Causes of the Haitian Revolution revealed in primary sources and its challenges on a fragile structure of an imperialist nation

Author: Kathleen Radebaugh

School/Organization:

Henry C. Lea Elementary

Year: 2015

Seminar: Roots of the American Empire

Grade Level: 7

Keywords: Creole, Haiti, Haitian Revolution, imperialist, Politics

School Subject(s): Language Arts, English, Literature, Social Studies

The Haitian Revolution was a turning point in France’s imperialistic reign in the late part of the eighteenth century. In addition, it was also a historical moment for the United States who had imperialistic desires, but was a young nation who couldn’t develop an empire while simultaneously developing a democracy. In this unit, seventh grade students in ELA who will evaluate the causes of the Haitian Revolution through the use of primary and secondary sources. Students will analyze journal entries and letters written by slaves, free Creole residents, French aristocrats, and abolitionists who describe different political and social unarrest on the island of Saint Domingue. Students will trace their argument for the predominate causes through the use of debate and analytical essays. This unit is developed in correlation with Social Studies standards and content and can be co-taught with the seventh grade Social Studies teacher. Most importantly, this unit offers an opportunity for students and teachers to discuss the roles and responsibilities of a nation and an empire and whether or not the United States wanted to pursue an imperialistic nation for economic and naval gains.

Download Unit: Radebaugh-Kathleen-unit.pdf

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