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Toussaint Louverture and the Haitian Revolution, 1796–1799

Alexander King


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Political developments in revolutionary France naturally ran up against a solid front of rejection from neighboring European monarchies. This rejection became all the more uncompromising with the increasing radicalization of the revolutionary process leading up to the proclaiming of the Republic. During the trial of the deposed King Louis XVI before the National Convention, which led to his execution in January 1793, the hostilities in Europe intensified until the outbreak of the French Revolutionary Wars beginning in 1792. On February 1, 1793 France declared war on Britain, which had taken the leadership position among the monarchist opponents of the Revolution. Then on March 7, 1793 France declared war on Spain. France was now engaged in war on several fronts: internally against the counterrevolution, at its borders against the hostile European powers, and in the Caribbean for its colonies. In 1793 both Spain and Britain took advantage of the turmoil that had befallen the colony of Saint-Domingue and attempted to take this potentially lucrative colony away from France. The economic prosperity of the French half of the island had all along aroused the envy and greed of the Spanish colonial masters of Santo Domingo. For this reason, since the beginning of the slave revolt in Saint-Domingue in 1791, sporadically there had been small, rather informal acts of assistance by Spanish ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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