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Surfing the waves of change.

Sometimes I can hardly believe that Toussaint accomplished what he did. His growth as a leader is nothing short of extraordinary. Once the Negroes had begun their revolt, once they had been armed and given hope, returning them to slavery would have been impossible. Toussaint must have seen that halting the revolution was impossible. He was like a surfer on a wave of change, clever and bold enough to stay just a few steps ahead and win important military and economic victories. Never mind that he was black, that he managed to establish himself as an almost universally loved leader of his country was miraculous. That he also maintained the highest moral and ethical standards throughout his campaign is a singular achievement.

I have seen references disparaging TL’s shifting alliances from France to Spain to Britain and the US. I see, though, why he did what he did. Haiti was at the mercy of other countries for their economic prosperity. When France tried to squeeze the island, Toussaint looked elsewhere for trade opportunities. When the Code Noir was under attack in France, Toussaint took the necessary steps to preserve the progress blacks had made.