Toussaint L'Ouverture and the Haitian Revolution
Category: Historical Scenario (18th-19th Century)
Author: Blackclove

The Haitian Revolution is hardly remembered today in much of the world, both because Haiti is now such a poor nation and because other exciting events were transpiring at the same time -- the American experiment with democracy, the French revolution, the Napoleonic Wars, the beginning of the end of slavery in Europe, and westward expansion in the United States. However in its time it was an important series of military and political engagements.

Prime among the historical personages involved in the Haitian Revolution was a black general that took the name Toussaint L'Ouverture. His story began to fascinate me when I saw a photograph of the painting I reproduced above: A strong man of West African descent, dressed in a French military uniform and riding a charger. He looks like a figure out of some kind of fantasy story, unaccustomed as we are to seeing black men in colonial-era military garb. Surprisingly little has been written about this man, but nearly everything I have seen makes him out to be a larger-than-life hero who was both a talented military leader and a great civilian leader (except for the ones that paint him as a larger-than-life villain). I can't help but liken him to his contemporary, George Washington. Toussaint skillfully played off the European powers and the factions within his own fledgling nation to found the second republic in America, Haiti. By fighting for and against the British, Spanish, and French at different times, and even once allying with the Americans to repel the British, he was able to gain enough power to oust his enemies and control Haiti. Under his leadership massive public works projects began and amazingly he even managed to get the white and colored planters to support him. At the height of his power, Toussaint was the ruler over all of Haiti and the Dominican Republic -- essentially the entire island of Hispaniola.

[screen shot]

massive battle
rages around
Port au
himself leads
his army
cavalrymen and

Toussaint's victory was not to last. In real life and in the scenario, General Charles LeClerc arrives in February of 1802 to try to conquer the island for France once again. LeClerc was sent directly by Napoleon with 20,000 troops, including many conscripts from Poland and Switzerland. He conquered the island after losing nearly 40,000 of Napoleon's men. When yellow fever wiped out many of his soldiers, the Haitians once again rebelled and restored their republic. By this time, though, LeClerc had captured Toussaint by offering him a truce and then seizing him under the white flag. Sadly, the men who followed Toussaint were not of his calibre. Dessalines and Christophe, two generals who fought with Toussaint, both later became Emperors of Haiti. They raped the country and between their brutality and the terrible wars fought there the nation has never recovered.

Can you help Haiti emerge as a vibrant and strong nation?

Scenario Features:

* A well-researched historical scenario with plenty of opportunities to
balance conquest and development
* Many never-before-seen units (most based on existing units)
* Caribbean terrain tiles (sugar cane, palm trees, beaches, soft colors)
* Napoleonic technology tree
* Many new wonders with corresponding descriptions in the civilopedia
* General/hero units for most sides
* A detailed events.txt file that covers major historical events