These were affluent Whites who owned plantations and many slaves. Since their wealth and place rested wholly on the slave economic system they were united in support of bondage. They were. by 1770. highly disenchanted with France. Their ailment was about indistinguishable with the ailments that led the North American British to arise against King George in 1776 and declare their independency. That is. the metropole ( France ) . imposed rigorous Torahs on the settlement forbiding any trading with any spouse except France. Further. the settlers had no formal representation with the Gallic authorities.
Virtually all the plantation owners violated the Torahs of France and carried on an illegal trade particularly with the fledgling state. the United States of America. Most of the plantation owners leaned strongly toward independency for Saint-Domingue along the same lines as the U. S. . that is. a slave state governed by white males. It is of import to observe at the beginning that this group was radical. independence-minded and defiant of the Torahs of France. Petit Blancs The 2nd group of Whites were less powerful than the plantation owners.
They were craftsmans. store keepers. merchandisers. instructors and assorted center and lower class Whites. They frequently had a few slaves. but were non affluent like the plantation owners. They tended to be less independence-minded and more loyal to France. However. they were committed to slavery and were particularly anti-black. seeing free individuals of colour as serious economic and societal rivals. The Free Persons of Color There were about 30. 000 free individuals of colour in 1789. About half of them were mulattoes. kids of white Frenchmans and slave adult females.
These mulattoes were frequently freed by their father-masters in some kind of paternal guilt or concern. These mulatto kids were normally feared by the slaves since the Masterss frequently displayed unpredictable behaviour toward them. at times acknowledging them as their kids and demanding particular intervention. at other times wishing to deny their being. Thus the slaves wanted nil to make with the mulattoes if possible. The other half of the free individuals of colour were black slaves who had purchased their ain freedom or been given freedom by their Masterss for assorted grounds.
The free people of colour were frequently rather affluent. surely normally more affluent than the petit blancs ( therefore accounting for the distinguishable hate of the free individuals of colour on the portion of the petit blancs ) . and frequently even more affluent than the plantation owners. The free individuals of colour could have plantations and owned a big part of the slaves. They frequently treated their slaves ill and about ever wanted to pull distinguishable lines between themselves and the slaves. Free people of colour were normally strongly pro-slavery.
There were particular Torahs which limited the behaviour of the free people of colour and they did non hold rights as citizens of France. Like the plantation owners. they tended to tilt toward independency and to wish for a free Saint-Domingue which would be a slave state in which they could be free and independent citizens. As a category they surely regarded the slaves as much more their enemies than they did the Whites. Culturally the free people of colour strove to be more white than the Whites.
They denied everything about their African and black roots. They dressed as Gallic and European as the jurisprudence would let. they were good educated in the Gallic mode. spoke Gallic and denigrated the Creole linguistic communication of the slaves. They were scrupulous Catholics and denounced the Voodoo faith of Africa. While the Whites treated them severely and scorned their colour. they however strove to copy every thing white. seeing this a manner of dividing themselves from the position of the slaves whom they despised. The Black Slaves
There were some 500. 000 slaves on the Eve of the Gallic Revolution. This means the slaves outnumbered the free people by about 10-1. In general the slave system in Saint-Domingue was particularly barbarous. In the picking order of bondage one of the most awful menaces to recalcitrant slaves in the remainder of the Americas was to endanger to sell them to Saint- Domingue. However. there was an of import division among the slaves which will account for some divided behaviour of the slaves in the early old ages of the revolution.