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How the Germans managed to get around land ownership law in Haiti

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How the Germans managed to get around land ownership law in Haiti

Following the successful manipulation of German nationals to go around Haiti law to own land

As Germany was rising in power in the late nineteenth century, the Germans had their eyes on Haiti. They began an aggressive campaign dominate commerce in Haiti. One of the major German firms was The Hamburg-Amerika Ligne. In addition, the Germans were interested in the area of banking and agriculture

The German community proved more willing to integrate into Haitian society than any other group of white foreigners, including the more numerous French. Some Germans married into the nation's most prominent mulatto families, thus bypassing the constitutional prohibition against foreign land-ownership. They retained strong ties back to their homeland and often to German military and intelligence networks in Haiti, and also served as the principal financiers of the nation's innumerable revolutions, floating loans at high interest rates to competing political factions.[4] Because of this, they posed an economic threat to American monetary interests and made American political and military leadership fear they were acting as a stalking horse for the imperial government in Berlin

Following the successful manipulation of the 1915 elections, the Wilson administration attempted to strong-arm the Haitian legislature into adopting a new constitution in 1917. This constitution allowed foreign land ownership, which had been outlawed since the Haitian Revolution as a way to prevent foreign control of the country. Extremely reluctant to change the long-standing law, the legislature rejected the new constitution. Law-makers began drafting a new anti-American constitution, but the United States forced President Dartiguenave dissolve the legislature, which did not meet again until 1929.

Tags: US Occupation, Land Ownership, Germany, land distribution

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