The Haitian Revolution Essay

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Between 19791 and 1804, when the French ruled Haiti, it was one of the most prolific colonial nations in the world. Prior to that, it was known as Santo Domino. (Walsh, 2013). The colonial economy of Haiti was primarily based on trade and export-driven farmland. Coffee and sugar could be produced in the area's tropical climate thanks to the vast plantations and expanding slave population. Among the most exchanged goods worldwide in the 18th century were coffee and sugar. To satisfy these growing demands, Santo Domingo's colonist saw the need to increase the number of their slaves, and it is this colonial economy that caused a social imbalance that later resulted in the Haitian Revolution (Glick, 2016). The slaves had endured so much legalized abuse in serving their masters that led to too many deaths and poor living conditions. The laws that were established only favored the colonists and this was the small percentage of the whole population hence leaving many people unhappy. The slaves, free blacks, and the poor whites were tired of these acts and wanted better lives that were accompanied with freedom and more rights just like the white colonists.

The Haitian Revolution inspired slaves throughout the United States to revolt and seek freedom from the oppression that they were subjected. In the year 1804, Haiti as a republic nation was declared independent from France (Dunn, 2016). As a result of this, the rebels drove the French off their properties and caused a significant loss in the economy of the colonists as well as the sense of visibility. The revolution, in general, abolished any form of slavery on the island, and it also gave strength to anti-slavery movements across the continent against the Europeans. The negative impact was that the newly-free island faced economic problems because no one wanted to trade with them as this would encourage slave revolts hence the United States placed an embargo on the Island.


Socialism can be traced back to 1789 in the French Revolution and has been attributed to ideology concerned with the relationship existing between the society, state, and individual. According to socialist, the person cannot operate by himself and because of this; he or she must be defined in relation to others. Besides, socialists believe that the state is the apparatus or the most efficient vehicle that drives and attends to the needs of individuals. Therefore socialism is defined as the socioeconomic belief that puts pressure on the significance of community being involved in the distribution of wealth and properties. Socialism arose during the industrial revolution as a means of protecting the rights of the workers (MacKenzie, 2012). Many people were exhausted by the working schedules that they were subjected to, and on the centenary of the French Revolution, many people saw the developments of industrialization as selfish individualism. Industrialization had divided the society into competing factions. Karl

Marx wrote in 1873 that feudal property should be abolished in favor bourgeois property during the French Revolution (Willimott, 2016). The industrial revolution in the western countries gave them a reason to dominate the rest of the world during the colonial period. Though this development brought many workers into the city, they began to realize that they were working only to make others rich and this encouraged them to organize movements that would fight for their political interests. By the year 1825, most workers inspired by the concept of socialism became active political and social forces in reclaiming what was stolen from them. The aim of socialists in these movements was to fight for the rights of the poor as they advocated for the idea that everyone should be economically equal.

Consequences of Industrialization

The effects of industrialization in the nineteenth and twentieth century were extensive mainly because industrialization went hand-in-hand with urbanization. The primary effect of industrialization on the social structure was that many people moved to the cities to work and live because they perceived that toiling their lands was no longer profitable. Based on the fact that the urban centers did not have adequate housing, people were forced to live in restricted areas with inadequate sewage systems. People would always choose to live close to the industries that they worked in, and as the race for space increased, this led to an uproar of slums (Castonguay & Evenden, 2012). Another social effect was that children were forced to work in terrible conditions to support their families.

Politically, industrialization resulted in reformations amongst members of parliaments in regards to social and economic changes. Some of the reformations that led to a rift developing between conservatives and the others were the restriction of child labor, an extension of voting rights and development of trade unions that would protect the rights of the workers. Such led to democracy with the aim of avoiding the growing political unrest, and this resulted in the demolition of social structures that separated the communities.

Economically, industrialization led to the unequal distribution of wealth, and this can be owed the fact that many people moved from rural areas into the cities in search of better jobs. In turn, most of the wealth was majorly circulated in the towns. Industrialization promoted the development of better industries, and this expanded the amount of goods and services produced and in turn this led to growth in the economy of countries that had embraced industrialization in the nineteenth and twentieth century (EHR, 2017). Lastly, industrialization resulted in the rise of middle class as consumer demands were met by the availability of work and sufficient income.


Castonguay, S., & Evenden, M. D. (2012). Urban rivers: remaking rivers, cities, and space in Europe and North America. Pittsburgh, PA: University of Pittsburgh Press.

Dunn, J. A. (2016). Chapter 2. Unthinking Revolution: French Negroes and Liberty. Dangerous Neighbors. doi:10.9783/9780812292978-003

EHR. (2017). Timeline Industrial Revolution and the 20th century. Retrieved March 22, 2017, from

Glick, J. M. (2016). Haitian Revolutionary Encounters. Black Radical Tragic, 54-84. doi:10.18574/nyu/9781479844425.003.0003

MacKenzie, N. I. (2012). Socialism. London: Routledge.

Walsh, J. P. (2013). Beyond the Slave Narrative: Politics, Sex, and Manuscripts in the Haitian Revolution by Deborah Jenson. Journal of Haitian Studies, 19(2), 211-217. doi:10.1353/jhs.2013.0033

Willimott, A. (2016). Socialism in One Factory. Living the Revolution, 105-130. doi:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198725824.003.0005

June 26, 2023

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