Saint-Domingue

From Roses, Tulips, & Liberty
Saint-Domingue
State of Saint Domingue
Location of Saint-Domingue
Established1862
CapitalLe Maguane
Largest CitySaint-Domingue (Santo)
Government TypeRepublic
LanguagesFrench (official)
Dominguese Creole
Spanish
Others
CurrencyDominguese franc (SMF)

Saint-Domingue, also known as Dominica and officially the State of Saint-Domingue (French: L'État de Saint Domingue, Spanish: Estado de Santo Domingo) is a Caribbean country encapsulating the island of Kiskella (Hispaniola) and vicinal islets.

Etymology

The country was named after the Spanish Saint Dominic of the Dominican Order in the 16th century. There are several variations of this name too, including Dominica in English, Sint-Dominick in Amerikaens and Dutch, and commonly as Santo Domingo (Spanish).

Saint-Domingue's indigenous name is Kiskella (French: Quisquella, Spanish: Quisqueya). It is used colloquially by speakers of Dominguese Creole and features as a poetic & romantic name for the nation. The country may also be called Hispaniola or Haïti.

History

Premodern history

Taino dominance
Spanish colonial rule
French colonial rule

Islandwide French rule (1756-1815)

French invasion of Santo Domingo

The division of the island of Hispaniola between France and Spain in 1701 ended in a situation unfavorable to both the French and the Spanish crowns and so during the chaos of the Great Silesian war, France pounced upon several Spanish possessions in the Americas. Although the population of Spanish Santo Domingo was perhaps one-fourth that of French Saint-Domingue, this did not prevent the Spanish from launching an invasion of the French side of the island in 1751. Unlike many of the other French military excursions in the Americas during the war, the invasion of Santo Domingo went surprisingly well with French losses half of what was expected and all major cities in Santo-Domingo falling in only 6 months.

After the war, the French initially agree to cede their captured territory. But following protests by the locals on the island - particularly French colonial elites who hoped to expand their sugar cane plantations - the French attempt to renegotiate and end up swapping the east side of the island for the African island of Santa Apolónia. In the resulting Treaty of Andorra (1756) the French were forced to recognize and respect the land rights of the existing former Spanish subjects.

Reform period (1815-1862)

Post-Augustine era

During the French revolution and the Augustine Wars, the British took control of the island. The British found it hard to manage as the free black, mestizo, and white Francophone populations were resentful of British rule. During the Congress of Vienna, the island was returned to French rule. When the French returned to the colony they found the islanders to be increasingly rebellious. After an aborted bourgeoise revolution in 1815, the French ruling class agreed to increased autonomy in internal affairs, increased representation of the colony in the form of a locally elected governor, and full equal rights for mestizo Dominicans. During the next decade, the colony became very economically prosperous once again after the chaos of revolution. In 1832, after a slave revolt that captured the north-western region of the island was put down, the French colonial governor implemented slave protection laws to appease the black and liberal bourgeoise populations.

Abolition of slavery

In the 1850s, abolitionist sentiments swept the colony. After a massive slave revolt inspired by Zoekerism and South Tussenland's independence, Governor General Jean-Michel de Lepinay declared all slaves on the island free on the 18th of March, 1853. The Governor did not get approval to go through with manumission by the metropolitan French government, thus enraging the colonial ruling class. The French navy was sent to Port-au-Prince that summer to re-establish slavery but was ultimately unsuccessful, leading to the ratification of the March manumission declaration.

Independence

After the Canton War nearly bankrupted the French treasury, the imperial French government tried to raise funds by increasing taxes on sugar, coffee and perfume exports from Saint-Domingue and increasing import tariffs on processed goods from New Netherland and Mexico. This led to a series of riots against French imperial rule in the summer of 1859. The French responded by confiscating the land and assets of merchants who were believed to be insurgents. In response to these sanctions, a group of wealthy mestizo elites set up a pro-independence society known as the New Order of Saint Domingue (Creole: Canfreyri Noveyl de Sendomin).

This organization agitated against French rule by collaborating with freed black slaves with the promise of universal suffrage, regardless of race. After the Neybe Incident, when a drunk French soldier shot and killed a Dominican woman in March of 1861, riots broke out across the island. The rebels hastily organized a militia called the Armée Populaire de Saint Domingue. At the same time, rural black sharecroppers and farmworkers took up arms and sided with the rebels. After only four months of fighting, the French military was kicked off the island. Soon after, the rebels declared the independence of Saint- Domingue on the 16th of August, 1861.

The Hibiscus invasion

Two months later, the French returned and lay sieged to the island. After a long siege and a week of brutal urban warfare, the French reconquered the city of Saint-Domingue in an event known as Le Lundi Bleu. In the days following the French re-invasion nearly 5,000 people were massacred.

In the spring of 1862, New Netherland, South Tussenland, and Britain were started to apply diplomatic pressure to the French, hopefully to deescalate the situation. South Tussenland, a Zoekerist theocracy at the time, recognized the independence of Saint-Domingue and sent aid to the rebels; this started a wave of independent nations of the Americas recognizing the nation as independent. Throughout the next several months the French offensive stalled and the rebels began to decimate French forces. After eighteen months of rebellion, the French government recognized the independence of Saint Domingue on the 9th of October, 1862.

Saint-Domingue in the late 19th century

After independence the republic enjoyed a favorable economic and political climate receiving official recognition from all independent nations of the Americas (besides New France who refused to recognize the nation until 1883 when the New French government adopted a new constitution) as well as European nations. The island received high levels of foreign investment and it's agricultural economy flourished providing both Europe and the Americas will Coffee & Sugarcane (a side effect of which was the continuation of unsustainable & environmentally harmful farming practices inherited from French rule). in 1873 spurred on by the communard revolution in European France, a contingent of black communard rebels rose up in the northeast of Saint-Domingue petitioning for further land redistribution- the rebels alluded federal authorities for months but were finally subdued with the assistance of the Royal British Marines who the federal government controversially called in. During and after the communard wars, thousands of French dissents and anti-revolutionaries immigrated to Saint-Domingue, many of which later became important figures in Saint-Domingue politics. Internally this period was characterized by careful political negotiation between the three major racial groups of the nation (Black Saint-Dominguese, White Saint-Dominguese & Mixed race Saint-Dominguese) as well as increased foreign investment and immigration.

The Disaster of 1925

In the midst of the European Economic Crisis of 1922 to 1928, in which the republic suffered greatly due to their reliance on foreign markets and close ties to global banking, tragedy struck the already suffering nation. Decades upon decades of environmentally harmful farming practices led to drastic soil erosion, nutrient loss and acidification in turn leading to a near total collapse of the agricultural industries that were a lifeblood of the nation. At the time the nation didn't produce enough food domestically to meet demand and as demand & supply of cash crops crashed poverty, hunger & homelessness gripped the nation. Between 1925 & 1931 over 100,000 Dominguese died or fled due to the crisis. Politically the island was devastated with major riots & strikes becoming a near daily occurrence. The federal government started to rely on para-military and criminal organizations to keep strikers in line and to preserve order during this period. Many of these groups in turn started to weld and oversized influence on the political system of the nation.

The Mobster era & the Sanchini crime family

In 1930 former Port-au-Prince mayor and known mobster-associate Martin Dupuy won the election for presidency on a platform of economic welfare and rebuilding after thee preceding crisis. Quickly afterwards, corruption in the Saint-Dominguese government reached astronomical levels with mobsters (most notable were the Venetian Sanchini crime family who established themselves within the political machines of the country in the previous decades) operating with near impunity. The economy of the nation recovered substantially in the 1930s but the average quality of life and wealth of Saint-Dominguese did not with social services, government reserves and even the military itself looted by mobsters. In 1937 after the joint Mexican-New Netherlander invasion of the Cuban dictator Sebastián Pareja, supporters of the old regime (and fellow mobsters based in Cuba) found Saint-Domingue as their new core base of operations. In order to avoid facing a similar fate of Cuba, Martin Dupuy stepped down from power and replaced by the equally corrupt François Pierre Salvatore as way to save face to newly politically united North American Republic Bloc.

Government and Politics

Demographics

Culture

See also