1791–1804 slave revolt in the French colony of Saint-Domingue
Part of the Atlantic Revolutions, French Revolutionary Wars, and Napoleonic Wars
21 August 1791 – 1 January 1804 (12 years, 4 months, 1 week and 4 days)
French colonial government expelled
Massacre of the French
Independent Empire of Haiti established
St. Dominican Rebels
Spain (from 1793)
St. Dominican Royalists
Kingdom of France (until 1792)
Spain (until 1795)
St. Dominican Royalists
Commanders and leaders
Dutty Boukman †
Viscount de Blanchelande
Charles Leclerc †
Vicomte de Rochambeau
Villaret de Joyeuse
Regular army: 55,000
Volunteers: 100,000+
Regular French army: 60,000
86 warships and frigates
Casualties and losses
Haitians: 200,000 dead
France: 75,000 dead
White colonists: 25,000
British: 45,000 dead
War of Knives
French Revolutionary Wars
War of the First Coalition
War in the Vendée
East Indies theatre
United Irishmen Rebellion
War of the Second Coalition
Part of a series on the
History of Haiti
Pre-Columbian Haiti (before 1492)
Captaincy General of Santo Domingo (1492–1625)
First Empire of Haiti (1804–1806)
1804 Haiti massacre
Siege of Santo Domingo
North Haiti (1806–1820)
State of Haiti
Kingdom of Haiti
South Haiti (1806–1820)
First Republic of Haiti
Republic of Haiti (1820–1849)
Unification of Hispaniola
Second Empire of Haiti (1849–1859)
Republic of Haiti (1859–1957)
United States occupation of Haiti
Duvalier dynasty (1957–1986)
Anti-Duvalier protest movement
Republic of Haiti (1986–present)
1991 Haitian coup d'état
Operation Uphold Democracy
2004 Haitian coup d'état
2010 Haiti earthquake
United Nations Stabilisation Mission in Haiti
Assassination of Jovenel Moïse
2021 Haiti earthquake
List of revolutions and coups d'état
Part of a series on
2018–2020 Arab protests
The Haitian Revolution (French: révolution haïtienne French pronunciation: [ʁevɔlysjɔ̃ a.i.sjɛn]; Haitian Creole: revolisyon ayisyen) was a successful insurrection by self-liberated slaves against French colonial rule in Saint-Domingue, now the sovereign state of Haiti. The revolt began on 22 August 1791, and ended in 1804 with the former colony's independence. It involved black, biracial, French, Spanish, British, and Polish participants—with the ex-slave Toussaint Louverture emerging as Haiti's most prominent general. The revolution was the only slave uprising that led to the founding of a state which was both free from slavery (though not from forced labour) and ruled by non-whites and former captives. It is now widely seen as a defining moment in the history of the Atlantic World.
Haiti at the beginning of the Haitian revolution in 1791.
The revolution's effects on the institution of slavery were felt throughout the Americas. The end of French rule and the abolition of slavery in the former colony was followed by a successful defense of the freedoms the former slaves won and, with the collaboration of already free people of color, their independence from white Europeans. The revolution represented the largest slave uprising since Spartacus' unsuccessful revolt against the Roman Republic nearly 1,900 years earlier, and challenged long-held European beliefs about alleged black inferiority and about slaves' ability to achieve and maintain their own freedom. The rebels' organizational capacity and tenacity under pressure inspired stories that shocked and frightened slave owners in the hemisphere.
^Madiou, Thomas (1848). Histoire d'Haiti Volume 3 of Histoire d'Haïti . J. Courtois. p. 313.
^ abcdScheina. Latin America's Wars. Potomac Books. p. 1772.
^Adam Hochschild (2005). Bury the Chains. Houghton Mifflin. p. 257.
^Ghachem, Malick W.; Danforth, Susan. "The Other Revolution". John Carter Brown Library. Brown University. Retrieved 11 March 2022.
^Franklin W. Knight (February 2000). "The Haitian Revolution". The American Historical Review. 105 (1): 103–15. doi:10.2307/2652438. JSTOR 2652438.
^"Why Haiti should be at the centre of the Age of Revolution – Laurent Dubois". Aeon Essays. Retrieved 4 September 2019.
^Joseph, Celucien L. (2012). "'The Haitian Turn': An Appraisal of Recent Literary and Historiographical Works on the Haitian Revolution". Journal of Pan African Studies. 5 (6): 37–55.
^Taber, Robert D. (2015). "Navigating Haiti's History: Saint-Domingue and the Haitian Revolution". History Compass. 13 (5): 235–50. doi:10.1111/hic3.12233.
^Bongie, Chris (2008). Friends and Enemies: The Scribal Politics of Post/colonial Literature. Liverpool, UK: Liverpool University Press. p. 45. ISBN 978-1846311420.
^Curtis Comstock, Sandra (2012). Incorporating Comparisons in the Rift: Making Use of Cross-Place Events and Histories in Moments of World Historical Change, a chapter in Anna Amelina, Beyond methodological nationalism: research methodologies for cross-border studies. Taylor and Francis. pp. 183–85. ISBN 978-0-415-89962-8.
^Vulliamy, Ed, ed. (28 August 2010). "The 10 best revolutionaries". The Guardian. Retrieved 15 December 2015.
^Philip James Kaisary (2008). The Literary Impact of the Haitian Revolution, PhD dissertation. University of Warwick. pp. 8–10.
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