21 January 2010

Random bit of history

"During the course of the 1790s the earlier enthusiasm of those in the Upper South to liberalize their society and to create a looser slave regime began to dissipate. Probably nothing did more to diminish the initial optimism of many whites in Virginia about the end of slavery than the black rebellion in the French colony of Saint-Domingue [Haiti] on the island of Hispaniola. The rebellion began in 1790 with an uprising of free coloreds, a diverse group who numbered about thirty thousand and included French-educated planters, tradesmen, artisans, and small landowners. The insurgents had been infected with French revolutionary principles and now demanded equality with whites. The whites numbered about forty thousand, but they were bitterly divided between the grand blancs and the disorderly and marginalized petits blancs. Beneath the whites and the free coloreds were five hundred thousand African slaves."

- Empire of Liberty, by Gordon S. Wood, p. 533.

No comments:

Knowledge is warranted belief -- it is the body of belief that we build up because, while living in this world, we've developed good reasons for believing it. What we know, then, is what works -- and it is, necessarily, what has worked for us, each of us individually, as a first approximation. For my other blog, on the struggles for control in the corporate suites, see www.proxypartisans.blogspot.com.