In 1789 the West Indian colony of San Domingo supplied two-thirds of the overseas trade of France. The entire structure of what was arguably the most profitable colony in the world rested on the labour of half a million slaves. In 1791 the waves of unrest inspired by the French Revolution reached across the Atlantic dividing the loyalties of the white population of the island. The brutally treated slaves of Saint Domingo seized at this confusion and rose up in rebellion against masters. In thisclassic work, CLR James chronicles the only successful slave revolt in history and provides a critical portrait of their leader, Toussaint L'Ouverture, 'one of the most remarkable men of a period rich in remarkable men'.
C L R James was born in Trinidad in 1901 and was one of the prominent figures in the West Indian diaspora. He wrote extensively on Caribbean history, Marxist theory, literary criticism, Western civilisation, African politics, cricket and popular culture. He died in 1989. James Walvin is Professor of modern history at the University of York and is co-editor of the journal 'Slavery and Abolition'.
The property; the owners; parliament and property; the San Domingo masses begin; and the Paris masses complete; the rise of Toussaint; the Mulattoes try and fail; the white slave-owners again; the expulsion of the British; Toussaint seizes the power; the black consul; the bourgeoisie prepares to restore slavery; the War of Independence.