Nov 14, 2020 in History

Revolutions
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In the 19th century, different countries and colonies revolted against their colonizers. All these revolutions had several common patterns. As a rule, people who became leaders of revolutions were previously voiceless and mostly fought for their own reasons. All revolutions had a significant impact on the population and caused numerous changes. This essay describes the four patterns common to all of the Atlantic Revolutions, the effects of the Haitian Revolution, and the meaning of the letter written by one of the leaders of the Haitian Revolution.

The Atlantic Revolutions had the four common patterns. The first one is that all of the revolutions were influenced by international politics. For example, Napoleons imprisonment of the Spanish king paved the way for the Spanish American revolutions. Usually, international politics not only created the conditions for the revolutions but also helped the revolutionaries to succeed or made the fight for victory very hard. The second common pattern is that the revolts could have been avoided, derailed, or postponed. The old governments removal from power was not the initial aim of revolutionaries. Only in the course of the revolutions, people began to realize that a new beginning could be a political phenomenon. The revolutions occurred only when state stability was lost. The third common pattern observed in all of the revolutions is that people fomenting the revolutions were previously voiceless and fought for their own reasons that in most cases did not square with those of elites. In France, the sans-culottes conducted the revolution, while in the Americas, ethnic minorities (Indians, African Americans, mulattoes, and mestizos) shaped the revolution. The last common pattern is that irrespective of whether the revolutions took place in societies with slaves or those without, none of them was aimed at establishing democracy. The main aim of revolutionaries was to achieve sovereignty, and the nature of postrevolutionary rule was authoritarian.

 
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Toussaint LOuverture, who was a self-educated Haitian slave, wrote a letter to the Directory. In this letter, he wrote that that their determination to succeed has led them to envelop themselves in the mantle of liberty in order to strike it more deadly blows. This statement means that people who had plantations on the island lied when they said they supported liberation; all they wanted was to preserve slavery on the island. It shows that although society needed liberation, some individuals were against this liberation and did their best to keep certain people enslaved.

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The aftermaths of the revolution in Haiti were disastrous. Firstly, illiteracy was rampant after the revolution. Since French administrative cadres were either killed or forced to leave the country, there were no educated individuals. Even the emperor of Haiti, Jean-Jacques Dessalines, and the then minister of finance were illiterate. Only 1000 children went to school after the revolution. Secondly, the wars led to population decline. The population living on the island reduced by 150000 people. Thirdly, since the French were the only people who knew how to run plantations, after the revolution the Haitians did not know how to make plantations prosperous and profitable. Fourthly, the capital stock needed for the sugar industry was destroyed, and there was no domestic capital market. Lastly, Haiti had no friends; therefore, it was defenseless when a French fleet arrived in 1825 demanding war reparations. This shows that the revolution adversely affected Haiti.

In conclusion, all of the Atlantic Revolutions had a profound impact on society. They were usually influenced by international politics and staged by people who were previously voiceless. However, all of them could have been avoided or postponed. The revolutions had several effects, both positive and negative. All in all, they allowed people to gain freedom.

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