How Haiti helped Greece in its fight for independence

Posted by on Monday, January 11, 2016 Under: Post-Independence

Many know that Haiti's help was crucial in the liberation of many Latin American countries, the most remembered being the liberation of Venezuela, however most are unaware that the first Black Republic also helped many other countries well beyond its shores in the Americas.

This Article will analyze the role of Haiti in the establishment of Greece, as an independent country.

Between 1821 and 1832, the Greek revolutionaries waged wars against the Ottoman Empire, which had been ruling most of Greece since 1453. Out of money, supplies and help from their European neighbors, the Greek revolutionaries decided to seek help from a small nation. A nation very far away from theirs, which was not only famous for its own successful revolution; for having defeated the powerful armies of Spain, Britain and France to gain freedom, but also because of Its open-arms policy to all territories fighting for self-determination: Haiti.

They sent a letter to then Haiti's president Jean Pierre Boyer, asking him for military and monetary help for their fight against Ottoman rules.

Haiti was in financial ruins however. The country had lost nearly all of its sources of revenues in the wars for independence against the French empire.
Plus the recent integration of former Spanish colony (modern day Dominican Republic) into Haiti was also having some financial restraint on the Haitian government.
In a lengthy letter, on January 15th 1822, President Boyer explained to Adamantios Korais, then Governor of Greece, that due to Haiti's financial situation he would not be able to send money nor men to Greece, but promised to do all that he could to help in their cause for freedom.

"...The revolution which triumphs on the eastern portion of our island is creating a new obstacle in carrying out our aim; in fact, this portion, which was incorporated into the Republic I preside over, is in extreme poverty and thus justifies immense expenditures of our budget."

"Such a beautiful and just case and, most importantly, the first successes which have accompanied it, cannot leave Haitians indifferent, for we, like the Hellenes, were for a long time subjected to a dishonorable slavery and finally, with our own chains, broke the head of tyranny." 

President Boyer did find a way to help the Greeks; with the letter, he sent a cargaison of 25 tons of coffee, one of the most important commodities of the time, to Adamantios Korais, to be sold on behalf of the greek revolutionaries for the procurement of supplies; thus making Haiti the first country in the world to recognized Greece as an independent country, and the first one outside Europe to help the country of Socrates achieve self-determination.  Two months later, Great Britain followed Haiti and recognized Greece as an independent country.

In : Post-Independence 


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