Faustin Soulouque, Haiti Monarchy

Faustin-Élie Soulouque was ushered into office as Haiti's 9th President in 1847. He was installed by advocates of the Boyerist movement as a figurehead ruler. But he soon rebelled, staging a coup against his supporters and turning his government into a dictatorship. Faustin ensured his totalitarian rule through devotion of a citizen militia, and finally persuaded Parliament to crown him Emperor of Haiti in 1849.

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As emperor Faustin-Élie Soulouque ruled with a centralist government and created a black nobility with dukes, marquis, counts, barons, and nobles of lower rank. He formed military, civil, and religious orders, and created a Royal Academy of Art.

Faustin-Élie Soulouque waged an unsuccessful war against Santo Domingo, who had ceded from Haitian rule. He attempted to incorporate Santo Domingo during five campaigns waged against the country. He believed that Santo Domingo's independence would endanger Haiti's sovereignty.

Faustin's regime was a bloody one. He mercilessly beat down opposition forces in his government, murdering many of them. Rumors circulated he was involved in cannibalistic practices, in which the blood of victims was drunk.

As a consequence of losing the war with Santo Domingo, Faustin's government was weakened. General Fabre Geffrard took advantage of this vulnerability and won victory over the Imperial Army.

Faustin gave up his throne in 1859, and was denied sanctuary by the French Legation. Instead, the British Navy provided refuge and sailed with him to Jamaica, where he stayed in exile until 1867. Permitted to re-enter Haiti, he arrived and soon after met his end at Petit-Goâve.

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Read more: president, Dominican Republic, jamaica, Haitian President, Petit Goave, Exile, Fabre Geffrard, Faustin II, Faustin Soulouque, Monarchy, People

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