This curriculum unit for high school students examines the course of the Haitian and Cuban independence movements that sought the abolition of slavery in both countries and the political independence won by the Haitians from the France and the independence of Cuba from Spain.
The production of sugar on the islands’ plantations by peoples brought from the west and central coast of Africa in slavery is the common economic, political and cultural thread. In both islands there were attempts to abolish slavery and subsequent efforts to win independence from their European colonizers in both countries. The success of the Haitian Revolution (1791-1804) hastened abolition and independence, while at the same time creating an opportunity for Cuban planters to replace Haiti as the prime producer of sugar in the Caribbean in the following years.
There is a comprehensive narrative for students to read and then accompanying lesson plans: one focusing on Africa and its peoples that were forced to come on the Middle Passage and one on the Haitian inspired Aponte Rebellion in Cuba is 1812. The unit can be adapted to meet a teacher’s class schedule. There is also an excellent bibliography for both teachers and students.
(Developed for AP World History, grades 11-12, and U. S. History, grade 10; recommended for AP World History, grades 10-12, U. S. History, grade 10, and World History, grade 9)