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Hello, and welcome to history at the Oak National Academy.

My name is Mr. Arscott, and I'm excited to welcome you here today.

We're going to start a brand new enquiry looking at what did the French Revolution mean to Britons? That's going to be four lessons, we're going to look at how British people reacted to the French Revolution.

So it will be really good for this enquiry if you already know a bit about the French Revolution first.

If you've studied in school that's excellent, or there's another enquiry on Oak that you can look at, which looks at the French Revolution.

Now for today's lesson you're going to need a piece of paper, and a pen, and once you've got those things you are ready to go.

So I'm going to ask you to start by writing down today's title: "The Haitian Revolution", and I'll get my head out of the way so you can see it.

So I wanted to start today by having a look at this picture.

Now this is quite a famous picture, it's one that's used in history classrooms up and down the country, so you might have seen it before.

But if you've seen it before, if you haven't seen it before, it doesn't matter.

What I want you to do is I want you to have a look at it again now, maybe for the first time now, and I want you just to think about one question: What can you see? So when you think about what you can see, what are the people doing, where might this be, and those kind of questions.

So I'm going to ask you to think about that question.

What can you see? And pause the video for thirty seconds whilst you're looking at this, then unpause it when you think you've got an answer on what you can see.

Right, welcome back.

I'm sure you found some really interesting details, and you've got some important questions to ask when you looked at this.

So I'll go through a bit about what I was able to see.

So this picture shows a plantation.

Plantations were large farms, and they were often found in the Americas and in the Caribbean.

And this particular picture is showing a plantation in the Caribbean.

And the thing that's happening, is that people are harvesting sugar cane.

And sugar cane was a crop grown in the Caribbean, it was then cut down, and then processed, and it became the sugar that today we can eat.

And in fact, during the 18th century, sugar became hugely popular in Europe.

And so there's lots of people that wanted to buy it.

And therefore in the Americas, some people made lots of money by growing it and sending it back to Europe.

Now, you might have noticed something else in this painting, which is really important.

But it isn't immediately obvious.

And it's that this image gives us a bit of a clue about racial inequality in plantations in the Caribbean.

So you might have noticed that most of the people in this image are black, but one person is not.

And that white person is on a horse.

And I've circled him there.

So what role do you think he had? Well, he was the boss, he was in charge.

He's probably the owner of this plantation.

So, it might seem a bit odd that one person, of one ethnicity, is in charge of telling other people what to do.

And unfortunately, that tells us a lot about what life was like in the Caribbean in the 18th century and the 19th century.

There was a lot of racial inequality.

Now, the people that are cutting the sugar cane are actually enslaved labour.

These are people that are being forced to work for free for this man.

And if they don't do it, they're likely to get very harsh punishments.

So, one of the key things we're going to be thinking about today is why that situation had arisen, and also what was happening about it? So I want you to bare that in the back of your mind as we're going through the lesson.

This is a key feature of life in the Caribbean.

Now before you do that, I want you to now have a go at answering this question for yourself.

What can you see? I put this sentence starter to help you, "In this painting I can see.

.", what I want you to do is copy that down, and then finish the sentence with details that you can see.

Pause the video whilst you're doing that, and then unpause it when you're done.

Welcome back.

So I'm sure you've written something really, really good there, I'm just going to give you an example of something that I could write.

So in this painting, I can see a plantation in the Caribbean where enslaved people are harvesting sugar cane.

Now I'm sure you've got something equally good, or maybe something even better with more details than I managed to get.

So this is the first lesson of four in this new enquiry.

It's always a good idea to give us a bit of a sense of the period in which we're talking.

So what's going on when we're talking? To give a bit of background, here's a timeline and this has some famous events that you might have studied in school history, or might be getting on to study.

So you may have already studied the English Civil War, which happened in the 17th century, and maybe at some point you're going to go on to study the first World War, which happened in the 20th century.

Now the period that we're going to be studying is known as the Age of Revolutions.

And during the Age of Revolutions, there are these exciting times where ordinary people rose up and they overthrew their government or they created new countries.

Now, before the Age of Revolutions started, there was this period known as the Enlightenment, where new ideas about people having personal freedom were developed and discussed and shared.

And then the first major revolution was the American Revolution.

And then shortly after that, there was the French Revolution.

And what we're looking at today was the revolution that followed after the French Revolution, or some parts of it were happening at the same time, known as the Haitian Revolution.

So the general chronology of the Age of Revolutions was that the Enlightenment happened first, then the American Revolution, then the French Revolution.

I will now ask you a quick question about this timeline.

Which of the following statements is true? So I want you to pause the video now, read through the four options, and then unpause it when you think you've got the right answer.

Welcome back.

Well, hopefully you chose option 3, the Enlightenment started before the American or French Revolution.

As I said, we're going to be looking at the Haitian Revolution, which happens just after the French Revolution begins, though the French Revolution goes on for some time, so you could argue that they're happening at the same time, in some sense.

So where is the Haitian Revolution going to take place? Well, it takes place in a place known as St Domingue.

And St Domingue was this island in the Caribbean.

You can see on the map where St Domingue is there.

Now St Domingue was a French colony, which means it's a bit of land that France owned or claimed to own.

St Domingue was a colony which included lots and lots of plantations.

As a result, it made France very wealthy.

It was in fact the wealthiest place in the Americas.

And it was so wealthy because it produced huge amounts of sugar, and huge amounts of coffee in its plantations.

And they were then exported, which means they were sold back to Europe, where they made lots of money.

Now the other reason why so much money was made from St Domingue , was because enslaved labour was used there.

So people were deprived of their freedom, and they were forced to work.

As the plantation owners made huge amounts of money, people in France got to buy cheap goods, but it was all based on and worked on for free by people living in absolutely horrible conditions in plantations.

So who actually lived in St Domingue? Well, there were about forty thousand free, white Europeans, so these people that had travelled over from Europe, and they decided to settle and live in the Caribbean island of St Domingue.

But there was also some other groups of people who had come from other parts of the world.

And this map on the right give us a bit of an indication about why that happened.

Now you may have seen a map like this before, it's a really important map in trying to understand world history.

And what this map shows, is something known as the Triangular Trade.

And this partly explains why St Domingue was so rich.

So as we said before, on St Domingue sugar was grown and that was transported back to Europe.

Now, lots of money was made by selling sugar in Europe.

But money was also made in other parts of this trade route.

Ships would travel from Europe, the bit in green, down to West Africa, the bit in red.

And here, ships would pick up enslaved people.

So people would be captured in West Africa, and be forced to become slaves, and they they'd be sailed across the Atlantic ocean to the part in blue, to the Americas.

Now the ships that would transport people from West Africa to the Americas would have absolutely horrible conditions, and huge numbers of the West Africans, the enslaved West Africans on the ships, would die during that journey.

And when they got to the Americas, so got to the bits in blue, so North America, South America, or the Caribbean, the enslaved West Africans would be sold to plantation owners.

So as a result, in St Domingue there's a large population of enslaved people.

Four hundred and fifty-two thousand enslaved West Africans lived in St Domingue.

Now there's also a smaller population of free black people, or mixed race people.

There's about twenty eight thousand of those.

And these are people that maybe used to be enslaved, but managed to gain their freedom somehow.

Even though they were free, they didn't have equal rights with the free white Europeans living in St Domingue.

So there's still a racial inequality between the free white Europeans and the free black or free mixed race people.

However the most important bit is that there's a huge population of enslaved people living there, by far the largest social group.

So having looked at the different social groups that lived in St Domingue , I expect there's a question that's come to the front of your mind.

How was St Domingue controlled? If there were so many more enslaved people living in St Domingue , how was a smaller number of free people able to control that large group? Well unfortunately, the answer to that question is through extreme violence and brutal punishments.

The white Europeans and the other plantation owners who lived in St Domingue were able to control the society because they used very, very harsh punishments and horrible forms of torture in order to keep enslaved people under control.

And if any enslaved people did try to rebel, as often happened on a small scale, really brutal punishments were used in order to reassert control.

So again I'll ask a few more quick questions.

Where was St Domingue? Going to ask you to quickly choose the option before, then I'm going to give you a countdown of 5, 4, 3, 2, 1: Well done if you chose option 2, St Domingue was in the Caribbean.

Next question: which country owned St Domingue as a colony? I'm going to give you another countdown once you look at the options: 5, 4, 3, 2, 1.

Well done if you chose option 3, France.

And final quick question: where did St Domingue's enslaved population originally come from? Going to give you another countdown of five seconds whist you read the four options: 5, 4, 3, 2, 1.

Well done if you chose option 1, which is West Africa.

So, as we said there's going to be a revolution.

Now why did that happen? In 1789, there's a revolution in France, hugely famous revolution, there's an early Oak enquiry if you want to learn a bit more about that.

And during the French Revolution, there's some exciting ideas from the Enlightenment which inspired people to want to change the kind of society that was in France.

And they came out with this slogan, which is "Liberty, equality, fraternity".

What they meant by that was a society where everyone was free, that's what they meant by liberty.

A society where there's equality, so people had the same status, people had the same legal rights.

And fraternity, meaning there'd be a sense of brotherhood, that people would work together and care about each other.

Now, St Domingue if you remember, was a French colony.

So when there's a revolution in France which claimed "Liberty, equality, fraternity", the people in St Domingue got excited.

Some people thought that meant there was going to be racial equality, that meant that black and white people in St Domingue, and mixed race people, would be treated equally.

And for the enslaved people living in St Domingue, they thought this might mean they're going to be given their freedom, they'll no longer be forced to work for free by the plantation owners.

So when the French Revolution happened, people in St Domingue got excited.

Well, what did change after the French Revolution? Frustratingly, for the enslaved in St Domingue, very little changed at first.

The enslaved people were the group that could benefit the most from the ideals of liberty, equality, and fraternity that were changing French society.

But in St Domingue, very little changed.

And the experience of being an enslaved person in St Domingue was already so horrific that there was reason to rebel.

But this combined with the events in France meant that rebellions started to take place.

And at first they were small scale.

At first, the rebellions involved sugar burnings.

The enslaved people attacked the most valuable resource on the island, which was the sugar plantations.

And it starts with burning the sugar cane.

The owners of the plantations would then go to that area, in order to try and stop the burning, and then often they were attacked.

And these small scale rebellions and sugar burnings started to take place more and more often.

And eventually, there was a full scale rebellion across St Domingue.

So it starts with burnings, and then it ended up becoming a guerrilla war.

Now you can see, on this image on the right, you can see what a guerrilla war might look like.

It involved small bands of enslaved people attacking groups of plantation owners or other white people living on St Domingue.

And the guerrilla war was a very intelligent way to fight.

Because it meant that an attack could take place on plantation owners, and then the enslaved people could disappear before reinforcements arrived.

And what this led to was a loss of control by the plantation owners and the French, who controlled St Domingue, or who had controlled St Domingue.

It looked like St Domingue was going out of control.

Right, so a quick question before we move on.

Which of the following was a consequence of the French Revolution in St Domingue? Pause the video for thirty seconds whilst you look through the options, then unpause it when you've made your choice.

Well done if you chose option 4! Enslaved people rose up in rebellion to fight for their freedom.

Now the other options were things that people wanted, but it's only option 4 that was an immediate consequence of the French revolution in St Domingue.

So what happened next? Well, this loss of control from the plantation owners and the French ended up becoming a very complicated three way war.

The plantation owners and the French were trying to fight back against the enslaved people that were rising up in a full rebellion.

Now to make matters even worse, the British and the Spanish then get involved.

Both the British and the Spanish looked at St Domingue as one of the most valuable islands in the whole of the Caribbean.

They knew how much money it made for France, and so both of them thought if they could take it over, they might be able to make that money instead.

And so the British and Spanish supported different sides.

The Spanish supported the enslaved people in rebellion, and the British supported the plantation owners, and they said, "If we provide you with troops, and we support your fight against your enslaved people, then we will then welcome St Domingue into the British Empire".

Now Britain was doing that for two reasons.

Firstly, they wanted to get the money from St Domingue for themselves, and they wanted St Domingue to become a part of the British Empire.

But secondly, they're worried if the rebellion and enslaved people were successful, it might spread to other islands.

And Britain had lots of colonies nearby St Domingue, particularly Jamaica, where they made lots and lots of money.

And they didn't want a rebellion of enslaved people in St Domingue to spread to Jamaica, and then Britain have to fight a war there.

Now during this complicated war, one figure emerged as the most successful military leader.

You can see an image of him on the right.

His name is Toussaint L'Ouverture.

Now we don't actually know a huge amount about his early life, and historians are still looking into it today.

But we think he was probably a free black man living in St Domingue before the revolution took place.

He was an amazing military leader, and he was also very intelligent.

What he was able to do was coordinate the different rebellions by different groups of enslaved people, and coordinate them into an army that could eventually defeat the plantation owners and the British.

And actually, he's able to remove the Spanish off the island too, or that section of the island, too.

So, he ended up becoming a very successful military leader, and then as a result, becomes the leader of St Domingue.

Now as leader, St Domingue is still part of the French Empire, but he starts to rule it himself.

And he's not just a brilliant military leader, he's also very intelligent and very well-read.

And he uses the Enlightenment ideas that inspired the French Revolution in the way that he rules St Domingue.

And because France was going through a revolution at the same time, on the whole, they're very supportive.

So one thing he does, is he abolishes slavery.

But not only that, he was able to convince the French revolutionaries that they should abolish slavery across all of the French colonies, and that's what takes place.

He also governs St Domingue in a way which is racially equal.

So he gets rid of the divisions that the plantation owners and the French had previously used to control St Domingue.

And in 1801, he writes an amazing, radical constitution.

Now a constitution is the rules that society and government should follow.

And in this constitution, he takes the Enlightenment ideas to the furthest they've ever been applied before.

And the constitution promises racial equality, it says that you shouldn't be treated differently based on the colour of your skin, and it abolishes slavery completely.

Now today, these seem like obvious positions we should have.

But at the time, it was very radical.

And he was able to achieve that because he was so well-read, and was such a brilliant military leader.

Right, that's a huge amount of information that we just listened to.

I want you to now have a go at trying to put that in the right order.

So I've got some events on the right hand side which I've jumbled up a bit, and what I want you to do is write them out on a sheet of paper in the correct order.

So pause the video whilst you're doing that, and unpause it when you're done.

Welcome back.

Let's see if you've got them in the right order.

So the first event was the French Revolution, then the slave rebellions started, then the British tried to support the slave owners in St Domingue, they sent troops to try and support them, and then, L'Ouverture is able to take over and he writes this constitution which ends slavery, and promises racial equality in St Domingue.

So unfortunately, that's not the end of the story.

Toussaint L'Ouverture had done a brilliant job of writing this new constitution, which outlawed slavery, and said there's going to be racial equality.

And initially, he'd been able to persuade the French that this was the way they should rule across their entire empire.

And so the French revolutionaries had outlawed slavery everywhere.

But later on, the French, with British involvement, betray Toussaint L'Ouverture's vision.

Now both the British and the French become worried that if slavery is outlawed, they won't be able to make as much money from it anymore.

And so, the French and the British plan to undermine Toussaint L'Ouverture.

The French re-invade St Domingue in order to try and stop this abolition of slavery.

They want to put slavery back in place, and reverse what Toussaint L'Ouverture had achieved.

And so the people of St Domingue decide to fight for a war of independence against France, where they want to fight for the vision that Toussaint L'Ouverture had, so a society without enslaved people, and a society with racial equality.

Now eventually, the people of St Domingue are successful, and they're able to defeat the French, and they establish a new country which became known as Haiti.

Right, you and I are in a really good position to have a go at trying to answer some comprehension questions.

So I'm going to read through them now, and then I'm going to give your next set of instructions.


Which country owned the colony of St Domingue? 2.

How did plantation owners try and keep control of the enslaved people on St Domingue? 3.

How did the slave rebellion begin in 1791? 4.

Why did Britain involve itself in the conflict between St Domingue's enslaved people and plantation owners? 5.

In what ways was Toussaint L'Ouverture a good leader? Now, you may be able to answer some of them, but what I want you to do, is I want you to go to the next page and read through the worksheet slides.

So you've got some really good information that you can write in your answers for these.

I also want you to try and write your answers in full, meaningful sentences.

I'm going to want you to pause the video now, read through the slides on the next page, answer the comprehension questions, then come back to the video once you're done.

Then re-start the video when you're finished.

Welcome back, let's see how well you did.

So, question 1: which country owned the colony of St Domingue? An acceptable answer would be 'France', but a good answer and a full sentence would be 'The colony of St Domingue was owned by France'.

Now if at any point you want to pause the video, you want to correct something, you want to change something, that's absolutely fine, just pause the video.

Also don't worry if you didn't get exactly the same wording as me, no humans write in exactly the same ways, I don't expect you to do that.

Just look for common language, and if you've got something that's roughly right, give yourself a tick.

Question 2.

How did plantation owners try and keep control of the enslaved people on St Domingue? An acceptable answer would be harsh punishments or fear.

A good answer in full sentences: 'Conditions for enslaved people were so horrible they often rebelled.

To try to control the enslaved people, plantation owners used harsh punishments like amputations or painful and slow public executions.

The plantation owners hoped that if enslaved people feared punishments then that would prevent future rebellions'.


How did the slave rebellion begin in 1791? Burnings.

A good answer: 'The sugar cane crop was intentionally burned by slaves.

The rebellion then turned into a guerrilla war'.


Why did Britain involve itself in the conflict between St Domingue's enslaved people and plantation owners? Acceptable answers: scared of slave rebellions, or wanted to stop revolution.

A good answer: 'Britain decided to support the white plantation owners against the enslaved people in St Domingue.

Britain did this because they did not want revolutionary ideas about slaves being freed to spread to its Caribbean colonies like Jamaica'.

And 5, the challenge question.

In what ways was Toussaint L'Ouverture a good leader? So, acceptable answers would be he was a good soldier, he was very intelligent.

A good answer instead is in full sentences.

'Firstly, Toussaint L'Ouverture was a good leader because he managed to lead the enslaved people well in their war for freedom.

Secondly, he was a good leader because his actions helped persuade the French Revolutionaries to abolish slavery in all of their colonies.

Thirdly, he was a good leader because he used his intelligence and knowledge of Enlightenment ideas to write a radical constitution'.

Okay, really well done with your hard work today.

Remember, you can just pause the video and then add anything to your notes at any point if you want to improve some of your answers.

Right we're now going to consider how this relates to the enquiry question I gave at the very start of the lesson.

You may well be thinking, "I'm not sure how it does".

So our question: What can we learn from Britain's reaction to the Haitian Revolution? Now that's quite a difficult question, so before we get to that, I'm going to ask you a slightly more straightforward one.

How did Britain react to revolution? So we've learned about the Haitian Revolution, but we've heard about things that Britain did at various points.

So I've got four options here, and I want you to pause the video and have a read of those four options, and think about how was Britain reacting? Unpause the video when you're done.

Okay, welcome back.

Well, in terms of how Britain was reacting to the Haitian Revolution, it definitely wasn't option 1.

The way Britain was responding, they didn't seem to be excited about revolution changes.

Now they also didn't seem to see the revolution as an opportunity to increase British power and wealth.

Apart from in the very beginning, when Britain wanted to take St Domingue for itself, so option 2 might be a correct answer.

Option 3, sees revolutions as a threat to Britain's power/wealth.

Well that's definitely the case.

Britain was worried that revolutionary ideas amongst the enslaved at St Domingue might spread to enslaved people in British colonies like Jamaica.

And 4.

Fears revolutionary changes in Britain.

Well maybe not so much that one.

So option 2 and option 3 have the best answers at this point to how Britain reacted to the Haitian Revolution.

So what I want you to have a go at doing now is I want you to try and answer this question.

What can we learn from Britain's reaction to the Haitian Revolution? So what does it tell us about the British government, what British people were thinking at the time? I've got a couple of sentence starters to help you, and I've also got some key words that I want you to try and put in your answers.

So have a go at trying to answer that now, and then once you're done, unpause the video, and I'll give you a final message.

Well done for your really hard work today looking at the Haitian Revolution, and looking at how the French Revolution had an impact on the other side of the world, and then how that is going to have an impact on Britain.

So one final thing to do before the end of the lesson is to have a go at the end of lesson quiz, and then you're good to go.

Well done again for today!.