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Haitian revolution role play

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  • 1. Haitian Revolution Role Play Scenarios
  • 2. 1801 - Touissant Louverture’s Constitution Touissant Louverture creates a new constitution for Haiti that abolishes slavery and gives all citizens equal rights. It also outlaws Vodou (the religion practiced by the majority of people). The constitution also does not declare Saint Domingue independent of France, but claims all people living there are French citizens, and makes Louverture their leader for life. By doing this some of the benefits of being a colony are preserved but the people have more rights and freedoms.
  • 3. Questions to Answer 1. Should the constitution be changed or stay the way it is? a. If it should change, how should it be changed? 1. How will the people of Saint Domingue react to the constitution? 1. How will France react to the constitution?
  • 4. What Actually Happened? (Part 1) The people of Saint Domingue were furious about the new constitution and saw it as another form of slavery. In October 1801 they began to rebel against Louverture and accused him of exploiting people for France.
  • 5. What Actually Happened? (Part 2) Louverture was able to stop people from rebelling, but they were still angry with him. In France, Napoleon was furious that the constitution had gone too far and gave Saint Domingue too much power. He sends troops to invade Saint Domingue.
  • 6. 1802 - War for Independence The French have invaded Saint Domingue. Since Louverture convinced many people they were French citizens, about half his army began fighting for the French. A lot of the people didn’t know that the goal of French was to put slavery back into place, they are just angry about Louverture’s constitution.
  • 7. Questions to Answer You are a wealthy land owning former slave. You are aware of Napoleon’s plans for Saint Domingue. How will you convince people that fighting for the French is not in Saint Domingue’s best interest? What will you advise Louverture to do?
  • 8. What actually happened? (Part 1) Dessalines & the new flag One of Louverture’s top generals joined the French army, and shortly after that Dessalines, Louverture’s top official joined the French. Louverture is tricked into attending a meeting and is captured.
  • 9. What actually happened? (Part 2) Despite capturing Louverture and all the people who joined the French army, Napoleon seriously underestimated how tough it would be to take Saint Domingue and the struggle continued.
  • 10. 1802 - 1803 War of Independence Continues (Part 1) Despite Louverture’s capture groups of maroons and others who opposed the French continued to fight for independence. They want to completely abolish slavery and the colonial system. Meanwhile the French have reinstated slavery in the surrounding colonies. They assure the people of Saint Domingue if they stop fighting and make peace that they will not restore slavery.
  • 11. Questions to Answer 1. Without Louverture or a clear leader fighting against the French is tough. Should you make peace with the French? a. If you choose not to make peace with the French what tactics will you use to continue your fight? b. If you choose to make peace with the French how can you ensure that the French will not make you a slave colony again?
  • 12. What actually happened? (Part 1) The people decided to resist the French and keep fighting. Almost the entire population of Saint Domingue fought together. Those who joined the French from Louverture’s troops rejoined the people of Saint Domingue.
  • 13. What actually happened? (Part 2) In response the French ramped up their campaign to take Saint Domingue. They brutally executed people who fought against them publicly to try and discourage the independence
  • 14. 1802 - 1803 War of Independence Continues (Part 2) With Louverture’s men now on the side of the people of Saint Domingue they are able to put up a stronger resistance against France. Dessalines is now leading the people of Saint Domingue and wants to use a scorched earth policy to get rid of the French.
  • 15. Questions to Answer 1. Should the scorched earth policy (burning down everything so the enemy can’t have access to it) be used against the French? a. If you use the scorched earth policy how will the island recover after the French are defeated? b. If you do not use the scorched earth policy what tactic should you use? 2. At this point would it be wise to try and get the French to admit defeat and create a peace treaty to preserve what little relationship may remain?
  • 16. What actually happened? (Part 1) The scorched earth policy was used against the French. This was the final blow for the French and they were defeated. Napoleon pulled all his troops out of the western hemisphere.
  • 17. What actually happened? (Part 2) Dessalines proclaimed Haiti to be the first independent nation of former slaves and created a Declaration of Independence that abolished slavery. The name was changed from Saint Domingue to the original Taino name of “Hayti”
  • 18. 1804 - After the Revolution After the revolution Dessalines crowns himself emperor of Haiti. His constitution abolishes slavery and gives natural rights to the people. White foreigners are not permitted to own land in Haiti. However, many European countries are fearful of what happened in Haiti. They refuse to trade with Haiti and there is fear that a European country could try to invade them again.
  • 19. Questions to Answer 1. Should the constitution and laws of Haiti stand the way they are? If foreign white ownership of land was allowed would that improve international relations? 1. What can the people of Haiti do to stop the Europeans anger a them and prevent the possibility of another invasion?
  • 20. What actually happened? (Part 1) European countries did not invade Haiti, but they refused to trade with Haiti at all. Dessalines scorched earth policy had destroyed much of the farming and the tools needed on the island.
  • 21. What actually happened? (Part 2) France refused to recognize Haiti’s independence and Haiti was forced to pay “damages” to the French. The French forced Haiti into a special trade relationship with them that hurt Haiti economically. This debt and the negative trading relationship with European countries & America had a long-term impact on Haiti. They didn’t pay off all debts until 1947.
  • 22. Legacy of the Haitian Revolution ● Although there was fear of more slave revolts, no more happened - slavery continued in the US and other surrounding colonies. ● Haiti’s successful revolution forced many Americans and Europeans to confront their racist beliefs. ● Louverture’s 1801 constitution was the first ever to protect the rights of all people. ● Haiti’s poverty and struggles today can be traced directly to the revolution and other countries trying to isolate Haiti.

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