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Haitian and Mexican Revolutions

A description and comparison of the revolutions in Mexico and Haiti.

Alex Parker

on 16 April 2010

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Transcript of Haitian and Mexican Revolutions

-The Haitian revolution was a combination of factors, the main ones being a drive toward equality and freedom and the effects of religious ceremonies resulting in rebellions
-The slave rebellions were stirred about by priests Boukman and Francois Mackendal, essentially getting the message across that divine forces were telling the slaves to revolt. The planters (both colored and white) were also under the pressure of France's "exclusife" policy, allowing only trade through France. This oppression sparked a revolution movement with the planters alongside the slave rebellions, making each group involved in the origin of the revolutionary process very influencial.
-Francois-Dominique Toussaint took the position of a leader of the revolts, and was essential to the success of the revolts. He promulgated a constitution granting equality and citizenship to all citizens of Saint-Dominique in 1801. The slave Mackendal, with a knowledgable understanding of poisons, initiated what became an unsuccessful slave revolt through poisoning slave masters and their surroundings. While the revolt was not successful, it instilled fear in the masters and gave hope to other slaves.
-The slaves and the planters, while usually enemies of eachother, banded together to be in favor of the Haitian revolution. The revolution would have granted citizenship and equality to all, as well as freed the planters from the imperial rule France had over their trade. However, France was on the opposite side of the revolution. France depended on Saint-Dominique largely for trade goods and revenue, taking the position of a mother country over the island. France stood to gain economically from Saint-Dominique and keeping the people oppressed would give France more control over them.
-One of the main propellants behind the Haitian revolution is the fact that France was going to grant citizenship to the people of Saint-Dominique, but not to the free people of color. This discrimination agaist the colored people is what sparked intense revolt and thus makes the segregation and discrimination of racial groups a root of the Haitian revolution.
-Slaves in Saint-Dominique outnumbered te free people about 10:1, making the free people by far the minority. As a direct effect of the immense number of slaves that had to be controlled, the slave system was intensley strict and cruel. The tactics used by slave masters in Saint-Dominique were uniquely harsh and became a characteristic of slave life on the island, and demonstrate the measures taken to make up for the minority of free people in Saint-Dominique.
-Foreign invasion hinders the independence of what came to be Haiti, but it wasn't a true invastion, it was the fear of one occurring. When Francois-Dominique Toussaint was in rule of the revolts, he almost declared independence from France, but was afraid Napoleon would attack the island and because of this, withheld his decision to declare independence from France just yet.
-The Haitian revolution accom;lished what it set out to do. The slave rebellions were the most successful in the history of slave rebellions, and Saint-Domimique became the island of Haiti. The free people of color were given their citizenship amongst the whites April 4, 1972, and Haiti broke free of their trade binds to France. However, Haiti agreed to make reparations to French slaveholders in 1825 for independence and to gain freedom from French aggression. This bankrupted the Haitian treasury and mortgaged Haiti's future to the French, permanently affecting Haiti's ability to be prosperous. Investigating the Problem Haitian Revolution Mexican Revolution Investigating the Problem The start of the Mexican Revolution was brought about by many factors, one being the public's agitation with President Porfirio Diaz and his overrun rule of Mexico. Diaz's work in office was becoming meaningless if not harmful to the people of Mexico, and the people became split over who should take his place.
The sides of the revolution were established by Diaz, as he was the dictator in power over Mexico, and Madero, as he was the first to take a stand on the issue of Diaz's imperious rule. The main reason for the people's outrage against Diaz was his greedy ruling style. Diaz's goal was to stay in power as long as possible and cheated the rules of the Constitution of Mexico to do so. Madero saw the corruption of Diaz's rule and made a stand by implicating the "Anti-Reeleccionista" party, supporting democracy and setting rigid limits on the actions of the government. After the proposal of this document, Madero proposed the "Plan on San Luis", stating that Diaz's election was a travesty and that he did not see Diaz as a true president. Initiating himself as the "President ProTemp", Madero wished for all land taken from the peasants to be returned, for universal voting rights to be given, and for a limit to be placed on how many terms a president could serve.
Diaz obviously held an important role of leadership, be it corrupt, over Mexico, and Madero was the first to take a stand against him. Madero's actions established an opposing force against Diaz, eventually resulting in Diaz's retreat. Emilio Zapata was an influencial character, as he started out as Madero's ally but turned on him when he disagreed with some of Madero's land policies. Pascual Orozco started out as Madero's ally as well, but in 1912 staged a rebellion over loosing his power. This rebellion put Orozco in power as a leader in the counterrevolutionary white guards. Using Victoriano Huerta as an asset, Madero seized Orozco and stoped him. Huerta staged a coup against Madero in 1913, resulting in Madero and his vice predisent's demise. In turn, Huerta became a militaristic dictator over Mexico with Villa as a rival.
Most social classes took part in the fighting of the revolution, each with different motives. The drive behind the lower class's involvement was fighting against low wages, substandard working conditions, inflation, poor housing, and deficiant social services. The middle and higher classes abhored Diaz as a president and banded together to fight against him in the revolution. Other leaders took part in the battles, mainly because they thought they would makde a better ruler than Diaz.
True radical groups were not present in the Mexican Revolution, altough the "Anti-Reelectionista" Party as well as the self-organized fighting classes could be considered radical if necessary. Diaz created a regime of his own, but this effort failed in all aspects but keeping a relative grasp on the Mexican people.
Women played key roles in the Mexican Revolution, relaying their stance politically and on the battlefield, being called "soldaderas" for their role in the battles. The peasants had less of an understanding of the politics involved in the revolution, but were helpful as sheer force in the rebellions.
Foreign involvement came on the United States' part, on both sides of the revolution. The United States government usually supported whoever was in office, reguardless of the actions of the ruler. The U.S. sent troops into Mexico on two occasions, both helping the Mexicans acheive their freedom and supporting Diaz. The U.S. also functioned as an asylum for a small porion of Mexico's population that escaped to America, evading the violence of Mexico.
Considering the general objectives of the Mexican Revolution, (getting a hold of better power over the country and finding a suitable ruler), the goals were reached. Several seemingly meaningless rulers took lead for a time, but a rulerr named Villa took lead with many promising characteristics before he was assassinated, and it is here that the revolution ends.

Compare and Contrast Both the Haitian and the Mexican Revolutions were brought about and driven by the same forces: The government was oppressing the people and the people wanted their freedom. In both cases, the people of the respective countries were strongly oppressed in many aspects of life: restricted freedom of speech, restricted voicing of opinions against the government, and overall, the lives of the people were formatted by their rulers to benefit those in power. In terms of significance, the Haitian revolution was more historically significant in my opinion. The main party involved in the overturning of the goverment was made of slaves and workers, while the Mexican revolution had most of the country going against the goverment. The indepedence of Haiti was a result of the largeest and most successful slave revolt in history. However, the resulst of the Haitian revolution turned out to be more determental to the economy and the counry itself after the revolution, whereas Mexico did not face such a downturn after its revolution. Alex Parker
Brock, 6 Works cited is on separate hard copy page :) Patterns of Revolutions
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