Instructor: Suzanne Shaut
English 111 – 680W (Essay 4)
16 June 2010
Causal Analysis Essay
Haiti is one of the poorest countries in the world, the poorest in the western hemisphere. The United States has played a large part in Haiti’s downfall. The United States government has had a negative effect on Haiti’s independence and growth by engaging in a trade embargo against Haiti with France and Europe that left Haiti in debt at the beginning of the countries newly gained independence, the occupation of Haiti, and the construction of the Peligre Dam.
The United States engaged in a trade embargo with France and Europe in order to force Haiti to pay back the country’s debt to France as retribution from the Haitian Revolution, leaving Haiti in debt for over one hundred years. In 1804, the Haitian revolution ended freeing Haiti from France. Haiti was the first black republic in the world to declare its independence (“Haiti: A History of Hurt”). The colony of Haiti accounted for about half of France’s foreign reserves (Goforth). The loss of income from such a valuable colony caused France to demand retribution payments from Haiti. The United States joined French, Spanish, and Portuguese boycotts against Haiti, banning global shipping originating in or by Haiti (Elliot). “This coordinated embargo effectively crippled Haiti’s export-driven economy and its development as a once prosperous Caribbean port under French rule” (Elliot). If Haiti did not compensate France, the American-European alliance threatened Haiti with re-colonization and re-enslavement (Elliot). The French plantation owners demanded retribution for their losses of lucrative sugar, coffee, and tobacco fortunes supported by slave labor (Elliot). Haiti then spent the next 111 years paying 70 percent of its national revenues in retributions to France (Elliot). This ransom was enforced by the American-European trade alliance as the price for Haiti’s independence (Elliot). “The French...
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