How did enslaved people in Saint-Domingue lead a successful revolution?
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Second edition. September 2018.
Teachers: Are you using the first edition of this unit from 2010? If so, please contact us at choices@brown.edu for some information about the unit.

In the late eighteenth century, enslaved people in Saint-Domingue, the French colony that became Haiti, rose up against colonial rulers and gained their freedom and independence. Haiti became the first fully free society in the Atlantic world by abolishing slavery. It also became the second independent nation in the Americas (after the United States). Understanding the Haitian Revolution is crucial to understanding the course of world history and the history of the Americas. It is also essential to understanding Haiti today. The unit is divided into three parts. Each part includes:

  • Student readings
  • Accompanying study guides, graphic organizers, and key terms
  • Lessons aligned with the readings that develop analytical skills and can be completed in one or more periods
  • Videos that feature leading experts

This unit also includes a Perspectives Lesson as the key lesson and additional synthesis lessons that allow students to synthesize new knowledge for assessment. You do not need to use the entire unit; feel free to select what suits your classroom needs.

Preview this unit. Preview includes the Table of Contents for the Student Text and the Teacher Resource Book as well as a student reading excerpt and one lesson plan.

READINGS

Part I: The Creation of Saint-Domingue

Part I discusses the creation of Saint-Domingue colony, the Taíno, European Settlement, and life in Saint-Domingue. There is one lesson aligned with Part I: Mapping European Colonization of the Americas.

Part II: Revolution in Saint-Domingue

Part II examines the revolution in Saint-Domingue, the French Revolution and its impact on Saint-Domingue, and the important revolt in the North which started the Haitian Revolution. There is one lesson aligned with Part II: Digital Timeline: Europe and Saint Domingue.

Part III: Haitian Independence

Part III concludes with the war for independence and an examination of the legacies of the Revolution for Haiti and for the world. There is one lesson aligned with Part III: Mapping Independence and Abolition in the Americas.

LESSONS

Mapping European Colonization of the Americas

Students explore the geography of the Americas during European colonialism and understand how the changing political geography of the Americas affected events on Hispaniola.

Digital Timeline: Europe and Saint-Domingue

Students consider the relationship between events in Europe and events in Saint-Domingue by exploring an interactive digital timeline.

Considering the Perspectives

Perspectives Activity: This is the key lesson of the unit. Students assume the roles of historians and use primary and secondary sources to identify the forces that shaped the future of Saint-Domingue in 1801.

Mapping Independence and Abolition in the Americas

Using maps, students explore the progression of abolition and independence movements in the Americas and connect historical events to present-day American geography.

Assessment Using Documents: The Causes of the Haitian Revolution

Synthesis Lesson: Students identify the value and limitations of using different types of sources to draw conclusions about the causes of the Haitian Revolution. They integrate their findings into a coherent written response.

Synthesis Lesson: Students identify the value and limitations of using different types of sources to draw conclusions about the significance of the Haitian Revolution to the United States. They integrate their findings into a coherent written response.

Synthesis Lesson: This online lesson helps students consider how Haitians today think about the Revolution through art, music, and literature.

MATERIALS
  • The maps from the lessons “Mapping European Colonization of the Americas” and “Mapping Independence and Abolition in the Americas” are included, as well as maps of Haiti in 1804 and Spanish colonialism in the sixteenth century.

  • For use with the lesson “Digital Timeline: Europe and Saint-Domingue.”

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