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The American Occupation of Haiti

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Abstract

As the United States was gradually completing its territorial expansion to the Pacific Ocean in the 1890s its search for new economic opportunities focused upon the Caribbean area. Because of its regional diversity, shaped by different ambiences, cultures, and reactions to imperialistic impositions, attempts at unification in the Caribbean were highly unrealistic and made the involvement of the United States there much easier. Ideological notions, such as those of “mission,” “the survival of the fittest,” and especially the so-called “God-given right of the United States to spread civilization to supposedly backward peoples,” provided the rationale for an imperialistic enterprise. Other influential policymakers quickly spread Captain Alfred T. Mahan’s doctrine of greatness through “sea power” as a realistic policy, which would lead to eminence rather than to stagnation and decay.1

Keywords

Foreign Relation American Occupation Black Nation Saturday Evening Caribbean Area 
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  1. 1.
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  9. 10.
    Joseph Justin, Les Reformes nécessaires: questions haitiennes d’actualité (Port-au-Prince: Imprimerie Edmond Chenet, 1915), p. 61.Google Scholar
  10. 11.
    Ibid., p. 62. See also Michael-Rolph Trouillot, HAITI: STATE Against NATION: The Origins and Legacy of Duvalierism (New York: Monthly Review Press, 1990), pp. 50–8.Google Scholar
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    Montague, pp. 163–203; Leyburn, pp. 250–62; Schmidt, 32–41; Arthur C. Millspaugh, Haiti under American Control, 1915–1930 (Boston: World Peace Foundation, 1931) pp. 12–24; Lyonel Paquin, The Haitians (Brooklyn: Multi-Type, 1983), pp. 58–61; Robert I. Rotberg with Christopher K. Clague, Haiti: The Politics of Squalor (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1971), pp. 65– 105; Munro, Intervention and Dollar Diplomacy in the Caribbean, pp. 112–16, 245–59; Speech of Honorable Elihu Root, Secretary of State, at the National Convention for the Extension of the Foreign Commerce of the United States, Washington, D.C., January 14, 1907, Box 220, Speeches, 1894–1933, and Elihu Root to Dr Albert Shaw, January 3, 1908, Box 188, part 2, no. 343, in the Elihu Root Papers, Manuscripts Division, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.; Edward L. Beach, U.S.N., “Admiral Caperton in Haiti,” Record Group 45, Naval Records Collection of the Office of Naval Records and Library, Subject File ZWA-7, “Haiti,” National Archives, Washington, D.C., p. 724 (typescript); Pierre V. Benoit, 1804–1954: Cent cinqante ans de commerce extérieur d’Haiti (Port-au-Prince: Institut Haitien de Statistique, 1954); Joseph Chatelain, La Banque Nationale (Port-au-Prince, 1954); Alain Turnier, Les Etats-Unis et le marché haitien (Washington, D.C., 1955); Leslie F. Manigat, Haiti of the Sixties, Object of International Concern (Washington, D.C.: Washington Center of Foreign Policy Research, 1964), pp. 1–32; and “La Substitution de la prépondérance américaine à la prépondérance française en Haiti au début du XXe siècle: la conjoncture de 1910–1911,” Revue d’histoire moderne et contemporaine, XIV (1967), 321, with English trans. by Antonia Fivel-Demoret, “Haiti: The Shift from French Hegemony to the American Sphere of Influence at the Beginning of the 20th Century: The ‘Conjoncture’ of 1910–1911,” in The Caribbean Yearbook of International Relations, ed. Leslie F. Manigat (Leyden: Sijthoff & Nordhoff, 1975), pp. 188–214; Vilfort Beauvoir, Le Contrôle financier du gouvernement des Etats-Unis d’Amérique sur la République d’Haiti (Paris: Librairie du Recueil Sirey, 1930); Brenda Gayle Plummer, Haiti and the Great Powers, 1902–1915 (Baton Rouge and London: Louisiana State University Press, 1988), pp. 169–71.Google Scholar
  13. 14.
    Jean Price-Mars, Jean-Pierre Boyer Bazelais et le drame de Miragoane (Port-au-Prince: Impr. de l’Etat, 1948), pp. 29–30. According to Michael-Rolph Trouillot, Price-Mars often referred to the nuances and exchange value of “color” as the “particularités of the social condition.” See Trouillot, pp. 120–2.Google Scholar
  14. 15.
    Joseph Justin, Les Relations extérieures d’Haiti (Paris: Albert Savine, 1895), pp. 81, 133.Google Scholar
  15. 16.
    David Nicholls, From Dessalines to Duvalier: Race, Colour and National Independence in Haiti (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1979), p. 141.Google Scholar
  16. 17.
    Montague, pp. 189–95; Manigat, La Substitution, pp. 353–5; Anténor Firmin, M. Roosevelt, Président des Etats-Unis et la République d’Haiti (New York: Hamilton Banknote Engraving and Printing Company, 1905); Jean Price-Mars, Anténor Firmin (Port-au-Prince: Imp. Seminaire Adventiste, n.d., posthumous), pp. 364–6; Minister of Haiti to the Secretary of State, December 22, 1914, Papers Relating to the Foreign Relations of the United States, 1914 (Washington, D.C.: 1922) p. 371, hereafter referred to as Foreign Relations’, Chatelain, pp. 102–6; Brenda Gayle Plummer, “Black and White in the Caribbean: Haitian-American Relations, 1902–1934,” Diss. Cornell University 1981, pp. 376–81. See also by Plummer, Haiti and the Great Powers, 1902–1915, pp. 209–10.Google Scholar
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    Schmidt, pp. 46–63; Millspaugh, pp. 25–33; Harold P. Davis, Black Democracy (1928; revised edn. 1936; rpt. New York: Biblio & Tannen, 1967), pp. 145–60; Nicholls, From Dessalines to Duvalier, pp. 142–5; Edward Stephen Kaplan, “The Latin American Policy of William Jennings Bryan, 1913–1915,” Diss. New York University, 1970; Selig Adler, “Bryan and Wilsonian Caribbean Penetration,” Hispanic American Historical Review, 20 (1940), 198; Bemis, Latin American Policy, pp. 185–99; Pratt, Challenge, pp. 84–101.Google Scholar
  18. 21.
    Jean Price-Mars, “Haiti et la question de race,” in La Vocation de l’Elite (Port-au-Prince: Imprimerie Edmund Chenet, 1919), pp. 163–209; Magdaline W. Shannon, trans., So Spoke the Uncle, by Jean Price-Mars (Washington, D.C.: Three Continents Press, 1983), pp. 9–11; Jean Finot, Le Préjugé des races (Paris: F. Alean, 1905); Gustave Le Bon, Lois psychologiques de l’évolution des peuples (Paris: Alean, 1894).Google Scholar
  19. 22.
    The lectures were published in collective form in La Vocation de l’Elite. See also Jean Fouchard, “L’Ecole Nationaliste Price-Mars,” in Emmanuel C. Paul and Jean Fouchard, eds., Témoignages sur la vie et l’oeuvre du Dr. Jean Price Mars: 1876–1956 (Port-au-Prince: Imprimerie de l’Etat, 1956), pp. 177–81.Google Scholar

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© Magdaline W. Shannon 1996

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