1. On January 1, 1804, Jean-Jacques Dessalines—who had assumed leadership of the revolution after Toussaint L’ouverture’s 1802 capture by the French army—declared Saint-Domingue’s independence. The new republic adopted the original pre-Columbian Arawak name of Haiti, meaning “mountainous land.” The black revolutionaries, who had been fighting since 1791, had crushed Napoleon’s 43,000-man army in December 1803. Within 12 years, they had fought against and defeated not only the French colonists but also the French, Spanish, and British armies. For an army of ex-slaves to turn their rebellion into a decade-long revolution, and to defeat an entire network of empires, is stunning. Add that to Haiti’s unprecedented title of first Black republic (a political anomaly of the time), and you have quite the victory. Take today to honor the freedom fighters and the history!

    On January 1, 1804, Jean-Jacques Dessalines—who had assumed leadership of the revolution after Toussaint L’ouverture’s 1802 capture by the French army—declared Saint-Domingue’s independence. The new republic adopted the original pre-Columbian Arawak name of Haiti, meaning “mountainous land.” The black revolutionaries, who had been fighting since 1791, had crushed Napoleon’s 43,000-man army in December 1803. Within 12 years, they had fought against and defeated not only the French colonists but also the French, Spanish, and British armies. For an army of ex-slaves to turn their rebellion into a decade-long revolution, and to defeat an entire network of empires, is stunning. Add that to Haiti’s unprecedented title of first Black republic (a political anomaly of the time), and you have quite the victory. Take today to honor the freedom fighters and the history!

Notes

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