FROM DESSALINES TO DUVALIER
by David Nicholls
Macmillan Publishers Inc.
Bob Corbett's notes
- p. 8. Between 1805-1915 the primary political issue was struggle
between colors. In early part groups used British and French in this
struggle. In second half it was US/Germany.
- p. 20 The affranchais were much more important in south than north.
- p. 26 In 1789 they owned 2/3 land and 1/4 slaves!
- p. 37. During the first 2 years of independence U.S. was primary
trading partner. But in 1806 U.S. placed an embargo on Haiti.
- p. 51. Since U.S. and France had an embargo on trade, by 1814 Britain
had a near monopoly on trade.
- p. 52-53 Christophe cultivated the British. He wanted trade and help
against the French. He even suggested making English the national
language. (Christophe had visited the U.S.).
- p. 62-66. By 1820 Haiti wanted recognition by France.
- no other country would recognize Haiti until France did.
- Haiti believed she needed protection.
- p. 65. Salamon offered U.S. a naval base in 1883.
- p. 65 April 17, 1825
France accepted 150 million Francs indemnity
to a 50% tariff reduction on French ships.
- p.80. Key to book's thesis.
Nicholls sides with Freenel's view namely: color is linked to
culture in Haiti. It's more African vs European, though the tendency is
black = Africans Europeans = light skin.
- p. 91. Standard mulatto history
- Dessalines and Christophe are barbarians
- Petion was a saint; Boyer excellent
- split in south under Rigaud (1810)
- 1843 revolution
both show disaster of mulatto division--black rule.
- whites are enemies
- imitate European culture
- anti-militarism in government
- anti voodoo
- always celebrated their africanness
- p. 142. "Paradoxically the Americans unintentionally succeeded, where
Dessalines had failed, in uniting all Haitians under the name 'black'."
- p. 146. The elite + Syrians welcomed the invasion (at first) for the
stability. They also saw it as a chance to re-establish mulatto
political control. occupation
- p. 149. The suppression of caco rebellion was followed by increased
journalistic and political resistance.
- p. 150-155. 3 key founders of the ethnological movement
- Arthur Holly
- p. 156-157. Price-Mars defense of both Voodoo and Creole.
- p. 167. Les Griots middle class blacks
- celebrated African origins/culture
- accepted Voodoo
- saw Haitian history as color war
- were anti-Catholic, as source of European culture
- were anti-Catholic, in education " "
- favored authoritarian government.
- p. 191.
"The fierceness of the election campaign of 1956-57 was due
largely to a realization on the part of both sides that a victory for
Duvalier (or even for Daniel Fignole) would entail a final collapse of
the mulatto hegemony in the political field."
- Note too: the many invasions so early on suggested a larger issue than
- p. 197. Education Duvalier/Dennis noiriste position on education:
- reinforce national and racial ideals, not European models
- Civics and social ethics (black involvement)
- Creole in elementary
- downplay Catholic religion
- Haitian, not foreign teachers, esp. in history/religion
(against foreign clergy)
- p. 247.
"The fact that his (Papa Doc's) government did almost nothing to improve
the lot of the average Haitian was irrelevant to his claims to
legitimacy. No government in the history of Haiti had done anything
significant to improve the lot of the masses and this was not the
criterion by which a regime was judged. At least Duvalier usually
refrained from interfering with the life of the peasant, and this was
all they could hope for from a government."
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