"Louis-Joseph Janvier and the Nationalists" by David Nicholls (1936-1996)

An excerpt from Nicholls’s From Dessalines to Duvalier: Race, Colour and National Independence in Haiti (1979). Nicholls was a reverand and a historian. In his landmark study, he insisted that color divisions have trumped all others in Haiti’s political history.

The years following the fall of Geffrard in 1867 saw a further polarisation of the black and mulatto elites and their manifestation in two political groups, the predominantly mulatto Liberal Party, and the preponderantly black National Party. During the 1870s and 1880s these two parties battled for supremacy in the electoral, military and intellectual fields.

Although it cannot be said that the National Party held a single coherent ideology, nor indeed that it was totally agreed on policy matters, there was within the party a group of noiriste ideologists who were sometimes known as "ultranationals" or The noiristes claimed to speak for the masses against the elite, for the country against the capital, and they fully subscribed to the populist slogan of the National Party, "The greatest good for the greatest number."

Janvier was a firm defender of the economic and political independence of Haiti and assailed theories of racial inequality which were current among European writers of his day.

Here we shall be concerned with Janvier as the ideologist of the ultranationals and the self-appointed spokesman of the black peasant…. Salomon himself was praised for having reintroduced a policy of land distribution…. It was according to Janvier largely their opposition to this measure which led the mulatto Liberals under Boyer Bazelais to invade Haiti in the following month.
"piquets doctrinairs."