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Latin America perspectives a series of information and comment about Latin America with Dr. C. Harvey Gardner research professor of history at Southern Illinois University. These programs are recorded by station w s r u FM. Here now is Dr. Gardner. After Caesar comes chaos after the strongman the dictator who has tolerated no meaningful opposition comes the political vacuum that invites virtually guarantees confusion. And this happens whether the Caesar dies quietly in bed or runs afoul of a sniper's bullet or is cut down by concerted military action. One area of the Greater Antilles the island that contains the two countries Haiti and the Dominican Republic amply illustrates the recurring themes of Caesar ism and chaos. A new introduction to those
geographically near strategically significant and politically in ept lands is available in the volume. Haiti and the Dominican Republic authored by Rayford W. Logan and published by Oxford University Press. Hey T. One third of the island the western end contains somewhat more than 10000 square miles of land and approximately four and one half million human beings. The Dominican Republic. The other two thirds of the island represents a population of approximately three and a quarter million. We have then in the combination of Haiti and the Dominican Republic an area one half the size of the state of Illinois. And approximately three fourths the population of Illinois both areas have since time immemorial. Drawn the attention of
areas to the north. Indeed when independence came to Haiti the United States was much concerned about it. When 20 years later the Haitians overran the eastern end of the island we were again concerned about it when still 20 years later in the 1840s the Dominicans won their independence from the Haitians. We were concerned about it. Indeed with the passage of years in the 19th and the 20th century and increasingly the fact came to be that the Caribbean was an American lake. We were concerned about the stability about the strategic. Role about the economic prospects. Indeed about all facets of life in this region. The new volume by Logan brings the two portions of this island into sharp perspective by giving us a degree of comparison that normally has not been brought to bear upon
Haiti and the Dominican Republic. Though early in late we have been concerned. Our attention has always been that of the pendulum swinging from one extreme to the other. For example back in the 19th century eight hundred twenty six to be exact in the course of debates in Congress the senator from Missouri Thomas Hart Benton and I would remind you that Missouri was then a slaveholding state. Painted a lurid picture of the results of U.S. recognition of Haiti. The United States he declared could receive no more lotto consuls or black ambassadors from Haiti because the peace of 11 slave holding States will not permit black consuls and ambassadors to establish themselves in our cities and to parade through the country and give their fellow blacks in the United States proof in hand of the honors to await
them for a successful revolt on their part. So it was in the 1820s we viewed and held at arm's distance Haiti in terms of the stability we wanted in the United States the stability that we wanted in areas related to the United States. Many years later one thousand sixty to be exact at a moment when action was underway to penalize the Dominican Republic because the then dictator had foisted an effort upon the Venezuelan people who assassinate though he was not successful. Their president beaten core in the course of the efforts to castigate that Dominican action Sen.. L. under a Democrat from Louisiana led the opposition to this castigation he led the support of the Trujillo administration declaring that he wished there were a true hero
in every country of South and Central America. This despite the fact that Trujillo's repressive regime was. A massive attack upon human rights. It was dictatorship politically socially economically at its worst and yet this man Senator in the United States government said he wished the like of true he or could be found in all of the independent states south of the United States all of which suggests that in 1826 with a senator from Missouri and in 1960 with a senator from Louisiana the prime attention of the United States was upon the stability the area could give or the instability it might inject into a way of life that much affected us. The greatest contribution that Rayford W. Logan makes is in a closing chapter in which he gives us a comparison of the two
countries and does so in terms of a count down of approximately 10 points summarizing their underlying differences and explaining basically the greater backwardness of Haiti. He refers to the incubus of slavery pointing out that in Clonie old years nine tenths of the population of Haiti was slave. In contrast to one tenth of the population of the Spanish and the Dominican and being in slave status. A second point of difference he makes has to do with the devastation of the economy that Haiti suffered during 13 years of war for its independence. Not that there was no devastation at the Dominican end. Indeed there was some this did upon them by the Haitian invasions in the 19th century but the destruction of the economy of the Haitian end of the
island was made more difficult and the recovery from it. The disadvantages suffered because of it because there were other related disadvantages suffered by Haiti. Now a corollary of these points is the so-called spreading cancer of the class caste color strife in Haiti. It's to be remembered that in Haiti the vast majority being black I'm your lateral. You had such a war against the whites that there was a virtual extermination or elimination by exile of the white population. And so the color problem and race relations have been a much more malignant factor in Haitian life than in Dominican life. There was also an issue of The Double Indemnity Haiti paid ex mother country France liberally in terms of concessions for the degree of independence she gained. Indeed there were many who said that she gained a political
independence but an increased economic dependence. There was no equivalent indemnity ever paid to Spain by the Dominican Republic and so there were fiscal and financial advantages. The Spanish had an early independence that the French and the island did not know. The so-called cultural were all a sort of Chinese war against white men in Haiti extended long beyond the period of the War of Independence. They not only ousted them then but they kept them from coming back. And this meant that the ideas the trade the degree of advance and improvement that Haitian life in general might know by rubbing elbows intellectually commercially and otherwise with the white world was denied them whereas the Dominican Republic seeking to prove it was different from Haiti seeking to prove that it was white actually encouraged white immigration and the influence of the whites would recommend and bring to them.
They Haitians suffered more from the ostracism of the family of nations than did the Dominican Republic. We have sensed this already in terms of the statement of the senator from Missouri in 1826 on the other hand the fact that the Dominican was once overrun by the Haitians free themselves from the black republic commend themselves to White nations of the world and they are more speedily recognized and aided by them. Furthermore there was the fear particularly in the 1840s and 50s on the part of the Haitians that an interest then expressed by the United States in acquiring the Dominican Republic would lead to the rekon quest of Haiti and the reestablishment of slavery there. That fear became a psychological factor that was a barrier to their advance. Particularly since they at the same time were.
Indulging the idea that the island was in the visible and should be completely under their control. In other words the fear that they might be controlled by someone led them to adopt the view that they should be equally monopolistic. This fostered costly and futile invasions of the Spanish end of the island. The failure of the United States during more than 20 years of occupation of the island to fulfill the terms set forth in the Treaty of 1016 has also been important in explaining the backwardness of Haiti for example Haiti was as dependent upon coffee as a single crop producing money for them in the world market in the year one thousand thirty four as they had been in 1915. That dependence was a result of some unwise economic planning on the part of the United States. Incidentally Haiti today has the lowest per capita income of.
Or Latin America in one thousand sixty. It was approximately seventy four dollars per person. The per capita income of the Dominican end of the island is perhaps three times that great. Haiti has in fact too many people and too little arable land. Only the future will answer such questions as will the political tightrope walking of President Bella Garr of the Dominican Republic. Keep him out of our precipitate him and his country into world headlines. Well the repression exercised by President devaluate of Haiti keep him out of our pursuit to take him and his country into world headlines. Meanwhile for background on both countries so economically significant So strategically placed so continually related to the well-being and the interests of the United
Latin American perspectives II
Episode Number
Episode 4 of 38
Producing Organization
WSIU 8 (Television station : Carbondale, Ill.)
Southern Illinois University at Carbondale
Contributing Organization
University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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For series info, see Item 3544. This prog.: Haiti and the Dominican Republic by R.W. Logan
Global Affairs
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Producing Organization: WSIU 8 (Television station : Carbondale, Ill.)
Producing Organization: Southern Illinois University at Carbondale
AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Maryland
Identifier: 68-3-14 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:13:13
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Chicago: “Latin American perspectives II; Episode 4 of 38,” 1968-03-04, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed August 20, 2022,
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APA: Latin American perspectives II; Episode 4 of 38. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from