Alexandre Sabès Pétion

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Pétion, Alexandre Sabès


Born Apr. 2, 1770, in Port-au-Prince; died there Mar. 29, 1818. Haitian statesman and general.

Pétion, a mulatto, served from 1793 with French Army forces fighting the British interventionists who had seized the western part of Haiti. In 1802 he sided with Haitian patriots who fought for independence and in 1803 liberated Port-au-Prince from French troops. Pétion participated in the plot against Dessalines in 1806. From 1807 to 1818 he served as president of the Republic of Haiti.

Pétion represented the interests of the affluent mulattoes, who were landowners, merchants, and moneylenders. He promoted the development of capitalist relations, distributed state lands to peasants, and introduced free and universal education. He assisted Latin-American patriots in the struggle against Spanish rule by helping equip military expeditions.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Since 1986 with the topple of the Haitian dictator, Jean-Claude "Baby-Doc" Duvalier (1951-2014), whose family ruled Haiti for almost thirty-years, the rallying cry of Haitian protest movements against dictatorship and American neoliberal policies on the island has been, "the children of Dessalines are fighting or stand against the children of Petion." The politically charged moniker is an allusion to the continuous struggles over control of the Haitian nation-state and its ideological apparatuses between the Africans who are deemed the descendants of Jean-Jacques Dessalines, the father of the Haitian nation-state; and the mulatto elites (and more recently the Syrian class) who are deemed heirs of the mulatto first President of the Haitian Republic, Alexandre Petion.
The subsequent alliance between Haitian President Alexandre Petion provides the financing, weapons, and logistical support necessary to carry on his liberation struggle.
Boyer revised earlier policies for African American emigration initiated by Henry Christophe and Alexandre Petion. In one year Boyer spent some US$300,000 to finance African American migration, providing food, supplies, and housing for migrants to cultivate land in Haiti.
A few years later, in a move evidently designed to ensure that all the people who wanted a title could have one, he was made president of the north half of Haiti while one Alexandre Petion took the seals of office as president of the south half of Haiti.
The Voodoo priest Boukman and Generals Toussaint L'Ouverture, Jean Jacques-Dessalines, Alexandre Petion and Henri Christophe are names that every person of African descent, particularly students of history, should know.