. I was just suggesting you look it over since you seemed to be a history buff.

g isaac
g isaac
13 years ago

I promise I do not want to argue with you and I really plan to 'walk away' from this after I share this. I sense a little anger on your part and I'm not here to offend you. However, I will have you know a few things:

1. My name is "Dessalines" and my father made it very clear early on that I would know who that man was. I do not like everything about Dessalines nor do I condone all of his actions. I also am not Haitian. Like my parents and my parents'-parents, I was born in America.

2. I have read several books that illustrate his life and the history of Haiti. The most noteworthy is "From Dessalines to Duvalier" by David Nicholls (1996). I also like to read first-hand historical accounts of figures such as Dessalines.

3. Another pretty interesting read is "The Black Man, His Antecedents, His Genius, and His Achievements" by William Wells Brown.

“The bravery and military skill which Dessalines had exhibited after the capture of Toussaint, the bold, resolute manner in which he had expelled the whites from the island, naturally pointed him out as the future ruler of St. Domingo. After serving a short time as president, Dessalines assumed the dignity of emperor, and changed the name of the island to that of Hayti.”(Brown)

4. Have you ever read any of the letters written by Louverture or figures who knew Dessalines firsthand?

In February of 1802, just months before he would be betrayed by the French, Toussaint Louverture, wrote this letter to Jean-Jacques Dessalines, He asks to burn down Port-au-Prince, to stop the advance of General Leclerc's troops, sent by Napoléon Bonaparte to re-establish slavery (Toussaint Louverture letter to Jean-Jacques Dessalines (1802)

“…There is no reason for despair, Citizen-General, if you can succeed in removing from the [French] troops that have landed the resources offered to them by Port Republican [Port-au-Prince]. Endeavor, by all the means of force and address, to set that place on fire;”

5. A few internet sources are citing,

“Dessalines is widely regarded by Haitians as one of the outstanding heroes in the struggle against slavery and colonialism, in this spirit he is also affectionately called: 'Papa Desalin' (lit. Father Dessalines)… In contrast many non Haitian observers have focused on Dessalines treatment of French colonialists and less on his achievements in the freedom struggle.”

I understand that you may not like these things but it does not make them false. Nor is it false just because you 'haven't heard..."

tomregit
tomregit
13 years ago

Both T. L'Overture and his lieutenant J.J. Dessallines first fought against, and later with the French after the French abolished slavery. It was a complex revolution with at least four different parties involved in the fighting. L' Overture died France after being betrayed and forcibly exiled. Dessallines took over as leader of the revolution and later declared himself Jacques I, emperor for life. He was assassinated by his "followers" in 1806. Neither man was a democratic leader and both had declared themselves emperor.

The book "Lies My Teacher Told Me: everything your American history textbook got wrong" says nothing about the Haitian revolution since it is outside the scope of that work. I was not educated in America and therefore have even less reason to read it. Perhaps you thought your telling me to read it was so clever you just had to immediately make a second post when you thought of it. Well, "g" now everyone knows how smart you are.

Most of my information comes from "The Haitian Revolution" by Franklin W. Knight as well as internet sources, and the PBS documentary in question. Please enlighten me and others reading your post. Where did you receive your inside knowledge containing the real truth.

g isaac
g isaac
13 years ago

Oh yeah, since you're in the habit of reading why don't you read the book entitled "Lies My Teacher Told Me".

g isaac
g isaac
13 years ago

I'm not offended by your comments "Tom". And I DO encourage people to read. Just be sure you read more than the cover. Delve deeper and you will find that history is ladden with lies--a fanciful concoction of both fiction and nonfiction alike.

tomregit
tomregit
13 years ago

@ g isaac
I'm happy you have encouraged others to research the history of these two men. They will then see just how confused you are.

g isaac
g isaac
13 years ago

Jean Jacques DESSALINES led Haiti to freedom. NOT Toussaint L'Overture. Toussaint worked FOR the French and was even forced to resign from his post. Haiti was not free under him. Dessalines drove them out!! Why must people tell lies and change history? Research for yourself. Read about it.

jorjinho bolivar
jorjinho bolivar
13 years ago

Where is the Toussaint's blood? I thought it would be running down through our vein to date. for reasons we all know, the outside world with white-supremacy ideas didn't offer us any support to make our way up of human civilization. We had to pay France an astronomical indemnity that amounts to 21 billion dollars. 200 years ago, we invented the concept of freedom and I think we will once again invent something that will help Haiti to become developed. Ayiti pap peri. Ayi bobo

Mario Silverio
Mario Silverio
13 years ago

Truth was presented to me in a way that i never knew. Thanks.