chapter  9
28 Pages

Defense and Distribution: Agricultural Policy in Haiti During the Reign of Jean-Jacques Dessalines, 1804-1806

Between 1796 and 1801 Toussamt L'Ouverture emerged as the undisputed leader of the Haitian insurgents against French supremacy. During this period he gained military control over the entire island of Hispamola. The insurgents were given a m o m e n t of rest in the long wars of liberation which had commenced in 1791. A rest was urgently needed, not least for economic reasons. The colonial economy, which had exported sugar, coffee, cotton and mdigo, to mention only the most important products, was in rums. Exports had been reduced virtually to nil. The only cultivation was of food for subsistence.