Causes Of The Haitian Revolution

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In the year 1791, African slaves in the French colony of St. Domingue initiated a rebellion that by the year 1803 succeeded in ending the brutal oppression of slavery in the country. This revolution, currently known as the Haitian Revolution, was the largest and most effective slave insurrection in the Western Hemisphere. The revolution not only ended slavery, but it succeeded in terminating French control over the colony and alleviating the volatile political, social and economic conditions in St. Domingue which led to the outbreak of the Haitian Revolution. Firstly, the political conditions in St. Domingue led to the revolution. Considerable political unrest had been created in the colonies as a result of the pioneering reforms and ideologies introduced during the French Revolution (1789 – 1799). The Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Citizen (1789) caused several petitions for civil rights from the affranchis (free wealthy coloureds), as they believed that according to the article they were entitled to equality. In 1790, the National Assembly extended the franchise to the affranchis, however, the colonial governor refused to implement this resolution. This led to a revolt headed by Vincent Ogé and Jean-Baptiste Chavennes, which ended in defeat at the hands of the white militia and the execution of the insurgent leaders. Eventually, however, the French National Constituent Assembly ruled in favour of the affranchis. On May 15, 1791, the National Constituent
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