The causes for wars in Latin America during the nineteenth century are numerous and create a vivid, plaid tapestry. The Haitian Revolution was a period of conflict in the French colony of Saint- Domingue, which culminated in the elimination of slavery there and the founding of the Haitian republic. It lasted from 1791 to 1804. The Haitian Revolution is regarded as a defining moment in the history of Africans in the New World.
Although an independent government was created in Haiti, its society continued to be deeply affected by the patterns established under French colonial rule. The French established a system of minority rule over the illiterate poor by using violence and threats. Some had identified more with the French colonists than the slaves, and associated within their own circles. In addition, the nascent states future was practically "mortgaged" to French banks in the 1820s, as it was forced to make massive reparations to French slaveholders in order to receive French recognition and end the nations political and economic isolation.
Starting in the 1730s, French engineers constructed complex irrigation systems to increase sugarcane production. By the 1740s Saint-Domingue, together with Jamaica, had become the main supplier of the worlds sugar. Sugar production depended on extensive manual labor provided by enslaved Africans in the harsh Saint-Domingue colonial plantation economy. The white planters who derived their wealth from the sale of sugar knew they were outnumbered by slaves by a factor of more than ten; they lived in fear of slave rebellion. White masters extensively used the threat of physical violence to maintain control and limit this possibility for slave rebellion.
In 1789 Saint-Domingue, producer of 60 percent of the worlds coffee and 40 percent of the worlds sugar imported by France and Britain, was the most profitable colony the French owned. It was the wealthiest and most flourishing of the slave colonies in the Caribbean. The lowest class of society was enslaved blacks, who outnumbered whites and free people of color by ten to one. The slave population on the island totaled almost half of the one million slaves in the Caribbean by 1789. They were mostly African- born.
The author of this book offers a study of the 21st century’s emerging geopolitical marketplace dominated by three first world superpowers, the U.S., Europe and China. Each competes to lead the new century, pursuing that goal in the third world: select eastern European countries, east and central Asia, the Middle East Latin America, and North Africa. Each can be appealing; none has obvious advantages.
Conventional wisdom tells us that a new star will rise in the East, and over the past decade all eyes have been looking towards China or India to witness the emergence of the 21st century’s new superpower. But if the three key elements for a strong and powerful economy are democracy, economic growth and low inflation then neither of those would-be giants makes the grade. Inflation in India is at a 13-year high; as for democracy in China… well there isn’t any. Remarkable as has been their recent economic growth the institutional frailty of both nations raises questions about long-term sustainability.
But quietly and less flashily the economies of South America have also been transforming themselves, only in their case unburdened by the dead weight of caste politics or communism. And it’s not just the growing might of Brazil that catches the eye: a new vitality is evident across the continent – in Peru, for example, whose 9.8 percent growth rate last year was one of the world’s fastest. So perhaps we should all do an about- turn
Today there is nothing “governmental” about diplomacy. The continued conflicts, violence, hunger, disease and poverty around the globe have become too overwhelming for governments, even as a collective, to handle. When it comes to foreign affairs, “all hands on deck” is the order of the day. Khanna calls this “Mega Diplomacy.” Fortunately his other examples are persuasive. Chapter Nine “The Case Against Poverty,” is his best. Shelving feel- good development hyperbole, Khanna tells us, point blank, “pretending the world should be equal – or even can be equal – harms development.” He proposes, “rather than even talk about poverty, we should focus on need. Poverty is amorphous and sounds incurable, but needs are specific: food, water, shelter, medical care and education.”
The presidential palaces of Latin America are famous for their imposing Spanish colonial grandeur. Not long ago these marble edifices on grand plazas were inhabited mostly by military strongmen. That these leaders were elites of European descent went virtually without question.
Today, Chile’s presidential palace, La Moneda, is the home of a single mother and torture survivor. In Buenos Aires’ famous Casa Rosada lives a man who is perhaps the biggest thorn in the side of the International Monetary Fund