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Toussaint Louverture, Franois Dominique

( One of the leaders of the liberation struggle of the Haitian people against the British (1793-1803) and French (1802-03).)

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Biography Toussaint Louverture, Franois Dominique
photo Toussaint Louverture, Franois Dominique
Francois Dominique Toussaint was born in the western part of Haiti, owned by France (as the eastern half of the island, which until 1804 was called Santo Domingo, obey Spain). The black men baby has become a slave owner's estate Breda. The years. Bright boy, who lived in the house-owner, in contrast to other slaves, not bent back from morning till evening on the plantations. For several years he was the driver with his master, and then administering the estate. This privileged position allowed him to learn to read, write, count and even learn herbal therapy. It is in the spirit of that time to his name, add the word 'Breda'.

In 1776 he managed to gain freedom. Being married to the mulatto, Toussaint himself became a slave owner, a father in law rented 15 hectares of land along with 12 slaves. From the first, and then the second marriage he had three children. The most famous of them will be the youngest son of Isaac, who published memoirs of his father.

On Toussaint Breda, probably never would have remembered history, the outbreak of the revolution of slaves in Haiti. At the end of XVIII century there lived 452 thousand. Negro slaves, 50 thousand. white and 42 thousand. free blacks and mulattos. At that time it was the richest colony of France, which existed mainly due to the severe labor of slaves.

The ancient Romans observed: 'How many slaves - many enemies'. In August 1791 exhausted the patience of Haitians came to an end. The explosion shook the entire colony of hatred. For six weeks destroyed more than a thousand French and incapacitated 200 of the 288 sugar and 1200 of 2,009 coffee plantations. Immediately followed by a massacre: 10 thousand. slaves were hanged on trees in the most crowded places. Thus began the revolution.

Slaves had great hopes for revolutionary France, waiting for the abolition of slavery. The Convention, however, decided not to take this step. And the rich planters of the island, wishing Liu-price battle to end the 'black danger', appealed to the British Government with a request to send troops to the island. So in 1793 in a number of western areas of Haiti, soldiers appeared the British expeditionary corps. In the same year, France was at war with Britain and Spain, which, naturally, could not help but reflect on the events in Haiti.

In 1793, the slaves had already assembled a rather impressive army led by Jean-Francois. His deputies were Dessalines, Christophe and Toussaint. Spanish commanders had intended to use the army in their own interests, providing it with arms, ammunition, and promised if elected, to abolish slavery. Ka-something while Toussaint and his associates took part in the fighting on the side of Spain. However, the authorities of the colonial empire, who lived entirely by slave labor, and did not think to keep the word.

The establishment of the Jacobin dictatorship in France to accelerate the abolition of slavery in its colonies, as a revolutionary government and announced on Feb. 4, 1794. Now the situation has changed radically. Wealthy plantation owners are not interested in the implementation of this Decree, their hopes mainly to England and to some extent in Spain. It turned out that the slaves who fought on the side of the latter, supported by slave. Realizing this, Toussaint decided to break with the Spaniards, who remained a staunch ally of Jean-Francois.

After secret negotiations with General Lavaux in May 1794 Toussaint joined the French army and was promoted to Brigadier General. It would seem not too generous on the epaulettes of the revolution? But keep in mind that by this time Toussaint had already managed to manifest itself as one of the ablest commanders of black, won a brilliant victory. To his surname enthusiastic admirers added Ouverture nickname - the one that opens. So he was known to his brethren, every time 'opening up', starting a new business, new battle. Henceforth and forever: and the most stellar moments of triumph, and in moments of hopeless despair, it will be for all and especially for history only Toussaint Louverture.

Was followed by many of his former comrades in arms. His army grew day by day, gradually becoming a decisive force on the island. And now staffing the British and Spanish parts of yesterday's slaves suffer one defeat after another. In 1795, Spanish, and in 1798, and British troops were forced to leave Haiti. By the way, this whole adventure cost the foggy Albion in 45 thousand. lives and more than 20 million. .

In Basel the world in 1795 the entire island came under the jurisdiction of France. In fact, it has become the master of Toussaint Louverture, appointed in 1797 by the French Government the Commander Islands. However, fighting still continued, and only in 1800, managed to finally crush the military units that served large planters.

Striving for independence, Toussaint decided to replace the French law of its own. To this end, elections were held in the Constituent Assembly, in which each of the five departments of the island was represented by ten members (six white, three mulatto and one black). Soon followed the first decrees. In early 1801, slavery was abolished throughout Haiti. In July of that year, proclaimed by the constitution. It is formally recognized by the colonial dependence on France, but in reality it was the fundamental law of virtually sovereign state. His life became the head of Toussaint Louverture, who had the right to appoint his successor.

In letters to Napoleon Bonaparte, ruler of the newly modestly called himself a 'first among the Negroes', and without explicitly considering the independence. And the First Consul did not bother to answer, thinking that the change in Haiti are temporary.

However, Toussaint Louverture, more and more transformed into a ruler with no clear rights and responsibilities. Can not say that the successes of recent years went to his head, but something he certainly reminded of the rooster, who believed that the sun rises only to hear him singing. Whether for the sake of self-assertion, or indulging his own vanity, Toussaint has surrounded himself with luxury. Now in its rich house servants were only European dress, food was served only on the golden pot, and cook them allowed only chef from France.

He himself liked very bright clothes: blue coat with luxurious, decorated with gold epaulettes and gold braid, a great red cloak, tricorn hat with red feathers and high boots. Europeans have such a casual outfit, perhaps, would have seemed somewhat cartoonish, but the majority black population that did not shock. Toussaint Louverture not only enjoyed a popular fellow, but in many ways became a model for imitation. Perhaps only in private life, which was extremely messy, a black leader brazenly transgressed boundaries of permissible.

The most serious difficulties awaited Haitians in the field of economics. During the ten years of war have left the island, many large plantations, the administering estates, clergymen ruined the small and medium-sized farmers, the slaves went into the rebel army. Housekeeping was nobody. Economic indicators declined in dozens of times, almost completely ceased trading with Europe. Also at the head of the country rose up people who are deprived and management experience, and education, and prestige on the international arena. Relief was nowhere to wait. In these circumstances, Toussaint Louverture began to implement its own economic program. It was very unexpected and original moments.

One of his decrees was that all the planters left the country return their land, but without the slaves. At the same time, all the black population was divided into those who should serve in the army, and those five years was intended work out laborer on the plantations. As a result, owners of estates resented the fact that they returned the land without slaves, and slaves of yesterday apprehended five years of forced labor almost as restoration of slavery. Some Haitians prefer or wander, or go to the mountains and with arms to fight - this time against his recent idol. Several of these pockets of resistance have been suppressed by the troops of Toussaint Louverture. Nevertheless, thanks to his program in the economy of the island there have been positive changes. However, military aggression from France crossed all plans.

Although Napoleon did not respond to letters of Toussaint, it does not mean that he accepted the loss of the colony. At the beginning of the XIX century, France has sought to consolidate its position in the Caribbean and in North America, and in these projects was given to Haiti, perhaps the most important place.

Fourteenth December 1801 Napoleon's brother-General Victor Emmanuel Leclerc, headed the flotilla of 86 ships on board which were 21900 French soldiers, headed for Haiti. The instructions received from a famous family member, said: '... When you neutralize Toussaint, Dessalines and the other thugs and all the negros will be disarmed, send to the continent blacks and mulattos who participated in public conflict ... Free us from these educated Africans. We do not want anything else '.

Twenty Ninth January 1802 ships landed on the shores of Haiti. Toussaint Louverture had before 15 thousand. infantrymen and 2 thousand. cavalrymen. It would seem that the French general had every reason to hope for success: the soldiers assigned to it have already passed the crucible of military trials in Italy and Egypt. Repeatedly won contender, even psychologically, they were set to a triumphal march on a small island. Leclerc divided his army into six parts, which, coming from different points, had to scour the area and follow the instructions of Napoleon. The French immediately appeared and allies: all of the recent past, disgruntled Toussaint Louverture owners.

Nevertheless, Toussaint Louverture and his associates by going to guerrilla warfare and scorched earth tactics had caused the French to several sensitive lesions. Particularly successful were the case in most of Toussaint and Dessalines. But after the betrayal of people close to him Toussaint felt how hard it will emerge victorious in this war. I, . really, . was something to fall into despair: the brother of Paul, . once ruled the Spanish part of the island, . allowed freely to land there Leclerc's troops, together with their troops defected to the enemy's generals, Christophe and Maurepas,
. Bribery has become perhaps the main weapon of the French.

After having completed the most reliable of the assistants, hitherto indomitable Jean-Jacques Dessalines, Toussaint May 5, 1802 accepted the proposal Leclerc's armistice. This was tantamount to surrender. The island came under the control of the occupying forces, as a black leader went into one of his estates, which were more like house arrest. He was under constant surveillance by agents of the French commander, and soon he was accused of forming a guerrilla groups and the establishment of personal armed guard.

Twentieth May 1802 Toussaint has experienced perhaps the most terrible blow: a decree of Napoleon in all French colonies, including in Haiti, was restored slavery. The continuation of the struggle had neither the strength nor the opportunity.

Sixth June 1802 Leclerc wrote to Napoleon that he ordered the arrest of Toussaint. This was done fraudulently, untrustworthy by: trusting a fighter for independence was invited to the French headquarters ostensibly to deal with 'some problems'. It was his last day of freedom. Soon Toussaint Louverture and his family were sent to France, where he died in prison in April 1803.

However, the triumph of the French occupation forces was short-lived. On the day of the arrest of Toussaint Louverture uttered the prophetic words: 'You have killed the tree of liberty in Santo Domingo, but its roots will soon sprout'. The logic of the struggle eventually rallied those who started a revolution with him. Once in November 1802, died from yellow fever Leclerc, French troops began in 1803 were forced to leave the island.

Day 1 January 1804 marked the birth of the first independent republic in Latin America, history of creation is inextricably linked with the name of Toussaint Louverture.


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Toussaint Louverture, Franois Dominique, photo, biography
Toussaint Louverture, Franois Dominique, photo, biography Toussaint Louverture, Franois Dominique  One of the leaders of the liberation struggle of the Haitian people against the British (1793-1803) and French (1802-03)., photo, biography
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