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A Nation Crippled by Foreign Intervention

- Located in Caribbean, 1/3 of the island of Hispanola

- 27,750 km2 land area(slightly smaller than Maryland -- Rough, mountainous terrain

- Population : 9,719,932 (July 2011 estimate) -- Approx. 80% Roman Catholic (half of all Haitians practice some form of voodoo). -- French and Creole as official languages

- Unemployment rate: 40.6% -- 80% living below the


Early History

French colony of St. Domingue established in 1697

Extremely profitable Extensive producer of sugar, coffee, indigo

Largely the product of slaves imported from Africa

Haitian Revolution 1791-1804

Large-scale slave revolt led by Toussaint LOverture and Jean-Jacques Dessalines Began during the French Revolution

More than 50,000 French troops died from combat and disease

Troubled From the Start

Upon gaining sovereignty, Haiti already dealt with severe debt, corrupt leadership, and no foreign support
While the United States began its sovereign career with the highest percentage of college graduates of any country in the world, Haiti began its life with most people illiterate1 Indemnities to France

150,000,000 francs owed to France Forced to give French merchants a 50% decrease on all import/export duties

Recognition refused by most nations

Not formally recognized by United States until 1862

W. Mintz, the impact of recognizing a nation of former slaves on the Sidney Fear of Can Haiti Change?, Foreign Affairs 74, no. 1 (January-February 1995): 80, (accessed November 27, 2011). American slave institution.

Turbulent Leadership

President Jean-Pierre Boyer ousted in a coup in 1843


for 25 years Presidency for life abolished. Succeeded by a series of corrupt, inefficient leaders

Early 1900s

coup against President Antoine Simon in

to stabilize economy through foreign negotiations



six presidents ousted by violent coups

careful not to attract international attention


First U.S. Intervention, 19151934

United States, France, and Great Britain enter Haiti to restore political order in 1914

Achieved fairly quickly, France and GB withdraw Dr. Bobo, Haitian revolutionary vs. Senator Sudre Dartiguenave U.S. interferes with election process

1915 presidential election

Marines stationed at polls, all voters required to have card signed by Dartiguenave

Dartiguenave as a puppet leader

Sometimes consulted on issues, but had very little influence, if any at all 1915 treaty allows the U.S. takeover of Haitian constabulary, finances, and public services President coerced to sign the treaty, Congress refuses

Haitian Congress opposed to American takeover of government

U.S. threatens to act with violence if not passed

U.S. rigged the Senate vote, treaty passed

U.S. Fails to Meet Goals in Haiti

Public education suffers


ignored by U.S. appointed Financial Adviser Approx. 36,000 children in school out of population of 2,500,000 Schoolteacher salary equivalent to $6/month

of the salary of a private gendamerie

U.S. businesses gain control of Haitian assets


L. Farnham, VP of National City Bank of New York, given control of the Banque Nationale dHati, Haitis only banking institution U.S. businesses given a monopoly over the Haitian

Human and Civil Rights Violations

Use of forced labor to build roads and other infrastructure Numerous cases of prison abuses and other human rights violations on behalf of U.S. Marines Opponents of U.S. occupation jailed without trial or due process of law

Case of Haitian journalist Joseph Jolibois Members of Congress opposed to the intervention were driven out of office Anglo-Saxon countries have been striving to guard against such arbitrary power since the days of the Magna Charta. It is humiliating to find Americans careless of individual liberty and of the right to a fair trial in a country which the United State has virtually conquered.2
2 Paul

H. Douglas, The American Occupation of Haiti II, Political Science Quarterly (September 1927): 371, (accessed November 13, 2011).

U.S. Withdrawal

Franklin D. Roosevelt elected in 1933, condemns occupation of Haiti


formal withdrawal of U.S. troops in 1934

U.S. facing internal and external pressures


Depression Focus on New Deal policies Onset of World War II in Europe

Justifications for U.S. Intervention

Monroe Doctrine

A number of times, by reason of this situation, war has been almost precipitated between the Haitian government and the European nations. The action of the German government is fresh in the minds of our people, and the warships of Great Britain and France are only too frequent in the harbors of Haiti, protecting their subjects, demanding redress for grievances and saving human life. This means, sooner or later, that the irresponsible government of the Republic of Haiti will commit the act which will involve us, under the first clause and original application of the Monroe Doctrine3

U.S. claimed goals to restore economic, social, and political stability

Occupation failed to adequately Its Application to Haiti,of these William A. MacCorkle, The Monroe Doctrine and achieve any Annals of the goals American Academy of Political and Social Science 54 (July 1914): 41-42, (accessed November 19, 2011).

Post-Occupied Haiti

Paved the way for the Duvalier dictatorship


Duvalier elected in 1957, supported by U.S.

in 1971 by his son, Jean-Claude Duvalier


to keep exiled professionals out of Haiti Development plan starved Haitian peasants

cities with low-wage laborers


harsh society divided by race and class Large-scale militarization


was the only way for Haitians to succeed economically and socially

Haiti Today

2nd U.S. occupation in 1994 to restore the power of President Jean Bertrand Aristide
20,000 U.S. troops sent to Haiti to put down the coup Proper leader who challenged the traditional hierarchal structure of Haitian society Demonstrated the power of violence in Haitian politics and society once again

Stagnant economy, political corruption and human rights abuses still rampant through the country Victim of numerous natural disasters and disease epidemics
2010 earthquake (7.0 on the moment magnitude scale) kills approx. 316,000 and leaves 1.6 million homeless 2010 cholera outbreak kills around 4,600

Over 250,000 cases reported

Aftermath of 2010 earthquake in Port-auPrince

Over 1 millions Haitians left homeless after 2010 earthquake