Gendered Freedom: Citoyennes and War in the Revolutionary French Caribbean

TitleGendered Freedom: Citoyennes and War in the Revolutionary French Caribbean
Publication TypeBook Chapter
Year of Publication2010
AuthorsDubois, Laurent
EditorHagemann, Karen, Gisela Mettele, and Jane Rendall
Book TitleGender, War and Politics: Transatlantic Perspectives, 1775-1830
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
CityBasingstoke, UK

This chapter analyses the connection between military mobilization and citizeship in the Haitian Revolution. In the 1790s, slave revolutionaries transformed the societies of Saint-Domingue, Guadeloupe, and Martinique in the French Caribbean, confronting and overcoming slavery and creating a new order based on emancipation and political participation for all colonial citizens. By successfully organizing a resilient insurrectionary force in Saint-Domingue in 1791, these revolutionaries created a crisis and gave themselves a political platform from which they demanded reform first and eventually outright emancipation. The decrees of emancipation issued in 1793 in Saint-Domingue, which were ratified in Paris in 1794, effectively channelled mass slave insurrection into a new national policy, one with enormous political and military consequences. Former slaves became soldiers of the French Republic, fighting simultaneously for the tricolour and for liberty from slavery. [Springer Link]

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