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Toussaint’s Clause: The Founding Fathers and the Haitian Revolution By Gordon S. Brown
Publisher: Un[iv..er]sity Press of Missi..ssip..pi 2005 | 321 Pages | ISBN: 1578067111 | EPUB | 2 MB
In its formative years, America, birthplace of a revolution, wrestled with a volatile dilemma. John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, Alexander Hamilton, and many other founding fathers clashed. What was to be the new republic’s strategy toward a revolution roiling just off its shores? 
From 1790 to 1810, the disagreement reverberated far beyond Caribbean waters and American coastal ports. War between France and Britain, the great powers of the time, raged on the seas and in Europe. America watched aghast as its trading partner Haiti, a rich hothouse of sugar plantations and French colonial profit, exploded in a rebellion led by former slave Toussaint L'Ouverture. 
Toussaint’s Clause: The Founding Fathers and the Haitian Revolution narrates the intricate history of one of America’s early foreign policy balancing acts and one of the nation’s defining moments. The supporters of Toussaint’s rebellion against France at first engineered a bold policy of intervention in favor of the rebels. But Southern slaveholders, such as Jefferson, eyed the slave-general’s rise and masterful leadership skills with extreme alarm and eventually obtained a reversal of the policy-even while taking advantage of the rebellion to make the fateful Louisiana purchase. 
Far from petty, the internal squabbles among America’s founders resolved themselves in delicate maneuvers in foreign capitals and on the island. The stakes were mortally high-a misstep could have plunged the new, weak, and neutral republic into the great powers’ global war. In Toussaint’s Clause, former diplomat and ambassador Gordon S. Brown details the founding fathers’ crisis over Haiti and their rancorous struggle, which very often cut to the core of what America meant by revolution and liberty. 
During a thirty-five-year Foreign Service career, Gordon S. Brown served mainly in the Middle East and North Africa including assignments as General Norman Schwarzkopf’s political advisor in the first Gulf War and ambassador to Mauritania. Since his retirement, he has written Coalition, Coercion, and Compromise on the diplomacy of the first Gulf War and The Norman Conquest of Southern Italy and Sicily.  

anonymous asked:

Why are you a history major? Seems kind of useless nowadays. Cool, but useless.

You sir, or madam, have horrified me.

I am a History major because, in layman’s terms, history is SEXY. I’m talking Johnny Depp-Michael Fassbender-Tom Hiddleston-Jamie Bell-Alexander Skarsgard SEXY. It’s full of creatures of such great merit, that they are undeniably attractive – Julius Caesar, Charlemagne, Catherine deMedici, William of Normandy, Marie de France, Abraham Lincoln, Alexander Pope, Elizabeth I, Isabel of Castille, Rosa Parks, Alexander Hamilton – just to name a few. You look at the complexity of these past people, their actions, their thoughts, the way they handled things, and you can’t help but be fascinated.

In slightly more serious terms, History touches every other subject in the academic arena. Economists only focus on economy. Mathematicians only focus on mathematics. Biologists only focus on biology. Historians can not only tell you about wars, military strategy, literature, and thematic social changes in history, they can also tell you about important economic events and theory, mathematical discoveries, and biology greats. When you do a brainstorm for a topic, there’s always a central bubble that touches everything else, and today my friends, that bubble is HISTORY.

On a more personal level, I am a storyteller. Everyone who knows me, knows that. Historians, at their most basic level, are storytellers. We follow the threads of individuals through time and space, and attempt to show the generally uninterested population just why these people were interesting and important. We look at black and white snapshots from World War I and bits of broken pottery from Carthage, and we attempt to discover the people they belonged to. From the kings and queens of Medieval Europe, to the peasants of Manchu China, they all play a part in that grand tapestry that is history.

On an even deeper personal level, I don’t know why I’m a history major. I have an innate need to discover as much as I can about the world that once was, and the people that made it. I’ve always been that way – my father had a bit of that storyteller quality within him, and when I was three, I wanted to be a Paleontologist, while other kids wanted to be basketball stars. I collect old snapshots because the people within them speak to me, and I mostly identify with historical figures, not pop cultures icons. You have to be a special type of person to be a Historian, and I’m honored to be apart of that old, venerable group. I wouldn’t change it for the world.