What Was the Cause of the Haitian Revolution?

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The cause of the Haitian Revolution was the inherent cruelty of slavery and the desire for Haitian blacks and multi-racial people to be treated with respect and decency. The citizens of France planted the seeds of revolt in Haiti during the French Revolution. The success of the French revolt for freedom inspired free and enslaved Haitians to rise up against a system that treated them unfairly.

Haiti had three classes of citizens before the revolution. Each class had its own set of rules and rights. White people were given the most rights under this system. They owned slaves and the plantations that made money off the backs of slave labor. The next class of people consisted of multi-racial people. These were citizens of mixed black and white ancestry. Although a majority of multi-racial people were free, they did not enjoy equal status with whites. They were viewed as second class and subjected to many personal and professional slights, indignities and unfair laws if they stepped out of line.

The lowest class were the black slaves who bore the brunt of working long hours on plantations under brutal conditions. They had no rights and labored under intense heat and unimaginable working conditions.

Tensions among these three groups continued to grow after the French Revolution was won. Haitian blacks and multi-racial people conspired together to overthrow the white system of slavery and win freedom and equal rights for all.