Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Age of Empire & Royalty II - HC

Age of Empire and Royalty II

Henri Christophe
King Henri I
Henry Christophe, King of Haiti,  1818
Reign:  28 March 1811 – 8 October 1820

The first and only King of Haiti

Coronation    2 June 1811
Consort          Marie Louise Christophe   

Kingdom of Haiti flag (1811)
Henri Christophe was a key leader in the Haitian Revolution, winning independence from France in 1804.   On 17 February 1807, after the creation of a separate nation in the north, Christophe was elected President of the State of Haiti.
On 26 March 1811, he was proclaimed Henri I, King of Haïti.  He is also known for constructing the Citadelle Laferrière.
In 1811 Henri made the northern state of Haïti a kingdom, and was ordained Emperor by Arch Bishop of Milot Corneil Breuil. The edict of 1 April 1811 gave his full title as:
Henri, par la grâce de Dieu et la Loi constitutionelle de l'État Roi d'Haïti, Souverain des Îles de la Tortue, Gonâve, et autres îles adjacentes, Destructeur de la tyrannie, Régénérateur et bienfaiteur de la nation haïtienne, Créateur de ses institutiones morales, politiques et guerrières, Premier monarque couronné du Nouveau-Monde, Défenseur de la foi, Fondateur de l'ordre royal et militaire de Saint-Henri.
Henry, by the grace of God and constitutional law of the state, King of Haiti, Sovereign of Tortuga, Gonâve, and other adjacent islands, Destroyer of tyranny, Regenerator and Benefactor of the Haïtian nation, Creator of her moral, political, and martial institutions, First crowned monarch of the New World, Defender of the faith, Founder of the Royal Military Order of Saint Henry.
He renamed Cap Français Cap-Henri.   It is now called Cap-Haïtien.
Christophe named his legitimate son, Jacques-Victor Henry, heir apparent with the title Prince Royal of Haïti. Even in documents written in French, the king's name was usually given an English spelling. He had another son who was a colonel in his army.
Henri Christophe_Prince   Jacques-Victor Henry (Christophe's Son)Prince Jacques-Victor Henry (Henri Christophe's Son)

Christophe built for his own use six châteaux, eight palaces and the massive Citadelle Laferrière, still considered one of the wonders of the era. Nine years later, at the end of his monarchy, he had increased the number of designated nobility from the original 87 to 134.

San  Souci commune de Milot

Politically, in the North, Christophe was caught between reinforcing a version of the slave plantation system in an attempt to increase agricultural production, or handing out the plantation land for peasant cultivation (the approach taken by Alexandre Petion in the South). King Henri took the route of enforcing corvee plantation work on the population in lieu of taxes alongside his massive building projects. As a result, Northern Haiti during his reign was despotic but relatively wealthy.

He preferred trading with English merchants and American merchants than both French and Spanish merchants which did not recognize Haiti as independent country, he ordered that extra Africans be brought to Haiti to work on his vast projects instead of being traded to other Caribbean countries where they would be held as slaves. As a result, numerous Africans who were originally brought by the French as slaves came to Haiti. He made an agreement with Britain that Haiti would not be threat to their Caribbean colonies in return that the British Navy would warn the Kingdom of Haiti of any imminent attack from French troops, in 1807 the British Parliament passed the Slave Trade of 1807 which did not outlaw slavery, but abolishing the importation of African slaves in British territory, because of this increased bilateral trade, he had gathered an enormous sum of British pounds for his treasury. By contrast, Petion's Southern Haiti became much poorer because the land-share destroyed agricultural productivity.

utdiv69Nobility and heraldry -
One of Christophe's first acts as king was to create a Haïtian Peerage, with four princes, seven dukes, 22 counts, 40 barons and 14 chevaliers. Christophe also founded a College of Arms to provide armorial bearings to the newly ennobled.

Christophe's kingship was modelled in part on the enlightened absolutism of Frederick the Great.

Thomas Clarkson, the English slave abolitionist, held a long written correspondence with Christophe which gives insights into his philosophy and style of government.
Thomas ClarksonThomas Clarkson
 The king sought an education for his children along the lines of the princelings of Enlightenment Europe.

Predecessor:    Jacques I (as Emperor of Haiti)                                            Monarchy Abolished
Successor:   Jean Pierre Boyer (as President of Haiti)

Correspondance de Henry Christophe général de  brigade au citoyen  Toussaint Louverture
Correspondance de Henry Christophe général de brigade au citoyen Toussaint Louverture
Born    October 6, 1767 


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