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Teaching and Learning about Haiti

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Presentation on theme: "Teaching and Learning about Haiti"— Presentation transcript:

1 Teaching and Learning about Haiti
July 15, 2009 Castleton State College 2009 Teaching American History Summer Seminar Presenter: Kathleen M. Balutansky, Ph.D.

2 Overview of Early Caribbean History
16th Century Spanish dominance: gold and silver mining 17th Century Arrival of the British, French, Dutch and Portuguese Growth of the plantation economy 18th Century The height of the plantation economy and the birth of “plantocracy” 4/3 of the land on the islands was held by white colonists whose plantations were over 1,000 acres. Population ratios: slaves dominated the white population by a ratio of 10 to 1 75% of the slave population was concentrated on the sugar plantations. The development of the racial class structure of the Caribbean dates from the 18th century and remains virtually unchanged today. 19th Century Rise of the anti-slavery movement in Europe Economic decline of the sugar industry.

3 A Geography Lesson


5 Haiti’s Early History 2500 BC-1790 CE
2500 BCE First recorded settlements in the islands 700 CE Tainos from Venezuela arrive on the island Christopher Columbus arrives in the “New World” 1503 The first Africans are brought to Hispaniola Decimation of the Taino population 1625 French settlement begins Treaty of Ryswick 1697 – 1790 “King Sugar” and “The Pearl of the Antilles” 1751 Slave rebellions begin 1778 “Volontaires de Saint-Domingue” fight in the American Revolutionary War, in Savannah, Georgia. 1790 People of color (mulattoes) join the slave rebellions

6 The Haitian Revolution 1791-1803
1791 On August 22, 1791, Boukman leads a slave revolt in the north 1792 The European "Revolutionary Wars“ begin. Toussaint Louverture joins the Spanish fighting against Napoleon 1794 Toussaint leaves the Spanish Army and joins the French Spain cedes Santo Domingo to the French. 1802 Napoleon sends 70 warships and 25 thousand soldiers to Saint Domingue 1803 Napoleon reestablishes slavery in the colonies but in November the Battle of Vertières marks the final victory for the revolutionary army over the Napoleon’s army.

7 Contrasing Revolutions
American Revolution 1775 – 1783 – 6 years British Colonists revolt against their parent country. The aftermath brings new economic freedom and a new American philosophical and political identity. French Revolution – 10 years French peasants revolt against its monarchy and the “bourgeoisie” gains power The aftermath brings civil rights for all citizens. The Napoleonic wars that follow are fueled by the Emperor’s desire to protect France from (and bring representative government to) other European countries that wanted to re-establish the French monarchy. Haitian Revolution – 13 years African slaves and their mulatto allies revolt against French colonial forces. The aftermath brings economic devastation and social unrest internally and political and social isolation internationally.

8 Haiti After Independence Patterns of social and economic development
Civil war and division: Haiti is divided into the northern kingdom of Henri Christophe and the southern republic governed by Alexandre Pétion. Jean-Pierre Boyer reunites Haiti and becomes the first president of the entire republic in 1820. The Republic of Port-au-Prince: The capital becomes the center of economic activity The dominant culture of Port-au-Prince is French while 90% of the population lives in the agrarian countryside with a strong African racial and cultural identity. France recognizes Haiti’s independence in 1825 in exchange for a financial indemnity of 150 million francs ($21 billion in current dollars)

9 Haiti and the Dominican Republic: Past and Present Differences

10 Haiti and the Dominican Republic: Past and Present Significant Differences
Different Colonial histories Racial Differences Saint Domingue is a sugar cane colony with a ratio of 10 African slaves to 1 French colonist. The mixed race, or mulatto, population increases in size and power, but remains a minority. In Santo Domingo the ratio of mulattoes to whites is 1 to 1 and the ratio of mulattoes and whites to blacks is 4 to 1. The 22-year ( ) Haitian domination over Santo Domingo following its declaration of independence from Spain remains un-forgiven. Geographical differences: geology and size

11 Schedule of Independence For Other Caribbean Islands
The English Caribbean JAMAICA 1962 TRINIDAD and TOBAGO 1962 BARBADOS 1966 GUYANA 1977 THE BAHAMAS 1966 ST. LUCIA 1973 DOMINICA 1978 ANTIGUA 1981 BELIZE 1981 The French Caribbean HAITI 1804 (by revolution) GUADELOUPE AND MARTINIQUE are still overseas territories The Spanish Caribbean THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC 1844 (from haiti) AND 1864 (from spain) CUBA 1902 The Dutch Caribbean Curaçao 1954 Curaçao gained self-government as an island territory of the Netherlands Antilles. Discussions of its status are ongoing. Aruba Gains separate status within the Kingdom of the Netherlands

12 Importance of the Haitian Revolution in U.S. History
The Louisiana Purchase and its consequences

13 Haiti’s Revolution and its Consequences for the United States: The Louisiana Purchase
The Louisiana Purchase was a landmark event in American history: The United States nearly doubled its land mass and became one of the world's largest countries. Eventually all or parts of 13 states of the United States were formed from the Louisiana Territory: Arkansas, Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, and Wyoming. The Louisiana Territories included vast tracts of fertile soil and other natural resources. The decision to purchase Louisiana was one of Thomas Jefferson's most important decisions as President. He added greatly to the size and wealth of the United States.


15 Background of the Louisiana Purchase
In 1762 France ceded Louisiana to Spain, but in the secret 1802 Treaty of San Ildefonso Spain returned the area to France. Napoleon Bonaparte’s vision of a great French empire in the New World. Collapse of Napoleon's plan for a New World empire in March 1803. The loss of Saint Domingue, the economic heart of the plan, makes Louisiana unnecessary. As a result, in April 1803 Napoleon offers to sell all the Louisiana Territories to the United States (not merely the New Orleans port and lower Mississippi River areas for which Jefferson had started negotiations the previous year).

16 Timeline of the Louisiana Purchase
1682 René-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle, claims for France all territory drained by Mississippi River from Canada to Gulf of Mexico and names it Louisiana. 1718 New Orleans is founded. 1762 France cedes New Orleans and Louisiana west of the Mississippi to Spain. 1763 France cedes territories east of the Mississippi and north of New Orleans to Britain. 1784 Spain closes the lower Mississippi and New Orleans to foreigners. 1789 French Revolution begins 1802 Spain cedes Louisiana to France (in exchange for Eturia, a small kingdom in Italy). New Orleans is closed to American shipping. Napoleon Bonaparte sends a military expedition to re-establish slavery and French control in Saint Domingue. His army is decimated by the revolutionary forces. 1803 In February, Napoleon decides against sending more troops to Saint Domingue and instead orders forces to sail to New Orleans. In March, upon receiving news of the death of Charles Leclerc and the fate of his expeditionary army, Napoleon cancels the military expedition to Louisiana, and in April Foreign Minister Talleyrand tells Robert R. Livingston that France is willing to sell all of Louisiana to the US. In May Britain declares war on France. July 4, 1803 Jefferson officially announces the purchase of the Louisiana Territories. December 20, France formally transfers the Louisiana Territories to the French

17 The Lewis and Clark Expedition
The 1803 Louisiana Purchase sparked interest in expansion to the west coast. Neither the United States nor France knew for sure how much land was involved in the Louisiana Territory. A few weeks after the purchase, Jefferson, already an advocate of western expansion, requested from Congress a $2,500 appropriation for an expedition to explore and chart the newly purchased territory. This resulted in the famous Lewis and Clark Expedition, which opened the era of western expansion.


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