New PDF release: The Military and Society in Haiti

By Michel S. Laguerre

ISBN-10: 134913046X

ISBN-13: 9781349130467

ISBN-10: 1349130486

ISBN-13: 9781349130481

A structural and hermeneutic research of civil-military kin in Haiti. The equilibrium thought of civil-military family members constructed the following postulates that the steadiness of a political procedure in a position to combating army intervention is the results of 3 units of balanced relationships.

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Additional info for The Military and Society in Haiti

Example text

4 The former slaves built their governmental system without prior inside knowledge or experience of a democratic and non-slave-owning state. Because in its colonial practice the French army represented the metropolitan government and served as the local government in several different ways, it is understandable that the former slaves followed the French model of governance to which they were accustomed. Once the revolutionary army had proclaimed the independence of Haiti, the officers thought it their duty to organize the government and to defend the country.

Thus, for example, on 19 June 1884 President Salomon issued a decree requesting that the civilian population return the weapons they had received during the Bazelais insurrection to the military officers in charge of their regions (Bulletin des Lois, 1884: 27). This showed the weakness of the political system and the possibility for a local leader to force people to fight on his side, willingly or not. The peasantry was in a weak position. In addition to being enrolled in the army for a meager salary and working for officers for free, those who belonged to the unpaid National Guard could be forced to join the troops at any time to march toward Port-au-Prince in order to depose a government or to fight against the insurgents.

For example, to ally potentially powerful enemies in the army, the president sometimes named a division general outside the Port-au-Prince area to the honorary position of aide-de-camp (bodyguard) as a political favour and as a sign of trust. General Merisier Jeannis (1833-1908) in Jacmel benefited from such an honorary title because this made him a national political figure (Turnier, 1982). The general could use this title to have easy access to the president, to strengthen his popularity in the region, to evict potential competitors, to enhance his salary, and to better position himself for the presidency when the seat became The Army: Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Centuries 35 vacant.

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The Military and Society in Haiti by Michel S. Laguerre

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