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Thread: Haitian History

  1. #1
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    Default Haitian History

    I find the History around the Hatian revolution fascinating. I have read a few books about the Haitian revolution. It was impressive how they managed to defeat the French Colonists. After their first revolt Napolean sent one of his Generals back with 58,000 men. At the time one of the best armies in the world. And the Hatians defeated them and continued their revolution. Off course what happened afterwards is another story. But they did not get much support from the International Community. Back then there was no NGOs, UN or Bill Clinton. There is a good book about the revolution by a Cuban-French author called "The kingdom of this world" or "El Reino de ese Mundo". I can recommend it.

    Some people think the Haitians got their independence to early. There could be some truth to that. They got indpendence at a time where a lot of colonies where making a lot of money. So the rest of the Caribbean got scared of the same thing happening there. In Cuba for instance they changed policy so more and more labour where either poor Spanish farmers or very cheap labour from China. I have also read that the French where more ruthless than both the British and Spanish. And there where 10 workers for each French Colonist. French Saint Domingue was one of the richest colonies in the world at the time.

    Have others on the Forum read about the history of the Haitian Revolution? And dont you think a revolution would have happened sooner rather than later than it did when you think about the way the French ruled the colony? Is their independence 200 years ago the cause for a lot of the problems Haiti has today?

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    it would be interesting to hear from perspectives of people who have lived on other caribbean islands.. my observations about independence are based on brief visits to the Bahamas, Puerto Rico, Turks and Caicos and Haiti..

    I'd like to hear from people more knowledgeable than I am.

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    As I always do - I recommend reading the Black Jacobins by CLR James.

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    Default Debriefed.....

    Quote Originally Posted by pedrochemical View Post
    As I always do - I recommend reading the Black Jacobins by CLR James.
    The Black Jacobins

    I just read the summary, pretty interesting....

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    Default Very good book

    Quote Originally Posted by pedrochemical View Post
    As I always do - I recommend reading the Black Jacobins by CLR James.
    I have read it. Yes it is very good.

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    I can recommend Alejo Carpentier "The Kingdom of this world"
    The Kingdom of this World - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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    yes we can read. but we can also learn a lot from quick observations.

    for example did you know in the bahamas, most of its citizens have visited the US many times? i'm talking taxi drivers, waiters, everyone you run into as a tourist! and they prefer to stay in nassau because they like it.

    also, in the bahamas, US immigration is actually physically in Nassau -- so once you board the plane you're on a domestic US flight! the only other country i ever saw this was ireland. that shows the level of immigration trust there is between the bahamas and the US..

    by comparison flying from the DR to the US we get armed DHS agents waiting outside the door of the plane checking passports.

    And all the bahamian people i saw looked pretty similar to haitians, there was just a lot less of them (300k vs ~10M)

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    There's a historical fictional trilogy about Haitian independence by US author Madison Smartt Bell:

    Amazon.com: All Souls' Rising: A Novel of Haiti (1)…
    Amazon.com: Master of the Crossroads (9781400078387): Madison Smartt Bell: Books
    Amazon.com: The Stone that the Builder Refused (9781400076185): Madison Smartt Bell: Books

    Not usually my sort of thing, but I found myself reading the first two and will read the third at some point when I can get hold of a copy. Has anyone else hear read them and what did you think?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Antichrist View Post
    For some heavy and entertaining reading.

    Check out Madison Smart Bell's trilogy about the Haitian revolution.

    1. All Souls Rising (1995)

    2. Masters Of The Crossroads (2000)

    3. The Stone That The Builder Refused (2004)
    Sorry, I hadn't seen your post when I posted mine. Heavy and entertaining sums it up very well. It was also good to be able to visualise some of the locations having spent time there - Cap-Haitien and environs.

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    Check out that 58,000 French troops sent by Napoleon. He was very busy at the time and even sold off 1/3 of the North America to the U.S. to finance his Euro adventures.
    And "international community" in 1804? In the Caribbean.
    It was a very successful slave revolt against few Euros by a huge population of slaves (largest in the Americas at that time) and taken over by a shipwrecked mulatto from Grenada Roi Christophe, a genius, and the real story.

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