How was Haiti's fight for freedom different from struggle in other parts of Latin America?How was Haiti's fight for freedom different from struggle in other parts of Latin America?

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litteacher8's profile pic

litteacher8 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

The Haitian Rebellion was organized by the slaves and their supporters. It was not backed by another country. It was successful, in some ways. The government has had a rocky time throughout the centuries since, but this is true with most former slave colonies.
pohnpei397's profile pic

pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

In my opinion, the main difference is that the rebellion in Haiti was the only one that was truly run by and for the most oppressed members of the society.

In Haiti, it was the blacks (many of them slaves) who rose up and rebelled.  The slaves were clearly the most oppressed members of the society and they were trying to overthrow the people who were oppressing them.

By contrast, in other parts of Latin America the rebellions tended to be led by creole elites for their own sake.  In those countries, you had creoles rebelling even though they were far from the bottom of the social hierarchy.  They were close to the top, but they wanted to be the top, not just close.  This is much different from a situation like Haiti's where the truly oppressed rose up.

firekeeper's profile pic

firekeeper | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted on

Haiti was the first nation in the Americas to be lead by a negro, over an ex-slave populace.  That makes it one of the oldest republics in the west and the oldest negro republic.  Typically, one European power attempted to use Haiti's populace against their contemporary opponents, with promises of aid assistance.  Having done so, Napoleon (in this case) then re-instituted slavery and what would now be termed "crimes against humanity" against Haiti's populace.  Haiti, unusually, was able to reverse this and Haiti's Negro and Mulatto populace was able to reeve the French entirely off their end of the island, committing the same atrocities against all white people remaining with the sole exception of a polish contingent that came with the French but refused to fight against or abuse the Haitians.  These troupes were unmolested and even offered freedom to remain as citizens. 

It is worth noting that during his term as military governor of Haiti, Major-General Smedley Darling Butler evinced typical (for the time) attitudes towards Haitians, referring to them as apes and worse, but also learned that what the US had done in Haiti, to enforce exploitations for American companies could be done in the US. His book from that is interesting historical reference and a quick read;

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