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Le Moniteur Haitien January 1846 issue from the University of Florida Digital Collections.

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  • Le Moniteur Haitien January 1846 issue from the University of Florida Digital Collections.



    Le Moniteur Haitien January 1846 issue from the University of Florida Digital Collections.

    This issue of Le Moniteur Haitien features a message to the Haitian people in commemoration of Haitian Independence from Jean-Jacques Acaau, one of the leaders of the piquets who seized parts of Haiti’s south during and after the fall of Hérard. In Mimi Sheller’s suggestive Democracy After Slavery: Black Publics and Peasant Radicalism in Haiti and Jamaica sheplaces the piquets in a larger democratic wave that, ultimately, failed.

    Sheller’s contribution to Haiti: An Island Luminous contains a brief summary of her work, which, as mentioned previously, is highly suggestive on peasant agency and notions of citizenship in 19th century Haiti. Moreover, as she suggests in the aforementioned text, she places Haitian newspapers, which had small audiences, in a web of interrelated forms of protest, power, and exchange of ideas. Acaau, though leading the piquets before accepting a military promotion, used tactics targeting the elite through newspapers and armed resistance, with only a few simple demands (according to Maxime Raybaud): lower costs of imports, higher prices for export, education, and land reform.

    The failure of that brief moment to transform the Haitian state is attributed to the inability of the civil sector to subordinate the military, to paraphrase Sheller. However, there are several important questions that complicate the problems of Haitian society in that tumultuous period from 1843 onward. Certainly class divisions within the rural population played a role, as well as regionalism since the peasantry of northern Haiti did not join the piquets in the South. What about the influence of Vodou on the piquets, or their own definitions of democracy and political rights? In some ways, we know more about the slaves than the 19th century peasantry of independent Haiti on these important questions.


    courtesy : https://haitianhistory.tumblr.com/page/28
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