By David Patrick Geggus
The Haitian Revolution of 1789–1803 remodeled the Caribbean’s wealthiest colony into the 1st self sufficient kingdom in Latin the US, encompassed the biggest slave rebellion within the Americas, and inflicted a humiliating defeat on 3 colonial powers. In Haitian progressive reports, David Patrick Geggus sheds new mild in this large upheaval by way of marshaling an exceptional diversity of facts drawn from archival study in six international locations. Geggus’s fine-grained essays discover vital matters and little-studied facets of the clash, together with new historiography and resources, the origins of the black uprising, and family members among slaves and loose humans of colour. The contributions of vodou and marronage to the slave rebellion, Toussaint Louverture and the abolition query, the regulations of the most important powers towards the revolution, and its interplay with the early French Revolution also are addressed. questions about ethnicity, id, and historic wisdom tell this crucial examine of a fancy revolution.
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Additional resources for Haitian Revolutionary Studies
Leclerc’s army was already severely weakened, and the blacks well knew that during the summer it would be decimated by disease. Nevertheless, when within a month Toussaint was accused of plotting rebellion, it was Dessalines and Christophe who helped denounce him. The old leader was kidnapped and hastily deported; he died in a French dungeon in April 1803. Despite this devious maneuvering by the military leaders, small bands of insurgents fought on in the mountains in the tradition of the maroons.
In the mountains of the northeast, however, many of their soldiers fought on in the name of the king until 1797. Toussaint’s forces occupied a cordon of some thirty camps stretching from the central mountains of the north province along the fringe of the Artibonite plain to the port of Gonaïves. He thus controlled access from the north to the west. Most of the northern littoral, however, was in the hands of Villatte and other semi-independent mulatto leaders. Laveaux, now governor, was con¤ned with his few surviving white troops to the northwestern port of Port de Paix.
This is not a popular approach with those who like to stress the solidarity of slave communities and the pervasiveness of African culture. 14 The dif¤cult relationship between leadership and masses in the Haitian Revolution forms an important theme in The Black Jacobins15 and still more so in the recent studies of Carolyn Fick and Pierre Pluchon (discussed below). The full signi¤cance of this political cleavage, I think, only becomes apparent when situated in the con- New Approaches and Old 35 text of the cultural, even class, divisions of slave plantation society.