The Haitian Revolution in Atlantic Perspective

David Geggus

in The Oxford Handbook of the Atlantic World

Published in print March 2011 | ISBN: 9780199210879
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in History

 The Haitian Revolution in Atlantic Perspective

Show Summary Details


Of all the Atlantic revolutions, the fifteen-year struggle that transformed French Saint-Domingue into independent Haiti produced the greatest degree of social and economic change, and most fully embodied the contemporary pursuit of freedom, equality, and independence. Between 1789 and 1804, the Haitian Revolution unfolded as a succession of major precedents: the winning of colonial representation in a metropolitan assembly, the ending of racial discrimination, the first abolition of slavery in an important slave society, and the creation of Latin America's first independent state. Beginning as a home-rule movement among wealthy white colonists, it rapidly drew in militant free people of colour who demanded political rights and then set off the largest slave uprising in the history of the Americas. Sandwiched between the colonial revolutions of North and South America, and complexly intertwined with the coterminous revolution in France, Haiti's revolution has rarely been grouped with these major conflicts despite its claims to global significance.

Keywords: Atlantic; Haiti; Saint-Domingue; freedom; equality; independence; Haitian Revolution; racial discrimination; slavery; France

Article.  8301 words. 

Subjects: History ; History of the Americas

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.