The Haitian Revolution: history's greatest slave revolt
About this session
The Haitian revolution is the greatest slave revolt in history. From 1791 through to 1804 it involved a series of republican, democratic, racial and anti-imperial struggles, which culminated in a war of national liberation against the French. Its leader, the former slave Toussaint Louverture, outmaneuvered three successive French commissioners; defeated the British; overpowered the Spanish; and, in 1801—despite having been wounded seventeen times in battle and having lost most of his front teeth to a cannonball explosion—authored a new abolitionist constitution for Saint-Domingue. They were inspired by the French revolution, but took its slogans to a place far more radical than most of its European participants.