Inspired by events in France, a number of Haitian-born revolutionary movements emerged simultaneously. They used as their inspiration the French Revolution’s “Declaration of the Rights of Man.” The General Assembly in Paris responded by enacting legislation which gave the various colonies some autonomy at the local level. The legislation, which called for “all local be active citizens,” was both ambiguous and radical. It was interpreted in Saint Dominigue as applying only to the planter class and thus excluded from government. Yet it allowed free citizens of color who were substantial property owners to participate. This legislation, promulgated in Paris to keep Saint Dominigue in the colonial empire, instead generated a three-sided civil war between the planters, free blacks and the . However, all three groups would be challenged by the enslaved black majority which was also influenced and inspired by events in France.


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