World History
























Toussaint Louverture led the first successful slave revolt in the Americas.

One of France’s richest colonies was Haiti in the West Indies. Its wealth was based on a brutal slave economy. Slaves in the Americas often resisted their masters by running away or fighting back. In Haiti, slaves succeeded in taking over a country. When the turmoil of the French Revolution spilled over to Haiti, slaves used the opportunity to revolt. Under the leadership of Toussaint Louverture, slaves took control in Haiti, defeated an invasion force sent by Britain, and freed all slaves on the island.

Haiti = a country in the West Indies, on the western third of the island of Hispaniola, which it shares with the Dominican Republic. Its capital city is Port-au-Prince.

Toussaint Louverture = the leader of the Haitian Revolution of 1791.

When Louverture heard that France planned to return and reinstate slavery, he wrote, “Do they think that men who have been able to enjoy the blessing of liberty will calmly see it snatched away?” In 1802, Napoleon sent a large army to Haiti to restore French control and slavery. Louverture was captured and died in a French prison. Soon, however, the French were defeated by a combination of yellow fever and Haitian rebel fighters. Haiti became the second nation in the Americas, after the U.S., to gain independence. Haiti’s slave revolt worried slave owners, but it was a symbol of hope to blacks.