Monday, June 22, 2009

Haiti, Colonial Era

Treaty of Ryswick and slave colony
French and Spain settled hostilities on the island by the treaty of Ryswick 0f 1897, which divided Hispaniola between them. France received the western third and subsequently named it Saint Domingue. Many French colonist soon arrived and established plantations in Saint- Dominigue
due to high profit potential. From 1713 to 1787, approximately 30,000 colonists, emigrated from Bordeaux,France to the wetern part of the island. By about 1790, Saint-Domingue had greatly overshadowed its eastern counterpart in terms of wealth and population. It quickly became the richest, French colony in the New World due to the immense profits from the sugar, coffee and indigo industies. The labor and knowledge of thousands of enslaved Africans made it possible, who brought skills and technology for indigo production to the island. The French-enacted Code-Noir (Black Code), prepared by Colbert and ratified by Louis VI, established rigid rules on slave treatment and permissible freedom. It had been described as one of the most brutally efficient slave colonies there ever was - a third of new arrivals died within a few years.
The Haitian Revolution

Jean jacques Dessalines of the Haitian Revolution and the first ruler of an independent Haiti.
The French Revolution contributed to social upheavals in Saint- Domingue, starting on the northern plans in 1791. In 1792 the French government sent three commissioners with troops to try to reestablish control. They began to build an alliance with gens de couleur, who were looking for their rights. In 1793, France and Great Britain went to war , and British troops invaded Saint-Domingue. The execution of Louis XVI heightened tensions in the colony. To build an alliance with the gens de couleur and slaves, the French commissioners Southonax an polverel abolished slavery in the colony. Six months later, the national convention endorsed abolition and extended it to all of the French colonies.
Toussaint L'Ouverture, a former slave and leader in the slave revolt who rose in importance as a military commander becauseof his many skills, achieved peace in Saint-Domingue after year of war against both external invaders and internal dissension. He had established a disciplined, flexible army and drove out both the Spaniards and the British invaders who threatened the colony. he restored stability and prosperity by daring measures, including inviting the return of planters and insisting that freed men work on plantations to renew revenues for the island . He also renewed trading ties with great britain and the United States.