« 4.17a- The Haitian Declaration of Independence | Main | 4.19- The History of Haiti »

10 April 2016


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.


As the descendent of a "Polish-Haitian", I am always gratified when this little nugget of history gets a bit of the limelight.


One of the recent BackStory podcasts on Cuban-American relations reminded me about the filibuster expeditions to South & Central America. For those unfamiliar with them, this is not the notorious legislative stalling tactic. In pre-Civil War America the term referred to the freelance armies that tried to take over various Latin American countries with the aim of getting annexed Texas-style to the US as a new slave state. The most infamous was William Walker’s temporarily successful conquest of Nicaragua (very off-topic, but this was an interesting mess involving the surrounding Central American nations and Cornelius Vanderbilt united on the paramount importance of getting rid of Walker, who like a true megalomaniac was set on conquering all of the Central America). Were there many filibuster expeditions launched against Haiti? Especially considering that a nation of self-liberated former slaves was anathema to pro-slavery Americans. Since you mentioned that Dessalines’ interior fortifications weren’t used until 1915, I’d guess probably not. But then, filibusters were usually small so the Haitian army might well decide to just summarily evict them. I only know of one that never got off the ground and involved the Hungarian revolutionary Louis Kossuth and a John T. Pickett (AFAIK no relation to George Pickett of the Charge). That army was supposed to land in the Dominican Republic, use that as springboard to take over Haiti and then sail on to cause trouble in Hungary. At the least, the repeated invasions of Cuba had to have made the Haitians jumpy. I had never really considered this aspect before, but in retrospect all of Latin America must have been relieved once the American Civil War broke out and kept all of our would-be filibusters busy at home instead of trying to build a of slave state dominion south of the Rio Grande.

Christopher Leahy

Hi Mike.

I am a long-term listener to your podcasts (both the History of Rome and Revolutions) and an avid history buff making a comment for the first time.

You are one of my favourite history pod-casters. Listening to you talk about these incredible events, along with the personalities that come with them, is a real treat. Because of you, Talleyrand is now one of my favourite history figures as well.

Knowing that on every Monday, there is an episode of the revolutions podcast waiting makes it worth getting out of bed.

So I just want to say thank you for creating the History of Rome and Revolutions Podcasts. There are a lot better than most documentaries on TV these days. You are one of the best.

P.s. You might like to know that someone has done a sketch of "Governor for life" Toussaint being taken away from Haiti as a prisoner of the French. Here is the link. http://eeliskyttanen.deviantart.com/


Thank you so very much for this. Other than Haiti was formed by a slave rebellion, I knew absolutely nothing about it. It is a truly inspiring and heartbreaking story, all at the same time.

In view of the diplomatic isolation they would have done better to break up the big plantations into small farms, but so easy to say that from the 21st century from my very comfortable arm chair.


I agree with everyone else. I've been in since Rome too. This series was one of your best. I didn't know how you'd be able to come back after tackling the French Revolution (the material was just massive). But you wove the two together so well.

Great job. Thank you. I need to start buying some Casper beds. Also, can't wait for the book. I'll be buying copies for myself and friends.


you're killin' it mike

Lord Michael Kelner

Hey mike i just finished my 4th rerun of the history of rome and got to say i loved it. can you do a continuation and make the history of byzantium? i know some one already did it but you would be better at it. and you would make it more interesting. PLEASEPLEASE can you respond to this in your next episode thank you in advance

Shane Doherty

Milord, there's little point in having two podcasts covering Byzantium, and you might as well let the current podcast keep at it, he's already over 100 episodes in and 350 years out from Romulus Augustulus. For Mike to pick up where he left off would be mostly redundant. Also covering Byzantium would almost certainly require giving up Revolutions, and then that means nobody would cover Simon Bolivar or Russia or Ireland or Turkey or all those waves crashing on the shore. The more of history that gets explored, the better.


Longtime listener (since the History of Rome days), first-time commenter, absolutely love the show and wanted to express my appreciation.

Possible minor correction: Wikiquote (whatever its authority might be) claims that "It is worse than a crime, it is a mistake" is actually misattributed to Talleyrand. Not that that's anything I knew antecedently, I just happened to google the quote after listening to the show.


Lord Michael Kelner

shane doherty i don't mean right now i like revolutions i was talking about if he could do it after revolutions

The comments to this entry are closed.

Support Revolutions

  • If you are enjoying Revolutions, please support the show so I can keep doing it full time. Click the link, head over to Paypal and pay any amount you like. Thanks!