Abstract

Abstract:

This article engages with two bodies of literature—the interdisciplinary studies of the Haitian Revolution and republican political theory—to make two corresponding interventions. First, I show how, despite republican political philosophy’s exclusion of the slave from the practice of freedom, Haitian revolutionaries and radical abolitionists—whom I call Black Atlantic Republicans—challenged this exclusion using republican logic. To make this point, I engage with shared understandings of tyranny and domination in David Walker’s Appeal and Toussaint Louverture’s personal correspondence. Second, using Jean Casimir’s notion of the counter-plantation system and Louverture’s proclamations on labor, I argue that despite the Black Atlantic universalization of republican freedom, the ideology fails to properly theorize the domination inherent to plantation labor. This inability to theorize labor freedom, I claim, is endemic to republican political thought itself. We can arrive at this insight by centering the revolutionary Haitian masses rather than their leadership.

pdf

Share