Avenging America: The Politics of Violence in the Haitian Revolution

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Dubois, Laurent, Michigan State University. "Avenging America: The Politics of Violence in the Haitian Revolution." The Haitian Revolution: Viewed 200 Years After, an International Scholarly Conference. John Carter Brown Library, Providence, RI. June 19, 2004.


Following are rough notes of de Dubois' presentation, taken by Stuart Maxwell on June 19, 2004.

  • Jean François, Biassou and Toussaint realized that Jeannot represented a "PR problem" his violence would create problems in the inevitable negotiations with the white French.
  • The barbarism of 1791 later hurt the cause of the revolution.
  • Toussaint's generosity cultivates white planters' gratitude.
  • It is interesting that talking about violence is often avoided.
  • Toussaint argues that it is important to produce in order to preserve freedom.

In response to questions:

  • Violence is as inherent in slavery as it is in the struggle for independence.