Crisis in Haiti
MetadataShow full item record
Following the assassination of President Vilbrun Guillaume Sam in 1915, Haiti experienced a period of political instability. With the Caribbean nation experiencing an internal crisis, President Woodrow Wilson deployed American Marines to protect American strategic interests. While Wilson alleged the benevolent intentions of the American occupation, charges of indiscriminate killings leveled against American Marines painted a different picture. Consequently, several political actors including African American leaders, journalists and national politicians became interested in how the United States was responding to Haiti’s crisis. This thesis surveys the political crisis that emerged in both Haiti and the United States as a result of the occupation while assessing how and why various actors became involved in a decades-long conversation surrounding Haiti that unfolded in editorial pages, US presidential campaigns, military inquiries, and congressional hearings. The thesis investigates the significance of the Haiti debates in terms of the politics of race, citizenship, and self-governance in the United States. Seeing as divergent actors used Haiti to make very different claims, this thesis explores the reasons why Haiti emerged as a place where arguments over race, citizenship, and self-governance converged. This study uses Congressional records and, official and personal correspondence as well as articles published in The Nation and The Crisis between 1915 and 1934, when US Marines finally withdrew from Haiti.