The Globe: World News From All Sides
The Moscow Summit of 1949‐1950 By Joshua Lasky The Sun Will Never Set on the Persian Empire By Jeremy Iloulian Bu
Parallels between the Haitian Revolution and the American Anti‐Slavery Movement By Lucas Divine The Realist Cycle By Richard Benjamin Bloomfield
World News from all Sides Spring 2010—Issue One
The Globe: World News From All Sides
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Letter from the Editor……………………………………………………………………………………3 The Moscow Summit of 1949‐1950……………………………………………………………4‐12 By Joshua Lasky The Sun Will Never Set on the Persian Empire………………………………………….12‐18 By Jeremy Iloulian Parallels Between the Haitian Revolution The American Anti‐Slavery Movement……………………………………………………..18‐30 By Lucas Divine The Realist Cycle……………………………………………………………………………………..31‐36 By Richard Benjamin Bloomfield
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The Globe: World News From All Sides
LETTER FROM THE EDITOR Dear Readers: I am proud to present the third edition of the The Globe: World News from All Sides for the 2009‐2010 academic year. The Globe is the only undergraduate academic journal at the George Washington University devoted solely to International Affairs. The Globe is an amazing opportunity for International Affairs Society members, Elliot School students, and those interested in international affairs to publish their academic papers and articles in a professional manner. More than that, it is an opportunity to open discussion, publish ideas and to think and write critically on world issues. The Globe and its submissions are drawn from many different areas of interest within international affairs from economics, to politics, to interdisciplinary discussions. This edition is no exception and with every issue, we hope to bring our readers new outlooks on International Affairs a discipline. Enjoy this Spring online edition, a culmination of the best submissions received throughout the semester, and look out for our Spring print edition coming soon! Cheers, Lauren Jacobson Editor‐In‐Chief
Assistant Editors: Justin Snyder Nabeela Malik Jeff Richards
The Globe: World News From All Sides
The Moscow Summit of 19491950 The Historical Viewpoint versus the Contemporary Viewpoint
By: Joshua Lasky
During the period of time immediately following the end of the Chinese Civil
War, by all appearances there was a great blow to the Western world as a result of the alliance between the Soviet Union and China. Meeting for the first, and as it turns out only, time at this summit in Moscow, Joseph Stalin and Mao Zedong appeared to present a united Communist front against the forces led by the United States. However, behind the scenes, the relationship between Stalin and Mao was not completely harmonious. Each of them held their own ideas for what the vanguard of Communism should be. These differences played out in the private talks held in Moscow towards the end of 1949 and the beginning of 1950. An average follower of Cold War tensions may not have been able to pick up well on these cracks in the facade; however, a careful examiner of newspaper articles emerging at the time may have been able to see a glimpse of the true relationship between Stalin and Mao.
The meeting between the two leaders in December of 1949 was primarily
held in order to figure out the future path for China and how the Soviet Union could aid in its progress. Earlier that year, there had been discreet struggles between Stalin and Mao regarding their unique partnership. This can be observed in the telegrams sent between Stalin and Mao in January 1949 in response to the Nanjing government's plea to the West and the USSR for mediation in the Chinese Civil War.
The Globe: World News From All Sides The Communists had won several high profile military victories and appeared to be on the verge of taking China for good. In telegrams dated on the 10th and 11th of January Stalin notified Mao of the requests for aid sent out by Nanjing and suggested that the two sides aim towards seeming to desire direct negotiations between the Communists and the Guomindang but make the requirements for peace talks so stringent that they would never agree to sit down for them. As Stalin puts it, "our draft of your reply to the Guomindang proposal is aimed at the undermining of the peace negotiations. Clearly, the Guomindang would not agree to peace negotiations without foreign powers’ mediation, especially that of the USA. It is also clear that the Guomindang will not agree to negotiate without the participation of Jiang Jieshi [Chiang Kaishek] and other war criminals. We assume therefore that the Guomindang would reject peace negotiations on CCP terms."1 The real surprise to Stalin is the response from Mao being hostile rather than receptive. Mao dictates a Soviet response in his telegram from January 13th that would have Stalin denounce any attempts for foreign mediation in the Chinese Civil War, an action which would put the USSR at odds with the United States. Mao took the position that victory was almost in sight, what would the point be in inviting the possibility of peace at that point in the conflict? Mao notes that, " if the USSR in its reply to the note by the Nanjing government will take the position outlined in your telegram of January 10, it would make the USA, England and France assume that participating in mediation is an appropriate thing, and give the Guomindang a pretext for scolding us as warlike 1 "Stalin to Mao Zedong, 11 January 1949." CWIHP.
The Globe: World News From All Sides elements."2 That is, if the Soviet Union even hinted at supporting a mediated end to the Chinese Civil War, the rest of the great powers would instantly support the idea. Mao very much desired the unconditional surrender of the Guomindang forces and did not want to risk total victory over a political maneuver. He summarized by noting that, "we are inclined towards rejecting the peace deception by the Guomindang with full righteousness, because now, as the balance of class forces in China has already changed irreversibly and the international opinion is also unfavourable to the Nanjing government, the PLA will be able to cross the Yangzi this summer and start the offensive towards Nanjing. It looks like we do not have to make one more political detour. In the present situation this maneuver would be damaging rather than beneficial." After receiving this response Stalin backtracked significantly, eventually caving in to the response created by Mao for the Soviet response to the Guomindang peace proposal. To the outside observer, someone who had just read the statement provided by Soviet Union, it seemed that their government had always been on the side of rejecting the proposal for outside mediation; indeed, the four great powers together declined to participate in any such mediation around the same time.3 However, in reality, Mao made a shocking rejection of Soviet intervention in the Chinese Civil War. Compared to the servility of the leaders of the Soviet Union's eastern European satellites, Mao appeared to make a concerted effort to be seen as, at the very least, a junior partner in the 2 "Mao Zedong to Stalin, 13 January 1949." CWIHP.
http://www.wilsoncenter.org/topics/pubs/ACF1A4.pdf 3 "U. S., BRITAIN SAID TO BAR CHINA'S BID." New York Times (1857Current file); Jan 15, 1949; ProQuest Historical Newspapers The New York Times (1851 ‐ 2005). pg. 4.
The Globe: World News From All Sides Communist movement. This theme would return in future meetings between Soviet and Chinese leaders later that year in the Moscow summit.
In December 1949 Mao arrived in Moscow for a celebration of Stalin's
seventieth birthday, a convenient excuse to hold talks related to the furthering of Soviet‐Chinese ties in the form of a formal treaty of friendship. The headlines proclaimed warm receptions for the Chinese leader and nothing but praise from Mao to Stalin. Under the blanket of the media coverage things looked somewhat different. In these talks there was limited disagreement between Mao and Stalin on a few different topics including a possible treaty of friendship and what to do regarding the Nationalist fortification of Formosa. At the December meeting, Stalin voiced a concern regarding altering any of the provisions set forth under the Yalta Agreement, particularly regarding the status of Soviet soldiers stationed at Port Arthur, reminding Mao that, "since a change in even one point could give America and England the legal grounds to raise questions about modifying also the treaty’s provisions concerning the Kurile Islands, South Sakhalin, etc."4 Understandably, Mao Zedong was somewhat wary of proceeding forward under an agreement, which had been made before his government had even come to power. However, Stalin was for the time able to convince Mao that informal agreements that would not alter the letter of the Yalta Accords were the best way to not arouse the ire of the West. For example, the Soviet Union would retain the written right to station forces at Port Arthur for the remainder of the thirty‐year lease; however, an informal agreement 4 "Conversation between Stalin and Mao, Moscow, 16 December 1949." CWIHP.
http://www.wilsoncenter.org/topics/pubs/ACF1A4.pdf. Pg 5.
The Globe: World News From All Sides could have Russian troops leave as soon as five years down the line. Secondly, Mao was somewhat concerned about the PLA's inability to strike at the remaining Guomindang forces that had established themselves on the island of Formosa, now known as Taiwan. He desired that the Soviet Union provide him with direct and indirect means to invade the island and end the civil war once and for all. Stalin hesitated to do this, arguing that "what is most important here is not to give Americans a pretext to intervene." At the time this would likely have frustrated Mao because, in his mind, the Soviet Union clearly had the means to provide him the ships and training necessary to carry out the operation, yet were unwilling to do so. At the same time as all of these discussions were taking place, the New York Times published articles highlighting the boasts of the Russian and Chinese press. Such statements include a quote from the People's Daily featuring Mao remarking that, "the Chinese people can make uniting with the Soviet Union their own basic policy."5 Also, the Times declared, again referring to Mao, that it would be, "more and more difficult for his wishful apologists in this country to cling to the theory that he will somehow prove to be a Chinese Tito."6 By taking these articles at face value, one would have no idea of the fundamental differences in opinion that would later fuel the Sino‐Soviet split. However, in an article written a couple days earlier in the Washington Post, AP reporter John Hightower envisioned certain cracks in the
��� 5 "CHINESE COMMUNIST CHIEF WELCOMED IN MOSCOW." New York Times (1857Current file); Dec
19, 1949; ProQuest Historical Newspapers The New York Times (1851 ‐ 2005). pg. 17. 6 "MAO MAKES HIS PILGRIMAGE." New York Times (1857Current file); Dec 18, 1949; ProQuest Historical Newspapers The New York Times (1851 ‐ 2005). pg. E8.
The Globe: World News From All Sides friendship between the Soviet Union and China.7 Taking Manchuria as the primary issue, he argued that the Russians were reluctant to give up their special rights in China following the victory of the Communist forces and that they still wanted a special zone of influence in Manchuria. In actuality, Manchuria was an issue for which Mao would chafe under Stalin's repeated remarks on the issue in their later meeting in January. Articles such as this one correctly predicted troubles in the relationship between the Soviet Union and China given the multitude of issues that were on the table at the time.
More tensions arose during this January, 1950 meeting between Stalin and
Mao. During this meeting, Stalin completely reverses the position he took on the subject of writing a new treaty that would go against the Yalta Accords. In fact, he goes as far as to say that, "it does—and to hell with it! Once we have taken up the position that the treaties must be changed, we must go all the way."8 Needless to say this came as quite the surprise to Mao who quickly agreed with Stalin's magnanimous decision before the Soviet leader could change his mind once more. Following this point, certain disagreements began to emerge. First of all, regarding the administration of KChZhD (Chinese Changchun Railroad), the Chinese government wanted a majority stake while the Soviets wanted to split it evenly as they had done in their other satellite states. This appears to be Mao's first attempt to gain some sovereignty from the Soviets in relation to their domestic affairs. 7 Hightower, John M. "Stalin‐Mao Rift Hinted Over Control In Manchuria." The Washington Post
(18771954); Dec 18, 1949; ProQuest Historical Newspapers The Washington Post (1877 ‐ 1992). pg. M1. 8 "Conversation between Stalin and Mao, Moscow, January 22, 1950." CWIHP. http://www.wilsoncenter.org/topics/pubs/ACF1A4.pdf. Pg 7.
The Globe: World News From All Sides While they are by all accounts grateful to the Soviet government for their aid, the last thing on their agenda is to simply become another Soviet satellite. This issue comes up again when Stalin repeatedly brings up the matters of Manchuria and Xinjiang; as these are territories of China, it would be natural for Mao to wonder what position Stalin is in where he may tell China what to do within its own borders. This reiterates the problems proposed by the Post article from December 1949. He would also have to wonder based on Stalin's question as to, "what sort of a situation we should look forward to in the future: will we be signing separate agreements with Xinjiang, Manchuria and other provinces, or a single agreement with the central government?" From Mao's perspective, Stalin could be treating these provinces as if they were not part of China and could be turned into Soviet spheres of influence. He would also have to wonder whether he was being treated as an equal ally or a subservient vassal.
Not surprisingly, news sources were not getting all of the information
regarding these meetings between Soviet and Chinese officials. For instance, an article published in the New York Times claimed that Mao was not even a party to the negotiations on the 22nd despite the fact that he was one of the major players.9 It is possible that Soviet sources played down Mao's role in order to reduce the media attention on the negotiations taking place. On the other hand, the Times was able to pick up on the fact that there was significant back and forth bargaining going on, and not all of it in good humor, in detailing the several requests and counter‐ 9 "STALIN SEES CHOU; PACT MAY BE TOPIC." New York Times (1857Current file); Jan 23, 1950;
ProQuest Historical Newspapers The New York Times (1851 ‐ 2005). pg. 1.
The Globe: World News From All Sides requests made by both sides. Through looking at the news articles from this time period without the meeting notes at hand, it would be easy for Americans to assume the worst from these meetings between Mao and Stalin. Certain articles describing Mao vowing, "a firm intention to display the strongest support of Stalinist international policy," would have shown worldwide readers a clear picture of a united Communist front.10 Considering that the Soviet Union and China comprised a significant share of Europe and Asia it would have been disastrous for the West if these two countries had been able to partner successfully. The key in this discussion is the ability to look beyond the headlines; by carefully observing the dynamic between the Soviet and Chinese leaders, it is clear that the beginnings of resentment are brewing. Between Stalin's astonishment earlier in 1949 as to the brazen reply of Mao to his advice on the Nanjing telegram and Mao's bitterness over having to discuss domestic Chinese issues with an outsider, Americans would have been much more at ease with this knowledge on hand. On the other hand, careful readers of these newspaper articles would have been able to gather that there were significant negotiations going on behind closed doors and that a Sino‐Soviet alliance was in reality far from a sure thing.
Ultimately, the depiction of the relationship between Joseph Stalin and Mao
Zedong is not fundamentally different by going through either the contemporary news source coverage or through the records of the conversations themselves. While the initial cracks that led to the Sino‐Soviet split were starting to come into 10 "MAO MAKES HIS PILGRIMAGE." New York Times (1857Current file); Dec 18, 1949; ProQuest
Historical Newspapers The New York Times (1851 ‐ 2005). pg. E8.
The Globe: World News From All Sides place during this summit meeting, both Mao and Stalin were still striving towards a goal of friendship between their two countries. Perhaps not until the early‐1950's, during the Korean War, would Mao and Stalin begin jockeying for leadership of the Communist movement in earnest. Looking hard enough into the articles of the time period, it is indeed possible to discern that there could be serious tensions between the Soviet and Chinese leaders, particularly regarding their relationship within an alliance. As a result, although to non‐informed Americans at the time a Sino‐Soviet alliance would have looked all but inevitable, others would have seen the potential for trouble in the Communist paradise.
The Sun Will Never Set on the Persian Empire By: Jeremy Iloulian
The year is 632. Imagine you live in the Arabian Peninsula. Your prophet that
has taught you and your family members the submission of God has just passed on to be greeted in heaven by God. But out of suffering and mourning comes a great time for your people. For the rest of your lifetime news returns to Mecca on how the Arabs win battle after battle. Your children live on to the creation of one of the largest empires, the Arab Empire. And the best part of all of this is that not only do the armies return with military success, but religious success too. People everywhere seem to be converting to this new wonderful religion you call Islam and they begin to adopt your habits as Arabs. Everywhere new people begin to call themselves Arabs. Except for one, one ancient kingdom that fell in the east seems to
The Globe: World News From All Sides convert to your religion but doesn’t learn the holy language of Arabic nor practices your customs. Why? Why does this country not submit to your culture, to your ways? The country that the Arabs would speak of would later be known as the Persian Empire. And that word, Empire, which means so much, would be the reason why Persia never became Arab. Until modern times the area of land that was between Iraq and Afghanistan was known as Persia. The most significant event to happen in Persian history was the coming of Islam and of the Arab invaders. Islam is the youngest major world religion. By the time that Muhammad died in 632 the only place under Islam or Arab control was the Arabian Peninsula. (Arabs and Muslims are not interchangeable but until this point all the Muslims were Arabs). So to spread the word of this great religion, the Arabs would continue to expand their empire. From 632 to 655 the Arabs expanded through the near east and by 750 the Arabs had conquered Spain in the west, across North Africa, into Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Persia, and even parts of central Asia. When the Arabs came to each country they would not only defeat the armies but impose their culture and Islam as well. Within the context of all global history, the countries that militarily had submitted to the Arabs also submitted to their culture. In a lecture that Bernard Lewis gives (a professor at Princeton) he explains what changed in these countries with the introduction of Islam and Arabism: “The previous languages were forgotten, the identities expressed in those languages were replaced, and the ancient civilizations of Iraq, Syria, and Egypt gave way to what we nowadays call the Arab
The Globe: World News From All Sides world.”11 Persia was the only country that did not. Iran accepted Islam as the new religion but it never became Arab unlike its neighbors in the west. Lewis makes a compelling argument in his lecture about why Iran did not turn into another Arab state: that Iran had a strong sense of nationalism within herself which had been there for almost two and half millennia. The most important point to note is that Iran was never conquered with the exception of Alexander the Great until the Arabs. But even then the Macedonian control and Greek ideas only stayed there for less than 150 years. As Lewis points out when compared to Egypt or Iraq, both countries that had thriving civilizations, Persia was never conquered. Both Egypt and Iraq had been conquered multiple times from the Macedonians, Assyrians, Romans, and even the Persians themselves. Those civilizations did not control their own kingdom for almost entire millennia. Iraq, Egypt, Syria, and the Maghreb (North Africa minus Egypt) most likely had become used to the fact that new conquerors would come and go and new traditions would too. In some cases if a cultural heritage was not accepted by the people who were conquered, for example Carthage with Rome, the entire civilization was destroyed. So in theory those countries that were conquered understood the fact that it was better to continue living than to not switch cultures. Also because Persia was never conquered with the exception of Alexander, she would have believed herself to be a superpower at the time or an Empire. With superpower status (militarily speaking) the state creates a dominant culture and strong sense of nationalism. We have seen that to be true with the Cold War in 11 Ibid, 1.
The Globe: World News From All Sides which the United States and the Soviet Union not only were the strongest by military measures but also led the world in two different lifestyles. Persia was a contender with Rome, which has been regarded as one of the most powerful empires ever in Europe and the world. In a historical database called AD it states, “Persia was a small nation that grew to be the world's first superpower”.12 So because Persia was the first superpower to exist it had obtained a level of strength no other country ever had! To have Persia understand that creates a nationalistic pride that neither Egypt nor Iraq ever had or will have. Just with word terminology, to call oneself an Empire would create a strong sense of nationalistic fever. And to create even more nationalism and pride Persia was regarded as an Empire not just by herself but others in the past and present. By creating this sense of nationalism even when the Arabs came in and won by military means, the people would not surrender in terms of culture. Instead the Persians fought back by keeping their own sense. If anything, Iran actually influenced the Arab world and Islam herself through cultural, spiritual, and political means. As Lewis says, “The Iranian contribution to this new Islamic civilization is of immense importance. The work of Iranians can be seen in every field of cultural endeavor.”13 Lewis even goes on to explain that a new version of Islam was formed called Islam‐I‐Ajam, otherwise known as Persian Islam. For sometime, Persian Islam even became the more dominant of the two different forms of Islam in terms of political power. Persian Islam spread to central Asia, 12 "Persians." 0 AD. Wildfire Games, 6 Nov. 2004. Web. 1 Oct. 2009.
<http://wildfiregames.com/0ad/page.php?p=6360>. 13 Bernard Lewis. "Iran in History." Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv. 18 Jan. 1999. Lecture.
The Globe: World News From All Sides India, and Turkey, which then became the Ottoman Empire and the Mughal Empire. So at one point you had three Islamic superpowers, Persia, the Ottoman Empire, and the Mughal Empire and all three of them practiced Persian Islam: “The center of the Islamic world was under Turkish and Persian states, both shaped by Iranian culture”, once Egypt was conquered by the Ottomans only Arabia and the Maghreb practiced Arabian Islam.14 This sense of nationalism almost became a cycle. Because Persia had such a strong national identity before the coming of the Arabs they were able to diversify themselves from the Arab invaders and their version of Islam. By doing so the Persians never would assimilate into Arab society and even pushed themselves further out of that world. Even the language itself did not change unlike many other languages in countries that fell to the Arab conquerors. As Lewis points out, “Aramaic is a Semitic language related to Arabic, and the transition from Aramaic to Arabic was much easier than would have been the transition from Persian, an Indo‐European language, to Arabic.”15 For the time Persian was so unique for Middle Eastern languages and it embodied that sense of nationalism and empire that Persians had. Additionally, Persian was so embedded in the culture through poetry and literature that it made it hard for Arabic to replace the language entirely. And because Persian was embedded in the culture it did not collapse to Arabic as one can see with Coptic in Egypt.
14 Ibid, 2. 15 Ibid, 2.
The Globe: World News From All Sides The final major part that had Persia maintain a sense of national identity and Empire was acceptance of Shi’ite Islam. “Iran has been associated with Islam, and in the more recent centuries with Shi'ite Islam, which some have seen as an expression, a reappearance of the Persian national genius in an Islamic disguise.”16 This form of Islam was brought under the Safavid Dynasty as well as the term Iran which has become part of the modern day. Iran is one of the only Shi’ite states today, and at the time of the Safavid Dynasty Persia was the only Shi’ite state. By making herself different again from the Arab world in which version of Islam is practiced (the Arab world primarily observes Sunni Islam) Persia separates herself and even could assert that she is now a Persian and a Shi’ite Empire. Idea of a Shi’ite Empire still exists today. One of the entries of the Turkish Journal of International Relations states, “In 2004 Jordan’s King Abdullah, anxiously warned of the prospect of a ‘Shia crescent’ spanning Iran, Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon.”17 So that nationalistic fever became even stronger with the acceptance of Shi’ite Islam. Persia’s culture and nationalistic pride became too strong for the Arabs to overcome. Because of centuries of empire, a distinct language, and the adoption of new religious ideals, the idea of being Persian never collapsed to the Arab world as Egypt, Syria, Iraq, and the Maghreb would. Persia became the first empire to exist and still continues today as an important player in modern politics and the Middle
16 Ibid, 9.
17Amir M Haji‐Yousefi "Whose Agenda is Served by the Idea of a Shia Crescent?" Alternatives: Turkish
Journal of International Relations 8.1 (2007): 1‐22. Spring 2009. Web. 23 Sept. 2009. <http://www.ciaonet.org/journals/tjir/v8i1/f_0016605_14357.pdf>.
The Globe: World News From All Sides East, and in today’s world, it seems to be Iran, not the Arabs, that dominates the policies and actions of the Middle East.
Parallels Between the Haitian Revolution and the American AntiSlavery Movement By: Lucas Divine
The essay explores how the struggle for freedom in Haiti influenced and was
paralleled in America’s struggle against slavery, particularly within the context of Toussaint L’Ouverture’s theories on the revolution. The essay begins with a discussion of early Haitian history to foster an understanding of this momentous rebellion. The nation’s pariah status from the global community that initially followed the revolution is also analyzed to understand the immediate global response to Haiti’s revolution. This essay also examines the responses of African American political thinkers, to the Haitian Revolution and Toussaint. An analysis of the involved parties and their intentions during the revolution indicate that the revolution was not simply a racial revolution but rather based on freedom and equality. The role of religion will be explored from both American Christian and Haitian Voodoo perspectives to determine if there is any correlation between religion and revolution. In conclusion, the success of the revolution will be analyzed in terms of both practicality and the ideal.
The Globe: World News From All Sides Background Haiti was discovered in 1492 by Christopher Columbus, who claimed one‐third of the island of Hispaniola (modern day Haiti) on behalf of Spain18. The native population was quickly eradicated. In 1492, there was a native Arawak population of over three million19. Within twenty two years, the Arawaks numbered less than twenty seven thousand and by 1542 only two hundred Arawaks remained20. By the revolution, the native population had become extinct due to the brutal genocide of the natives through their exposure to European diseases and being worked unmercifully, and often literally to death, by the Spanish 21. France came into possession with the forced cession of what is now modern day Haiti, with the Treaty of Ryswick, which ended the War of the Palantinian Succession/ Nine Years’ War (1688‐1697). By the 1700’s Hispaniola was renamed Saint Dominique (modern Haiti) and was France’s and the world’s most lucrative colony22. Between half a million and three quarters of a million slaves cultivated crops, the main crops being sugar, rum, cotton, tobacco, and indigo which generated enormous profits for the slave owners23. Haiti quickly became the greatest importer of a slave workforce through the African slave trade24. The economy of Haiti alone comprised two‐thirds of France’s overseas trade25. 18 Matthewson, Tim. A Proslavery Foriegn Policy: Haitian‐American Relations During the Early
Republic. 1st ed. Westport: Praeger, 2003. 19 Chin, Pat, Greg Dunkel, Sara Flounders, and Kim Ives, comps. eds. Haiti: a Slave Revolution 200 Years After 1804. 1st ed. New York: International Action Center, 2004. 20 Ibid., p.121 21 Ibid., p.121 22 Ibid., p.122 23 Matthewson, p.3 24 Chin, p.171 25 Ibid., p.171
The Globe: World News From All Sides Revolution The immediate effects of the Haitian revolution were the ejection of French occupying troops, the establishment of Haiti as the first free black republic composed of former slaves, and the subsequent pariah status imparted upon Haiti. The impingement of the ideals espoused by the revolutionaries had vast consequences to slave‐holding countries and global politics; most notably the abrupt end of the era of colonialism.
However, The expulsion of the French was only the first step towards Haitian
independence. With the turmoil in France, stemming from the chaos of the French Revolution of 1789–1799, Haiti was primed for revolution. It was not only the black slaves who desired their freedom but also the planters who moved for independence from France and free coloreds who sought full citizenship that pushed Haiti into a violent revolution. François Dominique Toussaint Louverture served in all practicality as a dictator following the violent uprising of over a hundred thousand slaves under the Voodoo leader Boukman, who called for all whites to be purged from Haiti26. Thousands of blacks rose up in the Plaine du Nord and executed their former masters. Less then a week after the initial outbreak of violence, slaves controlled the northern region of Haiti and began to persecute the remaining whites. The French legislature declared slavery illegal in 1792. However, Napoleon exhibited the immediate racism challenging Haiti in a threatening letter to Toussaint claiming, 26 Matthewson, pp.10‐13
The Globe: World News From All Sides The circumstances in which you found yourself, surrounded on all sides by enemies without the metropole being able to either assist or revictual you, rendered articles of that constitution legitimate that otherwise would not be.27 Napoleon was alluding to the 1801 Constitution drafted and instituted by Toussaint that declared Haiti a sovereign state. Effectively Napoleon is claiming Toussaint’s constitution to be null and void and threatens Toussaint must concede to French rule as: A contrary conduct would be irreconcilable with the idea we have conceived of you. It would have you lose the many rights to recognition and the benefits of the republic, and would dig beneath your feet a precipice which, in swallowing you up, could contribute to the misfortune of those brave blacks whose courage we love, and whose rebellion we would, with difficulty, be obliged to be punished.28 Napoleon acknowledges black Haitian’s freedom and even states admiration for their desire for freedom. His political support of the Haitian revolution represents a parallel between the Haitian and French Revolutions as even the racist Napoleon was politically required to provide support for the freedom seeking Haitians. Although, Napoleon feigned support of the Haitian Revolution, he secretly plotted to reinstitute slavery under French rule in Haiti through a campaign phase in which, Toussaint, Moyse, and Dessalines will no longer exist and three thousand or four thousand blacks who have retreated into the hills of the Spanish part will form what we call the islands maroons, and who we will succeed in destroying with time, steady effort, and a well-organized strategy of attack29 Upon learning of Napoleon’s intentions, through an intercepted letter intended for General LeClerc, which was written by Napolean, Toussaint rejected the idea of any type of French rule. Not only did Toussaint reject French rule because he recognized that Napoleon would seek revenge on the revolution’s leaders but also because Toussaint 27 Schoelcher, Victor. Vie de Toussaint Louverture. Paris: Paul Ollendorf. 1889. 28 Ibid., p.62
29 Dubois, Laurent, Garrigus,John. Slave Revolution in the Caribbean 1789‐1804: A Brief History with
Documents .���Cambridge, London: Harvard University Press. p.176
The Globe: World News From All Sides recognized that agreeing to French rule would be a concession against the freedom they had finally achieved. Napoleon continued to with his plans to reinstate France as the governing body of Haiti resulting in the eventual capture and imprisonment of Louverture until Louverture’s death in a dreary French prison in 180330. Further evidence of France’s animosity towards the free black republic is shown through the exclusif, an economic policy instituted following French return to Haiti, intended to exhaust Haiti into economic submissiveness or ruin them in spite by requiring one‐hundred percent of imports and exports from and to France31. Dessalines soon led Haitian troops against the French. With the death of LeClerc and the brutality of his successor, the Vicomte de Rochambeau, Haitian freedom became ever more tangible. With the aid of a British blockade and Napoleon’s waning interest in the Western Hemisphere Dessalines was able to lead the Haitians to freedom in 1803. Haiti as a Pariah Nation and The Problem of Reconstruction The pariah status imparted upon Haiti following their successful revolution is difficult to comprehend. Following the ideals of “liberté, égalité, and fraternité” fought for in the French Revolution, Haiti hoped to fight for its independence and be recognized as an independent and sovereign nation. Ironically, however, independence for slaves, and blacks at that, was not endorsed but rather admonished. The real motive in shunning Haiti’s independence was to rebuke any hopes of independence fostered in slaves of the United States and the European 30 Chin, p.28 31 Ibid., p.67
The Globe: World News From All Sides colonies, supported solely by the institution of slavery. Thomas Jefferson even authorized forty thousand dollars and one thousand weapons sent to the French troops in Haiti in order to preserve the institution of slavery32. Following the success of the revolution, the United States banned the importation of Haitian goods and immigration of Haitians in order to prevent a revolution on American soil33. Economic sanctions and lack of economic aid further harmed Haiti’s initial reconstruction efforts following its economic self‐destruction. Following their discriminatory practices against the Haitian state, the United States denied Haiti recognition as a sovereign nation until 1862, fifty‐nine years following actual independence from French and Spanish rule34. Haiti’s pariah status within the global community further complicated internal reconstruction in a post‐slavery society, which presented problems in and of itself. Toussaint believed that education was essential and refuted the claim that blacks should be “classed apart from the rest of mankind”35. This ideology is similar to Booker T Washington’s theories that blacks should be exposed to an industrial education rather then an intellectual education: At the bottom of education, at the bottom of politics, even at the bottom of religion, there must be for our race economic independence. Both Washington and Toussaint are able to recognize that in the short‐term, an intellectual education cannot be the primary concern if a stable nation is to be built. While the importance of an industrial education was much more vital to the 32 Ibid., pp.24‐27
33 Matthewson, p.62 34 Ibid., p.62 35 Pluchon, Toussaint Louverture. Paris. 1989. pp. 263‐268
The Globe: World News From All Sides reconstruction and viability of Haiti as am autonomous nation, the United States was still largely agricultural during Washington’s life. The Effect of the Revolution on Other Slave Based Nations Haiti’s pariah status begs the question of whether the revolution really was a step in the right direction toward emancipation. Historically speaking, Haiti as the world’s first black republic has been a catastrophic failure, turning what was once a lucrative and growing colonial possession under French rule (commonly referred to as “the crown jewel of their empire” during the period) into one of the most backward nations in the modern world. The precedent set by the Haitian revolution only furthered the racist beliefs that blacks could not function sufficiently on their own. Had the Haitian revolution resulted in a strong and centralized government it is unquestionable that other slave countries would have followed suit with slaves violently revolting for independence in similar fashion to that of the Haitians. In response to the failures of the Haitian Revolution, David Walker claims in his “Appeal to the Coloured Citizens of the World” that blacks, “have to prove to the Americans and the world, that we are MEN, and not brutes, as we have been represented, and by millions treated (line 254‐256).” Toussaint seemed to subscribe to a similar philosophy, evidenced through his policies intended to force “freed” blacks back to working their plantations36. In Toussaint’s Forced Labor Decree of 1800 he states: You will easily conceive, Citizens, that Agriculture is the support of Government; since it is the foundation of Commerce and wealth, the source of Arts 36 Dubois, Laurent. Avengers of the New World: The Story of the Haitian Revolution. Cambridge,
London: Harvard University Press. p.177
The Globe: World News From All Sides and industry, it keeps everybody employed, as being the mechanism of all Trades. And, from the moment that every individual becomes useful, it creates public tranquility; disturbances disappear together with idleness, by which they are commonly generated, and everyone peaceably enjoys the fruits of his industry…. Whereas, since the revolution, laborers of both sexes, then too young to be employed in the field, refuse to go to it now under pretext of freedom, spend their time in wandering about, and give a bad example to the other cultivators; while, on the other hand, the generals, officers, subalterns, and soldiers, are in a state of constant activity to maintain the sacred rights of the people …. Following the revolution in Haiti, many slaves felt that they no longer needed to work hard or work at all in some cases. Toussaint and Walker realized that although blacks have proven themselves as able to work, through their years of slave labour on plantations, they must now prove themselves as able to work while free and equal. Slavery and freedom are two polar opposites that require radically different work ethics. It’s indisputable that slaves knew how to work, as their work ethic is clearly demonstrated through their years of slave labour. However, once free one has to weigh the opportunity cost of leisure time against that of work. Black slaves simply had not encountered such an idea before and, in Haiti’s case, this meant many blacks chose not to work. This challenge led Toussaint to instituting his mandatory labour laws. While Walker may not have supported a similar system in the US, the Haitian economy was solely based on agriculture whereas in the US there was at least some degree of industrialization that blacks could potentially become involved in. Rejection of a Purely Racial Revolution Other nations held the common perception that the Haitian Revolution was purely a racial struggle. While this would have had more drastic implications on other slave holding nations, this view should be disregarded. At the outset of the
The Globe: World News From All Sides revolution there were black slaves who fought on behalf of white plantation owners and the King of France37. Some Europeans also supported revolutionary sentiment in Haiti. The Amis de Noirs (literally translating to Friends of the Blacks) brought revolutionary texts to Haiti; the Declaration of the Rights of Man which hailed from the French Revolution clearly stated in the first article that “Men are born and remain free and equal in rights”, a concept which proved to be especially incendiary38. Various other articles of the Constitution assert the equality of men in all aspects. There was also the war of extermination waged between Mulattoes and black slaves to consider. Haitian Mulattoes, of both white European and black African lineage, were often well educated and wealthy39. As was common within the United States, whites were generally more accepting of blacks who appeared more white. Mulattoes consequently were granted more opportunities to attend school and obtain better jobs then darker blacks. Many Mulattoes were considered free citizens and some even held slaves40. They normally associated themselves with the French government and supported the suppression of slave insurrections as these insurrections threatened the power and social hierarchy in which Mulattoes had established themselves as superior to blacks41. The Mulattoes and black slaves slaughtered one another in a desperate power struggle; the black slaves fought for freedom while the Mulattoes fought to maintain their status and privileges 42. During the revolution, Louverture appointed Jean‐Jacques Dessalines to pacify the 37 Chin, p.42 38 Ibid., p.43 39 Ibid., p.38 40 Ibid., p.38 41 Ibid., p.38 42 Ibid., p.39
The Globe: World News From All Sides South (where many Mulattoes were involved in resistance)43. Dessalines sought to eradicate the Mulattoes, provoking Toussaint to remark, “I did not want this! I told him to prune the tree, not to uproot it.44” Toussaint clearly didn’t desire blood and retribution on Mulattoe insurgents as much as he desired, “Liberty and Equality to reign in Saint‐Domingue. I want to bring [that state] into existence.45” These discrepancies against the common perception of the revolution as simply a racial struggle, shed a new light on the Haitian Revolution, as not a revolution purely based on race, but rather a revolution of equality, or inequality in the white and Mulattoe case, both politically and economically. The revolution was propelled by the Haitian mass (composed primarily of the roughly three hundred and fifty thousand slaves), which did not discriminate between free blacks, who supported the suppression of slaves’ rights, and their white counterparts. Both groups were equally responsible for their oppression in black Haitian’s eyes. Haiti also ardently supported the emancipation of all slaves under the control of the major colonial powers on a global scale. Haiti contributed supplies and funds to South America’s revolution from Spanish control while Haiti was still in ruins and blockaded by French forces46. This action, while leading to the liberation of half the nations of South America, precluded relations with Spain47. With Haiti’s pariah status within the global community they could have used the support from and benefits of trade with a super‐power such as Spain. Therefore, Haitian’s (including Toussaint) must 43 Corbett. Pp.34‐48 44 Ibid.
45 Dubois. P.184 46 Chin, p.207 47 Ibid., p.208
The Globe: World News From All Sides have believed that liberty and equality were more valuable then beneficial relations with Spain. Role of Religion As religion supports the basis of the revolution, freedom and equality, the role of religion in spurring revolution, both within Haiti and within the United States, cannot be understated. Clearly, in Haiti’s case religion was an integral aspect of society. The revolution is traced to the Voodoo led uprising by Boukman and while Toussiant himself did not believe in Voodoo practices (he was in fact a Catholic himself) he continued to refer to Voodoo concepts such the “Supreme Being” in his Proclamation. The concept of a supreme being is very much a Haitian concept, although it would also appeal to Christians, both within and outside of Haiti. The “Supreme Being” can function either as a Christ figure within Catholicism or as a monotheistic god within Haitian voodoo. If nothing more, Toussaint leveraged the Voodoo religion of Haiti to his political ends by making himself seem as Haitian as possible. Without Toussaint’s masterful use of syncretism he would otherwise be a strange choice as a black revolutionary of the people. He was not a common slaver laborer… instead; he was a coachman to a plantation owner. As such, Toussaint was respected within the white community and envied within the black community. Toussaint held a station of status and had somewhat of an education through the proselytizing Jesuits, prior to their expulsion, from Haiti. Toussaint also became somewhat revered within the Voodoo society due to his knowledge of herbalism that was passed on from his father. Practicing Voodoo itself was a resistance to slavery. The French outlawed Voodoo services as they were
The Globe: World News From All Sides frightened by the music, dancing, and ceremonies performed under Voodoo. Despite Voodoo being outlawed many Haitians continued to practice Voodoo as direct defiance to their state of servitude. Voodoo supports that there are various spirits, good and evil being two of these spirits, which are able to possess people. Perhaps the Voodoo practicing Haitians believed they were casting out the evil spirits of the white men through their struggle against slavery. Christianity can be argued to be either pro-slavery or anti-slavery. The Bible sanctions the practice of slavery and states numerous accounts of slavery during biblical times. In Genesis of the Old Testament slavery is attributed to Cain: Cursed be Canaan! The lowest of slaves will he be to his brothers. He also said, 'Blessed be the Lord, the God of Shem! May Canaan be the slave of Shem. It was believed that the Canaanites settled in Africa and therefore their decedents were the black inhabitants of Africa. Christian based civilizations up until the nineteenth century practiced slavery and socially it was acceptable, even commonplace. With the enlightenment there was renewed interest in philosophy, particularly epistemology. The shift from classical superstitious and intolerant thought to post‐enlightenment thought, which questioned traditional institutions and morals, brought changes within the church and state. State secularism began to gain influence and the religious justification of certain institutions and morals were no longer left unquestionable. The revolutionary era exhibits the dramatic shift in thinking, within the citizens of various nations of the world, which resulted from the Enlightenment. With the often‐violent change demanding that state thought shift toward political
The Globe: World News From All Sides and economic freedom and equality so to did a similar change in religious thought occur. The Church’s focus on old testament thought which preached ideas of slavery and a less forgiving god shifted to the new testament emphasis on how God is forgiving, a view much more compatible with post‐Enlightenment thought. While there were and are still people who argue that Christianity supports slavery the majority would argue that Christianity no longer supports slavery but rather promotes universal equality and freedom. Within America Christianity was the predominant religion. While the South would often preach that Christianity supported slavery, the North was doing the exact opposite. This shows that religion did not play as much of a role in America’s revolution as it did in Haiti’s but it was definitely an integral contribution to revolutionary thought. Thus, one might wonder if Haiti’s revolution was a step in the right direction, not only for Haitian independence but also for the perception of blacks worldwide. During the revolution the voodoo leader Dutty Boukman stated, “Listen to the voice of liberty, which speaks in the hearts of us all.48” It was in emotion rather than logic that the revolution originated. Boukman and his followers failed to perceive the challenges that would lie ahead for a free black republic. Therefore, the revolution was successful in terms of procuring the ideal of freedom: freedom from French oppression in the form of slavery; but practically speaking freedom came at a steep price. 48 Corbett, Robert. "Haiti and Its Diaspora." Haiti mailing list. 24 Oct. 1999. 8 Oct. 2006
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The Realist Cycle By: Richard Benjamin Bloomfield
Realists view international politics as a state of war because of their
belief in realist cycle. The realist cycle consists of natural conflict inherent in a state of war which leads to the formation of alliances to defeat common adversaries, then a betrayal or collapse of these alliances in the pursuit of self interest results in a return to conflict. Three conditions must be present for the realist cycle. These conditions are the lack of a central authority to prevent war, the fear generated from the power of others and the nature of sovereign’s decision making. These three circumstances result in a continual circut of combat. This paper will present and analyze the ideas of Hobbes, Machiavelli and Thucydides in order to explain this cycle and how it results in a perpetual state of war.
Hobbes’ Leviathan will be used to address the structural causation of the
state of war, Machiavelli’s The Prince will describe the nature of leaders and their impact on international politics. Thucydides’ History of The Peloponnesian War illustrates how the fear of a relative rise in power of a common threat will cause actors to form alliances and fight. We will use Machiavelli’s principality as the term for actors on the international stage for simplicity’s sake and because in realist thinking, the nature of a country’s governance and composition does not change the way it behaves internationally.
Hobbes does not describe the state of war as direct military confrontation, it
is instead the condition in which the “will to contend by battle is sufficiently
The Globe: World News From All Sides known”(Hobbes 88). This condition is perpetual so long as principalities maintain the disposition to fight each other. The only thing that may alter this state of war and keep principalities out of conflict is the presence of “a common power to keep them all in awe”(88). A principality may erect a common power domestically and cease anarchy internally but no such absolute authority exists in the international realm. If the only thing that may change a state of war to a state of peace is the presence of a common power and no such power exists internationally then principalities must interact in a constant state of war. In this state of war each principality is concerned for its own survival and must act it in its own interest. Every Principality is pitted against all the rest in a struggle to assure its continued existence. In this anarchical state each principality must rely on its own force of arms for defense and aggrandizement; however when principalities are presented with a common threat or interest they might form confederations or alliances(Hobbes 102).
Thucydides portrays the Hellenic world as being almost entirely divided
between the Peloponnesian league led by Sparta and the Delian League led by Athens (Thucydides 35). No hierarchical power reigns over these groups which might prevent conflict therefore, they are in a state of war. When hostilities emerge between Corinth and Corcyra, the latter seeks out an alliance with the Athenians in hope their support will give Corcyra a decisive advantage. The Athenians entertain this alliance with Corcyra because the combination of their navies would make the Athenian alliance “the greatest naval power in Hellas”(55). The Athenians commit themselves on the side of the Corcyra because it is in their self‐interest to be more
The Globe: World News From All Sides powerful in relation to the Spartans. According to Thucydides, this upset in the balance of power caused fear in Sparta and thus made war inevitable(49).
This course of events is representative of the realist view of international
politics as a state of war because each actor is making decisions motivated by the desire to increase its relative strength compared to adversaries in order to save itself from being conquered. War is unavoidable because it is the only way each side may assure its continued existence. This marks the start of the realist cycle. In a state of war principalities must ally with others or face obliteration when faced with a common and existential threat. These alliances must be in both actor’s self interest which in a state of war consists of mutual strategic advantage. The necessity of a mutually beneficial alliance in a state of war is proven by the case of the Melians.
The Melians remained neutral until they were attacked by Athens who then
offered them the chance to surrender or face destruction(400‐402). The Melians refused to surrender because they believed their ties of kinship to Sparta (the Melians were a Spartan colony) would cause the Peloponnesian league to rush to their defense. This was not the case, the Spartans were unwilling to expend their forces, and the Melians were annihilated by Athens (408).
When principalities are allied together they do not fight each other so what
prevents an alliance from expanding to include every principality while persisting indefinitely and thereby lifting the world out of a state of war? Hobbes believes that once a victory against a mutual enemy is obtained common interests dissolve among allies and they fall into war amongst themselves (119).
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This dissolution is also due to the nature of a sovereign's decision making.
Sovereigns become jealous and fearful of their allies because “whoever is responsible for another becoming powerful ruins himself”(Machiavelli 15). Each sovereign’s own “ambitions and rivalries”(15) ruin the chance of an alliance existing after the elimination of a common threat. This must occur because “men are continually in competition for honor and dignity” in comparison to other rulers and can “relish nothing but what is eminent”(Hobbes 119). Machiavelli believes principalities must judge themselves by their ability to stand alone and “assemble an army equal to an encounter with any aggressor”(36) including their former allies. He also believes sovereigns must train themselves exclusively in the art of war(47).
A constant desire for prestige, power and control on the part of principalities
combined with the militant nature of sovereigns will not allow principalities to remain in an alliance in the absence of a common fear. Without mutually beneficial alliances principalities are again pitted against each other in a chaotic state of perpetual conflict. This circuit of conflict, alliance creation for victory in war followed by the collapse of alliances due to the nature of sovereigns which then leads to further battles explains why realists view international politics as a perpetual state of war. When international relations are explained with the realist cycle it becomes apparent that principalities will fight with each other so long as there is no higher authority stopping them from doing so. The presence of the realist cycle results in international politics being viewed as a state of war because there is no alternative to eternal conflict.
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It is difficult not to view international politics from the realist perspective for
several reasons. Even if the sovereign of a principality is not militaristic and judges the quality of his/her territory by standards other than military strength he/she cannot presume others do and must maintain a sufficient army for defense. This will not work because if a sovereign knows another only maintains a minimal military it will be inclined to raise a large force or enter an alliance with another principality and conquer the weak territory. A defensive alliance in which principalities pledge to defend one another in case of aggression does not prevent conflict either because nothing can stop a sovereign from taking advantage of an ally’s vulnerability and attacking it. These possibilities mean all alliances are temporary and can only exist in the presence of a common enemy, which returns us to the realist cycle and the state of war. A possible solution for ceasing conflict and thereby ending the state of war is a system in which each principality makes a bilateral defensive alliance with every other principality in the world. In this system nobody can go to war because all other principalities would be bound to defend the attacked principality. This system would result in military gridlock because no principality could attack another with the hope of success.
The realist perspective is very difficult to argue against because it is based on
premises, which are very pessimistic in nature and difficult to discount. If principalities always seek to further their ambitions militarily the realist cycle becomes a self fulfilling prophecy. As long as principalities either act this way or believe others do so, it is impossible to transcend the state of war. The realist interpretation of international politics is rooted in paranoia and unfettered ambition
The Globe: World News From All Sides and so long as nothing prevents principalities from achieving their desires by military force the realist cycle will remain perpetual and international politics will be a state of war.
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