An angry mob dragged the President of Haiti out of the French Consulate and killed him in July 1915. This was what Wall Street was afraid of as part of the political turmoil.
On the same day, US troops occupied the country.
The aggression followed a detailed plan prepared by the US Navy the previous year. American soldiers have taken over Cheong Wa Dae and customs that handle import and export taxes.
Americans set up a puppet government, and by that fall Haiti had signed a treaty that would give the United States full financial control. The United States appointed an American official they called an adviser, but the words barely conveyed their true power. They oversaw Haiti’s income collection and approved or rejected the cost.
Martial law became the rule of the land. Private newspapers were confused and journalists were imprisoned.
Americans explained the aggression, saying that Haiti must fall to Europeans, especially Germany.
“If the United States is not responsible, other powers will be responsible,” said Secretary of State Lansing, who succeeded Brian a month before the occupation.
Lansing was also blinked by racial prejudice. He once wrote that blacks were “ungovernable” and “had an inherent tendency to return to barbarians and abandon the pesky civilization shackles of their physical nature.”
Racism has shaped many aspects of the profession. Many managers appointed by the United States came from southern states and did not have a hard time with the worldview they brought.
John A. McIlheny, the heir to the property of Tabasco Sauce in Louisiana, who fought in Theodore Roosevelt’s Rough Rider Cavalry during the Spanish-American War, was appointed US financial adviser in 1919 and has broad authority over Haitian’s budget. Had
At an official lunch before his appointment, McIlheny couldn’t stop staring at the Haitian government minister. As he later told Franklin D. Roosevelt, “The man would have brought $ 1,500 for stud purposes at the New Orleans auction in 1860.”
Shortly after the occupation, American supervisors began building roads connecting the interior and coast of Haiti’s mountainous regions.To do so, they were resurrected corvée, 19th Century Haiti Law on Indentured Service..
The law required citizens to work on public works near their homes several days a year instead of paying taxes. However, the U.S. military, along with the trained and supervised army, captured the man and forced him to work unpaid far away from his home. The rich Haitians have escaped from indentured servitude, but the law has captured the poor.
The Haitians saw this as a resurgence of slavery and rebelled. Armed men called cacos, Fled to the mountains and began a rebellion against the US military.Forced laborer corvée Escaped their prisoners and joined the battle. One leader of cacosCharlemagne Peralte evoked a revolution in Haiti against France and called on his compatriots to “throw the invaders into the sea.”
“The occupation has insulted us in every way,” read the poster on the wall of the capital, Port-au-Prince.
I read the poster, “Longevity independence.” “With Americans!”
The United States responded strongly. The soldiers tied up with ropes to prevent the workers from escaping.The person who tried to escape corvée Labor was treated like a deserter and many were shot. As a warning, the Americans killed Peralte, distributed images of his corpse tied to the door, and evoked a crucifixion.
Military documents leaked from that time indicate that “indiscriminate killings of indigenous peoples have continued for some time,” killing 3,250 Haitians. When Congress began an investigation in 1921, US troops reduced the number, stating that 2,250 Haitians were killed in the occupation, and Haitian officials accused it of underestimating. As many as 16 American soldiers have died.
“It was a strict military regime and a wolf victory,” wrote Haiti journalist and diplomat Antoine Barbin in 1936.
In the first few years after the invasion, Haiti had little economic benefit. An American adviser appointed by the President of the United States raised up to 5% of Haiti’s total income on salaries and expenses. This can be more than spending on public health across the country.
In 1917, the United States instructed Haiti’s parliament to ratify a new constitution that would allow foreigners to own land. Since independence, Haitians have outlawed foreign land tenure as a symbol of their breakwaters against freedom and aggression.
When Haitian lawmakers refused to change the constitution, General Butler disbanded Congress in what he called the “real Marine method.” The soldiers marched to parliament and struck a gun at a member of parliament to dissolve them.Later, Americans pushed forward with a new constitution that Franklin Roosevelt later claimed to have at campaign rallies. I wrote it myself..
American companies rented thousands of acres of land for plantations, forcing farmers to work as cheap labor at home or move to neighboring countries for better wages. The Haitian-American Sugar Company once boasted to investors that it paid only 20 cents for a day’s work in Haiti, compared to Cuba’s $ 1.75.
According to Haitian historian Suzy Castor, Haitian women and children were paid 10 cents a day.
Exiled peasants go to Cuba and the Dominican Republic, and some historians say that is the most lasting effect of the American occupation: mass migration of Haitians to other countries in the Americas.
“This is a great legacy,” said Haiti’s Canadian ambassador and historian Wybert Arthur.
As Secretary of State Brian suggested in a pre-invasion letter, Farnum was not happy with the shares of Haiti’s National Bank, so he worked with the State Department to coordinate the full acquisition. By 1920, the National Bank had acquired all of the National Bank’s shares for $ 1.4 million, effectively replacing France as Haiti’s dominant financial power.
According to historians, Haiti’s National Bank is under his control and the army protects American interests, so Farnum begins to act like an official envoy, often traveling on American warships. Did.
“Mr. Farnam’s words take precedence over anyone else’s words on the island,” wrote James Weldon Johnson, secretary-general of the NAACP, who visited Haiti in 1920.
Farnam was also not shy about his views on Haiti and its people.
“Haiti people can be taught to be talented and efficient workers,” he told a senator investigating his profession. “He is as peaceful and harmless as a child, not to mention the chief of the army.”
“In fact, we only have adult children today,” he continued.