Emily Keane


The Haitian Revolution, lasting from 1791 to 1804, was the first successful slave-led insurrection against France in Saint-Domingue. Influenced by United States foreign policy, the fight to establish a free nation led the U.S. to question future economic and diplomatic relationships with an independent Haiti. Through excerpts from various sources, including a Pennsylvania Gazette article outlining violence in Saint-Domingue, the 1793 French Emancipation Decree and Laurent Dubois’ historical narrative, this essay explores the precarious relationship between the U.S. and Haiti during the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. The vehement and successful rejection of foreign rule by an enslaved population swayed the American government to attempt to prevent a similar uprising within the states. The U.S. denial to recognize Haitian independence exemplifies the notion that the U.S. government denied Black autonomy to preserve its economy and power structures.



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