Toussaint L'ouverture Dies
François-Dominique Toussaint L'ouverture Fr-François-Dominique Toussaint L'Ouverture.ogg pronunciation (help·info), also Toussaint Bréda, Toussaint-Louverture (May 20, 1743–April 8, 1803) was a leader of the Haitian Revolution.
Born in Saint Domingue , in a long struggle for independence Toussaint led enslaved Africans to victory over Europeans, abolished slavery, and secured native control over the colony in 1797 while nominally governor of the colony. He expelled the French commissioner Léger-Félicité Sonthonax, as well as the British armies; invaded Santo Domingo to free the slaves there; and wrote a constitution naming himself governor-for-life that established a new polity for the colony.
Especially between the years 1800 and 1802, Toussaint L'ouverture tried to rebuild the collapsed economy of Haiti and reestablish commercial contacts with the United States and Great Britain. His rule permitted the colony a taste of freedom which, after his death in exile, was gradually destroyed during the successive reigns of a series of despots. Translated from French, his name means "the awakening of all saints" or "all souls rising". His last words were to his son in France, "“My boy, you will one day go back to St. Domingo; forget that France murdered your father.”
The Haitian Revolution (1791–1804) was a successful slave revolt against French Colonial powers. It established Haiti as the first republic ruled by blacks. At the time of the revolution, Haiti was known as Saint-Domingue and was a colony of France. Through the revolution, people of African ancestry freed themselves from French colonization and from slavery. Although hundreds of rebellions occurred during the slave era, only the revolt on Saint-Domingue, beginning in 1791, was successful.
Haiti was the first republic in modern history led by people of African descent. It went directly from being a French colony to governing itself. The pattern established under colonial rule had powerful and long-lasting effects, though, having established a model of minority rule over the illiterate poor using violence and threats. Colonialism and slavery were outlived by the racial prejudice that they had contributed to; the new post-rebellion racial elite (referred to as mulattoes) had African ancestry, but many were also of European ancestry as descendants of white planters. Some had received educations, served in the military, and accumulated land and wealth. Lighter-skinned than most Haitians, who were descendants mostly of former enslaved Africans, these mulattoes dominated politics and economics.