Toussaint Loverture In The Haitian Revolution

1410 Words6 Pages
Toussaint Louverture was the most influential leader of the Haitian Revolution, which, under his leadership, became the only successful slave revolution in history. Among Toussaint’s qualities that enabled the success of the revolution, one aspect that stands out is his diplomatic acumen; with the establishment of the “Louvertorian State” in 1798, Toussaint built complex foreign relations for the benefit of the revolution. Ironically, however, Haiti’s decline as an independent nation is closely correlated with its failures in diplomacy.
Nevertheless, it is undeniable that Toussaint Louverture pursued a foreign policy that was crucial to Saint-Domingue’s fight for independence, as it allowed a gradual break-away from the French empire and established friendly relationships with France’s political enemies at that time. Yet, because of its tremendous value as a colony, and the still-prevalent institution of slavery amongst European powers, Haiti’s failure in diplomacy as an independent state was inevitable, regardless of Toussaint’s successful diplomatic agenda.
At the outbreak of the
…show more content…
Driven by the economic opportunities of taking over the islands—such as rich trade, abundance of resources, and lucrative plantations—, Great Britain attempted to invade and colonize Saint-Domingue since 1794 (Ros 84). The British forces at Saint-Domingue, led by General Adam Williamson and later by General Thomas Maitland, struggled greatly against the revolutionary force. The British forces were helpless against the guerilla attacks and large-scale organized attacks commanded by Toussaint (Ros 95). In addition, the outbreak of yellow fever demoralized the soldiers (Ros 93), and constant offenses from the mulatto troops led by André Rigaud—a Saint-Domingue-born French revolutionary leader—and Louis-Jacques Beauvais—a Haitian general—rendered British military efforts futile (Ros
Open Document