Leslie Alexander, 19Th Century, 150 Million Gold Francs discussed on World Affairs Council

Automatic TRANSCRIPT

In terms of this long legacy of foreign intervention, in my view goes all the way back to the way in which the white Western world responded to the establishment of Haiti as a sovereign black nation. Leslie Alexander is a historian, activist professor and author. Her latest book is Fear of the Black Republic How Haitian Sovereignty inspired Did the birth of black internationalism. Everyone celebrates 17 76 and you know the aspirations of liberty and freedom and freedom from colonial rule. But when the Haitians demanded and desired the same freedom and liberty and desire to self govern that every other human on the planet celebrated When the Americans wanted it, they were demonized for their actions and then forced through what we would refer to as gunboat diplomacy. To pay an exorbitant amount of money. For those of you who don't follow Haitian history closely. The country basically had to buy its freedom from France. It had two by itself. France demanded 150 million gold francs in exchange for recognizing Haiti's independence. And this put incredible pressure on the country's finances for the entire 19th century. Really, I mean, just so that your listeners have a sense, 150 million Gold Franks in the 19th century, which is what the French demanded that they pay is the equivalent of billions of dollars in contemporary Terms. Most people.

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