Marine violence and the politics of meaning during the United States occupation of Haiti, 1915-1934
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractThe United States Marine Corps occupied Haiti from 1915 to 1934. During that period, Marine brutality became a key issue in the debate between those who supported the Occupation and those who opposed it. By studying the conflicting perspectives on Marine coercion, the author hopes to access the complex field of political and social forces which governed perceptions of the Occupation. Supporters of the Occupation considered Marine coercion to be a "necessary," though unpleasant, accessory to U.S. expansion. Within this discursive framework, the victims of Marine brutality were ignored, and Haitians were reduced to a homogenous "type" of inferior colonized person. In contrast, those who opposed the Occupation emphasized the physical harm done to the victims of Marine violence and asserted the uniqueness of Haitian culture. Using this strategy, dissenters effectively countered the dehumanizing power of the discourse of U.S. expansion by undermining the logic of "necessary" Marine coercion.
Degree ProgramGraduate College