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Haitian Social Movements

             The United States occupation of Haiti from 1914 until 1934 had a great effect on Haiti's political and social climate. The occupation of Haiti by racist foreigners was troubling to all of Haiti. The US favored the mulatto elite's but did not see them as being equals. The mulatto elite had always considered themselves to be white and better than the black masses, but they found that the US saw them as black and inferior. This distress eventually led to a racial pride among Haitian's. This pride was seen in the new generation of writers, historians and politicians. Different parts of the population had their own reasons for coming behind this platform. The movement targeted the elite and their European customs that put great pressure of the elite to join this movement, at least in appearance. For the elite they saw this as their only way of retaining their power in Haiti. Their traditional ways of thinking did not change and they continued to see themselves as superior to the black masses and also continued to adhere to European culture. Originally their reasoning for their superiority was based on skin color; however, their new reasoning was their superior education and abilities to lead. The racial pride eventually led to the emergence of a number of social movements particularly nationalism and noirisme which created social change in the years following the occupation. In understanding why these movements came about, Haiti's past, particularly the colonial social structure that led to the post colonial social structure, must be examined.
             The nation of Haiti gained its independence from its colonial ruler, France, in the world's only successful slave revolt. Before the revolution there were three classes; the whites, the affranchis, and the black slaves.1 The whites were divided into two groups, those who were government officials, and planters, called grand blancs, and those who were of lesser wealth and social standing such as shopkeepers, called petits blancs.

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