I would like to send some prayers out to the people of Haiti. I know y’all wasn’t expecting an Earthquake after over 200 years. I’m hoping the survivors are able to salvage and move into a better situation. Be strong peoples.

Haiti (pronounced /ˈheɪtiː/French Haïti, pronounced: [a.iti]Haitian CreoleAyiti), officially the Republic of Haiti (République d’HaïtiRepiblik Ayiti) is a Creole– and French-speaking Caribbean country. Along with the Dominican Republic, it occupies the island of Hispaniola, in the Greater Antillean archipelagoAyiti (Land of high mountains) was the indigenous Taíno or Amerindian name for the mountainous western side of the island. The country’s highest point is Pic la Selle, at 2,680 metres (8,793 ft). The total area of Haiti is 27,750 square kilometres (10,714 sq mi) and its capital is Port-au-Prince.

Haiti’s regional, historical, and ethnolinguistic position is unique for several reasons. It was the first independent nation in Latin America, the first post-colonial independent Black-led nation in the world, and the only nation whose independence was gained as part of a successful slave rebellion. Despite having common cultural links with its Hispano-Caribbean neighbors, Haiti is the only predominantly Francophoneindependent nation in the Americas, and one of only two (along with Canada) which designate French as an official language; the other French-speaking areas are all overseas départements or collectivités ofFrance.

Haitian Revolution(more info):

The French Revolution contributed to social upheavals in Saint-Domingue and the French and West Indies. Most important was the revolution of the slaves in Saint-Domingue, starting on the northern plains in 1791. In 1792 the French government sent three commissioners with troops to try to reestablish control. They began to build an alliance with gens de couleur, who were looking for their rights. In 1793, France and Great Britain went to war, and British troops invaded Saint-Domingue. The execution of Louis XVI heightened tensions in the colony. To build an alliance with the gens de couleur and slaves, the French commissioners Sonthonax and Polverel abolished slavery in the colony. Six months later, the National Convention led by the Jacobins endorsed abolition and extended it to all of the French colonies.

Toussaint L’Ouverture, a former slave and leader in the slave revolt who rose in importance as a military commander because of his many skills, achieved peace in Saint-Domingue after years of war against both external invaders and internal dissension. He had established a disciplined, flexible army and drove out both the Spaniards and the British invaders who threatened the colony. He restored stability and prosperity by daring measures, including inviting the return of planters and insisting that freed men work on plantations to renew revenues for the island. He also renewed trading ties with Great Britain and the United States. The United States played a duplicitous role, supplying both the French and the rebels.

Independence:

The French government changed and the legislature began to rethink its decisions on slavery in the colonies. After Toussaint L’ouverture created a separatist constitution, Napoleon Bonaparte sent an expedition of 20,000 men under the command of his brother-in-law, General Charles Leclerc, to retake the island. Leclerc’s mission was to oust L’ouverture and restore slavery. The French achieved some victories, but within a few months, yellow feverhad killed most of the French soldiers. Leclerc invited Toussaint L’ouverture to a parley, kidnapped him and sent him to France, where he was imprisoned at Fort de Joux. He died there in 1803 of exposure and tuberculosis or malnutrition and pneumonia. In its attempt to retake the colony, France had lost more than 50,000 soldiers, including 18 generals.

The native leader Jean-Jacques Dessalines, long an ally of Toussaint L’ouverture, defeated the French troops led by Donatien-Marie-Joseph de Vimeur, vicomte de Rochambeau at the Battle of Vertières. At the end of the double battle for emancipation and independence, former slaves proclaimed the independence of Saint-Domingue on 1 January 1804, declaring the new nation as Haiti, honoring one of the indigenous Taíno names for the island. It is the only nation born of a slave revolt. It is estimated that the slave rebellion resulted in the death of 100,000 blacks and 24,000 of the 40,000 white colonists.

Dessalines was proclaimed Emperor for life by his troops. He exiled or killed the remaining whites and ruled as a despot. He was assassinated on 17 October 1806. The country was divided then between a kingdom in the north directed by Henri Christophe, and a republic in the south directed by a gens de couleur Alexandre Pétion. Henri Christophe is best known for constructing the Citadelle Laferriere, the largest fortress in the Western Hemisphere, to defend the island against the French. President Jean Pierre Boyer, also a gens de couleur, managed to reunify the two halves and extend control again over the western part of the island. Dominican historians have portrayed the period of the Haitian occupation (1822–42) as cruel and barbarous, but Boyer also freed the slaves.

In July 1825, the king of France Charles X sent a fleet of fourteen vessels and troops to reconquer the island. To maintain independence, President Boyer agreed to a treaty by which France recognized the independence of the country in exchange for a payment of 150 million francs (the sum was reduced in 1838 to 90 million francs) – an indemnity for profits lost from the slave trade. The French abolitionist Victor Schoelcher wrote “Imposing an indemnity on the victorious slaves was equivalent to making them pay with money that which they had already paid with their blood.”

A long succession of coups followed the departure of Jean-Pierre Boyer. In its 200-year history, Haiti has seen 32 coups. National authority was disputed by factions of the army, the elite class and the growing commercial class, now made up of numerous immigrants: GermansAmericansFrench and English.

On more than one occasion US, French, German and British forces claimed large sums of money from the vaults of the National Bank of Haiti.

Expatriates bankrolled and armed opposing groups. In 1888 US Marines supported a military revolt against the government. In 1892 the German government supported suppression of the movement of Anténor Firmin. In 1912 Syrians residing in Haiti participated in a plot in which the presidential palace was destroyed. In January 1914, British, German and United States forces entered Haiti ostensibly to protect their citizens.

– For more info on Haiti and the earthquake, see Haiti or News

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