Toussaint L'ouverture

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Toussaint L'ouverture

Toussaint Breda who was later called Toussaint L'ouverture was born in Saint Dominique which is now known as Haiti. It was controlled by the French. Toussaint learned of Africa from his father, who had been born a free man there. Toussaint was fortunate in having a liberal master who had him trained as a house servant and allowed him to learn to read and write. He would read books that he could get his hands on. He admired the writings of the French Enlightenment Philosophers who spoke of individual rights and equality.

In 1789, the French did not want to end the slavery so they made a law called "Declaration of Rights of man" For all French man including free black and malattoes (which means those of mixed race). By doing this it officially abolished slavery in its colony. The plantation owners in the colonies were furious because if the blacks were being free they wouldn't be able to have black people work for them.

So they decided to fight back. In 1791, the revolutionaries gave in and agreed on their measures. In 1794, Toussaint Breda became the leader of the Saint Dominique who rebelled and abandoned his Spanish allies. He became known as Toussaint L'ouverture, "the one who finds the opening." He joined the force of the French Republic as brigadier general troops against Spain.

In 1797, Toussaint was made commander in chief of the island by the French convection. Following the defeat of the Spanish and British forces, Toussaint began to move toward independence from France with Toussaint as its Governor; St. Dominique was acting as an independent state. In 1802, Napoleon Bonaparte, who seized power in France in 1799, sought restore slavery to the West Indies through political guile and military forces.