Following the assassination of the Haitian President in July of 1915, President Woodrow Wilson used that incident as a pretext to send the United States Marines into Haiti to restore order and maintain political and economic stability in the Caribbean. This unofficial occupation continued for 19 years and ended in 1934.
The United States wanted to take over Haiti
The United States Government’s interests in Haiti existed for decades prior to its occupation. As a potential naval base for the United States, Haiti’s precarious government concerned U.S. diplomatic and defense officials. Many feared Haitian instability might result in the foreign rule of Haiti. In 1868, President Andrew Johnson suggested the annexation of the island of Hispaniola, consisting of Haiti and the Dominican Republic, to secure a U.S. defensive and economic stake in the West Indies.
From 1889 to 1891, Secretary of State James Blaine unsuccessfully sought a lease of Mole-Saint Nicolas, a city on Haiti’s northern coast strategically located for a naval base. In 1910, President William Howard Taft granted Haiti a large loan in hopes that Haiti could pay off its international debt, thus lessening foreign influence.