Comparing Revolutions in the Atlantic World
For this unit, students will be able to:
- Understand why the American colonists sought independence from Britain
- Economic Factors (a transition from Mercantilism to Capitalism in the Atlantic Basin)
- Political Factors (a transition from Autocracy to Democracy in the Atlantic Basin)
- Social-Cultural Factors (American colonists began to see themselves as separate from the British homeland.)
Revolutions!: Radically Different Outcomes
Due to democratic ideas flowing around the Atlantic Basin in the late 17th and early 19th centuries, revolution developed in the American colonies, France, and Haiti. However, all of these revolutions had very different outcomes.
- The American Revolution resulted in a peaceful, wealth nation
- The French Revolution resulted in a violent upheaval in society where many victims were executed by guillotines.
- The Haitian Revolution was not viewed a democratic movement, but a slave revolt. May of its neighbors, slave holding territories (including the United States), refused to recognize them both politically and economically. As a result, Haiti is one of the poorest nations in the world.
Leaders of the Haitian Revolution tried to model themselves after the American Revolution. Ironically, they perceived the words in the Declaration of Independence as a symbol of hope. Unfortunately, President Thomas Jefferson, the author of the Declaration of Independence, refused to acknowledge Haiti because it was viewed a slave rebellion.