La défaite de Napoléon en Haïti
Released: 21 September 2014
Valmy, Austerlitz, Ulm,Waterloo… somany battles whose names are so familiar to us. But who, outside of Haiti, has ever heard of the Battle of Vertières, that spectacular and bloody culmination of the Haitian Revolution?
Who is aware that the clash resulted, in 1803, in one of the worst defeats of the Napoleonic wars? Or that the Black Haitians were making demands in line with the ideals of the Revolution? Those that know this history are few and far between, because France, defeated, set to work erasing every trace of its embarrassment. Yet this battle should be recognized as a milestone: its outcome, disastrous to the French colonial power, irreparably cracked the foundations of slavery.
In this work, Jean-Pierre Le Glaunec describes the unbelievable violence of this war between masters and former slaves, between the troops of Generals Leclerc and Rochambeau and the so-called Indigenous Army of Jean-Jacques Dessalines. He questions the meaning of the erasure of this battle from French history, as well as the troubled place it holds in the memory of the Haitian elite, as a symbol of emancipation sometimes cumbrous to those who would maintain practices of enslavement.
Rights Sold: English (McGill-Queen’s University Press)