Haiti 200 Years of Black Independence: On New Year's Day, Haiti Celebrated 200 Years of Independence, the Second Black Nation in the Western Hemisphere to Achieve Independence in 1804. This Is the Concluding Part of the Extract from Dr Jacob H. Carruthers' Book, the Irritated Genie, on the Amazing Story of the Haitian Revolution. Sadly, Dr Carruthers Passed Away on 4 January 2004 (See P66)

By Carruthers', Jacob H. | New African, February 2004 | Go to article overview

Haiti 200 Years of Black Independence: On New Year's Day, Haiti Celebrated 200 Years of Independence, the Second Black Nation in the Western Hemisphere to Achieve Independence in 1804. This Is the Concluding Part of the Extract from Dr Jacob H. Carruthers' Book, the Irritated Genie, on the Amazing Story of the Haitian Revolution. Sadly, Dr Carruthers Passed Away on 4 January 2004 (See P66)


Carruthers', Jacob H., New African


In July 1800, Toussaint Louverture, one of the founding fathers of Haitian independence, had marched and conquered the Spanish port of the island. Then, with all of his enemies presumably vanquished, Toussaint turned his attention to reorganising the island according to the principles of equality under black dominion. Now, with the blessing of the French government which had installed him as commanding general of the armies of Saint Domingue, Toussaint was finally free to set up a constitution "of which justice and equality (of right only, not property) should be the basis".

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

The constitution, however, abolished slavery and declared all people born in Saint Domingue to be French citizens. The composition of Toussaint's government reflected this principle. While his army was controlled by black generals (there were a few mulattoes), his civil administration was notable for white and mulatto dominance. Thus, one aspect of Toussaint's concept of equality was based upon merit (and competence) rather than race. And many European observers were very impressed with his efficient administration.

His own management of the military and civilian bureaucracies was masterful. He confided in no one, used advice for purposes he designed, and changed advisors when his ends required. He separated those to whom he delegated authority, and demanded absolute loyalty from all. Infractions were dealt with firmly and consistently. Indeed, Toussaint mastered his colony.

While English and American men of affairs thought Toussaint's actions were tantamount to independence (indeed many encouraged him to so declare), there is no indication that he intended to do so, and his later actions suggest that he really strove to be part of a French dominion of "liberty and equality".

Toussaint's labour organisation went into full effect in October 1800, and his constitution was published in July 1801, but four months later (in late November 1801), due to widespread rebellion to his enforced labour system, he was forced to publish what is called "Toussaint's Dictatorial Decree".

Finally, within the army, discontent and disobedience began to spread so much that General Moise, one of Toussaint's long-time top lieutenants, openly defied Toussaint's forced labour system. Moise had often argued with Toussaint about his (Toussaint's) policy of protecting whites.

Toussaint's repressive retaliation against this rebellion culminated in the execution of Moise, who had become a popular symbol of the rising rebellion. Jean Jacques Dessalines, the most powerful and indispensable of Toussaint's aides, watched all of this in silence and surely he would have soon led a coup attempt against Toussaint had not other drastic events brought an abrupt end to Toussaint's brief rule.

The fall of Toussaint

Toussaint's hobnobbing with the French had led to a prolonged, unnecessary and dangerous detour from the revolutionary path. The time had now arrived when he would have to pay for some of the costs of this disaster.

His troubles began with the simultaneous rejection of his colony by the black masses and the French Republic under Napoleon's leadership. Both the defeated mulattoes and disaffected whites had converged on the government of France which by now was headed by the European hero, Napoleon Bonaparte.

While Toussaint's reaction to the black rebellion on the island was severe repression, his reaction to the rebellion of disgruntled whites and mulattoes who were politicking in Paris was more tactful and deliberate.

He cultivated goodwill ambassadors among his white advisors and sent them with messages about his love and loyalty to France. He wrote letters of protest against overt expressions of racism in Paris. He played the colonial officials off against each other. He also proffered veiled intimidation.

Finally, he refused to obey an order from Napoleon requiring him to display on his official banners words to the effect that the blacks owed their freedom to the French people.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Haiti 200 Years of Black Independence: On New Year's Day, Haiti Celebrated 200 Years of Independence, the Second Black Nation in the Western Hemisphere to Achieve Independence in 1804. This Is the Concluding Part of the Extract from Dr Jacob H. Carruthers' Book, the Irritated Genie, on the Amazing Story of the Haitian Revolution. Sadly, Dr Carruthers Passed Away on 4 January 2004 (See P66)
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.