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Freedom RootsHistories from the Caribbean$
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Laurent Dubois and Richard Lee Turits

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781469653600

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: January 2021

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469653600.001.0001

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U.S. Occupations in the Independent Caribbean

U.S. Occupations in the Independent Caribbean

(p.139) 4 U.S. Occupations in the Independent Caribbean
Freedom Roots

Laurent Dubois

Richard Lee Turits

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter focuses on the three largest and only independent nations of the Caribbean at the turn of the twentieth century – Cuba, Haiti, and the Dominican Republic – and their vulnerability to and struggles with a new overseas power in the region, the United States. At the time, hard-earned forms of popular land access and their defence against expanding U.S. plantations and local land owners by armed rural bands and others impeded the development of central state control over rural populations and economies, control sought by both local elites and the U.S. government and corporations. This peasant autonomy and resistance, and what U.S. leaders perceived as overall failed central states in their “backyard,” shaped long and repeated U.S. military occupations of these countries. Resistance to U.S. rule was fierce, widespread, and armed, but the U.S. military withdrew only after it established powerful national militaries and effective central states expected to be dutiful to U.S. interests. These militaries were crucial to the post-occupation rise of some of the most ruthless and long-lasting dictators in Caribbean history.

Keywords:   War of 1898, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Peasantry, Sugar, U.S. intervention, Resistance, State formation, Dictators

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