Success of the Haitian Revolution

Topics: French Revolution, Haitian Revolution, Slavery Pages: 5 (1897 words) Published: October 14, 2013
The Success of the Haitian Revolution

The Haitian Revolution was the result of a long struggle on the part of the slaves in the French colony of St. Domingue, but was also propelled by the free Mulattoes who had long faced the trials of being denoted as semi-citizens. This revolt was not unique, as there were several rebellions of its kind against the institution of plantation slavery in the Caribbean, but the Haitian Revolution the most successful. This had a great deal to do with the influence of the French Revolution, as it helped to inspire events in Haiti. The Haitian Revolution would go on to serve as a model for those affected by slavery throughout the world. As with every rebellion, The Haitian Revolution did not happen overnight. Wrongs have to happen excessively and frequently until people's frustrations cause them to think they are on the verge of insanity. Injustice and prejudice also has to seem to have free reign for quite some time. Finally, a group arises and with one voice they shout, "Enough!" The Haitian Revolution was the first and only successful slave revolution in human history. The slaves’ struggle produced heroic leaders, especially Toussaint L’Ouverture. He and his revolutionary army of self-emancipated slaves defeated the three great empires of the eighteenth century—Spain, England, and France—and finally won independence after a decade of struggle in 1804. The French population was divided into three classes the nobility which comprised of the richest people in France at the time e.g. King and Queen the second class was the clergy these were also wealthy people they worked in the churches etc and the third class was called the third estate they were made up of France’s general public and this class comprised of more than twice the number of people making up both the nobility and the clergy. The third estate was the only class of people who were taxed. France was financially bankrupt and decided to hold a meeting of the estates. On the last occasion that the Estates-General had met, in 1614, each estate held one vote, and any two could override the third. The Parliament of Paris feared the government would attempt to gerrymander an assembly to rig the results. Thus, they required that the Estates be arranged as in 1614.The 1614 rules differed from practices of local assemblies, where each member had one vote and third estate membership was doubled. The King, however, agreed to the proposition on 27 December; but he left discussion of the weight of each vote to the Estates-General itself. Elections were held in the spring of 1789; suffrage requirements for the Third Estate were for French-born or naturalized males only, at least 25 years of age, who resided where the vote was to take place and who paid taxes

Prior to the assembly taking place, the "Committee of Thirty," a body of liberal Parisians, began to agitate against voting by estate. This group, largely composed of the wealthy, argued for the Estates-General to assume the voting mechanisms of Dauphiné. They argued that ancient precedent was not sufficient, because "the people were sovereign."[16]Necker convened a Second Assembly of Notables, which rejected the notion of double representation by a vote of 111 to 333.[16] .[17]

The bourgeoisie, including the merchants tied to slavery in the colonies, grew frustrated with the king and his regime’s feudal restraints on the economy and their political rights. They especially resented how he attempted to solve the regime’s financial crisis, ironically the result of debts incurred by its war with England over control of North America and its support for the American Revolution. The king’s taxes fell disproportionately on the bourgeoisie with much of the nobility receiving feudal exemptions. But the king even managed to alienate much of the nobility. Famously, when Louis XVI tried in 1789 to shut down the Estates-General, the parliament he had called to impose...
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