- Haiti was the second colony in the Americas, after the United States, to win its independence from European control. Initially a Spanish possession peopled in large part by slaves imported from Africa, Haiti was ceded to France in 1697. A slave revolt led by Toussaint L’Ouverture first erupted in 1791 and defeated the French colonial forces but then united with them to defeat invading British and Spanish forces in response to a decree from the French revolutionary government abolishing slavery. In 1802, a new invasion force was dispatched to Haiti by Napoleon. Toussaint was persuaded to agree to a truce, but was betrayed and shipped to prison in France where he died. The cause was immediately taken up by a former slave, Jacques Dessalines, whose army, aided somewhat by the ravages of yellow fever among the French, won the Battle of Vertières in November 1803. On January 1, Haiti declared its independence.See also: <
>, < >.FURTHER READING:Heinl, Robert Debs, and Nanct Gordon Heinl. Written in Blood: The Story of the Haitian People. Lanham, MD: University Press of America, 1996.CARL CAVANAGH HODGE
Encyclopedia of the Age of Imperialism, 1800–1914. 2014.