The Haitian revolution was a complicated and trans-regional event, one that brought together actors, ideas, and institutions from three empires—France, Spain, and Great Britain—as well as the United States. The scholarship on the Haitian revolution, too, has been produced in a wide range of contexts and languages. The past decades have seen an explosion of such scholarship, notably in the United States, which has substantially expanded our understanding of the cultural, social, and political dynamics of the colony of Saint Domingue and the process that led to the creation of independent Haiti in 1804. But this scholarship has built on essential work by previous generations, most importantly on the work of Haitian historians going back to the 19th century, which those interested in the period should also continue to consult. This bibliography, necessarily selected, attempts to foreground what we consider to be the essential works on the period. While it is tilted toward the presentation of English-language sources, we have also included a selection of important French-language works.
Colonial Saint Domingue
The French acquired the western third of Hispaniola, Saint Domingue, as a colony in 1659. During the 18th century, French colonists transformed the colony into a land of export agriculture by establishing large sugar and coffee plantations as well as smaller indigo, cacao, and cotton plantations. The colonists purchased slaves from Africa through the transatlantic slave trade to labor these plantations. Saint Domingue quickly became an enormous source of wealth for metropolitan France. The population of the colony was overwhelmingly enslaved with a minority of whites and free people of color. Hector and Moïse 1990 is an excellent French-language overview of the history of Saint-Domingue. Cauna 2003 provides a detailed study of plantation life, and Garraway 2005 explores representations of sexuality in the colony. Frostin 1975 explores the political activities of the white population before the revolution, while McLellan 1992 examines the intellectual and scientific activities among the colony’s elite. Garrigus 2006 and King 2007 provide the most detailed studies of free people of color in Saint Domingue.
Cauna, Jacques de. Au temps des isles a sucre: Histoire d’une plantation de Saint-Domingue au XVIIIe siècle. Hommes et Sociétés. Paris: Karthala, 2003.
One of the most detailed studies of plantation life in Saint Domingue, based on plantation papers and correspondence from one major sugar plantation.
Frostin, Charles. Les révoltes blanches à Saint-Domingue aux XVIIe et XVIIIe siècles. Collection Histoire et Littérature Haïtiennes. Paris: L’École, 1975.
Examines the political mobilization among whites in Saint Domingue from its earliest days as a colony, providing a rich portrait of the governance and social life of the colony.
Garraway, Doris Lorraine. The Libertine Colony: Creolization in the Early French Caribbean. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2005.
A study of French accounts of the social world of the French Antilles during the 17th and 18th centuries, with an emphasis on discourses surrounding gender and sexuality.
Garrigus, John D. Before Haiti: Race and Citizenship in French Saint-Domingue. Americas in the Early Modern Atlantic World. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2006.
Provides an analysis of research on free people of color from the southern province of Saint Domingue, following the history of the group from colonial times through the revolution. Emphasizes the frontier nature of the colony and argues that this characteristic allowed for the development of a large mixed-race population and a society organized by a class hierarchy.
Hector, Michel, and Claude Moïse. Colonisation et esclavage en Haïti: Le régime colonial français à Saint-Domingue (1625–1789). Port-au-Prince: H. Deschamps, 1990.
An excellent overview of the colonial history of Saint Domingue by two of Haiti’s most important historians.
King, Stewart R. Blue Coat or Powdered Wig: Free People of Color in Pre-Revolutionary Saint Domingue. Athens, GA: University of Georgia Press, 2007.
Studies the free colored population in Saint Domingue primarily using notarial records. Emphasizes distinctions between urban and rural groups and the occupations of individuals as planters or policemen and soldiers.
McLellan, James E. Colonialism and Science: Saint-Domingue in the Old Regime. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1992.
Through an exploration of Enlightenment culture and thought in colonial Saint Domingue, this book provides one of the most detailed portraits of the social and cultural life among the planter elite in the colony.
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content on this page. Please subscribe or login.
How to Subscribe
Oxford Bibliographies Online is available by subscription and perpetual access to institutions. For more information or to contact an Oxford Sales Representative click here.
Purchase an Ebook Version of This Article
Ebooks of the Oxford Bibliographies Online subject articles are available in North America via a number of retailers including Amazon, vitalsource, and more. Simply search on their sites for Oxford Bibliographies Online Research Guides and your desired subject article.
If you would like to purchase an eBook article and live outside North America please email email@example.com to express your interest.
- Agricultural Technologies
- Andean Contributions to Rethinking the State and the Natio...
- Antislavery Narratives
- Argentina in the Era of Mass Immigration
- Argentina, Slavery in
- Army of Chile in the 19th Century
- Asian Art and Its Impact in the Americas, 1565–1840
- Asian-Peruvian Literature
- Baroque and Neo-baroque Literary Tradition
- Bello, Andrés
- Black Experience in Colonial Latin America, The
- Black Experience in Modern Latin America, The
- Borderlands in Latin America, Conquest of
- Bourbon Reforms, The
- Brazilian Northeast, History of the
- Buenos Aires
- Caribbean Philosophical Association, The
- Cartagena de Indias
- Caste War of Yucatán, The
- Caudillos, 19th Century
- Cádiz Constitution and Liberalism, The
- Chaco War
- Children, History of
- Chile's Struggle for Independence
- Chronicle, The
- Church in Colonial Latin America, The
- Chávez, Hugo, and the Bolivarian Revolution in Venezuela
- Cinema, Contemporary Brazilian
- Cinema, Latin American
- Colonial Central America
- Contemporary Maya, The
- Costa Rica
- Cárdenas and Cardenismo
- Cuban Revolution, The
- Development of Architecture in New Spain, 1500-1810, The
- Development of Painting in Peru, 1520–1820, The
- Drug Trades in Latin America
- Early Colonial Forms of Native Expression in Mexico and Pe...
- El Salvador
- Enlightenment and its Visual Manifestations in Spanish Ame...
- Environmental History
- Era of Porfirio Díaz, 1876–1911, The
- Family History
- Film, Science Fiction
- Gender in Colonial Brazil
- Gender in Postcolonial Latin America
- Guatemala and Yucatan, Conquest of
- Guatemala City
- Haitian Revolution, The
- Health and Disease in Modern Latin America, History of
- History, Cultural
- History, Food
- Horror in Literature and Film in Latin America
- Human Rights in Latin America
- Immigration in Latin America
- Indigenous Elites in the Colonial Andes
- Indigenous Population and Justice System in Central Mexico...
- Japanese Presence in Latin America
- Jewish Presence in Latin America, The
- Las Casas, Bartolomé de
- Latin American Independence
- Latin American Urbanism, 1850-1950
- Law and Society in Latin America since 1800
- Legal History of New Spain, 16th-17th Centuries
- Legal History of the State and Church in 18th Century New ...
- Literature, Argentinian
- Machado de Assis
- Maroon Societies in Latin America
- Martí, José, and Cuba
- Mestizaje and the Legacy of José María Arguedas
- Mexican Revolution, 1910–1940, The
- Mexican-US Relations
- Mexico, Conquest of
- Mexico, Education in
- Migration to the United States
- Military and Modern Latin America, The
- Military Government in Latin America, 1959–1990
- Military Institution in Colonial Latin America, The
- Modern Decorative Arts and Design, 1900–2000
- Modern Populism in Latin America
- Modernity and Decoloniality
- Musical Tradition in Latin America, The
- Native Presence in Postconquest Central Peru
- New Conquest History and the New Philology in Colonial Mes...
- New Left in Latin America, The
- Novel, Chronology of the Venezuelan
- Novel of the Mexican Revolution, The
- Novel, 19th Century Haitian
- Novel, The Colombian
- Oaxaca, Conquest and Colonial
- Painting in New Spain, 1521-1820
- Paraguayan War (War of the Triple Alliance)
- Perón and Peronism
- Peru, Conquest of
- Peru, Slavery in
- Philippines Under Spanish Rule, 1571-1898
- Photography in the History of Race and Nation
- Political Exile in Latin America
- Popular Culture and Globalization
- Popular Movements in Nineteenth-Century Latin America
- Post Conquest Aztecs
- Post-Conquest Demographic Collapse
- Poverty in Latin America
- Preconquest Incas
- Pre-Revolutionary Mexico, State and Nation Formation in
- Printing and the Book
- Prints and the Circulation of Colonial Images
- Protestantism in Latin America
- Revolution and Reaction in Central America
- Rosas, Juan Manuel de
- Science and Empire in the Iberian Atlantic
- Sexualities in Latin America and the Caribbean
- São Paulo
- Spanish and Portuguese Trade, 1500–1750
- Spanish Caribbean In The Colonial Period, The
- Spanish Colonial Decorative Arts, 1500-1825
- Spanish Florida
- Textile Traditions of the Andes
- 16th-Century New Spain
- Transculturation and Literature
- Trujillo, Rafael
- Tupac Amaru Rebellion, The
- United States and Castro's Cuba in the Cold War, The
- United States and the Guatemalan Revolution, The
- United States Invasion of the Dominican Republic, 1961–196...
- Urban History
- U.S.-Latin American Relations During the Cold War
- Vargas, Getúlio
- Women and Labor in 20th-Century Latin America
- Women in Colonial Latin American History
- Women in Modern Latin American History
- Zapatista Rebellion in Chiapas