US occupation of Haiti from 1915 to 1934

The US occupation of Haiti from 1915 to 1934 was US response to near-anarchy in Haiti. It was during this period that US took complete control of the nation and ran the economy, installed puppet governments and controlled every aspect of the nation including police and military. Haitians did not like this and neither did US citizens and the US troops that were deployed in Haiti. Eventually, in 1934, United States withdrew its personnel from the Republic of Haiti.


Haiti earned its independence in 1804 from France but the following century was a period of utter chaos and dictatorship. From 1908 to 1915, at least 7 men became President of Haiti but only to meet a gruesome end. During the same century, US was busy expanding its influence in the Caribbean and by 1914, US was actually interfered with Dominica Republic that shared Hispaniola Island with Haiti. It was in 1914 that US opened the Panama Canal that was both militarily and strategically of high strategic value.

Europe was in war and it was feared by President Woodrow that Germany may invade and control Haiti to control the Panama Canal. In February of 1915, Jean Vilbrun Guillaume Sam, a pro-US strongman seized power in Haiti. US thought that Jean Vilbrun will take care of economic and military interests of US but when Jean Vilbrun ordered a massacre, in 1915 July, of 167 political prisoners, an angry mob lynched him. President Woodrow was afraid that Rosalvo Bobo, leader of anti-US caco, would seize power and harm US economic and military interest and thus ordered an invasion of Haiti.

US took complete control of Haiti. Police, customs, health, agriculture and public works were led by Americans. Haitians supported Rosalvo Bobo as president but America placed Philippe Sudre Dartiguenave in that post for their own vested interest. US prepared the constitution of Haiti and implemented it in Haiti despite the fact that Congress was reluctant to accept it. The Constitution was framed in a way that White People could own Haitian land. This was actually not allowed since the end of French rule.

People of Haiti were not happy because Constitution of Haiti was not written by Haitians and that Haitians had become puppets who were made to serve military, political and economic interests of America. The onset of Great Depression in US during the 1930s eventually forced America to move out of Haiti. The last of the Marines were moved out of the country in 1934 but a handful of US delegates stayed until 1941 so that economic interests of United States remain unaffected.

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Read more: United States, massacre, Caco, 1915, Vilbrun Guillaume Sam, Germany, Philippe Sudre Dartiguanave, Philippe Sudre Dartiguenave, US Occupation of Haiti, Rosalvo Bobo, occupation, Great Depression, International

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