Francois & Jean-Claude Duvalier

Haitian Dictators

Essential Question

How did Francois and Jean-Claude Duvalier create a broken path for future Haitian leaders?

Tyrants of Haiti

Both Francois and Jean-Claude Duvalier have proved to be tyrants and dictators of Haiti. Because of them, the people of Haiti will forever be afraid of their government and its power over them.

Profile of Leaders

  1. François Duvalier was born on April 14, 1907. President Dumarsais Estimé appointed him direct general of the National Public Health Service in 1946. When Estimé was overthrown, Duvalier created a secret police called, Tontons Macoutes, who terrorized the people for 14 years. They assassinated and imprisoned anyone who was thought to be a threat the Duvalier and installed a fear of government throughout Haiti. Francois was elected president in 1957, and he remained in power for 14 years. Papa Doc's secret police caused a state of poverty in the country while still causing nearly 30,000 deaths.
  2. Jean-Claude Duvalier was born on July 3, 1951. When he was 19 years old his father died, and he took over as president, making him the youngest president in the world. Shortly after taking office Jean-Claude made life a bit easier for his people by allowing more freedoms for many groups of people. When his army shot and killed 3 school children, the country began to riot uncontrollable and he and his family fled to France. Haiti was left with with an 80% illiteracy rate, 9 out of 10 people were unemployed, and a life expectancy of 53 years. Baby Doc dealt a little with the fear his father installed before him, yet destroyed the country economically and this has caused problems that the modern country of Haiti is still attempting to recover from.

Photos of Leaders

Jean Claude Duvalier

YouTube Video Breakdown

This short video is of Jean-Claude Duvalier as he makes a speech to the army graduates. He tells them how they have created a path for the government and convinces them to stay under his power and do his bidding. This is significant because as long as Jean Claude has power, the government can be strong and control the citizens that oppose him.


There once was a man who destroyed a country

Francois did this in less than a century

His secret police terrified Haiti

There was no way out for them, not even a maybe

But before he died he had a son

Who promised to make the land better for some

Yet he too disappointed many within the towns

And brought the economy wayyyyyy down

Because of these two irresponsible men

Haiti will forever be in fear of their government