Toussaint L’Ouveture

posted by Kimberly Brown -

François-Domenica Bréda known as Toussaint-Louverture (1743-1803) was one of the leaders of the Haitian revolution and the first black man to become governor of a colony. Toussaint-Louverture was born into slavery in approximately 1743 in the French colony of Saint Domingue. He developed a passion for books and his readings were to become a great influence in his political life. The following year, on 22 August 1791, Toussaint was one of the main organizers of a slave revolt that would eventually be known as the Haitian Revolution, the first and only victorious slave revolt in history.In 1793 representatives of the French revolutionary government in Paris offered freedom to slaves who joined them in the fight against counter-revolutionaries and foreign invaders. The following year these orders were ratified by the revolutionary legislature in Paris, which abolished slavery throughout all French territories.. Under his increasingly influential leadership the French defeated the British and Spanish forces. Having made himself ruler of the island, Toussaint did not wish to surrender power to Paris and ruled Saint Domingue as an autonomous entity. In 1801 he issued a Constitution for the island, which provided for autonomy and established Toussaint as governor for life. It abolished slavery and aspired to put in place a multiracial society composed of blacks, whites and mulattos. On 1 January 1804, the colony became the first black republic under the name of Haiti.

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