Abstract and Keywords
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.
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