The Black Jacobins Book Summary (PDF) by C.L.R. James

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Ready to learn the most important takeaways from The Black Jacobins in less than two minutes? Keep reading!

Why This Book Matters:

The Black Jacobins tells the story of the slave revolt in France, led by Toussaint L’Ouverture.

The Big Takeaways:

  1. San Domingo prospered due to the usage of slaves.
    1. If The residents of San Domingo became rich off of the work of slaves.
  2. There was a social hierarchy in San Domingo.
    1. This social structure was composed of several tiers of wealth.
  3. Slaves in San Domingo expressed their disdain for their positions in society, but they did not have the power to escape their societal status.
    1. The slaves in San Domingo lacked a proper leader who could lead them out of their dismal place in society.
  4. The slaves of San Domingo finally started a revolt in 1791 with Toussaint L’Ouverture as their leader.
    1. The revolt was violent, as slavery had given them a special power no one would have expected.
  5. France eventually took over San Domingo, and Toussaint was arrested.
    1. The French government that Toussaint once respected changed, taking over San Domingo.

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