Learn about Haiti

Sak pase, N'ap boule !

There would have been too much details to go with over 200 years of history. So we are going to stick only with some important and specific dates with facts. From these brief facts you will see a history of a truly resilient people, who fought off slavery and survived civil wars, countless massacres and truly oppressive leadership. The Haitians build a nation when by and for themselves they become the first black republic independent in the world in 1804, the second republic declared in the western hemisphere and of course have remained independent to this day. 



Date History
December 5, 1492 Columbus discovers Haiti (the island of Hispaniola).
1697 The Spaniards cede the western third of Hispaniola to the French crown at the Treaty of Ryswick. Haiti is now called "Saint Domingue".
1697-1791 Saint Domingue becomes the richest colony in the world. Its capital, Cap Français, is known as the Paris of the New World. It is also a regime of extraordinary cruelty; the 500,000 slaves taken by the French are flogged, starved, and buried alive for minor offenses.
August 1791 the first major black rebellion takes place, initiated by Boukman, a voodoo houngan. This begins the markings of civil war between the black dominated north and the mulatto dominated south.
1796 Toussaint L'Ouverture, an educated herb doctor and military man, emerges as the leader of the former slaves in the north. He restored order, ended the massacres, and restored some of Saint Domingue's former prosperity.
1801 Napoleon Bonaparte despatches an army of 34,000 to tru to subdue the slave armies and retake the colony for France; this mission was unsuccessful. The leader of the army Leclerc ultimately had Toussaint L'Ouverture seized and deported to France. He died within a year.
May 1802 Convention in Paris reintroduces slavery, which brings on more rebellions and massacres.
January 1803 Jean Jacques Dessalines proclaimed the independent black Republic of Haiti in the northern half of the island. Dessalines was unpopular with the mulattos and was assassinated in 1806. His death led to civil war again between the south (under General Petion) and the north (under Henry Christophe).
1820 Henry Christophe commits suicide by shooting himself with a silver bullet; he had been a tyrannical ruler, crowning himself "king", and building a palace and citadel (at Cap Haitien in the north) at great cost to Haitian lives. At his death Haiti was taken over by General Boyer, and civil war ceased. Boyer obtained official Haitian independence from France at the price of 150 million French francs.
1843 to 1915 Haiti sees 22 heads of state, most of whom leave office by violent means. Rivalry continues among the whites, the mulatto elite, and the blacks.
1915 President Guillaume Sam is dismembered and the Americans invade the country. They remain for 19 years. Despite improvements made to the infrastructure by the Americans, the Haitians opposed their presence.
1934 The Americans leave Haiti, which is now prospering once again.
1957 François Duvalier, a doctor and union leader, was elected president. Duvalier, also known as 'Papa Doc', terrorized the country, rooting out any and all opponents to his administration. He was a practicing of the voodoo, his loa being Baron Samedi, the guardian of cemeteries and a harbinger of death. He ensured his power through his private militia, the ferocious tontons macoutes..
1964 Duvalier changes the constitution so that he can be elected president for life.
1971 François Duvalier dies and is succeeded by his son Jean Claude, age 19 (also known as 'Baby Doc'). By this time Haiti is the poorest country in the western hemisphere (and remains so to this day).
February 1986 The Duvalier regime collapses under Operation Dechoukay and Baby Doc flees to France.
December 1990 Jean-Bertrand Aristide (a religious priest) is elected in a landslide victory.Military coup deposes Aristide's government; Organization of American states imposes an embargo lasting three years.
1994 to 1996 Aristide returns to Haiti to serve out his term of office, facilitated by the US military and UN troops.
December, 1995 to 2001 René Préval became president of Haiti in a landslide victory and serve his entire 6 years as President
From 2001 to 2004 Aristide became president again and was ousted in a 29 February 2004 coup d'état, in which former soldiers participated. He accused the US of orchestrating the coup d'état against him Aristide was forced into exile, being flown directly to the Central African Republic and South Africa. He finally returned to Haiti on March 18, 2011 after seven years in exile.
May 2006 to May 2011 René Préval became President of Haiti a second time and serve again another 6 years as President.
Today (2011): Joseph Martelly (born 12 February 1961), is the actual President of Haiti.

Unlike what most will say, calling then Haiti the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, would be an argument that I will strongly reject. To those of you who love mentioning that, I would like to ask you a simple question – What is your definition of poor? If you read the Haitian History in-depth, you will simply conclude that Haiti in not the poorest Country in the Western hemisphere rather than the most impoverish Country in this planet.

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