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Haitian Constitution

After close comparison of the Constitution of The United States, to the Imperial Constitution of Haiti of 1805, I felt that the Haitian constitution had great intentions for what they wanted to be the outcome of their country. Due to the language and content of the of the articles listed it is very clear that the Haitians were tired of French and imperialism influence within their country. The Haitians wanted to evoke drastic change in order to ensure that they would never be put in the position of being subordinate in their own country again, and even went as drastic as to say within their declaration of independence that they would chose death over not being allowed to have their freedom. 

One of the articles that I would like to point out that caught my attention was Article 9. “Nobody deserves to be Haitian who is not a good father, a good son, a good husband, and, above all, a good soldier.” This article coupled with Article 10 “Fathers and Mothers cannot disinherit their children”, I feel that this shows that Haitians attempt to have a strong family dynamic along with their values. I think that these are important and attempt to shed light on their culture. Along with their strong family values this document also shows how they felt toward French imperialists and ways in which they could tackle their rule within this country. 

The United States constitution does not have articles that discuss family values and I think that that definitely shows what we value as a country. It also shows what was important to us at the time of us creating this country. We were worried about foreign rule in a similar way Yes but our founding fathers were not being enslaved, and being stolen from. They were doing the enslaving and stealing and wrote the constitution so that those rights would not be taken away from them. There are similarities between the two constitutions but it shows that the warfare and imperialism within the country of Haiti was not the same as the United states reasoning for the creation of the country. 

2 thoughts on “Haitian Constitution”

  1. I like how you compared the US and Haiti’s constitutions in the context of their historical needs-the US definitely was trying to protect itself from having to stop slavery, while Haiti was trying to protect itself from ever being enslaved again. I was taken aback by the violence of the Haitian Declaration of Independence at first, but it makes a lot of sense, and I actually admire their honesty a lot more than I admire the US’s lofty (and empty) words of equality. Haiti had every reason to be angry towards French imperialism and white people on their land, so their response is in my opinion a strong and justified one.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Nice elucidation of what it means for Haiti’s constitution to have been crafted as much as a *response* to another document as anything else. You are reading both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution as doing this work, which is cool but also complicated, because what does it mean, long term, for a constitution to be reactive in that way? I am also curious about what you make of the gender dynamics of the articles that reference families. What does it mean for the state to be establishing concrete (and gendered) roles for fathers and mothers?


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