Exporting the Revolution

Alyssa Goldstein Sepinwall

in The Abbe Gregoire and the French Revolution

Published by University of California Press

Published in print March 2005 | ISBN: 9780520241800
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520931091 | DOI:
Exporting the Revolution

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Henri Grégoire's involvement with Haiti during the Restoration has much to teach about his vision of regeneration for the world during these years. Grégoire's Haitian involvement also yields a fascinating glimpse into the complexities of abolitionists' relationships with those they wanted to help. Grégoire was more progressive than his contemporaries in many ways. Even as his compatriots attacked him for his “Negrophilia” and treated Haiti as an outlaw nation, he applauded Haitian independence and thirsted for reports on the progress of civilization in Haiti. Although the abbé supported non-European peoples' efforts to resist colonialism, however, parts of his work helped provide ideological support for that colonialism and reinforced their international subservience. Grégoire's relationship with Haiti also sheds light on the legacy of the Revolution itself, by further demonstrating the links between revolutionary universalism and the nineteenth-century idea of the white man's burden.

Keywords: Henri Grégoire; Haiti; regeneration; Negrophilia; civilization; abbé; colonialism; Revolution; universalism

Chapter.  7068 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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