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The Standing on the Shoulders of Giants "Teach & Learn" Black History Curriculum​​

Specially designed for Parents, Teachers, Homeschool, or Independent Study, grades 5+

Where Black
History Lives!​

Unit 3: The African Holocaust (Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade) (1502 – 1860s)

Unit 3, Class 6: The Haitian Revolution (1791 – 1804)

Study Guide

Learning Objectives
After completing this lesson, students 
will be able to:
​​
  • Understand the conditions that led to the Haitian Revolution and its significance in world history.

  • Identify the main leaders of the Haitian Revolution, the various strategies they used and the challenges they faced. 

  • Discuss the consequences as well as the short and long term triumphs of the Haitian Revolution.

  • Recognize the influence of the French Revolution and the Declaration of the Rights of Man as they pertain to the meaning of freedom, liberty, and human rights.

  • Identify the strategies and rationale used by European and American leaders to crush the emergence of Haiti as a free, independent state.

Study Questions

1. According to the documentary, why was the Haitian Revolution one of the most profound revolutions in human history?
  
2. Haiti was the world leader in the production of which commodity?
  
3. What was “rationale management”?
  
4. How did Toussaint L’Ouverture’s background influence his involvement in the revolution?
 
5. According to Napoleon, what was the primary reason behind his invasion of Haiti in 1802?
  
6. How did the “Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen” define freedom? What aspects of the document do you think inspired the Haitian Revolution?
SUPPLEMENTAL MATERIAL

Online Resources

The Louverture Project
http://thelouvertureproject.org/index.php?title=Main_Page

The Louverture Project (TLP) collects and promotes knowledge, analysis, and understanding of the Haitian revolution of 1791–1804. This unique history project follows the example of Wikipedia, the free online encyclopedia, and is committed to creating a vast, accessible, and useful open content resource. Like Wikipedia, The Louverture Project is built and maintained by a community of users, all of whom have access to and responsibility for editing the 467 pages (and growing) currently online.
To put it simply, anything you read here, you can edit. Anything you think should be added, you can add. The success of The Louverture Project depends entirely on your participation. Please see the Help pages for more about how to use this site effectively.

Books and Articles

C.L.R. James, The Black Jacobins: Toussaint L'Ouverture and the San Domingo Revolution

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Black Jacobins: Toussaint L'Ouverture and the San Domingo Revolution (1938), by Afro-Trinidadian writer C. L. R. James (4 January 1901–19 May 1989), is a history of the 1791–1804 Haitian Revolution. The text places the revolution in the context of the French Revolution, and focuses on the leadership of Toussaint L'Ouverture, who was born a slave but rose to prominence espousing the French Revolutionary ideals of liberty and equality. These ideals, which many French revolutionaries did not maintain consistently with regard to the black humanity of their colonial possessions, were embraced, according to James, with a greater purity by the persecuted blacks of Haiti; such ideals "meant far more to them than to any Frenchman."
James examines the brutal conditions of slavery as well as the social and political status of the slave-owners, poor or "small" whites, and "free" blacks and mulattoes leading up to the Revolution. The work explores the dynamics of the Caribbean economy and the European feudal system during the era before the Haitian Revolution, and places each revolution in comparative historical and economic perspective. Toussaint L'Ouverture becomes a central and symbolic character in James' narrative of the Haitian Revolution. His complete embodiment of the revolutionary ideals of the period was, according to James, incomprehensible even to the revolutionary French, who did not seem to grasp the urgency of these ideals in the minds and spirits of a people rising from slavery. L'Ouverture had defiantly asserted that he intended
to cease to live before gratitude dies in my heart, before I cease to be faithful to France and to my duty, before the god of liberty is profaned and sullied by the liberticides, before they can snatch from my hands that sword, those arms, which France confided to me for the defense of its rights and those of humanity, for the triumph of liberty and equality.
The French bourgeoisie could not understand this motivation, according to James, and mistook it for rhetoric or bombast. "Rivers of blood were to flow before they understood," James writes.
James concluded:
The cruelties of property and privilege are always more ferocious than the revenges of poverty and oppression. For the one aims at perpetuating resented injustice, the other is merely a momentary passion soon appeased
Class Assignment

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Unit 3: The African Holocaust (Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade) (1502 – 1860s)

Unit 3, Class 6: The Haitian Revolution (1791 – 1804)

Study Guide

Suggested Vocabulary
Randomly ask students the definition of one of the following words. Then ask them to put the word in a sentence. This is a great exercise for the beginning or end of a class, or if you finish a class early.

whitewash - A whitewash is something that hides a wrong or illegal action:
[ C ] He called the report a whitewash.

alienate - cause (someone) to feel isolated or estranged.

biased - unfairly prejudiced for or against someone or something.
  

resentment -  bitter indignation at having been treated unfairly.
"his resentment at being demoted"

 
capitulate - cease to resist an opponent or an unwelcome demand; surrender.
"the patriots had to capitulate to the enemy forces"


telegraph - send (someone) a message by telegraph.

distort - give a misleading or false account or impression of.
"many factors can distort the results"


chronicle - a factual written account of important or historical events in the order of their occurrence.

Supplemental Material

Online Resources

The Louverture Project

The Louverture Project (TLP) collects and promotes knowledge, analysis, and understanding of the Haitian revolution of 1791–1804. This unique history project follows the example of Wikipedia, the free online encyclopedia, and is committed to creating a vast, accessible, and useful open content resource. Like Wikipedia, The Louverture Project is built and maintained by a community of users, all of whom have access to and responsibility for editing the 467 pages (and growing) currently online. To put it simply, anything you read here, you can edit. Anything you think should be added, you can add. The success of The Louverture Project depends entirely on your participation. Please see the Help pages for more about how to use this site effectively.

Free E-books!

C.L.R. James, The Black Jacobins: Toussaint L'Ouverture and the San Domingo Revolution

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Black Jacobins: Toussaint L'Ouverture and the San Domingo Revolution (1938), by Afro-Trinidadian writer C. L. R. James (4 January 1901–19 May 1989), is a history of the 1791–1804 Haitian Revolution. The text places the revolution in the context of the French Revolution, and focuses on the leadership of Toussaint L'Ouverture, who was born a slave but rose to prominence espousing the French Revolutionary ideals of liberty and equality. These ideals, which many French revolutionaries did not maintain consistently with regard to the black humanity of their colonial possessions, were embraced, according to James, with a greater purity by the persecuted blacks of Haiti; such ideals "meant far more to them than to any Frenchman."

James examines the brutal conditions of slavery as well as the social and political status of the slave-owners, poor or "small" whites, and "free" blacks and mulattoes leading up to the Revolution. The work explores the dynamics of the Caribbean economy and the European feudal system during the era before the Haitian Revolution, and places each revolution in comparative historical and economic perspective. Toussaint L'Ouverture becomes a central and symbolic character in James' narrative of the Haitian Revolution. His complete embodiment of the revolutionary ideals of the period was, according to James, incomprehensible even to the revolutionary French, who did not seem to grasp the urgency of these ideals in the minds and spirits of a people rising from slavery. L'Ouverture had defiantly asserted that he intended to cease to live before gratitude dies in my heart, before I cease to be faithful to France and to my duty, before the god of liberty is profaned and sullied by the liberticides, before they can snatch from my hands that sword, those arms, which France confided to me for the defense of its rights and those of humanity, for the triumph of liberty and equality.

The French bourgeoisie could not understand this motivation, according to James, and mistook it for rhetoric or bombast. "Rivers of blood were to flow before they understood," James writes.
James concluded:

The cruelties of property and privilege are always more ferocious
than the revenges of poverty and oppression. For the one aims at perpetuating resented injustice, the other is merely a momentary passion soon appeased.
Free E-Book
Vodou in Haitian Life and Culture, ed by Claudine Michel and Patrick Bellegarde-Smith

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