“The Spirit of the Age…Establish[es] a Sentiment of Universal Brotherhood”

Millery Polyné

in From Douglass to Duvalier

Published by University Press of Florida

Published in print June 2010 | ISBN: 9780813034720
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780813039534 | DOI:
“The Spirit of the Age…Establish[es] a Sentiment of Universal Brotherhood”

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This chapter analyzes Frederick Douglass's responses to the U.S. empire building in Santo Domingo between 1870 and 1872 and in Haiti between 1889 and 1891. As U.S. minister to Haiti and assistant secretary of the U.S. president Ulysses S. Grant's commission to study the prospect of annexing the Dominican Republic, Douglass fully supported the virtues of the U.S. expansion and the U.S. Pan Americanism as long as these ideologies promoted effective and egalitarian development in Caribbean and Latin American nations. Douglass opposed the U.S. empire if it perpetuated U.S. notions of racial domination. His ideas on these subjects shifted over time and proved to be linked to the progress and hardships of U.S. African American life in the U.S. South. The chapter also highlights the political challenges and contradictions of Frederick Douglass, a committed abolitionist, intellectual, and diplomat who fought to remain loyal to race and nation.

Keywords: Santo Domingo; Haiti; annexing; Dominican Republic; Frederick Douglass; Pan Americanism; racial domination; U.S. empire

Chapter.  12111 words. 

Subjects: History of the Americas

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