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The Structure Of The New Hatian Governance

964 words - 4 pages

The structure of the new Haitian governance was established in the Constitution of 1801, the Haitian Declaration of Independence, and the 1805 Constitution of Haiti which was brought forward by Governor General Toussaint Louverture and later governor Jacques-Jean Dessalines as an outline for a dictatorial and tyrannical governmental structure of Haiti that lacked in many of the freedoms that would be created in the French First Republic. Although the Haitian constitutions made way for a representative legal body, they were not established with many specific powers and left most of the control to the dictator. Louverture ended slavery and promoted the idea of equality, but did not establish a basis for a stable republic, and instead used the term “freedom” in reference to freedom from slavery and not of popular sovereignty or natural rights. The French Constitution of 1793 and its preface, the “Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Citizens” can be compared as a standard in which freedom was defined differently and not simply relating to equality and the end of slavery.
The Constitution of 1801 and of 1805 establishes the government of Haiti as an imperial dictatorship with the emperor as the sole authority. The Constitution of 1801 establishes Toussaint-Louverture as the leader of Haiti for the remainder of his life, which already is providing for a centralized autocratic society. Louverture’s successor after his death is to be determined by him, which guarantees groundwork for continued dictatorship . He had the reserve power to make any changes to the constitution that he deemed necessary. The governor of Haiti does not only have absolute control over succession and policy making, but is also the chief commander of the armed forces. The newer Constitution of 1805 goes into more detail on the powers of the emperor and defines the autocrat as supreme leader will special titles being given to specifically Jacques Dessalines. The Haitian Declaration of Independence describes the efforts of the revolutionary generals as a fight against the tyranny of France pointing out that not enough has been done to provide happiness to the people. Although it may not seem obvious for those recently freed from slavery and seeking independence, one tyrannical government was traded for a dictatorship will full potential to become a tyranny because of the lack of protections provided in the Haitian constitutions.
Both the 1801 and 1805 Constitutions outlined a basis for a legislative body to represent the districts and the people, however, neither body is given specific enumerated powers unlike that of the emperor. The 1801 Constitution provides the legislature with more of a regulatory role that serves to maintain tax collection or to voice opinions on laws that relate to the functioning of their districts. The constitution of 1805 did not even include a legislative body in the constitutional text, but instead included a system of...

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