Asynchronous Assignment on An Unthinkable History (Pages 88-95)

Asynchronous Assignment

In the comment section down below  write a response (225-words minimum) to ONE of these prompts (due on 4/13):

OPTION ONE

Give your explanation of and expand on the following quote by Trouillot:

Claims about the fundamental uniqueness of humankind, claims about the ethical irrelevance of racial categories of geographical situ­ation to matters of governance and, certainly, claims about the right of all peoples to self-determination went against received wisdom in the Atlantic world and beyond. Each could reveal it­self in Saint-Domingue only through practice. By necessity, the Haitian Revolution thought itself out politically and philosophi­cally as it was taking place.  (Pages 88-89)

OPTION TWO

Why the public opinion in France (and even in Saint Domingue) rejected and/or doubted the news of the massive uprising?  What Trouillot means by interested parties engaging in a game of hide-and-seek with the news coming out from Saint Domingue? (Pages 90-92)

OPTION THREE

Trouillot analyses how international recognition of the revolutionary victories of Toussaint Louverture and later on of the major achievement of Haitian independence was extremely difficult to gain. Explain why? (Pages 93-95)

OPTION FOUR

Respectfully interact with ONE of your classmates’ responses. Do you agree with their points and interpretations? Do you disagree? What other observations about “An Unthinkable History” do you want to bring to the discussion?

24 thoughts on “Asynchronous Assignment on An Unthinkable History (Pages 88-95)”

  1. Option two:

    The public opinion in France doubted the news of the massive uprising. There was a lot of disbelief. Only the most vocal representatives of the planter party took them seriously because they were the first to be informed because of their British contacts. Jean- Pierre Bristol also believed the news was fake. Jean was a founding member of the Amis des Noirs. Most people thought that it was impossible for fifty thousand of blacks to get together very fast and act. They sustained the view that slaves could not conceive of rebellion on their own and mulattoes and whites were not so insane as to incite them to full-scale violence. The general opinion was that if the slaves had rebelled, the superior French troops would have defeated them.
    Confirmation did not change the dominant views. When the detailed news reached France, many observers were frightened by the fact that the colonists had appealed to the English. Since the blacks couldn’t have generated such a massive endeavor, according to the public, the insurrection became an unfortunate repercussion of planters’ miscalculations. They interpreted that the insurrection didn’t aim for a revolutionary change. The Western public pursued the game of hide and seek. It accommodated some of the irrefutable data, questioned others, and provided reassuring explanations for the new package created. The Haitian Revolution was unthinkable because “non- humans” supposedly were unfit for strategic rebellion.

  2. One of the reasons why Haitian Independence was difficult to gain is because of colorism. A specific quote that stood out to me was, “Louverture grew, every other party struggled to convince itself and its counterparts that the achievements of the black leadership would ultimately benefit someone” (93). Essentially, this reveals how no one could envision a black person being in a high position because they are only seen through the lens of a slave. This is part of the belittling process that Europeans have tried to instill in order to keep slaves inferior, and stay obedient. However, Louverture defied that status quo. In addition, Trouillot stated, “theories assuming chaos under black leadership continued even after Louverture and his closest lieutenants fully secured the military”(93). Even though Louverture accomplished many goals, and was able to build his support quickly, it was discredited because of the color of his skin. The Europeans rejected any sort of power a person of color could have, to keep the cycle of oppression. In addition, Europeans used stereotypes to justify their thoughts, and because the world was also racist, many people easily believed these lies of “chaos”.

    This ties into the idea of “silencing” the stories of the Haitian Revolution. If you pretend it does not exist, does it really exist? This was the thought process for the Europeans to neglect their successes and ensure these ideas do not spread throughout the world. Europeans wanted to keep their power, maintain the slave trade, and their influence. This ties into the idea that Black History is not shared transparently through all walks of life. We do not hear enough black narratives, and when we do we are surprised because it seems unusual. However, when we do see success amongst the black community we get inspired to be better. This spark of inspiration, is the opposite of what the white colonists and white extremists want which is why we saw the struggle then, and still see it to this day.

    1. I completely agree with Thalia.

      The Europeans can be very subtle when it comes to sustaining their colonial dominance. The permeation of Haiti’s revolutionary success would not only devastate the long-term investments that the colonizers had in other areas of the world, but it might also have led to several, sporadic uprisings by their downtrodden.

      The thought that an marginalized group could triumph over a well-established European nation, through physical combat for a higher purpose, is something that would have easily reverberated with all colonized people. The last thing that the Europeans wanted for Haiti, or any colonized people, is for them to understand their value and purpose. With value and purpose comes strategic sacrifice: if it were known that success can be achieved over their oppressors, there would have been so much unrest in the colonies. It was imperative for the Europeans to silence the stories as it served as its own form of propaganda and fuel for more revolutions.

      Another reason why the Europeans felt that it was important to silence the success of the Haitian revolution is because of their pride. The imperialists cannot take the shame of their defeat. Voodoo was blamed and other excuses were made just to maintain the narrative that they were incapable of being beat. The reality is Haiti represents a group of resilient and strong people that continue to overcome huge obstacles, as they are constantly being given the short end of the stick.

  3. Option 3

    The author plunge us into many unthinkable stories that happened during the revolution time. Among them, the victory of Toussaint Louverture and the Haitian independence. Many of the facts that happened show racism and rejection of freedom to African slaves. Haitian was strongly rejected to become independent because of a believe that slaves can’t handle a colony. For instance, “The new black elite had to be, willingly or not, the pawn of a “major” international power. Or else, the colony would fall apart and a legitimate international state would pick up the pieces.”(pp.93)
    Further, in England, “Political Register doubted that Toussaint would even oppose a resistance but by 1803, a complete victory by the former slaves and the creation of an independent state was still unthinkable in Europe and North America. (pp94) This proves that Europeans has underestimated the strategies of former slaves to come up with a plan that would acquire them victory and later independence, freedom which would get them out of the hand of the colonizers. On the other hand, the Haitian independence was very difficult to achieve under the forces of Napoleon, which took more than half a century of diplomatic struggles. It seems like the colonizer was not ready to abandon. Therefore, “France imposed a heavy indemnity on the Haitian State in order to formally acknowledge its own defeat.” The indemnity was an excuse for France to still be involved in Haiti’s affaire and rule them. It was a hypocritical move in order to trap the Haitian nation because France knew that Haiti could not afford such indemnity which delayed Haiti’s independence until further, in the second half of the nineteenth century.

    The occurrence of such stories, in this text, such as the revolution and Haiti’s independence, help us learn facts that took place and the long procedure that enable Haiti to get their legitimate independence. In a racist area, where African slaves were seen as slaves proves the relevancy of the title which point many facts that were unthinkable to the Europeans that the African slaves won’t dare doing. Those were that, African slaves wouldn’t resist, or build a revolution army because they are naturally obedient. But the gain of Toussaint’s Army and other facts made their assumptions false.

  4. Option three:

    International recognition for the Haitian Revolution and Independence was difficult to gain because the people in power feared a Domino-Effect. In other words, slaveholders were afraid that slaves all around the world would be inspired by the revolution of slaves in Haiti. They didn’t want rebellion in their colonies. To grant international recognition to Haiti would have been like a gift or celebration for their rebellion against slaveholders. That’s was why it was not that easy to gain. People in power could not show weakness; if so their empire would have vanished before expected.
    Also, as Trouillot claims, “scientific racism, a growing but debated strain of Enlightenment thought, gained a much wider audience” (95). One more reason to deny international recognition to Haiti was racism. The idea that Negros were scientifically inferior to Whites was strongly supported back then. How can a world rule by Whites give merits to a Black nation rule by former slaves? It was simply impossible to even think about it.
    The international recognition of Haiti “took more time and more re­sources, more than a half-century of diplomatic struggles. France imposed a heavy indemnity on the Haitian state in order to for­mally acknowledge its own defeat. The United States and the Vatican, notably, recognized Haitian independence only in the second half of the nineteenth century” (Trouillot 95). As a consequence of these sanctions, Haiti went from being the wealthiest French colony to one of the poorest countries in the world. It was the perfect punishment for rebellion. Nothing goes well when you go against the people in power.

    Rosa Tejada

    1. OPTION FOUR

      I would have to agree with you Rosa reading the passage you can see how much of the revolution they were trying to hide. They mentioned how ” Not only was the Revolution unthinkable and, therefore, unannounced in the West, it was also—to a large extent—unspoken
      among the slaves themselves” (88). This goes back to what you mentioned about fearing the domino-effect within this text it shows how even if the revolution where to happen it would remain unspoken even within the slave community. Further showing the power that this slave owners and trader had against the idea of a revolution. Which is why I also agree to the idea of making it hard to have a Haitian Revolution and allow the Haitian slaves to gain their independence.

    2. OPTION 4:

      That is a very powerful statement Rosa on how that was the perfect punishment for rebellion. From the perspective of a slave owner I would agree it is the best punishment because although they gained freedom, they lost it all. What does that mean for the rest of the colonies that managed to gain freedom a lot later? Did they loose or gain a sense of riches? I agree since news traveled a lot faster than what we imagined, spreading those type of stories would bring both frightening and inspirational. Fear would come from white supremacy loosing its value and realization that it was possible to overthrow those in charge without having the same resources. The idea of how mentally incompetent the slave owners saw them was definitely a reason to also want to hide their revolt. Restricting their rights of learning how to read or write almost challenges that idea for me. Perhaps it wasn’t the idea that they were naturally stupid but rather their attempt at suppressing their minds. An attack at the potential they saw in them. After all, they learned a lot from the slaves in regard to the land and how to adapt to living in those areas. What’s also very intriguing to me was how systematic racism has found its way to evolve in our society. So although we are “free” we are still being oppressed.

  5. When the news of the Haitian rebellion reached the West, specifically France, they rejected and question if the news was true. I believe they did so because this was the first time anyone has ever heard of a successful rebellion happening in which the slaves were able to overpower the white men. Before this, and even after, there was this common thought that white people were the most powerful with being “civilized” because they had things such as a government and structure that African people “did not have”. So for them, they couldn’t fathom how these barbarous people who did not even live in a structured environment, were able to overpower them. The reading also outlines this by stating on page 91, when outlining someone’s reasons as to why it had to be false which was delivered in a speech, states “… b) slaves could not conceive of rebellion on their own, and mulattoes and whites were not so insane as to incite them to full-scale violence;…”. They all had thought that the slaves must have gotten help from the mulattoes or the whites in order to achieve this because they are, by that time period thinking, not smart enough to do so.
    When Trouillot states that interested parties are engaging in a game of hide-and-seek with the news coming out from Saint Domingue he means that people would further deny that the event even happened. People would skirt around the truth by coming up with their own phenomenons as to how it occurred. One of my classmates, Thalia, said it best by stating that ” This ties into the idea of “silencing” the stories of the Haitian Revolution. If you pretend it does not exist, does it really exist?” By not acknowledging the uprising, the French, and the West, were able to silence a historic moment made by black people in order to erase and prevent others from knowing about it. They don’t want other slaves to get inspiration from a successful slave rebellion and potentially want to do one themselves. But also by playing a “game of hide-and-seek” it is erasing history, especially black history because then future generations aren’t able to hear positive stories about their ancestors, instead, we hear about the horrors of slavery.

    1. And even “the horrors of slavery” are usually presented in passing, if at all. There is also a tendency within History textbooks of framing slavery as benevolent.

    2. Hello Cineikwa,

      I enjoyed your analysis, the way you were able to summarize and phrase the issues makes it more understandable. I also agree with your opinion and standpoint on the situation at hand and really loved the way you connected to Thalia’s idea of “silencing” the stories of the Haitian Revolution. Black people have been subject to so much erasure of their history and “silencing” is just erasure at its core. I agree that the French were able to silence such a historic moment, but not forever, thanks to education their erasure won’t be a permanent thing. That’s the beauty of education and I’m referring to the education that cannot be taught in classrooms, the kind of teaching and knowledge that is passed down generations and through tales from grandparents and parents; it can’t be silenced.
      Though they may have silenced the Haitian Revolution for a brief period of time, here we are, the descendants of those that came before us, of those that rebelled and created the first Black state, of those that said enough; we are here to make sure that the story and the untold history is widely known and largely spread; so that the world knows the capabilities and what those in bondages did back in the 1790’s, to tell the untold.

      Thank you so much for your post!

  6. RESPONSE TO OPTION TWO:

    The public opinion in France rejected the new of the massive uprising simply because no one could phantom the thought of black slaves coming together in numbers to facilitate such a move that would change the way slaves were viewed. We are aware from previous reading that the slave owners and traders concocted and designed ways to have the slaves pit at one another so they will not have an attachment to any one. The strategies that were implement to avoid uprising, revolting and rebellion would change the entire discourse of what the Europeans have work so hard to suppress. It was a movement that would change the worldview. The interested parties like the vocal representative, colored plantation owners and the French assembly because they had the most to lose. It states in the text that “ the most common reaction among interested parties was disbelieve; the facts were unlikely; the news had to be false” (p. 90). In essence, if this were remotely true, the forces that be would have to acknowledge the reasons for the uprising. Acknowledge that the black slaves are human and they have the right to the same fruits and riches of the economy as the next man. That the slaves are apart of building the economy.

    I think that when Trouillot says “by interested parties engaging in a game of hide-and-seek with the news coming out from Saint Domingue”, he is referring to “how” and “who” is using the information for their benefit. By this information being circulated, it is and interference to those that would lose the most. It was hard to wrap their thinking around that fact that such a rebellion can be possible. The text states, “with every new threshold, the discourse accommodated some of the irrefutable data”(p. 92). I also think that Trouillot meant that by justifying the information and giving the reasons for the slaves revolt, it also was giving them time not address the issues of humanity and equality for blacks. They wanted to buy time to erase and forget the unthinkable of the Haitian Revolution.

  7. OPTION TWO:

    The public opinion in France rejected/doubted the news of the massive uprising because they didn’t think that it was possible for the slaves to get together, strategies, and revolt. As said in the reading, anyone who knew about the slaves “knew” that fifty thousand of them were not capable agreeing and getting together quickly and acting in concert. The slaves could also not form on their own and the mulattoes and whites were not crazy enough to incite them to full-scale violence. But even if the slaves did congregate in huge numbers, there were still superior French troops they had to face. The slaves were badly armed, undisciplined, and all they ever knew was fear while the French troops were all fearless. Those were the predominant opinions. I think what Trouillot means by interested parties engaged in a game of hide-and-seek with the news coming out from Saint Domingue was that some people supported that the rebellion was real, and others denied the possibility of it. “With every new threshold, the discourse accommodated some of the irrefutable data, questioned others, and provided reassuring explanations for the new package so created. By the spring of 1792, even the most distant observer could no longer deny the extent of the rebellion, the extraordinary number of slaves and plantations involved, the magnitude of the colonists’ material losses.”

  8. Since France saw the chances of uprising in St. Dominque as unthinkable, the news of the major rebellion was rejected when it happened. They couldn’t possibly fathom the fact that uneducated, illiterate, non-human and obedient creatures could come together, and organize a rebellion that requires a lot of strategic thinking. It had to be a false news. Further, when such news was confirmed to be true, there was a need to fabricate a different story, and to believe in conspiracy theories, anything but giving credit for it to the slaves. “Since blacks could not have generated such massive endeavor, the insurrection became an unfortunate repercussion of planter’s miscalculations” (91), or “it was due to outside agitators” or “… the unforeseen consequences of various conspiracy theories” (92). Even when the extent of the rebellion was too large to ever return to the previous state, Europeans believed the situation is temporary and it would return to order.
    By not acknowledging this, and as mentioned in the story playing hide-and-seek, Europeans were keeping this very major event from gaining power and from inspiring other colonies to do the same. This type of behavior is very common and used these days; withholding the information or keeping it to a small elite group, allows for more control.

  9. option 3

    The victorious write history, we have been told… But obviously that was not the case of the Haitian Revolution, yet it fought and was victorious the masters manipulated and wrote the narrative that eliminated the unthinkable as possible. An independent state risen and led by former slaves (considered barbarians without thought and determination as their white counterparts). The power of censorship, archival, and eurocentric ideology demonstrated that it was and still is a vestigial of what it was and must have been the power of the white “Man”. Because of the lack of Haitian revolutionary propaganda, the French and other European nations controlled the narrative of the most astounding endeavor of that era. Because it contradicted the premise that (white) Men were superior and the only being of philosophical thought and organization.
    The Unthinkable occured, it was a deliberate demonstration that men were equal and capable of self-determination and autonomy. The world powers deemed the actions and outcomes of the Haitian Revolution as a proxy war instigated by an equal rival a “Man” (white). The French with wealth and in collaboration with other great powers of the time, won the Haitian Revolution through denial of the events and a massive discrediting propaganda measure. The Haitian Revolution was coined as an insurgency or revolt, easily squashed; brigants at the helm. Political rhetoric trumped facts, the idea of degrees of humanity was so imbedded in the mindset (a subculture mentality) of Europeans, even amongst the great minds of Revolutionary philosophy, denied the Haitian Revolution it’s place and worth in the annals of great thought and events that shaped the world.

    It goes to show and say, the victorious does not always write history. The rich do and everyone else falls in line, because we deem them creditable.

  10. France rejected the news of the Haitian slave uprising because they could not come to terms with the possibility of organized unification amongst Africans who were demanding their freedom. The text “An Unthinkable History” listed three reasons why the French thought news of an uprising was “false”.

    First, the French thought it was “impossible for fifty thousand blacks to come together so quickly”.

    Second, they questioned the intelligence of the black slave with claims that blacks could never think of rebellion movements on their own. The French also believed that anyone else (white or mulatto) would not dare to plant that seed in the heads of black slaves.

    Third, the French felt confident in their military power. They believed that even in a slave rebellion they had the upper hand because they had firearms. These doubts gave the Haitian revolutionist somewhat of a leg up because this gave them time to expand without disruption. Yet, even as the movement grew, revolt efforts were attributed to the mismanagement of slaveowners because to the French, blacks were incapable of achieving progressiveness. Instead, credit was given to anything other than the possibility of a premeditated organized slave revolt. It seemed more sensible to consider “conspiracies connived by non-slaves” rather than a black slave revolt fueled by the hatred of the savagery of slave ownership and the slaves “natural desire for freedom”.

    African slaves were dehumanized to justify the conditions they were subjected to. Labeled as less than human oppressors saw their potential as physical slave laborers, but they never saw them as intelligent beings more than capable of an uprising.

  11. OPTION THREE
    Trouillot analyses how international recognition of the revolutionary victories of Toussaint Louverture and later on of the major achievement of Haitian independence was extremely difficult to gain. Explain why?

    The Haitian victory was not a victory that was welcomed nor accepted. It took years for countries to recognize Haiti as a debate country. People could not grasp the fact that slaves were able to band together and beat the French nonetheless that the slaves would be able to rule themselves. The massive uprising created a lot of disbelief in the reading it says, “ As the power of Louverture grew, every other party struggled to convince itself and its counterparts that the achievements of the black leadership would ultimately benefit someone else “(93). According to the reading “Theories assuming chaos under black leadership continued even after Louverture and his closest lieutenants fully secured the military, political, and civil apparatus of the colony”(93). It was hard to gain the victory because people could believe it. Although the physical battle had been won there was a mental battle that the rest of the world was still fighting. Louverture had to prove that they had not only won the fight but that they could rule themselves and be successful without the help of the french. The Franch and tried a reconquest. They were so sure of themselves that they sand victory without even fighting things the slaves in Haiti did not have what it takes to win again and Haiti proved to the rest of the world that they were wrong. The people in Haiti fought for their freedom and they intended to keep it. Haiti’s independence is a story like no other. There was a lot of doubt but the Haitian were strong mentally and physically.

  12. OPTION TWO:

    The public opinion in France (and even in Saint Domingue) rejected and/or doubted the news of the massive uprising because it was fathomable to them that the massive would be able to pool together in a manner that they could think of this uprising. According to the speech delivered to the French assembly “… the reasons why the news had to be false: a) anyone who knew the blacks had to realize that it was simply impossible for fifty thousand of them to get together so fast and act in concert; b) slaves could not conceive of rebellion on their own, and mulattoes and whites were not so insane as to incite them to full-scale violence; c) even if the slaves had rebelled in such huge numbers, the superior French troops would have defeated them. Brissot went on:
    What are 50,000 men, badly armed, undisciplined and used to fear when faced with 1,800 Frenchmen used to fearlessness? What! In 1751, Dupleix and a few hundred Frenchmen could break the siege of Pondichéri and beat a well-equipped army of 100,000 Indians, and M. de Blanchelande with French troops and cannons would fear a much inferior troop of blacks barely armed?” (Page 91)
    I believe that what Trouillot meant interested parties engaging in a game of hide-and-seek with the news coming out from Saint Domingue was how the broadcast was being presented. Is just like current times, the media present the news to the public in a manner that aides their agenda. This way people will use the information to their advantage of how they see fit.

  13. Public opinion in France and even in Saint Domingue (where this slave revolution was occurring) rejected and/or doubted the news of this revolt out of sheer disbelief that slaves 1) were capable of organizing such an uprising; 2) that slaves would not dare desire/seek freedom; and 3) if for some ungodly reason the slaves were able to accomplish numbers 1 and 2 herein, the planters, be they white or mulatto, regardless of residing in Saint Domingue or France, would have surely quashed any rebellion of any scale. The gall, the ignorance of planters – oh, and by calling them planters attempts to diminish, in my opinion, what they were: slave owners.

    Trouillot’s reference to “a game of hide-and-seek” underlines the planters’ state of flummox regarding the uprising – assigning certain information as true or false regardless of its validity, denial of the scale and scope of the uprising, and their misaligned desire/understanding that things would return to normal – year after year. Even though as the uprising continued year-over-year and more planters began to take it more seriously when Britain backed it, some still were slow to get in line with a clear understanding of what was happening and what a successful outcome for the slaves would mean for Saint Domingue.

  14. Option # 1

    When I tried to research history related to resistance of slavery. The search engine and history books would state questions such as; Why did the French finally decide to free the slaves on Saint Domingue? Or another example would be; Why did Abraham Lincoln decide to free the slaves? Even in modern times, western civilization cannot fathom the idea that the slaves freed themselves.

    The public opinion in France and in Saint Domingue rejected and doubted the news of the massive uprising because of the western ideology that slaves and blacks are not intelligent enough and capable to form a revolution especially by the thousands. However, the main reason that french rejected the uprising was because they were trying to hang on to their “pride” colonizers fought so hard to protect this ideology of being superior, believing the news was fake would essentially protect that ideology, if they believe that rebellion occurred it would have become true at least in their “world” and others slaves would eventually gather to rebel out West. For at least 13 years the truth was hidden and and when it was finally revealed because they couldn’t hide the truth anymore the colonizers would make statements such as; “the disaster was temporary, that everything would return to order(92)” and other false narratives to minimize the rebellion and feed the ideology that they were superior.

  15. Option One:
    Before the revolution took place, many opinions and philosophies about the rights of humanity were emerging. The word negro became a universal word to describe black men and they were also the second class people, working in the plantations. Emergence of many different religion formed the New West, especially the muslims. Before the Haitian revolution of slave resistance to the Europeans were like running away, poisoning, denial of work. The colonials also thought that Haitian slaves were tame and docile, they were not built for defiance, even nobody presumed the revolution. However, “claims about the fundamental human rights… Atlantic world and beyond”(89) were not received by the Europeans, the Haitian Revolution was about freedom of speech and freedom to express oneself. Freedom of expressions were not yet radicalised in the Europe, therefore it challenged their philosophies of colonialism and philosophies of the politics.

    1. Two clarifications:

      .When Trouillot is talking about the West, he is referring to the European empires of the time and the US.
      .The Haitian revolution was not “about freedom of speech” but about freedom from slavery and colonialism. It was a war against various European empires and their colonists.

  16. Option 1

    Reading this quote is talking about the hypocrisy that society suffers about. If we think about the Haitian revolution, there are so many reasons to see it as a great win for the slaves that were able to, for the first time, get freedom. However, it is understated or undervalued. Any of the knowledge that humans want to express about any of the categories that has been mentioned about uniqueness or racial categories not being relevant, all of these different aspects of human divisions are all able to be found in the Haitian revolution. The Haitian revolution on the other hand is not taught, not talked about, not given the importance nor the relevance that should have in the present nor in the time when it happened. If you want to talk about the uniqueness of humans, what could be more unique than a group of slaves taking a land and claiming it as their own for the sake of their freedom. If we think the ethical irrelevance of racial categories being the first free black nation on the new world; of geographical situation in the middle of the carribean sea, sharing an island with their ex masters. To think about the right of self determination, when the Haitian were criticised because their determination freed them. The author is saying that all this philosophicaal concept that were just talked about and studied as theoretical brain storming, was actually taking place during slavery in an small county in the carribean called Haiti.

  17. OPTION 3

    The Haitian Revolution was a slave revolt in the French colony of Saint-Domingue, which culminated in the elimination of slavery there and established the Republic of Haiti. It was the only slave revolt that led to the founding of a state and is generally considered the most successful slave rebellion ever to have occurred in the Americas.
    International recognition for the Haitian Revolution was difficult to gain because the people in power feared a Domino-Effect. In other words, slaveholders were afraid that slaves all around the world would be inspired by the revolution of slaves in Haiti that was led by Toussaint Louverture.
    granting international recognition to Haiti would be rewarding the slaves for their rebellion against their captivity. The outcome of the Haitian Revolution loomed large across societies that allowed enslavement in the Americas. The success of the revolt inspired similar uprisings. Plantation owners lived in fear that their societies would become “another Haiti.
    The newly independent Haiti was isolated by all the western powers. France would not recognize Haiti’s independence until 1825, and the U.S. did not establish diplomatic relations with the island until 1862. What had been the wealthiest colony in the Americas became one of the poorest and least developed.

  18. The revolutionary acts of rebellion led by the blacks of Saint Dominique were not given recognition because many people did not believe the slaves were capable of committing such acts and being successful. The European colonists and plantation owners believed that any revolt by the slaves would be shut down by the French army. To those in power, the revolution was the “unthinkable.” They did not believe that blacks could get together in uprisings, that they were incompetent, especially since the majority could not read or write. The politicians, and people of influence in mainland France, did not speak on or acknowledge the movement. Possibly because they did not want to shed light on how far the efforts of the blacks had gotten. News of Louverture’s success could invoke slave rebellions in colonies all over the Western Hemishphere.

    According to Trouillot, the recognitions were difficult to gain due to disbelief that under the leadership of blacks, they were able to gain many victories. They speculated that other international powers played a role. Some even believed that the idea of a state ran by black slaves would be impossible. Later, there was also silence from politicians, scholars, and especially within the literature that came forth during this time. The U.S and France refused to give recognition to the newly formed Republic of Haiti, as they felt it gave a terrible example to other slaves.

Comments are closed.