The Haitian Revolution was the world’s only successful slave revolt.
The Haitian Revolution was one of the great episodes of human history. Although perpetually overshadowed by the American and French Revolutions, which preceded and to a degree caused it, it forever changed the history of the world. It witness the first successful slave uprising, introduced the first African-led nation in the new world, and profoundly affected France, the United States, and the neighboring nations and colonies of the hemisphere. From mythic origins at a slave ceremony in 1791, to successive interventions by French, Spanish and English, to the ultimate achievement of independence in 1804, the Haitian Revolution can be difficult to follow and assess. Indeed, many statesmen of the nineteenth century simply refused to admit that it had taken place. Fortunately, a wide number of contemporary texts assure us that it did, and offer compelling lessons about the adversity the Haitian founders faced at the outset of nationhood.