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Interference In Independent Haiti's Economy By Germany, France, And The Usa

3181 words - 13 pages

Paper proposition
Thesis: Haiti is a country that’s been subject to poverty and underdevelopment for as long as we can remember. However, before its independence, the former French owned colony of St Domingue was the most fruitful and profitable colony the kingdom had, so much that it was even called the crown jewel of France. After the country declared its independence in 1804, it was shunned both politically and diplomatically by the rest of the world. In this paper we will explore how between 1804 and the mid 1900s the world powers at the time, whether it is France, the USA or even Germany contributed to making sure that Haiti’s efforts never came to fruition economically.
The republic ...view middle of the document...

A little more than two hundred years ago France established the colony of Saint-Domingue in 1659 after securing it from the Spanish crown. By 1767 the colony was transformed from being a small refuge for pirates and buccaneers to perhaps the most profitable piece of land in the world. By 1767 the colony became full of massive cane plantations-powered by slaves, who made up two thirds of the population by then-and boiling houses that produced sugar that was then sold around the world. At its height the colony was exporting 72 million pounds of raw sugar, 51 million pounds of refined sugar, one million pounds of indigo, and two million pounds of cotton a year. Saint-Domingue got the name of the "Pearl of the Antilles", as one of the richest colonies in the world in the 18th-century French empire. By the 1780s, Saint-Domingue produced about 40 percent of all the sugar and 60 percent of all the coffee consumed in Europe.
However, it was the source of Saint-Domingue’s productivity that eventually led to its downfall. According to C.L.R James, the labor for these plantations was provided by an estimated 790,000 African slaves, this altogether, between 1783 and 1791, accounted for a third of the entire Atlantic slave trade. By 1791 however, at the start of the revolution, the colony totaled somewhere around 500 000 slaves for 32,000 whites, a far cry from the estimated 1,000 000 slaves imported to the island over the years. With a ratio of 16 African slaves per single white master and the largest population of free men of color continuously repressed by the white class system, the revolution seemed inevitable and in 1791 it exploded in the north and eventually spread through the whole island.
The revolution lasted 13 years and on January 1st 1804 the republic of Haiti was born. The country, now officially Haiti and no longer Saint Domingue, emerged in a world dominated by slavery. Nations around it, even the newly free United States, saw Haiti’s existence as nothing but a threat to their own slavery based systems. The cry for liberty and self determination fell on deaf ears and Haiti found itself punished for the evil it had committed towards Europe. The new republic wasn’t recognized by France for decades, mainly because of their unending claim to the islands sovereignty, followed by England and the USA in their attempt to maintain good relations with the former. From 1804 to 1825 Haitian leaders had the hard task of legitimizing the black nation’s sovereignty as the lasting isolation strived to see the republic starve away. The economy of the island being centered on mass production agriculture and powered by slavery quickly fell in shambles as the former slaves had no desire to go back to the old system. The once vast plantations were parceled of in small plots of lands where the slaves settled, built families and worked for themselves, cultivating small subsistence crops and raising small amounts of livestock. With production at a halt and...

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