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Haiti - Map Locator

Haiti - Map Locator Law and Politics Tragedies and Triumphs Slaves and Slave Owners Geography Social Studies World History

Haiti is located on the island of Hispaniola.  Its neighbor, to the east, is the Dominican Republic.  Haitians speak mostly French; Dominicans speak mostly Spanish.

Slightly smaller than the American state of Maryland, Haiti lies in the middle of the Atlantic "hurricane belt" and is subject to severe storms from June through October.  It has had a difficult history, as noted by the World Fact Book:

The native Taino Amerindians - who inhabited the island of Hispaniola when it was discovered by Columbus in 1492 - were virtually annihilated by Spanish settlers within 25 years.

In the early 17th century, the French established a presence on Hispaniola. In 1697, Spain ceded to the French the western third of the island, which later became Haiti.

The French colony, based on forestry and sugar-related industries, became one of the wealthiest in the Caribbean but only through the heavy importation of African slaves and considerable environmental degradation.

In the late 18th century, Haiti's nearly half million slaves revolted under Toussaint L'Ouverture. After a prolonged struggle, Haiti became the first black republic to declare independence in 1804.

The poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, Haiti ... [had] an interim government [which] took office [in 2004] to organize new elections under the auspices of the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH).  [Many of those UN workers died in the January 12 earthquake.] Continued violence and technical delays prompted repeated postponements, but Haiti ... inaugurate(d) a democratically elected president and parliament in May of 2006.


Media Credits

Image online, courtesy Wikimedia Commons.

Quoted passage online, courtesy World Fact Book.

 

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