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Siblings of Soil: Dominicans and Haitians in the Age of Revolutions
by Charlton W. Yingling
University of Texas Press, 2022
Cloth: 978-1-4773-2609-1 | eISBN: 978-1-4773-2610-7
Library of Congress Classification F1938.25.H2Y56 2022
Dewey Decimal Classification 327.729307294


Despite the island’s long-simmering tensions, Dominicans and Haitians once unified Hispaniola. Based on research from over two dozen archives in multiple countries, Siblings of Soil presents the overlooked history of their shared imperial endings and national beginnings from the 1780s to 1822. Haitian revolutionaries both inspired and aided Dominican antislavery and anti-imperial movements. Ultimately, Santo Domingo's independence from Spain came in 1822 through unification with Haiti, as Dominicans embraced citizenship and emancipation. Their collaboration resulted in one of the most unique and inclusive forms of independence in the Americas.

Elite reactions to this era formed anti-Haitian narratives. Racial ideas permeated the revolution, Vodou, Catholicism, secularism, and even Deism. Some Dominicans reinforced Hispanic and Catholic traditions and cast Haitians as violent heretics who had invaded Dominican society, undermining the innovative, multicultural state. Two centuries later, distortions of their shared past of kinship have enabled generations of anti-Haitian policies, assumptions of irreconcilable differences, and human rights abuses.

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