Toussaint L Ouverture View On Slavery Analysis

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Constitutional Hypocrisy When closely examining the principles which created the Haitian Constitution of 1801, the first of many Haitian Constitutions, it becomes evident to the reader that the document opposes slavery, which is was prevalent in Haiti (Saint Domingue) at the time. What becomes apparently shocking, however, is contrary to his human rights argument, the author and architect Toussaint L 'Ouverture, put in place concepts that were based in and still promoted slavery to a certain extent. Written in 1801, when Haiti (Saint Domingue) was still under French colonial rule, the primary author believed that not only was work necessary for slaves, but that they now continue to work the same plantations where they were enslaved. Contrasting his writings which directly contribute to the advancement of liberty, the scope of transformation remains limited. This is due to the replacement of the institution of slavery with…show more content…
Clearly stated in the beginning of the document is L 'Ouverture 's view on slavery: “There can be no slaves on this territory; servitude has been forever abolished. All men are born, live and die there free and French.” Not only does the native born Haitian undermine his position by referring to him and his people as French--he unintentionally puts the power into the hands of the colonialists by taking this position. L’Ouverture’s deep belief in the ideals of the French Revolution limited the extent to which he was willing to push for total independence. The universal ideals of La Republique were not, in fact, so universal. It could also be that failing to push for total independence was a strategic decision rooted in an assessment of the relative strength of the Haitian political position. At any rate, compared to the previous iron fist by which this island was ruled, this document was no doubt revolutionary: surrounded by slave states, abolition even in a limited form was a threat to planter power throughout the new
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