Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

Date of Degree


Document Type


Degree Name



Liberal Studies


Anthony Alessandrini

Committee Members

David T. Humphries

Subject Categories

Economic History | International Relations | Other International and Area Studies | Political Theory | Politics and Social Change | Race and Ethnicity | Social Psychology


Haiti, Frantz Fanon, colonialism, imperialism, Marxism, revolution


Saint-Domingue was once the most profitable colony of the Caribbean, the so-called pearl of the Antilles. Nowadays, Haiti is known for being the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, a dramatic shift that raises the question of the factors contributing to Haiti's current state, marked by persistent violence, natural disasters, and political instability. Various discourses have framed Haiti as a country doomed for failure. However, relying on binary concepts such as success and failure is counterproductive to a refined analysis. How, then, should we structure this conversation? My ultimate goal for this work is to provide a nuanced analysis of the effects of colonization and decolonization on Haitian economic and societal independence.

This thesis employs a straightforward historical analysis paired with theoretical contributions, in particular the works of C. L. R. James and Frantz Fanon, to attempt a careful interpretation of Haiti’s rich history, looking for the origins of the inability to overcome certain colonial socio-economic structures. The overarching objective of this thesis is to provide a nuanced analysis of the repercussions of colonization and decolonization on Haiti’s economic and societal autonomy. By avoiding simplistic dichotomies and embracing a more intricate approach, this work aims to unravel the multifaceted factors influencing Haiti's contemporary challenges, ultimately contributing to a more comprehensive understanding of its historical trajectory.