Latin America: An Institutional and Cultural Survey

Asynchronous Blog Post on Egalité For All: Toussaint Louverture and the Haitian Revolution

“The revolution had begun when various elements of the colony’s free population […] took up arms against each other and went to war. The resulting turmoil and disorder, and the breakdown of coercive controls on the island’s sugar plantations, gave the slaves […] the opportunity to rise up and go to war on their own behalf […] the lessons  to be drawn from Haiti were obvious: wherever large populations of nonwhites lived under conditions of forced labor, political revolution could all too easily become social revolution.” (Page 54)

-George Reid Andrews, “An Exterminating Bolt of Lightning: The Wars for Freedom”

Asynchronous Online Assignment


1. Watch the documentary Egalité for All: Toussaint Louverture and the Haitian Revolution

2. Pick ONE of the following options and respond in the comment section down below or via email (meme). The deadline is 9/30 before the class.


In which way the violence against French colonists and enslavers in the early and last stages of the revolution was a response to the conditions of slavery in the plantations and to colonial rule? (Suggested minutes: 15:20-23:23; 47:02-52:00)


Discuss the major role of Toussaint Louverture in the revolution (Suggested minutes: 9:20-11:08; 20:42-22:30; 23:26-29:00; 31:15-33:20; 36:15-41:15)


Create a meme on one of the aspects you learned about the Haitian Revolution (please, send it by email). Add a short explanation to your piece and make reference to direct scenes or sequences from the documentary.


Respectfully interact with ONE of your classmates’ responses or artwork. Do you agree with their arguments and interpretations? Do you disagree? What other observations about Egalité for All do you want to bring into the discussion?


Memes on the Haitian Revolution  

(Fall 2021)

by Laura Portillo Carrillo

The meme I created is based on the events that commenced the ​​Haitian revolution. At minute 18:42 of the documentary, the experts break down the start of the revolution by explaining that ​​Haitians chose to fight using the same violence they had endured all these years. That night, slaves burned sugar plantations, burning the system that prospered off the blood, sweat, and tears of thousands of slaves. This destruction was a turning point in history and showed the world they wanted independence and would do anything for it. I knew I wanted to create a meme, so when I watched this scene, I thought that this picture somewhat captured the essence of how enslaved people may have felt when they chose to take control and fight for independence.

by Tony Shu

My meme portrays the reaction of the Haitian rebels when Toussaint Louverture wants them to return to work in the sugar cane fields. In the documentary Egalité for All: Toussaint Louverture and the Haitian Revolution, at minute 42:22, it is described how Napoleon’s coup d’tat is worrying for Toussaint due to the possibility of Napoleon reinstating slavery in French colonies. As a result, Toussaint wants to quickly build Saint-Domingue’s economy through the trade of sugar and establish peace. The Haitians express discontent with returning to the work they did under slavery, but Toussaint stands firm with his decision and forces them to go back to the sugar cane fields (43:19). This situation was dire and Toussaint Louverture made a tough decision that was not exactly a return to slavery but was unpopular with former slaves.

by Diara Dominguez

At the start of the revolution, Toussaint came to lead the freed slaves and gave them a purpose. They wanted to kill the white prisoners to send a message but Toussaint knew that trying to negotiate with the white men might yield a better outcome, one where many people wouldn’t have to die. Unfortunately, the white men victimized themselves and refused to “forgive” the people who have revolted. They ignored Toussaint’s wished for negotiations and decided to fight even though they were outnumbered.

by Ramschel Gonzalez Pinon

In this meme, I’m referring to minute 42:40 in the film when Toussaint forces his black followers to go back to the canes and plantation fields to rebuild their economy. at the beginning of the documentary its mentioned how Haiti is the richest country in the western hemisphere due to slavery. the hard labor they had to go through was the reason Haiti was doing well economically during the time. But because of the revolution, they had burnt down canes and plantations, and within a few years, Haiti began to decrease economically. Toussaint did a reasonable thing and forced his followers back into these canes and plantations to rebuild their economy. They (his followers) didn’t like the idea of this, no one would want to return to that kind of work, they thought of it as slavery. As a leader, Toussaint had to have realized his limits and taken actions or they would have had suffered the consequences of their actions.

by Fedir Usmanov

By this meme, I refer to the events that are being described after the 19th minute in the documentary movie, when the Haitian Revolution began led and inspired by Toussaint Louverture. Haitians were treating whites the same way they treated them when Haitians were slaves. The revolutionists burned down plantations and killed their ex-slave owners. These events showed the whole world that Haitians are ready to fight for their freedom and independence, so the rest of the slave owners had to escape the island in order to survive.

(Fall 2020)

by Derrick Tsang (LTS 1003 DWA)

by Delange Pierre (LTS 1003 DWA)

by Nicolas Altman (LTS 1003 DWA)

by Christian Nunez (LTS 1003 DWA)

by Alyssa Ramsaran (LTS 1003 DWA)

by Jessica Geyer (LTS 1003 DWA)

by Mia Tosic (LTS 1003 DWA)

by Simon De los Santos (LTS 1003 DWA)

by Alegna Gomez (LTS 1003 MFA)

by Danlu Ding (LTS 1003 MFA)

by Jin Lu (LTS 1003 MFA)

by Judy Ng (LTS 1003 MFA)

by Jason Chen (LTS 1003 MFA)

by Nathaly Angamarca (LTS 1003 MFA)

by Brian Macas (LTS 1003 MFA)

by Jenniffer Mora Barbecho (LTS 1003 MFA)

by Navin Daneshwar (LTS 1003 MFA)

by Ethan Luna (LTS 1003 MFA)

25 thoughts on “Asynchronous Blog Post on Egalité For All: Toussaint Louverture and the Haitian Revolution”

  1. Option 1: in which way the violence against French colonists and enslavers in the early and last stages of the revolution was a response to the conditions of slavery in the plantations and to colonial rule?
    In the early stages of the revolution, the slaves rebelled because the french plantation owners had refused to listen to the decree by the national assembly. So the slave’s rebel wanting their independence so in the middle of the night slaves rebel and attempt to kill their master. This revolt ended up spreading as the violence scaled up. They burned down the rich plantation in an attempt to rid the system that chains them. In the end, it had become very bloody that it became a genocide. In the later part of the revolution, the reason for the rebellion was due to the french trying to oppress Haiti as Napolean had attempted to reinstate slavery again in the colony and Toussaint louverture had refused so Napolean had sent a fleet to them. This Revolt had lasted for three months and in the end, the people saw how Toussaint’s leadership skills people were not impressed and offered not a lot of support and so he surrendered. but at this moment Napolean had reinstated slavery in a nearby colony this scared the population of Haiti and so they rebelled against Europeans again. The slaves employed the scorch earth tactic and eventually won as it drove out the french out of the colony.

  2. Option Two:

    Toussaint Louverture was more privileged than other slaves because he was the coach of the other slaves and had better connections with the masters. When the slaves started to rebel and kill their masters, Louverture went back to the plantation that he grew up on and defended the white masters. He has experienced both the perspective of a white master as well as a slave. He decided to take a big risk and headed to the mountains to help the rebels. Since Louverture was pretty much the only slave that was literate, he was asked a favor. He wrote a settlement offer that asked for better working conditions for slaves on plantations in order to free the 200 slave leaders. He also stated that rebel slaves would be back on plantations. The settlement failed. Louverture quickly grew vast amounts of respect from the rebels. Even though he was a rebel leader, he still didn’t want to kill the slave owners. Louverture compromised a deal with Spanish garrisons that allowed the slave army to acquire guns and ammunition. He had many successful battles against the Spanish army and soon the British army as well. Toussaint’s numbers of victories against white armies quickly spread throughout Europe. He soon became governor of Saint Domingue.

    1. OPTION 4:
      I agree with this interpretation of Louverture especially just because of how rare you made him seem. Not many people during that time could say they were once a slave and still try to help the rest who are still stuck under the rule of the Spanish masters. Unlike many others he was taught to read and write. On top of all that he was just an ambitious character who did something many other freed slaves wouldn’t do. He basically gave up his freedom to stand up for his people. This happened to be the best decision he made because he won many battles against their oppressors, spreading word about Louverture through out the cities. Although trying peaceful ways of handling situations like giving requests for better working conditions, and getting denied, he still managed to keep his head up and not giving up. The drastic change in lifestyles Louverture had conveyed that you he didn’t need struggle to help make a change. So much that becoming Governor of Saint Domingue was just a stepping stone for him to do more good.

    In the beginning stages of the revolution, violence was the response towards enslavers and the conditions of slavery. On August 22 of 1791, slaves fought back. One thousand slaves agreed to attack their masters to gain their independence and end the torture the masters caused. A powerful quote used in the documentary “Toussaint Louverture and the Haitian Revolution (2009)” is “For them to be free, they have to have the same amount of violence that you exerted on them” (19:07). This violence was a reflection of what slaves had gone through for years and years. The violence was a response to the conditions of slavery because slaves specifically targeted systems that they fell victims to. These places held slaves where they were overworked and tortured. They dismantled the system by burning cane fields and refineries. In a matter of three days, they were able to destroy 184 sugar plantations and 1000 coffee farms.

    Towards the last stages of the revolution, former slaves responded with violence once again. Napoleon reinstated slavery, and former slaves were not going to accept that. They fought back with violence. Former slaves fought in the field against the French and began killing them. Around 50, 000 French soldiers died. They also began to burn towns and land where the French resided. They burned the land to force the French to leave and it worked. Once the French left, Haiti became the first black republic.

  4. Option 2:
    Toussaint Louverture is significant in the revolution because he is very intelligent, ambitious, and is born lucky. Even though he was born a slave, he has somewhat more power than the other slaves and has good relationships with his managers and even his own master. However, after the slaves started to rebel against the white, Louverture did not hesitate to stand on his own people’s side and left his “freedom” behind. Because the rebels are greatly outnumbered, Louverture decided to create a settlement that requires better working conditions for the workers, but he was rejected. This is when the war started. Louverture became the highest in rank in the rebels, and he lead many successful battles against the Spanish and British armies.


    Toussaint Louverture’s role in the revolution was important because even though he was born as a slave, he was very ambitious and had the wits. He was taught from a young age to read and write, and had a very privileged role, also having a very good relationship with his white masters. He was figuratively torn between both worlds as tensions rose in the later years, between the plantation owners and the slaves, but he chose to return to the plantation he grew up on, and helped his former masters escape the fray.

    Eventually, Louverture could not wait anymore, and despite losing his own freedom, he used his talents to aid the rebel leaders. He wrote a proposal that offered to send most of the rebels back to their plantations in exchange for the freedom of 200 slave leaders and better conditions. However, his proposal was rejected, and the result of that was Louverture slowly climbing up the ranks, and leading multiple battles against the French and having multiple victories.

  6. Option 2
    Toussaint Louverture played a very important and major role in the revolution. Toussaint Louverture is a slave, but he is different from other slaves. Toussaint Louverture was a brave, intelligent and loyal slave. He knows how to read and write. And Toussaint Louverture maintained a good relationship with his masters. One day, the relationship of slaves and plantation owners was no longer sustainable, the struggle between the slaves and the planters began. All the slaves decided to start rebelling against their masters in exchange for their freedom, but Toussaint did not. Toussaint did not choose to betray, he chose to protect his master. Although Toussaint Louverture initially helped the whites, he also understood the desire of the slaves, so he later helped the rebels. Because Toussaint knew how to write, he wrote a letter demanding that the slaves be returned to the plantation, but that better working conditions be provided for them as a condition. Regrettably, his request was turned down. Although his plan did not succeed, but he won the approval of the rebels. His talent and wisdom were recognized by the rebels so he became their leader. He went on to lead many wars against France And won many wars.

  7. Option Two:
    Although Toussaint Louverture was born a slave, he had a free soul. He was privileged because he was taught to read and write, respect, and grow relations with masters and owned a few plantations. When the revolution began, he protected his masters from the conflict because he did not wish for them to be in danger or get caught up in the rebellion. Later, he started understanding the rebels’ perspective on wanting freedom. He decided to go to the mountains to help the rebel slaves. He helped the rebels negotiate rather than surrendering. They asked him to write a settlement offer in exchange for the freedom of 200 slave leaders and better working conditions on plantations. He became the sole leader of the rebels in less than 2 years of joining the rebellion, representing them in negotiations and making decisions for everyone’s best interest. He argued against the killing of white prisoners because of good will; he understood the value of humanity. He encouraged the rebels’ spirits, announced his commitment to them and made sure his leadership would not let them down. He went on to lead many battles against the French and his victories spread throughout Europe. Because of his brave leadership, he became the governor of Saint Domingue, with many supporting him.

  8. Option 2:

    Toussaint L’ouverture was a smart, determined and creative person who was taught how to read and write as a child. He was also a well-organized man who had businesses, contacts, and could handle his affairs very well. These skills that Toussaint L’ouverture developed would help him become a great leader in the future. When the insurrection started and violence struck out, L’ouverture returned to the plantation he was born on to protect his former owner. Since L’ouverture understood the importance of humanity, he wanted to ensure that his former owner did not get hurt. However, he later took a major risk and decided to help the rebels. L’ouverture’s literacy skills and intelligence separated him apart from the other slaves, he read about European culture and France’s most radical thinkers which helped him understand that a revolutionary leader(which would later on be him) would emerge. L’ouverture was asked to write a settlement negotiating for better working conditions in exchange for the freedom of 200 slave leaders. Although his offer was refused, he later rose to the top of the rebel army and earned the respect of his followers. L’ouverture wrote a letter that announced his commitment to fight for emancipation and that helped him gain many new followers. He was an extremely successful leader who was able to use his forces to capture three cities within eight months.

  9. Toussaint Louverture played a major role in the Haitian revolution. He originally came from a place of power because despite being a slave he actually had a positive relationship with his master and was a coachman of the other slaves in the plantation he was in. Furthermore, he was very determined and considered to be a genius who had the spirit of a free man even if he was born a slave. After 1791 Toussaint Louverture decided he couldn’t stand on the sidelines even if he had a lot at stake to lose such as his wife and children and even his freedom. However, despite all this he went out anyway to help the rebels out as he knew it wouldn’t be right if he didn’t get involved in some way. Toussaint Louverture had made a name for herself in the rebel army and after two years quickly rose through the ranks and made it to the top of the army. He also wrote an open letter to the disenfranchised saying that if they wanted freedom he was going to be the one to get it for them. He later on had many battles against the French and also had multiple victories throughout the war and would make a name for himself to be remembered throughout history.

  10. option 2:
    Toussaint Louverture is an extremely important person in Haitain history. He was favored by slave owners because of his literacy and organization skills. Toussaint decided to join his white counterparts to defend them against the rebels violent revolutions against all plantation owners. After a couple of days and the rebellion has calmed down some, Toussaint began to view the perspective of the slaves, he understood they needed something better for them, something humane, and where both parts have an equal respect to eachother. he then starts to work with the rebels to write up an agreement that would help the rebels gain better working condition in exchange for the freedom of 200 slave leaders.This offer was refused but he still decided to help fight for the freedom of all. as he continued to work with the rebels he was able to grow his following to fight for what he knows these people deserved. He fought wars with the french which the news spread throughout Europe.he succesfully freed the people and became the first governor on Saint Dominigue.

  11. Option 2 :
    Toussaint Louverture was born a slave but he had the mentality of someone with freedom. He was born into a plantation in which he had the privilege to learn how to read and write as well as being able to see things differently than other people. With time, slaves began to rebel against the white people. Toussaint Louverture did, in fact, save his old master in his plantation but in the end, he chose the slaves’ side since he understood them more. Using his ability to read and write, he tried to compromise with the whites but was automatically turned down. A war obviously waged right after all of this, and Toussaint Louverture became a high-ranking general who took charge of many victories they had. This was shocking because he was the first non-white General to have accomplished such victories.


    In the early and last stages of the revolution, slaves’ response to the human economic exchange was brutal. In 1485 Hati became one of the most riches countries due to their product, sugar cane. One individual quickly notices a shift of routine and that individual is Toussaint Louverture. Toussaint Louverture was born a slave but he obtain his freedom from the impact he made. He had several businesses, had relationships with several important people, etc. Toussaint Louverture was the voice of the people because he understood the violent treatment his people were under but also wanted to team up with the opposing side to build a relationship. He was more than a former slave, he was an advocate for the people. Toussaint Louverture was a symbol of rebellion because he was one of the first leaders to strike an attack. He gathered 3 to 4,000 people to train the battlefield, when he was killed the spirit of a revolution lived on. Slaves burn down plantations, use Vodo to feel their ancestors’ presence etc. Toussaint Louverture was an example of justice that motivated important to fight.

  13. Option Two

    Toussaint Louverture made an important role for himself as a slave. However, he was ambitious, determined, and some might even say he was a genius. He was taught to read and write on the plantation he was born and raised on. This gave him more of a leverage than other slaves that did not have any talents or knew how to read or write. Louverture’s character made him gain important roles on the plantation up to the point he gained a relationship with the managers and masters of the plantation. This helped him gain trust and the ability to have a free soul as a slave, he saw posabilities others did not and went for them. Toussaint Louverture was so determined and organized he was not part of the “slave class” but considered plantation owner. Based on the clip I saw how his strong character helped him gain respect and the confidence to write letters to gain alliances but to also try to make an agreement before choosing violences. His commitment was so strong we dropped everything he had going on in the plantation and left for the mountains even though he knew it was risky. Louverture wanted peace and equality and was willing to be head leader of a new revolution.

  14. Option 2: Discuss the major role of Toussaint Louverture in the revolution (Suggested minutes: 9:20-11:08; 20:42-22:30; 23:26-29:00; 31:15-33:20; 36:15-41:15)

    Toussaint Louverture, an iconic figure within history who had his life imprinted on many figures in his coming future. Born into slavery, Louverture was sold as a slave on the island of Haiti during French rule. However as demonstrated in the film, his sole intellect was different then his fellow slaves and he possessed the rare bravery to show his resolve. Louverture demonstrated that he was the key to freedom amongst the slaves as he had a privileged intellect while also possessing the desire for freedom amongst slaves because of his backgrounds. As a man who seeked no violence but rather negotiation, Louverture demonstrated that he, unlike his opposition, was an advocate for equality and that human lives are all of the same value and no less. Despite his requests however, it was ultimately turned down and because of this, Louverture had seeked the approval of the slave rebels to be there general, in which was received with gratitude. As the Haitian revolution began, Louverture demonstrated his vast knowledge and abilities to handle the battlefields, showing his capabilities as the lead force in the rebel army. Through a series of successful conflicts, Louverture was able to win his people the freedom that was once a dream to them.

  15. Toussaint Louverture is a very important person in this revolution, because although he was also a slave, he learned to read and write since childhood, so his status is very high, although he has a good relationship with his white masters, but when the revolution began Later, he learned about the slaves’ ideas and decided to help them. He wrote a proposal to exchange the freedom of 200 slave owners for a better working environment for the slaves, but in the end he was rejected. Later he became a rebel The leader of, he negotiated for them to gain a lot of benefits, he opposed the killing of slave owners. In the end he led many battles against the French and won many battles, his victory spread throughout Europe, and later he became Governor of Sain Domingue

  16. OPTION 4
    I agree with Danlu Ding (LTS 1003 MFA) meme. I also enjoy the Jojo reference! I agree because It demonstrates how the French would talk about people having rights however when it came to black people they were not included and as a result they were treated as less than human and were considered slaves and forced to work on plantations for white owners.

  17. option 1-

    The violence against the French colonists and enslavers was a response to the mental stress that the French have put onto the enslaved people, the enslaved people wanted to break free from the “chains” that have been holding them back from feeling liberated. A rebellion against the French colonists was the only solution to retrieving the mental wellbeing of the enslaved who have been suffering from being forced to keep up a main part of the economy, sugar plantations. Sugar plantations were full of ants that bite, the sugar cane itself was hard to cut through, the beaming sun of what is now called Haiti would constantly be on the enslaved. Sugar plantations of course ended up being one of the first targeted places by the enslaved to burn down during the beginning of the rebellion, due to the immense inhumane conditions that they were put through.

  18. The violence against french colonists and enslavers took place as a result of pent up anger surrounding the treatment and working conditions under colonial rule. Towards the beginning of the revolution in 1791, a thousand slaves came together and attacked their masters in an attempt to free themselves. Up until this point, slaves had been overworked, beaten, and demeaned. These slaves believed that “For them to be free, they have to have the same amount of violence that you exerted on them,” so they fought back. By burning the plantations that they had worked on, they rejected their enslavement, and demanded freedom. Despite their efforts, Napoleon refused to end slavery, which caused the slaves to attack again. This time, the slaves killed the French who tried to fight back, and burned their homes and land, which caused the French to leave Haiti.

  19. Toussaint Louverture was born a slave was a determined man who had many goals. He was born on a plantation and was taught how to read and write from when he was little. He was a coach on the plantation and becomes free later on and he had many different roles in society. He had many businesses and contacts in America and he organized many things. He was the leader in all of this. Toussaint was a hero for many of e slaves because he negotiated many things in order for them to be free. His role was to be an advocate for freedom.

  20. Option Two: Discuss the major role of Toussaint Louverture in the revolution.

    Toussaint Louverture life growing up in slavery was better than most as his slave owners were kinder. That allowed him to be able to read and write making him more privileged than other slaves. However despite that he didn’t agree with the treatment of black people and decided to fight for freedom even if his life was better off. After the initial rebellion, Toussaint Louverture wrote a settlement agreement that rebels go back to their plantations in exchange for better working conditions but the white people wanted revenge and ignored his plea. Countries like France, Britain, Spain and the US wanted Saint Domingues resources and wanted to put an end to the rebellion of those enslaved. Napoleon Bonaparte wanted to stop Toussaint Louverture with fears of Saint Domingue rebellion may lead to further black rebellions worldwide. Throughout this he rose to the top in the rebel army and wrote a letter stating “I have undertaken vengeance. I want liberty and equality to reign in Saint Domingue.” (31:44-32:00). Toussaint Louverture role was fighting for freedom, establishing Saint Doomingue as its own nation free from outsider control, wrote a constitution, the first in history, that prohibited discrimination against skin color. Toussaint Louverture made Saint Domingue the first place where people insisted on human rights for all and became the world’s first black republic.

  21. In response to the colonizer’s abuse and violence towards the Africans that were enslaved, the Africans decided to revolt. The conditions on the plantation were terrible, they had to work in the heat all day and get bitten by ants; if they ever decided to stop working they were punished horribly. More than beatings and lashes they were left from trees hanging and left to die. The torture on the plantations was too much so the Africans decided that the one way to be free was a brutal uprising against the masters. They were successful during the early stage. During the late stage, Toussaint wrote a constitution in response to Napoleon wanting to reinstate slavery. Toussaint banned slavery to ever happen again in Haiti.

  22. Option 2:
    In the video it was explained that Toussaint Louverture played an extremely revolutionary role in the Haitian revolution. A little back story about him is he was a former slave who had a good connection with his master and was a type of leader to other slaves in the plantation field. People viewed him differently as he didn’t act depressed or thought of himself as lower than the masters cause he was very smart and was considered to be a “free man” even though he is a slave. Even though he had a good relationship with his master he decided to rebel and couldn’t witness standing any longer being neutral while seeing all the chaos happening even if it meant risking his loved ones. He quickly went up in the ranks in the army till he was the top ranked officer of the army. He didn’t get top rank for nothing as he fought in many battles and wars against the French army’s and won all of them which stamped his greatness in history helping in the Haitian revolution to gain back the freedom they deserved and to gain equalities and rights for everyone.

  23. Option 1:
    At the beginning of the revolution there was a petition for mixed race residents to be equal asking the government for citizenship. However the island’s colonists killed many mixed raced residents in the capital to intimidate them. Slaves from different plantations came together to perform a voodoo ceremony in which it created the start of the revolt. From then on many slaves turned against their masters waiting in the night to attack their masters. About 1,000-20,000 newly liberated slaves burned down cane fields and refineries to destroy the system. 184 sugar plantations and 1,000 coffee farms. Napoleon wanted to have control over Haiti and wanted slavery to re-establish slavery again. Napoleon sent a force to the harbor of Saint-Domingue to gain control again. However the people of Haiti would not let that happen again and with the aid of the British the rebels were victorious and the colonial authorities surrendered.

  24. I agree with the meme made by Laura Portillo Carrillo because it can vividly represent the type of damage Toussaint Louverture was able to do to liberate his people from their slave masters, essentially destroying the plantation owner’s reason for exploiting their people and destroying any profit they could have made.

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