The King, a Queen, and an Oath Sealed in Blood: A Cultural Re-Evaluation of the Bois-Caiman Ceremony and its Impact on the Early Haitian Revolution

Historical studies have set up a paradox where religious practices are discussed as socially important to enslaved people while simultaneously are described as peripheral to the outbreak of the Haitian Revolution. Yet at the heart of the lead up to the 1791 insurgency was an Afro-Caribbean religious event called the Bois-Caiman ceremony.

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Ending Slavery, Narrating Emancipation: Revolutionary Legacies in the French Anti-slavery Debate and “Silencing the Haitian Revolution”, 1814-1848

This dissertation examines the nineteenth-century French debate on slavery and emancipation by analyzing its engagement with the antislavery legacies of the French Revolution and the Haitian Revolution. In revising the prior historiography’s preoccupation with the influence of the benchmark British example, it contends that the impacts of revolutionary abolition formed another vital factor in shaping French abolitionism and emancipation.

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