Jean Claude Duvalier Research Paper

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Korina Buford William Fauver Modern World History CP 5/3/15 Period 3 Why was Jean-Claude Duvalier’s regime in Haiti overthrown in 1986? Francois Duvalier, as a young man was apart of a movement in the early 1930’s that supported and uplifted black culture (Abbott, 33). Later in life he decided to run for president since he had a background in politics from working under the Magloire Estime. Duvalier led a campaign that promised it build up Haiti and make it a strong government (Abbott, 37). Francois Duvalier was the first Duvalier to be elected president of haiti in 1957. Duvalier used race as a platform to establish his power over other Haitian citizens (Polyne, 178). In addition, he used his dark skin as a way to establish his an…show more content…
Francois Duvalier’s greed for power angered many Haitians and led them to resent Jean-Claude Duvalier as his successor. They most-likely believed, the apple didn’t fall far from the tree and that Jean-Claude would be another manipulative and abusive dictator. Initially, Jean-Claude tried to correct and make right some of the wrongdoings done by his father. Since Haiti was in debt after Francois Duvalier’s regime, he also tried to economically stabilize Haiti (Polyne, 323). Eventually he resorted back to his father’s corrupt style of ruling. Jean-Claude followed in his father’s authoritarian rule which led the people of Haiti to resent him just like they did to his father. In addition, he was also power hungry like his father. All of his success was achieved through manipulating his people. Duvalier had no problem deceiving Haitians if it meant feeding his hunger for power. One example of how he manipulated Haitians was through embezzling money. Jean-Claude Duvalier embezzled large amounts of money from the Haitian government and abused his power (Abbott, 367). In addition, Duvalier also abused his power by changing their government to unicameral legislature (Abbott, 293). By doing this it changed the legislature from two houses/bodies to a single and absolute body. This benefited him because it took away the ability for anyone dispute or veto his…show more content…
He used voodoo to manipulate them. Voodoo was a very influential religion in Haitian life. Since voodoo incorporated the entire Haitian life, a major factor in everyday life. Duvalier attributed to the public recognition of voodoo by learning it and applying its practices to his life (Desmangles, 234). He began to study it and become a firm believer in it. Duvalier claimed that he was appointed by God which is why he felt entitled to power (Desmangles, 223). We see a sense of entitlement from believing in a divine right in history for many corrupt monarchs. People were afraid to go against someone whom they believed had such strong powers. It was also believed that Duvalier had dark powers that were not to be tested (Abbott, 398). There was also rumor of Duvalier taking political opponents and others who challenged him into his home and putting them in a torture chamber where he personally tortured them (Abbott, 401). Duvalier used voodoo as a way to further his influence in their lives. He not only controlled the political side of Haiti, but also the personal and spiritual aspect since voodoo was such an important role in their lives. Using his major influence to negatively influence people and evoke fear into them shows how corrupt he was. Overall, Duvalier exploited the religion to manipulate his people (Desmangles,

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