Napoleon, a hostile move for independence, sent 20,000

Napoleon, believing that the Constitution of 1801 was a hostile move for independence, sent 20,000 troops and appointed General Leclerc to restore stability and order in Saint-Domingue. By February 1802, the south area of the colony was captured and half of Louverture’s men joined the French army. In April, Louverture agreed to negotiate with Leclerc but only a month later was betrayed and Louverture was imprisoned in the French Alps, and died the next year. In July 1802, Leclerc reinstated slavery in French colonies and from this, soldiers abandoned the French army. In response, France conducted brutal terror campaigns against the blacks and mulattoes such as mass executions, drownings, hangings, and burnings. In October 1802, Generals, such as Dessalines, deserted the French army to join the insurrection. He began the scorched-earth campaign, where they burned towns and plantations to the ground. Dessalines defeated many of Napoleon’s troops, but a cause of some of these deaths is Yellow fever, which also killed Leclerc.

By May 1803, Dessalines created the Haitian flag. The flag of Haiti was created by ripping the white fabric from the French tricolor, keeping the blue and red to represent the unity of the mulattoes and blacks against the whites. During the revolution, France lost near 30,000 troops, but around 150,000 from Saint-Domingue died in this 12 year time period.As Napoleon reacts to Haiti’s independence, he lobbies the US, England, and Spain to isolate Haiti diplomatically. The world was hostile to the idea of a country being run by blacks which destroyed the country’s infrastructure and economy.

Once France recognized Haiti’s independence in 1825, King Charles X forced Haiti to agree to pay a debt equivalent to $22 billion for the damage caused during the revolution. The country was forced to take high-interest loans and only paid off this debt by 1947. The country of Haiti declined from being one of the world’s wealthiest colonies to one of the world’s most impoverished countries.


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