By David Nicholls
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Extra resources for Haiti in Caribbean Context: Ethnicity, Economy and Revolt
As Peter Worsley has pointed out with respect to many 'third world' countries, 'wealth derives from political power, it does not create it'. 28 This group not only dominates the civil service and the army, but has also entered the professions and the field of private business, frequently in collaboration with foreign entrepreneurs. The old mulatto elite lost much of its direct political influence and assumed a low profile, but this class still owns most of the wealth of the country, dominating the national sector of Haitian commerce.
RACE AND POLITICS IN HAITI On 1 January 1804 Jean-Jacques Dessalines had declared Haiti an independent country; in the previous year he is said to have torn the white strip out of the French tricolour, leaving a flag of blue and red (which was later to become black and red). The red came to represent the small but powerful mulatto group, while the blue (or the black) stood for the mass ofblack citizens. From the earliest days there has been tension between these two groups. The mulattoes have in general been educated, literate, Roman Catholic, French-speaking, and relatively rich; the blacks have mostly been poor, Kr&ol-speaking, voodooist, illiterate, and uneducated.
Colour also played a part in the struggles which led up to the US invasion of 1915. During the nineteen years of occupation the colour question was largely superceded by the nationalist endeavour to rid the country of US troops and by a common resentment on the part of most Haitians of all shades against the racial prejudice of the occupying forces. However, in the early thirties, towards the end of the occupation, young black intellectuals began to relate the ideas ofPrice Mars andJ. C. Dorsainvil on negritude to the noiriste ideology of the previous century.
Haiti in Caribbean Context: Ethnicity, Economy and Revolt by David Nicholls