The New World ‘sans- culottes’
French revolutionary ideology in Saint- Domingue
in Colonial exchanges
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This chapter discusses both the adoption of European liberal-democratic rhetoric by Caribbean insurgents as well as the language of universalism that accompanied the 1794 French emancipation decree. It explores some of the strongest examples of direct ideological linkages between the French and Haitian Revolutions as well as the underlying disjunctures that limited the influences of metropolitan political thought in the former colony. Quantin's unremarkable battlefield dispatch is interesting because it may represent the only contemporary application of the term 'sans-culottes' to the rebel slave masses of the Haitian Revolution. In Saint-Domingue the French decree of abolition was indeed used as a guarantee against English attempts to conquer the colony by restoring slavery with the support of the plantation owners. French forces in the region, including those led by the former slave General Jean-Jacques Dessalines, quickly mobilized against Charles Bélair.

Colonial exchanges

Political theory and the agency of the colonized


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