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Haiti (; ht, Ayiti ; French: ), officially the Republic of Haiti (); ) and formerly known as Hayti, is a country located on the island of Hispaniola in the
Greater Antilles
Greater Antilles
archipelago of the Caribbean Sea, east of
Cuba
Cuba
and
Jamaica
Jamaica
, and south of The Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos Islands. It occupies the western three-eighths of the island which it shares with the
Dominican Republic
Dominican Republic
. To its south-west lies the small
Navassa Island
Navassa Island
, which is claimed by Haiti but is disputed as a
United States The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country Continental United States, primarily located in North America. It consists of 50 U.S. state, states, a Washington, D.C., ...

United States
territory
territory
under federal administration."Haiti"
''Encyclopædia Britannica''.
Haiti is in size, the third largest country in the Caribbean by area, and has an estimated population of 11.4 million, making it the most populous country in the Caribbean. The capital is Port-au-Prince. The island was originally inhabited by the indigenous Taíno people, who originated in South America. The first Europeans arrived on 5 December 1492 during the first voyage of , who initially believed he had found
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India
or
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China
. Columbus subsequently founded the first European settlement in the Americas, , on what is now the northeastern coast of Haiti. The island was claimed by and named , forming part of the until the early 17th century. However, competing claims and settlements by the French led to the western portion of the island being ceded to France in 1697, which was subsequently named . French colonists established lucrative plantations, worked by vast numbers of slaves brought from Africa, which made the colony one of the richest in the world. In the midst of the (1789–99), slaves, maroons, and free people of color launched the (1791–1804), led by a former slave and the first black general of the French Army, . After 12 years of conflict, 's forces were defeated by Louverture's successor, (later Emperor Jacques I), who declared Haiti's sovereignty on 1 January 1804—the first independent nation of and the Caribbean, the second in the Americas, the first country in the Americas to abolish slavery, and the only state in history established by a successful slave revolt. Apart from Alexandre Pétion, the first President of the Republic, all of Haiti's first leaders were former slaves. After a brief period in which the country was split in two, President united the country and then attempted to bring the whole of Hispaniola under Haitian control, precipitating a long series of wars that ended in the 1870s when Haiti formally recognized the independence of the Dominican Republic. Haiti's first century of independence was characterized by political instability, ostracism by the international community, and the payment of a crippling debt to France. Political volatility and foreign economic influence in the country prompted the U.S. to occupy the country from 1915 to 1934. Following a series of short-lived presidencies, François 'Papa Doc' Duvalier took power in 1956, ushering in a long period of autocratic rule continued by his son, Jean-Claude 'Baby Doc' Duvalier, that lasted until 1986; the period was characterized by state-sanctioned violence against the opposition and civilians, corruption, and economic stagnation. After 1986, Haiti began attempting to establish a more democratic political system. Haiti is a founding member of the , (OAS), Association of Caribbean States, and the
Organisation internationale de la Francophonie The (OIF; sometimes shortened to the Francophonie, french: La Francophonie , but also called International Organisation of in English-language context) is an international organization representing countries and regions where French langua ...
. In addition to CARICOM, it is a member of the
International Monetary Fund The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is a major financial agency of the United Nations, and an international financial institution, headquartered in Washington, D.C., consisting of 190 countries. Its stated mission is "working to foster globa ...
,
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, and the
Community of Latin American and Caribbean States A community is a Level of analysis, social unit (a group of living things) with commonality such as place (geography), place, Norm (social), norms, religion, values, Convention (norm), customs, or Identity (social science), identity. Communiti ...
. Historically poor and politically unstable, Haiti has the lowest
Human Development Index The Human Development Index (HDI) is a statistic composite index of life expectancy, Education Index, education (mean years of schooling completed and expected years of schooling upon entering the Educational system, education system), ...
in the Americas, as well as widespread slavery. Since the turn of the 21st century, the country has endured a
coup d'état A coup d'état (; French for 'stroke of state'), also known as a coup or overthrow, is a seizure and removal of a government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a state. In ...
, which prompted U.N. intervention, as well as a catastrophic earthquake that killed over 250,000 people. With its deteriorating economic situation, as well as recent calls by the
IMF The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is a major financial agency of the United Nations The United Nations (UN) is an intergovernmental organization whose stated purposes are to maintain international peace and international security, ...
to cut fuel subsidies, Haiti has been experiencing a socioeconomic and political crisis marked by riots and protests, widespread hunger, and increased gang activity.


Etymology

''Haiti'' (also earlier ''Hayti'') comes from the indigenous Taíno language, in which it means "land of high mountains" and named the entire island of Hispaniola. The name was restored by Haitian revolutionary Jean-Jacques Dessalines as the official name of independent Saint-Domingue, as a tribute to the Amerindian predecessors. In French, the '' ï'' in ''Haïti'' has a
diacritical mark A diacritic (also diacritical mark, diacritical point, diacritical sign, or accent) is a glyph added to a letter (alphabet), letter or to a basic glyph. The term derives from the Ancient Greek (, "distinguishing"), from (, "to distinguish"). T ...
(used to show that the second vowel is pronounced separately, as in the word ''naïve''), while the ''H'' is silent. (In English, this rule for the pronunciation is often disregarded, thus the spelling ''Haiti'' is used.) There are different anglicizations for its pronunciation such as ''HIGH-ti'', ''high-EE-ti'' and ''haa-EE-ti'', which are still in use, but ''HAY-ti'' is the most widespread and best-established. In French, Haiti's nickname means the "Pearl of the Antilles" (''La Perle des Antilles'') because of both its natural beauty and the amount of wealth it accumulated for the
Kingdom of France The Kingdom of France ( fro, Reaume de France; frm, Royaulme de France; french: link=yes, Royaume de France) is the historiographical name or umbrella term given to various political entities of France France (), officially the Fr ...
. During the 18th century, the colony was the world's leading producer of sugar and coffee. In
Haitian Creole Haitian Creole (; ht, kreyòl ayisyen, links=no, ; french: créole haïtien, links=no, ), commonly referred to as simply ''Creole'', or ''Kreyòl'' in the Creole language, is a French-based creole languages, French-based creole language spoke ...
, it is spelled and pronounced with a ''y'' but no ''H'': ht, Ayiti, label=none''.'' Another theory on the name Haiti is its origin in African tradition, in Fon language one of the most spoken by the bossales (Haitians born in Africa to differentiate from the creoles or Haitians born in Haiti (St-Domingue) in early Haiti
Ayiti-Tomè
means: From nowadays this land is our land. In the Haitian community the country has multiple nicknames: Ayiti-Toma (as its origin in Ayiti Tomè), Ayiti-Cheri (Ayiti my Darling), Tè-Desalin (Dessalines' Land) or Lakay (Home).


History


Taino history

The island of Hispaniola, of which Haiti occupies the western three-eighths, has been inhabited since about 5000 BC by groups of Native Americans thought to have arrived from Central or South America. Genetic studies show that some of these groups were related to the Yanomami of the
Amazon Basin The Amazon basin is the part of South America drained by the Amazon River and its tributary, tributaries. The Amazon drainage basin covers an area of about , or about 35.5 percent of the South American continent. It is located in the countrie ...
. Amongst these early settlers were the Ciboney peoples, followed by the Taíno, speakers of an
Arawakan Arawakan (''Arahuacan, Maipuran Arawakan, "mainstream" Arawakan, Arawakan proper''), also known as Maipurean (also ''Maipuran, Maipureano, Maipúre''), is a language family A language family is a group of languages related through Genetic r ...
language Language is a structured system of communication. The structure of a language is its grammar and the free components are its vocabulary. Languages are the primary means by which humans communicate, and may be conveyed through a variety of met ...
, elements of which have been preserved in
Haitian Creole Haitian Creole (; ht, kreyòl ayisyen, links=no, ; french: créole haïtien, links=no, ), commonly referred to as simply ''Creole'', or ''Kreyòl'' in the Creole language, is a French-based creole languages, French-based creole language spoke ...
. The Taíno name for the entire island was ''Haiti'', or alternatively ''Quisqeya''.Clammer, Paul (2016), ''Bradt Travel Guide – Haiti'', p. 9.In Taíno society the largest unit of political organization was led by a ''
cacique A ''cacique'' (Latin American ; ; feminine form: ''cacica'') was a tribal chieftain of the Taíno people, the indigenous inhabitants at European colonization of the Americas, European contact of the Bahamas, the Greater Antilles, and the north ...
,'' or chief, as the Europeans understood them. The island of Hispaniola was divided among five 'caciquedoms': the Magua in the north east, the Marien in the north west, the Jaragua in the south west, the Maguana in the central regions of Cibao, and the Higüey in the south east. Historical Taíno names for areas include: *Guarico, now Limonade-Cap-Haitien *Bayaha, now Fort-Liberté *Xarama, now Port-de-Paix *Gonayibo, now Gonaives *Amani-y, now
Saint-Marc Saint-Marc ( ht, Sen Mak) is a List of communes of Haiti, commune in western Haiti in Artibonite (department), Artibonite departement. Its geographic coordinates are . At the 2003 Census the commune had 160,181 inhabitants. It is one of the bigg ...
*Yaguana, now Léoganes *Mamey, now Abricot *Yakimèl, now Jacmel Taíno cultural artifacts include
cave paintings In archaeology, Cave paintings are a type of parietal art (which category also includes petroglyphs, or engravings), found on the wall or ceilings of caves. The term usually implies prehistoric art, prehistoric origin, and the oldest known are mor ...
in several locations in the country. These have become national symbols of Haiti and tourist attractions. Modern-day Léogâne, started as a French colonial town in the southwest, is beside the former capital of the caciquedom of ''Xaragua.''


Colonial era


Spanish rule (1492–1625)

Navigator landed in Haiti on 6 December 1492, in an area that he named '' Môle-Saint-Nicolas,'' and claimed the island for the
Crown of Castile The Crown of Castile was a medieval polity in the Iberian Peninsula that formed in 1230 as a result of the third and definitive union of the crowns and, some decades later, the parliaments of the kingdoms of Kingdom of Castile, Castile and King ...
. Nineteen days later, his ship the '' Santa María'' ran aground near the present site of Cap-Haïtien. Columbus left 39 men on the island, who founded the settlement of on 25 December 1492. Relations with the native peoples, initially good, broke down and the settlers were later killed by the Taíno.Clammer, Paul (2016), ''Bradt Travel Guide – Haiti'', p. 10. The sailors carried endemic Eurasian
infectious disease An infection is the invasion of tissue (biology), tissues by pathogens, their multiplication, and the reaction of host (biology), host tissues to the infectious agent and the toxins they produce. An infectious disease, also known as a transmiss ...
s to which the native peoples lacked immunity, causing them to die in great numbers in
epidemic An epidemic (from Ancient Greek, Greek ἐπί ''epi'' "upon or above" and δῆμος ''demos'' "people") is the rapid spread of disease to a large number of patients among a given population within an area in a short period of time. Epidemics ...
s. The first recorded
smallpox Smallpox was an infectious disease caused by variola virus (often called smallpox virus) which belongs to the genus Orthopoxvirus. The Ali Maow Maalin#Maalin's case, last naturally occurring case was diagnosed in October 1977, and the World ...
epidemic in the Americas erupted on Hispaniola in 1507. Their numbers were further reduced by the harshness of the ' system, in which the Spanish forced natives to work in gold mines and plantations. The Spanish passed the Laws of Burgos (1512–1513), which forbade the maltreatment of natives, endorsed their conversion to Catholicism, and gave legal framework to ''.'' The natives were brought to these sites to work in specific plantations or industries. As the Spanish re-focused their colonization efforts on the greater riches of mainland Central and South America, Hispaniola became reduced largely to a trading and refueling post. As a result
piracy Piracy is an act of robbery or criminal violence by ship or boat-borne attackers upon another ship or a coastal area, typically with the goal of stealing cargo and other valuable goods. Those who conduct acts of piracy are called pirates, v ...
became widespread, encouraged by European powers hostile to Spain such as France (based on Île de la Tortue) and England. The Spanish largely abandoned the western third of the island, focusing their colonization effort on the eastern two-thirds. The western part of the island was thus gradually settled by French
buccaneer Buccaneers were a kind of privateers or free sailors particular to the Caribbean Sea during the 17th and 18th centuries. First established on northern Hispaniola as early as 1625, their heyday was from Stuart Restoration, the Restoration in 16 ...
s; among them was Bertrand d'Ogeron, who succeeded in growing
tobacco Tobacco is the common name of several plants in the genus ''Nicotiana'' of the Family (biology), family Solanaceae, and the general term for any product prepared from the curing of tobacco, cured leaves of these plants. Nicotiana#Species, M ...
and recruited many French colonial families from
Martinique Martinique ( , ; gcf, label=Martinican Creole, Matinik or ; Kalinago language, Kalinago: or ) is an island and an Overseas department and region, overseas department/region and single territorial collectivity of France. An integral part of ...
and
Guadeloupe Guadeloupe (; ; gcf, label=Antillean Creole, Gwadloup, ) is an archipelago and Overseas departments and regions of France, overseas department and region of France in the Caribbean. It consists of six inhabited islands—Basse-Terre Island, Ba ...
. In 1697
France France (), officially the French Republic ( ), is a country primarily located in Western Europe. It also comprises of Overseas France, overseas regions and territories in the Americas and the Atlantic Ocean, Atlantic, Pacific Ocean, Pac ...
and
Spain , image_flag = Bandera de España.svg , image_coat = Escudo de España (mazonado).svg , national_motto = ''Plus ultra'' (Latin)(English: "Further Beyond") , national_anthem = (English: "Royal March") , i ...
settled their hostilities on the island by way of the
Treaty of Ryswick The Peace of Ryswick, or Rijswijk, was a series of treaties signed in the Dutch city of Rijswijk between 20 September and 30 October 1697. They ended the 1688 to 1697 Nine Years' War The Nine Years' War (1688–1697), often called the War o ...
of 1697, which divided Hispaniola between them.Clammer, Paul (2016), ''Bradt Travel Guide – Haiti'', p. 11.


French rule (1625–1804)

France received the western third and subsequently named it
Saint-Domingue Saint-Domingue () was a French colonization of the Americas, French colony in the western portion of the Caribbean island of Hispaniola, in the area of modern-day Haiti, from 1659 to 1804. The name derives from the Spanish main city in the islan ...
, the French equivalent of ''
Santo Domingo , total_type = Total , population_density_km2 = auto , timezone = Atlantic Standard Time, AST (UTC −4) , area_code_type = Area codes , area_code = 809, 829, 849 , postal_code_type = Postal codes , postal_code = 10100–10699 (Dist ...
'', the Spanish colony on Hispaniola. The French set about creating sugar and coffee plantations, worked by vast numbers of slaves imported from
Africa Africa is the world's second-largest and second-most populous continent, after Asia in both cases. At about 30.3 million km2 (11.7 million square miles) including adjacent islands, it covers 6% of Earth's total surface area ...
, and Saint-Domingue grew to become their richest colonial possession. The French settlers were outnumbered by slaves by almost 10 to 1. According to the 1788 Census, Haiti's population consisted of nearly 25,000 Europeans, 22,000 free coloreds and 700,000 African slaves. In contrast, by 1763 the white population of
French Canada French Canadians (referred to as Canadiens mainly before the twentieth century; french: Canadiens français, ; feminine form: , ), or Franco-Canadians (french: Franco-Canadiens), refers to either an ethnic group who trace their ancestry to Fren ...
, a far larger territory, had numbered only 65,000. In the north of the island, slaves were able to retain many ties to African cultures, religion and language; these ties were continually being renewed by newly imported Africans. Some West African slaves held on to their traditional Vodou beliefs by secretly syncretizing it with Catholicism. The French enacted the ''
Code Noir The (, ''Black code'') was a decree passed by the List of French monarchs, French King Louis XIV in 1685 defining the conditions of Slavery in France, slavery in the French colonial empire. The decree restricted the activities of free peopl ...
'' ("Black Code"), prepared by
Jean-Baptiste Colbert Jean-Baptiste Colbert (; 29 August 1619 – 6 September 1683) was a French people, French statesman who served as Chief minister of France, First Minister of State from 1661 until his death in 1683 under the rule of Louis XIV of France, King Loui ...
and ratified by
Louis XIV Louis XIV (Louis Dieudonné; 5 September 16381 September 1715), also known as Louis the Great () or the Sun King (), was List of French monarchs, King of France from 14 May 1643 until his death in 1715. His reign of 72 years and 110 days is the Li ...
, which established rules on slave treatment and permissible freedoms.Clammer, Paul (2016), ''Bradt Travel Guide – Haiti'', p. 12. Saint-Domingue has been described as one of the most brutally efficient slave colonies; one-third of newly imported Africans died within a few years. Many slaves died from diseases such as
smallpox Smallpox was an infectious disease caused by variola virus (often called smallpox virus) which belongs to the genus Orthopoxvirus. The Ali Maow Maalin#Maalin's case, last naturally occurring case was diagnosed in October 1977, and the World ...
and
typhoid fever Typhoid fever, also known as typhoid, is a disease caused by ''Salmonella'' serotype Typhi bacteria. Symptoms vary from mild to severe, and usually begin six to 30 days after exposure. Often there is a gradual onset of a high fever over several d ...
. They had low
birth rate The birth rate for a given period is the total number of live human births per 1,000 population divided by the length of the period in years. The number of live births is normally taken from a universal registration system for births; populati ...
s, and there is evidence that some women
aborted Aborted is a Belgian death metal band formed in 1995 in Waregem. The group currently consists of vocalist, founder and only constant member Sven de Caluwé, guitarist Ian Jekelis, bassist Stefano Franceschini and drummer Ken Bedene. Although th ...
fetuses rather than give birth to children within the bonds of
slavery Slavery and enslavement are both the state and the condition of being a slave—someone forbidden to quit one's service for an enslaver, and who is treated by the enslaver as property. Slavery typically involves slaves being made to perf ...
. The colony's environment also suffered, as forests were cleared to make way for plantations and the land was overworked so as to extract maximum profit for French plantation owners. As in its Louisiana colony, the
French colonial French colonial architecture includes several styles of architecture Architecture is the art and technique of designing and building, as distinguished from the skills associated with construction. It is both the process and the product of ...
government allowed some rights to free people of color (), the
mixed-race Mixed race people are people of more than one race (human categorization), race or ethnicity. A variety of terms have been used both historically and presently for mixed race people in a variety of contexts, including ''multiethnic'', ''polyeth ...
descendants of European male colonists and African female slaves (and later, mixed-race women). Over time, many were released from slavery and they established a separate
social class A social class is a grouping of people into a set of hierarchical social categories, the most common being the upper, middle and lower classes. Membership in a social class can for example be dependent on education, wealth, occupation, inc ...
. White French Creole fathers frequently sent their mixed-race sons to
France France (), officially the French Republic ( ), is a country primarily located in Western Europe. It also comprises of Overseas France, overseas regions and territories in the Americas and the Atlantic Ocean, Atlantic, Pacific Ocean, Pac ...
for their education. Some men of color were admitted into the military. More of the free people of color lived in the south of the island, near Port-au-Prince, and many intermarried within their community. They frequently worked as artisans and tradesmen, and began to own some property, including slaves of their own. The free people of color petitioned the colonial government to expand their rights. The brutality of slave life led many slaves to escape to mountainous regions, where they set up their own autonomous communities and became known as
Maroons Maroons are descendants of African diaspora in the Americas, Africans in the Americas who escaped from slavery and formed their own settlements. They often mixed with indigenous peoples of the Americas, indigenous peoples, eventually ethnogenesi ...
. One Maroon leader, François Mackandal, led a rebellion in the 1750s, however he was later captured and executed by the French.


Haitian Revolution (1791–1804)

Inspired by the of 1789 and principles of the rights of man, the French settlers and free people of color pressed for greater political freedom and more
civil rights Civil and political rights are a class of rights that protect individuals' freedom from infringement by governments, social organizations, and private individuals. They ensure one's entitlement to participate in the civil and political lif ...
. Tensions between these two groups led to conflict, as a militia of free-coloreds was set up in 1790 by Vincent Ogé, resulting in his capture, torture and execution. Sensing an opportunity, in August 1791 the first slave armies were established in northern Haiti under the leadership of inspired by the Vodou ''houngan'' (priest) Boukman, and backed by the Spanish in Santo Domingo – soon a full-blown slave rebellion had broken out across the entire colony. In 1792, the French government sent three commissioners with troops to re-establish control; to build an alliance with the '' gens de couleur'' and slaves commissioners Léger-Félicité Sonthonax and Étienne Polverel abolished slavery in the colony. Six months later, the
National Convention The National Convention (french: link=no, Convention nationale) was the parliament of the Kingdom of France for one day and the French First Republic for the rest of its existence during the French Revolution, following the two-year National ...
, led by
Maximilien de Robespierre Maximilien François Marie Isidore de Robespierre (; 6 May 1758 – 28 July 1794) was a French lawyer and statesman who became one of the best-known, influential and controversial figures of the French Revolution. As a member of the Estat ...
and the
Jacobins , logo = JacobinVignette03.jpg , logo_size = 180px , logo_caption = Seal of the Jacobin Club (1792–1794) , motto = "Live free or die"(french: Vivre libre ou mourir) , successor = P ...
, endorsed abolition and extended it to all the French colonies. The
United States The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country Continental United States, primarily located in North America. It consists of 50 U.S. state, states, a Washington, D.C., ...

United States
, which was a new republic itself, oscillated between supporting or not supporting and the emerging country of Haiti, depending on who was President of the US. Washington, who was a slave holder and isolationist, kept the United States neutral, although private US citizens at times provided aid to French
planters Planters Nut & Chocolate Company is an American snack food company now owned by Hormel, Hormel Foods. Planters is best known for its processed Nut (fruit), nuts and for the Mr. Peanut icon that symbolizes them. Mr. Peanut was created by grade sch ...
trying to put down the revolt. John Adams, a vocal opponent of slavery, fully supported the slave revolt by providing diplomatic recognition, financial support, munitions and warships (including the
USS Constitution USS ''Constitution'', also known as ''Old Ironsides'', is a Full-rigged ship, three-masted wooden-hulled heavy frigate of the United States Navy. She is the world's List of oldest surviving ships, oldest ship still afloat. She was launched in ...
) beginning in 1798. This support ended in 1801 when Jefferson, another slave-holding president, took office and recalled the US Navy. With slavery abolished, Toussaint Louverture pledged allegiance to France, and he fought off the British and Spanish forces who had taken advantage of the situation and invaded Saint-Domingue. The Spanish were later forced to cede their part of the island to France under the terms of the
Peace of Basel The Peace of Basel of 1795 consists of three peace treaties involving France during the French Revolution The French Revolution ( ) was a period of radical political and societal change in France France (), officially ...
in 1795, uniting the island under one government. However an insurgency against French rule broke out in the east, and in the west there was fighting between Louverture's forces and the free people of color led by André Rigaud in the War of the Knives (1799–1800). More than 25,000 surviving free people of color left the island as refugees. After Louverture created a separatist constitution and proclaimed himself governor-general for life, Napoléon Bonaparte in 1802 sent an expedition of 20,000 soldiers and as many sailors under the command of his brother-in-law,
Charles Leclerc Charles Marc Hervé Perceval Leclerc (; born 16 October 1997) is a Formula One drivers from Monaco, Monégasque racing driver, currently racing in Formula One for Scuderia Ferrari. He won the GP3 Series championship in 2016 GP3 Series, 2016 and ...
, to reassert French control. The French achieved some victories, but within a few months most of their
army An army (from Old French ''armee'', itself derived from the Latin verb ''armāre'', meaning "to arm", and related to the Latin noun ''arma'', meaning "arms" or "weapons"), ground force or land force is a fighting force that fights primarily on ...
had died from
yellow fever Yellow fever is a Virus, viral disease of typically acute (medicine), short duration. In most cases, symptoms include fever, chills, Anorexia (symptom), loss of appetite, nausea, muscle pains – particularly in the back – and headaches. Sympt ...
. Ultimately more than 50,000 French troops died in an attempt to retake the colony, including 18 generals. The French managed to capture Louverture, transporting him to France for trial. He was imprisoned at
Fort de Joux The Fort de Joux or Château de Joux is a castle, later transformed into a fort, located in La Cluse-et-Mijoux in the Doubs Departments of France, department in the Jura mountains of France. It commands the mountain pass ''Cluse de Pontarlier''. ...
, where he died in 1803 of exposure and possibly
tuberculosis Tuberculosis (TB) is an infectious disease usually caused by ''Mycobacterium tuberculosis'' (MTB) bacteria. Tuberculosis generally affects the lungs, but it can also affect other parts of the body. Most infections show no symptoms, in ...
.Clammer, Paul (2016), ''Bradt Travel Guide – Haiti'', p. 13. The slaves, along with free and allies, continued their fight for independence, led by generals , Alexandre Pétion and Henry Christophe. The rebels finally managed to decisively defeat the French troops at the Battle of Vertières on 18 November 1803, establishing the first nation ever to successfully gain independence through a slave revolt. Under the overall command of Dessalines, the Haitian armies avoided open battle, and instead conducted a successful guerrilla campaign against the Napoleonic forces, working with diseases such as yellow fever to reduce the numbers of French soldiers. Later that year France withdrew its remaining 7,000 troops from the island and Napoleon gave up his idea of re-establishing a
North America North America is a continent in the Northern Hemisphere and almost entirely within the Western Hemisphere. It is bordered to the north by the Arctic Ocean, to the east by the Atlantic Ocean, to the southeast by South America and the Car ...
n empire, selling
Louisiana (New France) Louisiana (french: La Louisiane; ''La Louisiane Française'') or French Louisiana was an administrative divisions of France, administrative district of New France. Under French control from 1682 to 1769 and 1801 (nominally) to 1803, the area wa ...
to the
United States The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country Continental United States, primarily located in North America. It consists of 50 U.S. state, states, a Washington, D.C., ...

United States
, in the
Louisiana Purchase The Louisiana Purchase (french: Vente de la Louisiane, translation=Sale of Louisiana) was the acquisition of the Louisiana (New France), territory of Louisiana by the United States from the French First Republic in 1803. In return for fifteen ...
. It has been estimated that between 24,000 and 100,000 Europeans, and between 100,000 and 350,000 Haitian ex-slaves, died in the revolution. In the process, Dessalines became arguably the most successful military commander in the struggle against Napoleonic France.


Independent Haiti


First Empire (1804–1806)

The independence of Saint-Domingue was proclaimed under the native name 'Haiti' by on 1 January 1804 in GonaïvesClammer, Paul (2016), ''Bradt Travel Guide – Haiti'', p. 209. and he was proclaimed "Emperor for Life" as Emperor Jacques I by his troops. Dessalines at first offered protection to the white planters and others. However, once in power, he ordered the
massacre A massacre is the killing of a large number of people or animals, especially those who are not involved in any fighting or have no way of defending themselves. A massacre is generally considered to be moral judgement, morally unacceptable, esp ...
of nearly all the remaining white men, women, children; between January and April 1804, 3,000 to 5,000 whites were killed, including those who had been friendly and sympathetic to the black population. Only three categories of white people were selected out as exceptions and spared: Polish soldiers, the majority of whom had deserted from the French army and fought alongside the Haitian rebels; the small group of German colonists invited to the north-west region; and a group of medical doctors and professionals. Reportedly, people with connections to officers in the Haitian army were also spared, as well as the women who agreed to marry non-white men. Fearful of the potential impact the slave rebellion could have in the
slave states In the United States before 1865, a slave state was a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The Stat ...
, U.S. President
Thomas Jefferson Thomas Jefferson (April 13, 1743 – July 4, 1826) was an American statesman, diplomat, lawyer, architect, philosopher, and Founding Fathers of the United States, Founding Father who served as the third president of the United States from 18 ...
refused to recognize the new republic. The Southern politicians who were a powerful voting bloc in the American Congress prevented U.S. recognition for decades until they withdrew in 1861 to form the Confederacy. The revolution led to a wave of emigration. In 1809, 9,000 refugees from Saint-Domingue, both white planters and people of color, settled ''en masse'' in
New Orleans New Orleans ( , ,New Orleans
Merriam-Webster.
; french: La Nouvelle-Orléans , es, Nuev ...
, doubling the city's population, having been expelled from their initial refuge in Cuba by Spanish authorities. In addition, the newly arrived slaves added to the city's African population. The plantation system was reestablished in Haiti, albeit for wages, however many Haitians were marginalized and resented the heavy-handed manner in which this was enforced in the new nation's politics. The rebel movement splintered, and Dessalines was assassinated by rivals on 17 October 1806.


State of Haiti, Kingdom of Haiti and the Republic (1806–1820)

After Dessalines' death Haiti became split into two, with the
Kingdom of Haiti The Kingdom of Haiti (french: Royaume d'Haïti; ht, Wayòm an Ayiti) was the state established by Henri Christophe on 28 March 1811 when he proclaimed himself King Henri I after having previously ruled as president of the State of Haiti, in the ...
in the north directed by Henri Christophe, later declaring himself Henri I, and a republic in the south centered on Port-au-Prince, directed by Alexandre Pétion, an ''homme de couleur''. Christophe established a semi-feudal
corvée Corvée () is a form of unpaid, forced labour Forced labour, or unfree labour, is any work relation, especially in modern history, modern or Early Modern period, early modern history, in which people are employed against their will with ...
system, with a rigid education and economic code. Pétion's republic was less absolutist, and he initiated a series of land reforms which benefited the peasant class. President Pétion also gave military and financial assistance to the revolutionary leader
Simón Bolívar Simón José Antonio de la Santísima Trinidad Bolívar y Palacios (24 July 1783 – 17 December 1830) was a Venezuelan people, Venezuelan military and political leader who led what are currently the countries of Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, ...
, which were critical in enabling him to liberate the
Viceroyalty of New Granada The Viceroyalty of New Granada ( es, Virreinato de Nueva Granada, links=no ) also called Viceroyalty of the New Kingdom of Granada or Viceroyalty of Santafé was the name given on 27 May 1717, to the jurisdiction of the Spanish Empire The S ...
. Meanwhile, the French, who had managed to maintain a precarious control of eastern Hispaniola, were defeated by insurgents led by Juan Sánchez Ramírez, with the area returning to Spanish rule in 1809 following the Battle of Palo Hincado.


Unification of Hispaniola (1821–1844)

Beginning in 1821, President , also an ''homme de couleur'' and successor to Pétion, reunified the island following the suicide of Henry Christophe. After
Santo Domingo , total_type = Total , population_density_km2 = auto , timezone = Atlantic Standard Time, AST (UTC −4) , area_code_type = Area codes , area_code = 809, 829, 849 , postal_code_type = Postal codes , postal_code = 10100–10699 (Dist ...
declared its independence from Spain on 30 November 1821, Boyer invaded, seeking to unite the entire island by force and ending slavery in Santo Domingo. Struggling to revive the agricultural economy to produce commodity crops, Boyer passed the Code Rural, which denied peasant laborers the right to leave the land, enter the towns, or start farms or shops of their own, causing much resentment as most peasants wished to have their own farms rather than work on plantations. Starting in September 1824, more than 6,000
African Americans African Americans (also referred to as Black Americans and Afro-Americans) are an Race and ethnicity in the United States, ethnic group consisting of Americans with partial or total ancestry from sub-Saharan Africa. The term "African American" ...
migrated to Haiti, with transportation paid by an American philanthropic group similar in function to the
American Colonization Society The American Colonization Society (ACS), initially the Society for the Colonization of Free People of Color of America until 1837, was an American organization founded in 1816 by Robert Finley to encourage and support the migration of free peo ...
and its efforts in
Liberia Liberia (), officially the Republic of Liberia, is a country on the West African coast. It is bordered by Sierra Leone to Liberia–Sierra Leone border, its northwest, Guinea to Guinea–Liberia border, its north, Ivory Coast to Ivory Coast ...
. Many found the conditions too harsh and returned to the United States. In July 1825, King Charles X of
France France (), officially the French Republic ( ), is a country primarily located in Western Europe. It also comprises of Overseas France, overseas regions and territories in the Americas and the Atlantic Ocean, Atlantic, Pacific Ocean, Pac ...
, during a period of restoration of the
French monarchy France France (), officially the French Republic ( ), is a country primarily located in Western Europe. It also comprises of Overseas France, overseas regions and territories in the Americas and the Atlantic Ocean, Atlantic, Pacif ...
, sent a
fleet Fleet may refer to: Vehicles *Fishing fleet *Naval fleet *Fleet vehicles, a pool of motor vehicles *Fleet Aircraft, the aircraft manufacturing company Places Canada *Fleet, Alberta, Canada, a hamlet England *Chesil Beach#The Fleet Lagoon, The ...
to reconquer Haiti. Under pressure, President Boyer agreed to a treaty by which France formally recognized the independence of the nation in exchange for a payment of 150 million
francs The franc is any of various units of currency. One franc is typically divided into 100 centimes. The name is said to derive from the Latin inscription ''francorum rex'' (Style of the French sovereign, King of the Franks) used on early France, ...
. By an order of 17 April 1826, the King of France renounced his rights of sovereignty and formally recognized the independence of Haiti. The enforced payments to France hampered Haiti's economic growth for years, exacerbated by the fact that many Western nations continued to refuse formal diplomatic recognition to Haiti; Britain recognized Haitian independence in 1833, and the United States not until 1862. Haiti borrowed heavily from Western banks at extremely high interest rates to repay the debt. Although the amount of the reparations was reduced to 90 million in 1838, by 1900 80% of Haiti's government spending was debt repayment and the country did not finish repaying it until 1947.


Loss of the Spanish portion of the island

After losing the support of Haiti's elite, Boyer was ousted in 1843, with Charles Rivière-Hérard replacing him as president. Nationalist Dominican forces in eastern Hispaniola led by Juan Pablo Duarte seized control of Santo Domingo on 27 February 1844. The Haitian forces, unprepared for a significant uprising, capitulated to the rebels, effectively ending Haitian rule of eastern Hispaniola. In March Rivière-Hérard attempted to reimpose his authority, but the Dominicans put up stiff opposition and inflicted heavy losses. Rivière-Hérard was removed from office by the mulatto hierarchy and replaced with the aged general Philippe Guerrier, who assumed the presidency on 3 May 1844. Guerrier died in April 1845, and was succeeded by General Jean-Louis Pierrot. Pierrot's most pressing duty as the new president was to check the incursions of the Dominicans, who were harassing the Haitian troops. Dominican gunboats were also making depredations on Haiti's coasts. President Pierrot decided to open a campaign against the Dominicans, whom he considered merely as insurgents, however the Haitian offensive of 1845 was stopped on the frontier. On 1 January 1846 Pierrot announced a fresh campaign to reimpose Haitian suzerainty over eastern Hispaniola, but his officers and men greeted this fresh summons with contempt. Thus, a month later – February 1846 – when Pierrot ordered his troops to march against the Dominicans, the Haitian army mutinied, and its soldiers proclaimed his overthrow as president of the republic. With the war against the Dominicans having become very unpopular in Haiti, it was beyond the power of the new president, General Jean-Baptiste Riché, to stage another invasion.


Second Empire (1849–1859)

On 27 February 1847, President Riché died after only a year in power and was replaced by an obscure officer, General
Faustin Soulouque Faustin-Élie Soulouque (15 August 1782 – 3 August 1867) was a Haitian politician and military commander who served as President of Haiti from 1847 to 1849 and Emperor of Haiti from 1849 to 1859. Soulouque was a general in the Armed Forces of ...
. During the first two years of Soulouque's administration the conspiracies and opposition he faced in retaining power were so manifold that the Dominicans were given a further breathing space in which to consolidate their independence. But, when in 1848 France finally recognized the Dominican Republic as a free and independent state and provisionally signed a treaty of peace, friendship, commerce and navigation, Haiti immediately protested, claiming the treaty was an attack upon their own security. Soulouque decided to invade the new Republic before the French Government could ratify the treaty. On 21 March 1849, Haitian soldiers attacked the Dominican garrison at Las Matas. The demoralized defenders offered almost no resistance before abandoning their weapons. Soulouque pressed on, capturing San Juan. This left only the town of Azua as the remaining Dominican stronghold between the Haitian army and the capital. On 6 April, Azua fell to the 18,000-strong Haitian army, with a 5,000-man Dominican counterattack failing to oust them. The way to
Santo Domingo , total_type = Total , population_density_km2 = auto , timezone = Atlantic Standard Time, AST (UTC −4) , area_code_type = Area codes , area_code = 809, 829, 849 , postal_code_type = Postal codes , postal_code = 10100–10699 (Dist ...
was now clear. But the news of discontent existing at Port-au-Prince, which reached Soulouque, arrested his further progress and caused him to return with the army to his capital. Emboldened by the sudden retreat of the Haitian army, the Dominicans counter-attacked. Their flotilla went as far as Dame-Marie, which they plundered and set on fire. Soulouque, now self-proclaimed as Emperor Faustin I, decided to start a new campaign against them. In 1855, he again invaded the territory of the Dominican Republic. But owing to insufficient preparation, the army was soon in want of victuals and ammunition. In spite of the bravery of the soldiers, the Emperor had once more to give up the idea of a unified island under Haitian control. After this campaign, Britain and France intervened and obtained an armistice on behalf of the Dominicans, who declared independence as the Dominican Republic. The sufferings endured by the soldiers during the campaign of 1855, and the losses and sacrifices inflicted on the country without yielding any compensation or any practical results provoked great discontent. In 1858 a revolution began, led by General
Fabre Geffrard Guillaume Fabre Nicolas Geffrard (19 September 1806 – 31 December 1878) was a Mulatto Haitians, mulatto general in the Haitian Military of Haiti, army and President of Haiti from 1859 until his deposition in 1867. On 18 April 1852, Fausti ...
, Duke of Tabara. In December of that year, Geffrard defeated the Imperial Army and seized control of most of the country. As a result, the Emperor abdicated his throne on 15 January 1859. Refused aid by the French Legation, Faustin was taken into exile aboard a British warship on 22 January 1859, and General Geffrard succeeded him as president.


Late 19th century–early 20th century

The period following Soulouque's overthrow down to the turn of the century was a turbulent one for Haiti, with repeated bouts of political instability. President Geffrard was overthrown in a coup in 1867, as was his successor, Sylvain Salnave, in 1869. Under the Presidency of Michel Domingue (1874–76) relations with the Dominican Republic were dramatically improved by the signing of a treaty, in which both parties acknowledged the independence of the other, bringing an end to Haitian dreams of bringing the entirety of Hispaniola under their control. Some modernisation of the economy and infrastructure also occurred in this period, especially under the Presidencies of Lysius Salomon (1879–1888) and Florvil Hyppolite (1889–1896). Haiti's relations with outside powers were often strained. In 1889 the United States attempted to force Haiti to permit the building of a naval base at Môle Saint-Nicolas, which was firmly resisted by President Hyppolite. In 1892 the
German government The Federal Cabinet or Federal Government (german: link=no, Bundeskabinett or ') is the chief Executive (government), executive body of the Germany, Federal Republic of Germany. It consists of the Chancellor of Germany, Federal Chancellor and m ...
supported suppression of the reform movement of Anténor Firmin, and in 1897, the Germans used
gunboat diplomacy In international politics, the term gunboat diplomacy refers to the pursuit of foreign policy objectives with the aid of conspicuous displays of naval power, implying or constituting a direct threat of warfare should terms not be agreeable to th ...
to intimidate and then humiliate the Haitian government of President Tirésias Simon Sam (1896–1902) during the Lüders Affair. In the first decades of the 20th century, Haiti experienced great political instability and was heavily in debt to France, Germany and the United States. A series of short lived presidencies came and went: President Pierre Nord Alexis was forced from power in 1908, as was his successor François C. Antoine Simon in 1911; President Cincinnatus Leconte (1911–12) was killed in a (possibly deliberate) explosion at the National Palace; Michel Oreste (1913–14) was ousted in a coup, as was his successor Oreste Zamor in 1914.


United States occupation (1915–1934)

Germany increased its influence in Haiti in this period, with a small community of German settlers wielding disproportionate influence in Haiti's economy.Occupation of Haiti, 1915–34
US Department of State
The German influence prompted anxieties in the United States, who had also invested heavily in the country, and whose government defended their right to oppose foreign interference in the Americas under the
Monroe Doctrine The Monroe Doctrine was a foreign policy of the United States, United States foreign policy position that opposed European colonialism in the Western Hemisphere. It held that any intervention in the political affairs of the Americas by foreign ...
. In December 1914, the Americans removed $500,000 from the Haitian National Bank, but rather than seize it to help pay the debt, it was removed for safe-keeping in New York, thus giving the United States control of the bank and preventing other powers from doing so. This gave a stable financial base on which to build the economy, and so enable the debt to be repaid. In 1915, Haiti's new President
Vilbrun Guillaume Sam Jean Vilbrun Guillaume Sam (4 March 1859 – 28 July 1915) was President President most commonly refers to: *President (corporate title) *President (education), a leader of a college or university *President (government title) President ma ...
sought to strengthen his tenuous rule by a mass execution of 167 political prisoners. Outrage at the killings led to riots, and Sam was captured and killed by a lynch mob.Clammer, Paul (2016), ''Bradt Travel Guide – Haiti'', p. 15. Fearing possible foreign intervention, or the emergence of a new government led by the anti-American Haitian politician Rosalvo Bobo, President
Woodrow Wilson Thomas Woodrow Wilson (December 28, 1856February 3, 1924) was an American politician and academic who served as the 28th president of the United States from 1913 to 1921. A member of the History of the Democratic Party (United States), Demo ...
sent U.S. Marines into Haiti in July 1915. The , under Rear Admiral Caperton, arrived in Port-au-Prince in an attempt to restore order and protect U.S. interests. Within days, the Marines had taken control of the capital city and its banks and customs house. The Marines declared martial law and severely censored the press. Within weeks, a new pro-U.S. Haitian president, Philippe Sudré Dartiguenave, was installed and a new constitution written that was favorable to the interests of the United States. The constitution (written by future US President Franklin D. Roosevelt) included a clause that allowed, for the first time, foreign ownership of land in Haiti, which was bitterly opposed by the Haitian legislature and citizenry. The occupation improved some of Haiti's
infrastructure Infrastructure is the set of facilities and systems that serve a country, city, or other area, and encompasses the services and facilities necessary for its economy, households and firms to function. Infrastructure is composed of public and priv ...
and centralized power in Port-au-Prince. 1700 km of roads were made usable, 189 bridges were built, many irrigation canals were rehabilitated, hospitals, schools, and public buildings were constructed, and drinking water was brought to the main cities. Port-au-Prince became the first Caribbean city to have a phone service with automatic dialling. Agricultural education was organized, with a central school of agriculture and 69 farms in the country. However, many infrastructure projects were built using the
corvée Corvée () is a form of unpaid, forced labour Forced labour, or unfree labour, is any work relation, especially in modern history, modern or Early Modern period, early modern history, in which people are employed against their will with ...
system that allowed the government/occupying forces to take people from their homes and farms, at gunpoint if necessary, to build roads, bridges etc. by force, a process that was deeply resented by ordinary Haitians.
Sisal Sisal (, ) (''Agave sisalana'') is a species of flowering plant native to southern Mexico, but widely cultivated and naturalized in many other countries. It yields a stiff fiber, fibre used in making rope and various other products. The term si ...
was also introduced to Haiti, and sugarcane and
cotton Cotton is a soft, fluffy Staple (textiles), staple fiber that grows in a wikt:boll, boll, or protective case, around the seeds of the cotton plants of the genus ''Gossypium'' in the mallow family Malvaceae. The fiber is almost pure cellulose ...
became significant exports, boosting prosperity.Henl, pp. 454–455. Haitian traditionalists, based in rural areas, were highly resistant to U.S.-backed changes, while the urban elites, typically mixed-race, welcomed the growing economy, but wanted more political control. Together they helped secure an end to the occupation in 1934, under the Presidency of Sténio Vincent (1930–1941). The debts were still outstanding, though less due to increased prosperity, and the U.S. financial advisor-general receiver handled the budget until 1941. The U.S. Marines were instilled with a special brand of paternalism towards Haitians "expressed in the metaphor of a father's relationship with his children." Armed opposition to the US presence was led by the cacos under the command of Charlemagne Péralte; his capture and execution in 1919 earned him the status of a national martyr. During Senate hearings in 1921, the commandant of the Marine Corps reported that, in the 20 months of active unrest, 2,250 Haitians had been killed. However, in a report to the Secretary of the Navy, he reported the death toll as being 3,250. Haitian historians have claimed the true number was much higher, but this is not supported by most historians outside Haiti. Recognition of the distinctive traditionalism of the Haitian people had an influence on American writers, including
Eugene O'Neill Eugene Gladstone O'Neill (October 16, 1888 – November 27, 1953) was an American playwright and Nobel laureate in Nobel Prize in Literature, literature. His poetically titled plays were among the first to introduce into the U.S. the drama tech ...
,
James Weldon Johnson James Weldon Johnson (June 17, 1871June 26, 1938) was an American writer and civil rights activist. He was married to civil rights activist Grace Nail Johnson. Johnson was a leader of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored Peopl ...
,
Langston Hughes James Mercer Langston Hughes (February 1, 1901 – May 22, 1967) was an American poet, social activist, novelist, playwright, and columnist from Joplin, Missouri. One of the earliest innovators of the literary art form called jazz poetry, Hug ...
,
Zora Neale Hurston Zora Neale Hurston (January 7, 1891 – January 28, 1960) was an American author, anthropologist, and filmmaker. She portrayed racial struggles in the early-1900s American South and published research on Hoodoo (spirituality), hoodoo. The most ...
and
Orson Welles George Orson Welles (May 6, 1915 – October 10, 1985) was an American actor, director, producer, and screenwriter, known for his innovative work in film, radio and theatre. He is considered to be among the greatest and most influential f ...
.


Post-occupation era (1934–1957)

After US forces left in 1934, Dominican dictator
Rafael Trujillo Rafael Leónidas Trujillo Molina ( , ; 24 October 189130 May 1961), nicknamed ''El Jefe'' (, "The Chief" or "The Boss"), was a Dominican dictator who ruled the Dominican Republic from February 1930 until his assassination in May 1961. He ser ...
used anti-Haitian sentiment as a nationalist tool. In an event that became known as the Parsley Massacre, he ordered his army to kill Haitians living on the Dominican side of the border. Few bullets were used – instead, 20,000–30,000 Haitians were bludgeoned and bayoneted, then herded into the sea, where sharks finished what Trujillo had begun. Congressman
Hamilton Fish Hamilton Fish (August 3, 1808September 7, 1893) was an American politician who served as the List of Governors of New York, 16th Governor of New York from 1849 to 1850, a United States Senate, United States Senator from New York (state), New Y ...
, ranking member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, called the Parsley Massacre "the most outrageous atrocity that has ever been perpetrated on the American continent." President Vincent became increasingly dictatorial, and resigned under US pressure in 1941, being replaced by Élie Lescot (1941–46). In 1941, during the
Second World War World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a world war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. It involved the World War II by country, vast majority of the world's countries—including all of the great power ...
, Lescot declared war on
Japan Japan ( ja, 日本, or , and formally , ''Nihonkoku'') is an island country in East Asia. It is situated in the northwest Pacific Ocean, and is bordered on the west by the Sea of Japan, while extending from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north ...
(8 December),
Germany Germany,, officially the Federal Republic of Germany, is a country in Central Europe. It is the second most populous country in Europe after Russia, and the most populous member state of the European Union. Germany is situated between ...
(12 December),
Italy Italy ( it, Italia ), officially the Italian Republic, ) or the Republic of Italy, is a country in Southern Europe. It is located in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, and its territory largely coincides with the Italy (geographical region) ...
(12 December),
Bulgaria Bulgaria (; bg, България, Bǎlgariya), officially the Republic of Bulgaria,, ) is a country in Southeast Europe. It is situated on the eastern flank of the Balkans, and is bordered by Romania to the north, Serbia and North Macedon ...
(24 December),
Hungary Hungary ( hu, Magyarország ) is a landlocked country in Central Europe. Spanning of the Pannonian Basin, Carpathian Basin, it is bordered by Slovakia to the north, Ukraine to the northeast, Romania to the east and southeast, Serbia to the ...
(24 December) and
Romania Romania ( ; ro, România ) is a country located at the crossroads of Central Europe, Central, Eastern Europe, Eastern, and Southeast Europe, Southeastern Europe. It borders Bulgaria to the south, Ukraine to the north, Hungary to the west, S ...
(24 December). Out of these six Axis countries, only Romania reciprocated, declaring war on Haiti on the same day (24 December 1941). On 27 September 1945, Haiti became a founding member of the (the successor to the
League of Nations The League of Nations (french: link=no, Société des Nations ) was the first worldwide Intergovernmental organization, intergovernmental organisation whose principal mission was to maintain world peace. It was founded on 10 January 1920 by ...
, of which Haiti was also a founding member). In 1946 Lescot was overthrown by the military, with Dumarsais Estimé later becoming the new president (1946–50). He sought to improve the economy and education, and to boost the role of black Haitians, however as he sought to consolidate his rule he too was overthrown in a coup led by Paul Magloire, who replaced him as president (1950–56). Firmly anti-Communist, he was supported by the United States; with greater political stability tourists started to visit Haiti. The waterfront area of Port-au-Prince was redeveloped to allow cruise ship passengers to walk from the docks to cultural attractions. Celebrities such as
Truman Capote Truman Garcia Capote ( ; born Truman Streckfus Persons; September 30, 1924 – August 25, 1984) was an American novelist, screenwriter, playwright and actor. Several of his short stories, novels, and plays have been praised as literary classics, ...
and Noël Coward visited Haiti; the era is captured in
Graham Greene Henry Graham Greene (2 October 1904 – 3 April 1991) was an English writer and journalist regarded by many as one of the leading English novelists of the 20th century. Combining literary acclaim with widespread popularity, Greene acquir ...
's 1966 novel '' The Comedians''.


Duvalier dynasty (1957–1986)

In 1956–57 Haiti underwent severe political turmoil; Magloire was forced to resign and leave the country in 1956 and he was followed by four short-lived presidencies. In the September 1957 election Dr. François Duvalier was elected President of Haiti. Known as 'Papa Doc' and initially popular, Duvalier remained President until his death in 1971.Clammer, Paul (2016), ''Bradt Travel Guide – Haiti'', p. 17. He advanced black interests in the public sector, where over time, people of color had predominated as the educated urban elite. Not trusting the army, despite his frequent purges of officers deemed disloyal, Duvalier created a private militia known as '' Tontons Macoutes'' ("Bogeymen"), which maintained order by terrorizing the populace and political opponents. In 1964 Duvalier proclaimed himself 'President for Life'; an uprising against his rule that year in Jérémie was violently suppressed, with the ringleaders publicly executed and hundreds of mixed-raced citizens in the town killed. The bulk of the educated and professional class began leaving the country, and corruption became widespread. Duvalier sought to create a personality cult, identifying himself with Baron Samedi, one of the loa (or ''lwa''), or spirits, of
Haitian Vodou Haitian Vodou is an African diasporic religions, African diasporic religion that developed in Haiti between the 16th and 19th centuries. It arose through a process of syncretism between several traditional religions of West Africa, West and Centr ...
. Despite the well-publicized abuses under his rule, Duvalier's firm anti-Communism earned him the support of the Americans, who furnished the country with aid. In 1971 Duvalier died, and he was succeeded by his son
Jean-Claude Duvalier Jean-Claude Duvalier (; 3 July 19514 October 2014), nicknamed "Baby Doc" ( ht, Bebe Dòk), was a Haitian politician who was the President of Haiti from 1971 until he was overthrown by a Anti-Duvalier protest movement, popular uprising in February ...
, nicknamed 'Baby Doc', who ruled until 1986. He largely continued his father's policies, though curbed some of the worst excesses in order to court international respectability. Tourism, which had nosedived in Papa Doc's time, again became a growing industry. However as the economy continued to decline Baby Doc's grip on power began to weaken. Haiti's pig population was slaughtered following an outbreak of swine fever in the late 1970s, causing hardship to rural communities who used them as an investment. The opposition became more vocal, bolstered by a visit to the country by
Pope John Paul II Pope John Paul II ( la, Ioannes Paulus II; it, Giovanni Paolo II; pl, Jan Paweł II; born Karol Józef Wojtyła ; 18 May 19202 April 2005) was the head of the Catholic Church and sovereign of the Vatican City State from 1978 until his ...
in 1983, who publicly lambasted the president. Demonstrations occurred in Gonaïves in 1985 which then spread across the country; under pressure from the United States, Duvalier left the country for France in February 1986. In total, roughly 40,000 to 60,000 Haitians are estimated to have been killed during the reign of the Duvaliers. Through the use of his intimidation tactics and executions, many intellectual Haitians had fled, leaving the country with a massive brain-drain that it has yet to recover from.


Post-Duvalier era (1986–2004)

Following Duvalier's departure, army leader General Henri Namphy headed a new National Governing Council.
Elections An election is a formal group decision-making process by which a population chooses an individual or multiple individuals to hold Public administration, public office. Elections have been the usual mechanism by which modern representative ...
scheduled for November 1987 were aborted after dozens of inhabitants were shot in the capital by soldiers and ''Tontons Macoutes''.Whitney, Kathleen Marie (1996), "Sin, Fraph, and the CIA: U.S. Covert Action in Haiti", ''Southwestern Journal of Law and Trade in the Americas'', Vol. 3, Issue 2 (1996), pp. 303–32, esp. p. 319. Fraudulent elections followed in 1988, in which only 4% of the citizenry voted. The newly elected president, Leslie Manigat, was then overthrown some months later in the June 1988 Haitian coup d'état. IACHR
REPORT ON THE SITUATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS IN HAITI
OEA/Ser.L/V/II.74 doc. 9 rev. 1, 7 September 1988
Another coup followed in September 1988, after the St. Jean Bosco massacre in which 13–50 people (estimates vary) attending a mass led by prominent government critic and Catholic priest
Jean-Bertrand Aristide Jean-Bertrand Aristide (born 15 July 1953) is a Haitian former Salesian priest and politician who became Haiti Haiti (; ht, Ayiti ; French: ), officially the Republic of Haiti (); ) and formerly known as Hayti, is a country located ...
were killed.Americas Watch Committee (U.S.), National Coalition for Haitian Refugees, Caribbean Rights (Organization).
The More things change-- human rights in Haiti
',
Human Rights Watch Human Rights Watch (HRW) is an international non-governmental organization, headquartered in New York City, that conducts research and advocacy on human rights. The group pressures governments, policy makers, companies, and individual human ri ...
, 1989. pp. 96–8.
General Prosper Avril subsequently led a military regime until March 1990. In December 1990 Jean-Bertrand Aristide was elected president in the Haitian general election. However his ambitious reformist agenda worried the elites, and in September of the following year he was overthrown by the military, led by Raoul Cédras, in the 1991 Haitian coup d'état. Amidst the continuing turmoil many Haitians attempted to flee the country. In September 1994, the United States negotiated the departure of Haiti's military leaders and the peaceful entry of 20,000 US troops under
Operation Uphold Democracy Operation Uphold Democracy was a military intervention designed to remove the military regime installed by the 1991 Haitian coup d'état that overthrew the elected President Jean-Bertrand Aristide. The operation was effectively authorized by t ...
. This enabled the restoration of the democratically elected Jean-Bertrand Aristide as president, who returned to Haiti in October to complete his term. As part of the deal Aristide had to implement free market reforms in an attempt to improve the Haitian economy, with mixed results, some sources stating that these reforms had a negative impact on native Haitian industry. In November 1994, Hurricane Gordon brushed Haiti, dumping heavy
rain Rain is water drop (liquid), droplets that have condensation, condensed from Water vapor#In Earth's atmosphere, atmospheric water vapor and then Precipitation, fall under gravity. Rain is a major component of the water cycle and is responsib ...
and creating
flash flood A flash flood is a rapid flooding of low-lying areas: Washland, washes, rivers, dry lakes and Depression (geology), depressions. It may be caused by heavy rain associated with a severe thunderstorm, hurricane, or tropical storm, or by meltwat ...
ing that triggered mudslides. Gordon killed an estimated 1,122 people, although some estimates go as high as 2,200.
Elections An election is a formal group decision-making process by which a population chooses an individual or multiple individuals to hold Public administration, public office. Elections have been the usual mechanism by which modern representative ...
were held in 1995 which were won by René Préval, gaining 88% of the popular vote, albeit on a low turnout. Aristide subsequently formed his own party, Fanmi Lavalas, and political deadlock ensued; the November 2000 election returned Aristide to the presidency with 92% of the vote. The election had been boycotted by the opposition, then organized into the Convergence Démocratique, over a dispute in the May legislative elections. In subsequent years, there was increasing violence between rival political factions and
human rights abuse Human rights are Morality, moral principles or Social norm, normsJames Nickel, with assistance from Thomas Pogge, M.B.E. Smith, and Leif Wenar, 13 December 2013, Stanford Encyclopedia of PhilosophyHuman Rights Retrieved 14 August 2014 for ce ...
s.Clammer, Paul (2016), ''Bradt Travel Guide – Haiti'', p. 19. Aristide spent years negotiating with the Convergence Démocratique on new elections, but the Convergence's inability to develop a sufficient electoral base made elections unattractive. In 2004 an anti-Aristide revolt began in northern Haiti. The rebellion eventually reached the capital, and Aristide was forced into exile. The precise nature of the events are disputed; some, including Aristide and his bodyguard, Franz Gabriel, stated that he was the victim of a "new
coup d'état A coup d'état (; French for 'stroke of state'), also known as a coup or overthrow, is a seizure and removal of a government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a state. In ...
or modern kidnapping" by U.S. forces. Mrs. Aristide stated that the kidnappers wore U.S. Special Forces uniforms, but changed into civilian clothes upon boarding the aircraft that was used to remove Aristide from Haiti. These charges were denied by the US government. As political violence and crime continued to grow, a United Nations Stabilisation Mission (MINUSTAH) was brought in to maintain order.Clammer, Paul (2016), ''Bradt Travel Guide – Haiti'', p. 20. However MINUSTAH proved controversial, as their at times heavy-handed approach to maintaining law and order and several instances of abuses, including the alleged sexual abuse of civilians, provoked resentment and distrust among ordinary Haitians. Boniface Alexandre assumed interim authority until 2006, when René Préval was re-elected President following
elections An election is a formal group decision-making process by which a population chooses an individual or multiple individuals to hold Public administration, public office. Elections have been the usual mechanism by which modern representative ...
.


Post-Aristide era (2004–present)

Amidst the continuing political chaos, a series of natural disasters hit Haiti. In 2004 Tropical Storm Jeanne skimmed the north coast, leaving 3,006 people dead in flooding and
mudslide A mudflow or mud flow is a form of mass wasting involving fast-moving flow of debris that has become liquified by the addition of water. Such flows can move at speeds ranging from 3 meters/minute to 5 meters/second. Mudflows contain a significa ...
s, mostly in the city of Gonaïves. In 2008 Haiti was again struck by tropical storms; Tropical Storm Fay,
Hurricane Gustav Hurricane Gustav () was the second most destructive hurricane of the 2008 Atlantic hurricane season. The seventh tropical cyclone, third hurricane, and second major hurricane of the season, Gustav caused serious damage and Casualty (person), cas ...
, Hurricane Hanna and
Hurricane Ike Hurricane Ike () was a powerful tropical cyclone that swept through portions of the Greater Antilles and Northern America in September 2008, wreaking havoc on infrastructure and agriculture, particularly in Cuba and Texas. Ike took a sim ...
all produced heavy winds and rain, resulting in 331 deaths and about 800,000 in need of humanitarian aid. The state of affairs produced by these storms was intensified by already high food and fuel prices that had caused a food crisis and political unrest in April 2008. On 12 January 2010, at 4:53 pm local time, Haiti was struck by a magnitude-7.0
earthquake An earthquake (also known as a quake, tremor or temblor) is the shaking of the surface of the Earth resulting from a sudden release of energy in the Earth Earth is the third planet from the Sun and the only astronomical object ...
. This was the country's most severe earthquake in over 200 years. The earthquake was reported to have left between 220,000 and 300,000 people dead and up to 1.6 million homeless. The situation was exacerbated by a subsequent massive cholera outbreak that was triggered when cholera-infected waste from a peacekeeping station contaminated the country's main river, the Artibonite. In 2017, it was reported that roughly 10,000 Haitians had died and nearly a million had been made ill. After years of denial the United Nations apologized in 2016, but , they have refused to acknowledge fault, thus avoiding financial responsibility. General elections had been planned for January 2010 but were postponed due to the earthquake. Elections were held on 28 November 2010 for the senate, the parliament and the first round of the presidential elections. The run-off between Michel Martelly and Mirlande Manigat took place on 20 March 2011, and preliminary results, released on 4 April, named Michel Martelly the winner.Clammer, Paul (2016), ''Bradt Travel Guide – Haiti'', p. 21. In 2011 both former dictator Jean-Claude Duvalier and Jean-Bertrand Aristide returned to Haiti; attempts to try Duvalier for crimes committed under his rule were shelved following his death in 2014. In 2013, Haiti called for European nations to pay reparations for slavery and establish an official commission for the settlement of past wrongdoings. Meanwhile, after continuing political wrangling with the opposition and allegations of electoral fraud, Martelly agreed to step down in 2016 without a successor in place. An interim president, Jocelerme Privert, then took office. After numerous postponements, partly owing to the effects of devastating
Hurricane Matthew Hurricane Matthew was an extremely powerful Atlantic hurricane which caused catastrophic damage and a humanitarian crisis in Haiti, as well as widespread devastation in the southeastern United States. The deadliest Atlantic hurricane since ...
,
elections An election is a formal group decision-making process by which a population chooses an individual or multiple individuals to hold Public administration, public office. Elections have been the usual mechanism by which modern representative ...
were eventually held in November 2016. The victor, Jovenel Moïse of the Haitian Tèt Kale Party, was subsequently sworn in as president in 2017. The 2018–2021 Haitian protests are demonstrations in cities throughout Haiti that began on 7 July 2018, in response to increased fuel prices. Over time these protests evolved into demands for the resignation of president Moïse. On 7 July 2021, President Moïse was
assassinated Assassination is the murder of a prominent or VIP, important person, such as a head of state, head of government, politician, world leader, member of a royal family or CEO. The murder of a celebrity, activist, or artist, though they may not hav ...
in an attack on his private residence, and First Lady Martine Moïse was hospitalized following the overnight attack. Amid the political crisis, the government of Haiti installed
Ariel Henry Ariel Henry (; born 6 November 1949) is a Haitians, Haitian neurosurgeon and politician who has served as the acting Prime Minister of Haiti, prime minister of Haiti and the acting president of Haiti since 20 July 2021. He later became involved i ...
, previously nominated by President Moïse, as prime minister. In August 2021, Haiti suffered another huge earthquake, with many casualties. The earthquake has also damaged Haiti's economic conditions and led to a rise in violent crimes in the country. As of March 2022, Haiti still had no president, no parliamentary quorum, and a dysfunctional high court due to a lack of judges. In 2022,
protests A protest (also called a demonstration, remonstration or remonstrance) is a public expression of objection, disapproval or dissent towards an idea or action, typically a political one. Protests can be thought of as acts of coopera ...
broke out against the government and rising fuel prices.


Geography

Haiti forms the western three-eighths of Hispaniola, the second largest island in the . At Haiti is the third largest country in the Caribbean behind and the , the latter sharing a
border Borders are usually defined as geographical boundaries, imposed either by features such as ocean The ocean (also the sea or the world ocean) is the body of Saline water, salt water that covers approximately 70.8% of the surface of Earth ...
with Haiti. The country has a roughly horseshoe shape and because of this it has a disproportionately long coastline, second in length () behind Cuba in the Greater Antilles. Haiti is the most mountainous nation in the Caribbean, its terrain consists of mountains interspersed with small coastal plains and river valleys. The climate is tropical, with some variation depending on altitude. The highest point is Pic la Selle, at . The northern region or Marien Region consists of the '' Massif du Nord'' (Northern Massif) and the '' Plaine du Nord'' (Northern Plain). The ''Massif du Nord'' is an extension of the ''Cordillera Central'' in the Dominican Republic. It begins at Haiti's eastern border, north of the Guayamouc River, and extends to the northwest through the northern peninsula. The lowlands of the ''Plaine du Nord'' lie along the northern border with the Dominican Republic, between the ''Massif du Nord'' and the North Atlantic Ocean. The central region or Artibonite Region consists of two plains and two sets of mountain ranges. The ''Plateau Central'' (Central Plateau) extends along both sides of the Guayamouc River, south of the ''Massif du Nord''. It runs from the southeast to the northwest. To the southwest of the ''Plateau Central'' are the '' Montagnes Noires'', whose most northwestern part merges with the ''Massif du Nord''. Haiti's most important valley in terms of crops is the Plaine de l'Artibonite, which lies between the Montagnes Noires and the Chaîne des Matheux. This region supports the country's (also Hispaniola's) longest river, the Riviere l'Artibonite, which begins in the western region of the Dominican Republic and continues for most of its length through central Haiti, where it then empties into the Golfe de la Gonâve. Also in this valley lies Haiti's second largest lake, Lac de Péligre, formed as a result of the construction of the Péligre Dam in the mid-1950s.Jennifer Wells
"A dam for the people, and A people damned"
‘’Toronto Star’’, 21 November 2010
The southern region or Xaragua Region consists of the '' Plaine du Cul-de-Sac'' (the southeast) and the mountainous southern peninsula (also known as the Tiburon Peninsula). The Plaine du Cul-de-Sac is a natural depression that harbors the country's saline lakes, such as Trou Caïman and Haiti's largest lake, Étang Saumatre. The Chaîne de la Selle mountain range – an extension of the southern mountain chain of the Dominican Republic (the Sierra de Baoruco) – extends from the Massif de la Selle in the east to the
Massif de la Hotte The Massif de la Hotte is a mountain range in southwestern Haiti, on the Tiburon Peninsula, Haiti, Tiburon Peninsula. About 2.5 million years ago, Massif de la Hotte was separated from the Massif de la Selle by a deep, wide sea channel, and formed ...
in the west. Haiti also includes several offshore islands. The island of Tortuga (Île de la Tortue) is located off the coast of northern Haiti. The
arrondissement An arrondissement (, , ) is any of various administrative divisions of France, Belgium, Haiti, certain other French language, Francophone countries, as well as the Netherlands. Europe France The 101 French Departments of France, departments a ...
of La Gonâve is located on the island of the same name, in the Golfe de la Gonâve; Haiti's largest island, Gonâve is moderately populated by rural villagers. Île à Vache (Cow Island) is located off the southwest coast; also part of Haiti are the Cayemites, located in the Gulf of Gonâve north of Pestel. La Navasse (Navassa Island), located west of Jérémie on the south west
peninsula A peninsula (; ) is a landform that extends from a mainland and is surrounded by water on most, but not all of its borders. A peninsula is also sometimes defined as a piece of land bordered by water on three of its sides. Peninsulas exist on all ...
of Haiti, is subject to an ongoing territorial dispute with the United States, who currently administer the island via the
United States Fish and Wildlife Service The United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS or FWS) is an agency within the United States Department of the Interior dedicated to the management of fish, wildlife, and natural habitats. The mission of the agency is "working with othe ...
.


Climate

Haiti's climate is tropical with some variation depending on altitude. Port-au-Prince ranges in January from an average minimum of to an average maximum of ; in July, from . The rainfall pattern is varied, with rain heavier in some of the lowlands and the northern and eastern slopes of the mountains. Haiti's dry season occurs from November to January. Port-au-Prince receives an average annual rainfall of . There are two rainy seasons, April–June and October–November. Haiti is subject to periodic droughts and floods, made more severe by deforestation. Hurricanes are a menace, and the country is also prone to flooding and earthquakes.


Geology

There are blind thrust faults associated with the Enriquillo-Plantain Garden fault system over which Haiti lies. After the earthquake of 2010, there was no evidence of surface rupture and geologists' findings were based on seismological, geological and ground deformation data. The northern boundary of the fault is where the
Caribbean The Caribbean (, ) ( es, El Caribe; french: la Caraïbe; ht, Karayib; nl, De Caraïben) is a region of the Americas that consists of the Caribbean Sea, its islands (some surrounded by the Caribbean Sea and some bordering both the Caribbean ...
tectonic plate Plate tectonics (from the la, label=Late Latin, tectonicus, from the grc, τεκτονικός, lit=pertaining to building) is the generally accepted scientific theory that considers the Earth's lithosphere to comprise a number of large te ...
shifts eastwards by about per year in relation to the
North American plate The North American Plate is a Plate tectonics, tectonic plate covering most of North America, Cuba, the Bahamas, extreme northeastern Asia, and parts of Iceland and Azores, the Azores. With an area of , it is the Earth's second largest tectonic p ...
. The
strike-slip fault In geology, a fault is a Fracture (geology), planar fracture or discontinuity in a volume of Rock (geology), rock across which there has been significant displacement as a result of rock-mass movements. Large faults within Earth's crust (geolo ...
system in the region has two branches in Haiti, the Septentrional-Oriente fault in the north and the Enriquillo-Plantain Garden fault in the south. A 2007 earthquake hazard study, noted that the Enriquillo-Plantain Garden fault zone could be at the end of its seismic cycle and concluded that a worst-case forecast would involve a 7.2 Mw earthquake, similar in size to the 1692 Jamaica earthquake. A study team presented a hazard assessment of the Enriquillo-Plantain Garden fault system to the 18th Caribbean Geologic Conference in March 2008, noting the large strain. The team recommended "high priority" historical geologic rupture studies, as the fault was fully locked and had recorded few earthquakes in the preceding 40 years. An article published in Haiti's '' Le Matin'' newspaper in September 2008 cited comments by geologist Patrick Charles to the effect that there was a high risk of major seismic activity in Port-au-Prince; and duly the magnitude 7.0 2010 Haiti earthquake happened on this fault zone on 12 January 2010. Haiti also has rare elements such as
gold Gold is a chemical element with the Symbol (chemistry), symbol Au (from la, aurum) and atomic number 79. This makes it one of the higher atomic number elements that occur naturally. It is a Brightness, bright, slightly orange-yellow, dense, s ...
, which can be found at The Mont Organisé gold mine. Haiti has no currently active volcanoes. "In the Terre-Neuve Mountains, about 12 kilometers from the Eaux Boynes, small intrusions at least as late as
Oligocene The Oligocene ( ) is a geologic epoch (geology), epoch of the Paleogene Geologic time scale, Period and extends from about 33.9 million to 23 million years before the present ( to ). As with other older geologic periods, the rock beds that define ...
and probably of
Miocene The Miocene ( ) is the first geological epoch of the Neogene Period and extends from about (Ma). The Miocene was named by Scottish geologist Charles Lyell; the name comes from the Greek words (', "less") and (', "new") and means "less recent ...
age are known. No other volcanic activity of as late a date is known near any of the other warm springs."


Environment

The
soil erosion Soil erosion is the denudation or wearing away of the Topsoil, upper layer of soil. It is a form of soil degradation. This natural process is caused by the dynamic activity of erosive agents, that is, water, ice (glaciers), snow, Atmosphere of Ea ...
released from the upper catchments and
deforestation Deforestation or forest clearance is the removal of a forest or stand of trees from land that is then land conversion, converted to non-forest use. Deforestation can involve conversion of forest land to farms, ranches, or urban area, urban ...
have caused periodic and severe flooding in Haiti, as experienced, for example, on 17 September 2004. Earlier in May that year, floods had killed over 3,000 people on Haiti's southern border with the Dominican Republic. Haiti's forests covered 60% of the country as recently as 50 years ago, but that has been halved to a current estimate of 30% tree cover, according to more recent environmental analysis. This estimate poses a stark difference from the erroneous figure of 2% which has been oft-cited in discourse concerning the country's environmental condition. Haiti had a 2019 Forest Landscape Integrity Index mean score of 4.01/10, ranking it 137th globally out of 172 countries. Scientists at the Columbia University's Center for International Earth Science Information Network (CIESIN) and the
United Nations Environment Programme The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) is responsible for coordinating responses to environmental issues within the United Nations system. It was established by Maurice Strong, its first director, after the Declaration of the United Natio ...
are working on the Haiti Regenerative Initiative an initiative aiming to reduce poverty and natural disaster vulnerability in Haiti through ecosystem restoration and sustainable resource management.


Biodiversity

Haiti is home to four ecoregions: Hispaniolan moist forests, Hispaniolan dry forests, Hispaniolan pine forests, and Greater Antilles mangroves. Despite its small size, Haiti's mountainous terrain and resultant multiple climatic zones has resulted in a wide variety of plant life.Clammer, Paul (2016), ''Bradt Travel Guide – Haiti'', p. 6. Notable tree species include the breadfruit tree, mango tree,
acacia ''Acacia'', commonly known as the wattles or acacias, is a large genus Genus ( plural genera ) is a taxonomic rank used in the biological classification of extant taxon, living and fossil organisms as well as Virus classification#ICTV class ...
,
mahogany Mahogany is a straight-Wood grain, grained, reddish-brown timber of three Tropics, tropical hardwood species of the genus ''Swietenia'', indigenous to the AmericasBridgewater, Samuel (2012). ''A Natural History of Belize: Inside the Maya Fo ...
,
coconut palm The coconut tree (''Cocos nucifera'') is a member of the palm tree The Arecaceae is a family (biology), family of Perennial plant, perennial flowering plants in the Monocotyledon, monocot order (biology), order Arecales. Their growth ...
, royal palm and West Indian cedar. The forests were formerly much more extensive, but have been subject to severe deforestation. Most mammal species are not native, having been brought to the island since colonial times. However there are various native
bat Bats are mammal Mammals () are a group of vertebrate animals constituting the class Mammalia (), characterized by the presence of mammary glands which in females produce milk for feeding (nursing) their young, a neocortex (a ...
species, as well as the endemic Hispaniolan hutia and
Hispaniolan solenodon The Hispaniolan solenodon (''Solenodon paradoxus'') is a small, furry, shrew-like mammal endemic Endemism is the state of a species In biology, a species is the basic unit of Taxonomy (biology), classification and a taxonomic rank of ...
. Various whale and dolphin species can also be found off Haiti's coast. There are over 260 species of bird, 31 of these being endemic to Hispaniola.Clammer, Paul (2016), ''Bradt Travel Guide – Haiti'', p. 4. Notable endemic species include the Hispaniolan trogon, Hispaniolan parakeet, grey-crowned tanager and the Hispaniolan Amazon. There are also several raptor species, as well as pelicans, ibis, hummingbirds and ducks. Reptiles are common, with species such as the rhinoceros iguana, Haitian boa,
American crocodile The American crocodile (''Crocodylus acutus'') is a species of crocodilian found in the Neotropics. It is the most widespread of the four Extant taxon, extant species of crocodiles from the Americas, with populations present from South Florida a ...
and
gecko Geckos are small, mostly carnivorous lizards that have a wide distribution, found on every continent except Antarctica. Belonging to the Infraorder#Hierarchy of ranks, infraorder Gekkota, geckos are found in warm climates throughout the world. ...
.Clammer, Paul (2016), ''Bradt Travel Guide – Haiti'', p. 5


Government and politics

The government of Haiti is a
semi-presidential A semi-presidential republic, is a republic in which a President (government title), president exists alongside a prime minister and a Cabinet (government), cabinet, with the latter two being responsible to the legislature of the State (polity ...
republic, a multiparty system wherein the
president of Haiti The president of Haiti ( ht, Prezidan peyi Ayiti, french: Président d'Haïti), officially called the president of the Republic of Haiti (french: link=no, Président de la République d'Haïti, ht, link=no, Prezidan Repiblik Ayiti), is the head ...
is head of state and elected directly by popular
elections An election is a formal group decision-making process by which a population chooses an individual or multiple individuals to hold Public administration, public office. Elections have been the usual mechanism by which modern representative ...
held every five years. The prime minister of Haiti acts as head of government and is appointed by the president, chosen from the majority party in the National Assembly. Executive power is exercised by the president and prime minister who together constitute the government. Legislative power is vested in both the government and the two chambers of the National Assembly of Haiti, the
Senate A senate is a deliberative assembly, often the upper house An upper house is one of two Debate chamber, chambers of a bicameralism, bicameral legislature, the other chamber being the lower house.''Bicameralism'' (1997) by George Tseb ...
(Sénat) and the
Chamber of Deputies The chamber of deputies is the lower house in many bicameral legislatures and the sole house in some unicameral legislatures. Description Historically, French Chamber of Deputies of France, Chamber of Deputies was the lower house of the French Pa ...
(Chambre des Députés). The government is organized unitarily, thus the central government ''delegates'' powers to the departments without a constitutional need for consent. The current structure of Haiti's political system was set forth in the
Constitution of Haiti The Constitution of Haiti (french: Constitution d'Haïti, ht, Konstitisyon Ayiti) was modeled after the constitutions of the United States, Poland and France. The latest version of the document was approved by Parliament in March 2011 and came i ...
on 29 March 1987. Haitian politics have been contentious: since independence, Haiti has suffered 32 coups. Haiti is the only country in the Western Hemisphere to undergo a successful slave revolution; however, a long history of oppression by dictators such as François Duvalier and his son
Jean-Claude Duvalier Jean-Claude Duvalier (; 3 July 19514 October 2014), nicknamed "Baby Doc" ( ht, Bebe Dòk), was a Haitian politician who was the President of Haiti from 1971 until he was overthrown by a Anti-Duvalier protest movement, popular uprising in February ...
has markedly affected the nation. Since the end of the Duvalier era Haiti has been transitioning to a democratic system.


Administrative divisions

Administratively, Haiti is divided into ten departments. The departments are listed below, with the departmental capital cities in parentheses. # Nord-Ouest ( Port-de-Paix) # Nord ( Cap-Haïtien) # Nord-Est ( Fort-Liberté) # Artibonite ( Gonaïves) # Centre ( Hinche) # Ouest ( Port-au-Prince) # Grand'Anse ( Jérémie) # Nippes ( Miragoâne) # Sud ( Les Cayes) # Sud-Est ( Jacmel) The departments are further divided into 42 arrondissements, 145
communes An intentional community is a voluntary residential community which is designed to have a high degree of group cohesiveness, social cohesion and teamwork from the start. The members of an intentional community typically hold a common social, po ...
and 571 communal sections. These serve as, respectively, second- and third-level administrative divisions.


Foreign relations

Haiti is a member of a wide range of international and regional organizations, such as the United Nations, CARICOM,
Community of Latin American and Caribbean States A community is a Level of analysis, social unit (a group of living things) with commonality such as place (geography), place, Norm (social), norms, religion, values, Convention (norm), customs, or Identity (social science), identity. Communiti ...
,
International Monetary Fund The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is a major financial agency of the United Nations, and an international financial institution, headquartered in Washington, D.C., consisting of 190 countries. Its stated mission is "working to foster globa ...
,
Organisation of American States The Organization of American States (OAS; es, Organización de los Estados Americanos, pt, Organização dos Estados Americanos, french: Organisation des États américains; ''OEA'') is an international organization that was founded on 30 April ...
,
Organisation internationale de la Francophonie The (OIF; sometimes shortened to the Francophonie, french: La Francophonie , but also called International Organisation of in English-language context) is an international organization representing countries and regions where French langua ...
, OPANAL and the
World Trade Organization The World Trade Organization (WTO) is an intergovernmental organization Globalization is social change associated with increased connectivity among societies and their elements and the explosive evolution of transportation and telecommunica ...
. In February 2012, Haiti signaled it would seek to upgrade its observer status to full associate member status of the
African Union The African Union (AU) is a continental union consisting of member states of the African Union, 55 member states located on the continent of Africa. The AU was announced in the Sirte Declaration in Sirte, Libya, on 9 September 1999, calling fo ...
(AU). The AU was reported to be planning to upgrade Haiti's status from observer to associate at its June 2013 summit but the application had still not been ratified by May 2016.


Military

Haiti's Ministry of Defense is the main body of the armed forces. The former Haitian Armed Forces were demobilized in 1995, however efforts to reconstitute it are currently underway. The current defense force for Haiti is the
Haitian National Police The Haitian National Police (PNH; french: Police Nationale d'Haïti, , National Police of Haiti) is the law enforcement and ''de facto'' police force of Haiti Haiti (; ht, Ayiti ; French: ), officially the Republic of Haiti (); ) and ...
, which has a highly trained SWAT team, and works alongside the Haitian Coast Guard. In 2010, the
Haitian National Police The Haitian National Police (PNH; french: Police Nationale d'Haïti, , National Police of Haiti) is the law enforcement and ''de facto'' police force of Haiti Haiti (; ht, Ayiti ; French: ), officially the Republic of Haiti (); ) and ...
force numbered 7,000.


Law enforcement and crime

The legal system is based on a modified version of the Napoleonic Code. Haiti has consistently ranked among the most corrupt countries in the world on the
Corruption Perceptions Index The Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) is an index which ranks countries "by their perceived levels of public sector corruption, as determined by expert assessments and opinion surveys." The CPI generally defines corruption as an "abuse of entru ...
. According to a 2006 report by the
Corruption Perceptions Index The Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) is an index which ranks countries "by their perceived levels of public sector corruption, as determined by expert assessments and opinion surveys." The CPI generally defines corruption as an "abuse of entru ...
, there is a strong correlation between corruption and poverty in Haiti. The nation ranked first of all countries surveyed for levels of perceived domestic corruption. It is estimated that President "Baby Doc" Duvalier, his wife Michelle, and their agents stole US $504 million from the country's treasury between 1971 and 1986. Similarly, after the Haitian Army folded in 1995, the Haitian National Police (HNP) gained sole power of authority on the Haitian citizens. Many Haitians as well as observers of the Haitian society believe that this monopolized power could have given way to a corrupt police force. Similarly, some media outlets alleged that millions were stolen by former president
Jean-Bertrand Aristide Jean-Bertrand Aristide (born 15 July 1953) is a Haitian former Salesian priest and politician who became Haiti Haiti (; ht, Ayiti ; French: ), officially the Republic of Haiti (); ) and formerly known as Hayti, is a country located ...
. In March 2004, at the time of Aristide's
kidnapping In criminal law, kidnapping is the unlawful confinement of a person against their will, often including transportation/asportation. The asportation and abduction element is typically but not necessarily conducted by means of force or fear: the p ...
, a
BBC #REDIRECT BBC
Here i going to introduce about the best teacher of my life b BALAJI sir. He is the precious gift that I got befor 2yrs . How has helped and thought all the concept and made my success in the 10th board exam. ...
article wrote that the Bush administration State Department stated that Aristide had been involved in drug trafficking. The BBC also described
pyramid scheme A pyramid scheme is a business model that recruits members via a promise of payments or services for enrolling others into the scheme, rather than supplying investments or sale of products. As recruiting multiplies, recruiting becomes quickly i ...
s, in which Haitians lost hundreds of millions in 2002, as the "only real economic initiative" of the Aristide years. Conversely, according to the 2013
United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC; French language, French: ''Office des Nations unies contre la drogue et le crime'') is a United Nations office that was established in 1997 as the Office for Drug Control and Crime Prevention ...
( UNODC) report, murder rates in Haiti (10.2 per 100,000) are far ''below'' the regional average (26 per 100,000); less than that of Jamaica (39.3 per 100,000) and nearly that of the Dominican Republic (22.1 per 100,000), making it among the safer countries in the region. In large part, this is due to the country's ability to fulfil a pledge by increasing its national police yearly by 50%, a four-year initiative that was started in 2012. In addition to the yearly recruits, the Haitian National Police (HNP) has been using innovative technologies to crack down on crime. A notable bust in recent years led to the dismantlement of the largest kidnapping ring in the country with the use of an advanced software program developed by a
West Point The United States Military Academy (USMA), also known Metonymy, metonymically as West Point or simply as Army, is a United States service academies, United States service academy in West Point, New York. It was originally established as a f ...
-trained Haitian official that proved to be so effective that it has led to its foreign advisers to make inquiries. In 2010, the
New York City Police Department The New York City Police Department (NYPD), officially the City of New York Police Department, established on May 23, 1845, is the primary municipal law enforcement agency within the City of New York, the largest and one of the oldest i ...
(NYPD) sent a team of veteran officers to Haiti to assist in the rebuilding of its police force with special training in investigative techniques, strategies to improve the anti-kidnapping personnel and community outreach to build stronger relationships with the public especially among the youth. It has also helped the HNP set up a police unit in the center of Delmas, a neighborhood of Port-au-Prince. In 2012 and 2013, 150 HNP officers received specialized training funded by the US government, which also contributed to the infrastructure and communications support by upgrading radio capacity and constructing new police stations from the most violent-prone neighborhoods of Cité Soleil and Grande Ravine in Port-au-Prince to the new northern industrial park at Caracol.


Haitian penitentiary system

Port-au-Prince penitentiary is home to half of Haiti's prisoners. The prison has a capacity of 1,200
detainees Detention is the process whereby a State (polity), state or private citizen lawfully holds a person by removing their personal freedom, freedom or liberty at that time. This can be due to (pending) criminal charges preferred against the individu ...
but the penitentiary was obliged to keep 4,359 detainees, a 454% occupancy level. This leads to severe consequences for the inmates. One cell could hold up to 60 inmates which was originally designed for only 18, therefore creating tight and uncomfortable living conditions. The inmates are forced to create makeshift
hammock A hammock (from Spanish , borrowed from Taíno and Arawak ) is a sling made of fabric, rope, or netting, suspended between two or more points, used for swing (seat), swinging, sleeping, or Human relaxation, resting. It normally consists of one ...
s from the wall and ceilings. The men are on a 22/ 23 hour lock up in the cells so the risk of diseases is very high. The inability to receive sufficient funds from the government as Haiti endures severe natural disasters which take up their attention and resources, such as the 2010 earthquake, has caused deadly cases of
malnutrition Malnutrition occurs when an organism gets too few or too many nutrients, resulting in health problems. Specifically, it is "a Deficiency (medicine), deficiency, excess, or imbalance of energy, protein and Vitamin deficiency, other nutrients" wh ...
, combined with the tight living conditions, increases the risk of infectious diseases such as
tuberculosis Tuberculosis (TB) is an infectious disease usually caused by ''Mycobacterium tuberculosis'' (MTB) bacteria. Tuberculosis generally affects the lungs, but it can also affect other parts of the body. Most infections show no symptoms, in ...
which has led to 21 deaths in January 2017 alone at the Port-au-Prince penitentiary. Haitian law states that once arrested, one must go before a judge within 48 hours; however, this is very rare. In an interview with '' Unreported World'', the prison governor stated that around 529 detainees were never sentenced, there are 3,830 detainees who are in prolonged detained trial detention. Therefore, 80% are not convicted. Unless families are able to provide the necessary funds for inmates to appear before a judge there is a very slim chance the inmate would have a trial, on average, within 10 years. Brian Concannon, the director of the non-profit Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti, claims that without a substantial bribe to persuade judges, prosecutors and lawyers to undergo their case, there is no prospect for getting a trial for years. Families may send food to the penitentiary; however, most inmates depend on the meals served twice a day. However, the majority of the meals consist of ration supplies of rice, oats or cornmeal, which has led to deadly cases of malnutrition-related ailments such as
beriberi Thiamine deficiency is a medical condition of low levels of thiamine (Vitamin B1). A severe and chronic form is known as beriberi. The two main types in adults are wet beriberi and dry beriberi. Wet beriberi affects the cardiovascular system, r ...
and
anemia Anemia or anaemia (British English) is a blood disorder in which the blood has a reduced ability to carry oxygen due to a lower than normal number of red blood cells, or a reduction in the amount of hemoglobin. When anemia comes on slowly, th ...
. Prisoners too weak are crammed in the penitentiary infirmary. In confined living spaces for 22–23 hours a day, inmates are not provided with latrines and are forced to
defecate Defecation (or defaecation) follows digestion, and is a necessary process by which organisms eliminate a solid, semisolid, or liquid waste material known as feces from the digestive tract via the anus. The act has a variety of names ranging fro ...
into plastic bags and leave them outside their cells. These conditions were considered inhumane by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights in 2008.


Economy

Haiti has a highly regulated, predominantly state-controlled economy, ranking 145th out of the 177 countries given a "freedom index" by the Heritage Foundation. Haiti's per capita
GDP Gross domestic product (GDP) is a money, monetary Measurement in economics, measure of the market value of all the final goods and services produced and sold (not resold) in a specific time period by countries. Due to its complex and subjec ...
is $1,800 and its GDP is $19.97 billion (2017 estimates). The country uses the Haitian gourde as its currency. Despite its tourism industry, Haiti is one of the poorest countries in the Americas, with corruption, political instability, poor infrastructure, lack of health care and lack of education cited as the main causes. Unemployment is high and many Haitians seek to emigrate. Trade declined dramatically after the 2010 earthquake and subsequent outbreak of cholera, with the country's purchasing power parity GDP falling by 8% (from US$12.15 billion to US$11.18 billion). Haiti ranked 145th of 182 countries in the 2010 United Nations
Human Development Index The Human Development Index (HDI) is a statistic composite index of life expectancy, Education Index, education (mean years of schooling completed and expected years of schooling upon entering the Educational system, education system), ...
, with 57.3% of the population being deprived in at least three of the HDI's poverty measures. Following the disputed 2000 election and accusations about President Aristide's rule, US aid to the Haitian government was cut off between 2001 and 2004. After Aristide's departure in 2004, aid was restored and the Brazilian army led a United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti peacekeeping operation. After almost four years of recession, the economy grew by 1.5% in 2005. In September 2009, Haiti met the conditions set out by the
IMF The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is a major financial agency of the United Nations The United Nations (UN) is an intergovernmental organization whose stated purposes are to maintain international peace and international security, ...
and
World Bank The World Bank is an international financial institution that provides loans and Grant (money), grants to the governments of Least developed countries, low- and Developing country, middle-income countries for the purpose of pursuing capital pro ...
's Heavily Indebted Poor Countries program to qualify for cancellation of its external debt. More than 90 percent of the government's budget comes from an agreement with Petrocaribe, a Venezuela-led oil alliance.


Foreign aid

Haiti received more than US$4 billion in aid from 1990 to 2003, including US$1.5 billion from the United States. The largest donor is the US, followed by
Canada Canada is a country in North America. Its Provinces and territories of Canada, ten provinces and three territories extend from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean and northward into the Arctic Ocean, covering over , making it the world ...
and the
European Union The European Union (EU) is a supranational union, supranational political union, political and economic union of Member state of the European Union, member states that are located primarily in Europe, Europe. The union has a total area of ...
. In January 2010, following the earthquake, US President
Barack Obama Barack Hussein Obama II ( ; born August 4, 1961) is an American politician who served as the 44th president of the United States from 2009 to 2017. A member of the Democratic Party (United States), Democratic Party, Obama was the first Af ...
promised US$1.15 billion in assistance. European Union nations pledged more than €400 million (US$616 million). Neighboring has also provided extensive humanitarian aid to Haiti, including the funding and construction of a public university, human capital, free healthcare services in the border region, and logistical support after the 2010 earthquake. The United Nations states that in total US$13.34 billion has been earmarked for post-earthquake reconstruction through 2020, though two years after the 2010 quake, less than half of that amount had actually been released, according to UN documents. , the US government has allocated US$4 billion, US$3 billion has already been spent, and the rest is dedicated to longer-term projects.


Trade

According to the 2015 CIA World Factbook, Haiti's main import partners are: Dominican Republic 35%, US 26.8%, Netherlands Antilles 8.7%, China 7% (est. 2013). Haiti's main export partner is the US 83.5% (est. 2013). Haiti had a trade deficit of US$3 billion in 2011, or 41% of GDP.


Energy

In 1925, the city of Jacmel was the first area in the Caribbean to have electricity and was subsequently dubbed the ''City of Light''. Today, Haiti relies heavily on an oil alliance with Petrocaribe for much of its energy requirements. In recent years, hydroelectric, solar and wind energy have been explored as possible sustainable energy sources. As of 2017, among all the countries in the Americas, Haiti is producing the least energy. Less than a quarter of the country has electric coverage. Most regions of Haiti that do have energy are powered by generators. These generators are often expensive and produce a lot of pollution. The areas that do get electricity experience power cuts on a daily basis, and some areas are limited to 12 hours of electricity a day. Electricity is provided by a small number of independent companies: Sogener, E-power, and Haytrac. There is no national electricity grid within the country.Matthew Lucky, Katie Auth, Alexander Ochs, et al., Haiti Sustainable Energy Roadmap: Harnessing Domestic Energy Resources to Build an Affordable, Reliable, and Climate-Compatible Electricity System (Washington, DC: Worldwatch Institute, 2014). The most common source of energy used is wood, along with charcoal. In Haiti, about 4 million metric tons of wood products are consumed yearly. Like charcoal and wood, petroleum is also an important source of energy for Haiti. Since Haiti cannot produce its own fuel, all fuel is imported. Yearly, around 691,000 tons of oil is imported into the country. On 31 October 2018, Evenson Calixte, the General Director of energy regulation (ANARSE) announced the 24 hour electricity project. To meet this objective, 236 MW needs to installed in Port-au-Prince alone, with an additional 75 MW needed in all other regions in the country. Presently only 27.5% of the population has access to electricity; moreover, the national energy agency l'Électricité d'Haïti (Ed'H) is only able to meet 62% of overall electricity demand said Fritz Caillot, the Minister of Public Works, Transportation and Communication (Travaux publics, transport et communication (TPTC)).


Personal income

Haiti suffers from a shortage of skilled labor, widespread unemployment, and underemployment. Most Haitians in the labor force have informal jobs. Three-quarters of the population lives on US$2 or less per day.
Remittances A remittance is a non-commercial transfer of money by a foreign worker, a member of a diaspora community, or a citizen with familial ties abroad, for household income in their home country or homeland. Money sent home by migrants competes ...
from Haitians living abroad are the primary source of foreign exchange, equaling one-fifth (20%) of GDP and more than five times the earnings from exports as of 2012. In 2004, 80% or more of college graduates from Haiti were living abroad. Occasionally, families who are unable to care for children financially may send them to live with a wealthier family as a '' restavek'', or house servant. In return the family are supposed to ensure that the child is educated and provided with food and shelter, however the system is open to abuse and has proved controversial, with some likening it to child slavery.


Real estate

In rural areas, people often live in wooden huts with corrugated iron roofs. Outhouses are located in back of the huts. In Port-au-Prince, colorful shantytowns surround the central city and go up the mountainsides. The middle and upper classes live in suburbs, or in the central part of the bigger cities in apartments, where there is urban planning. Many of the houses they live in are like miniature fortresses, located behind walls embedded with metal spikes, barbed wire, broken glass, and sometimes all three. The gates to these houses are barred at night, the house is locked; guard dogs patrol the yard. These houses are often self-sufficient as well. The houses have backup generators, because the electrical grid in Haiti is unreliable. Some even have rooftop reservoirs for water, as the water supply is also unreliable.


Agriculture

Haiti is the world's leading producer of
vetiver ''Chrysopogon zizanioides'', commonly known as vetiver and khus, is a perennial bunchgrass of the family (biology), family Poaceae. Vetiver is most closely related to ''Sorghum'' but shares many morphological characteristics with other fragrant ...
, a root plant used to make luxury perfumes, essential oils and fragrances, providing for half the world's supply. Roughly 40–50% of Haitians work in the agricultural sector. Haiti relies upon imports for half its food needs and 80% of its rice. Haiti exports crops such as
mango A mango is an edible drupe, stone fruit produced by the tropical tree ''Mangifera indica''. It is believed to have originated in the region between northwestern Myanmar, Bangladesh, and northeastern India. ''M. indica'' has been cultivated in ...
es, cacao,
coffee Coffee is a drink prepared from roasted coffee beans. Darkly colored, bitter, and slightly acidic, coffee has a stimulant, stimulating effect on humans, primarily due to its caffeine content. It is the most popular hot drink in the world. S ...
,
papaya The papaya (, ), papaw, () or pawpaw () is the plant species ''Carica papaya'', one of the 21 accepted species in the genus Genus ( plural genera ) is a taxonomic rank used in the biological classification of extant taxon, living and fos ...
s,
mahogany Mahogany is a straight-Wood grain, grained, reddish-brown timber of three Tropics, tropical hardwood species of the genus ''Swietenia'', indigenous to the AmericasBridgewater, Samuel (2012). ''A Natural History of Belize: Inside the Maya Fo ...
nuts,
spinach Spinach (''Spinacia oleracea'') is a Leaf vegetable, leafy green flowering plant native to Central Asia, central and western Asia. It is of the order Caryophyllales, family Amaranthaceae, subfamily Chenopodioideae. Its leaves are a common edible ...
, and
watercress Watercress or yellowcress (''Nasturtium officinale'') is a species of aquatic plant, aquatic flowering plant in the cabbage family Brassicaceae. Watercress is a rapidly growing perennial plant native to Europe and Asia. It is one of the oldest ...
. Agricultural products comprise 6% of all exports. In addition, local agricultural products include
maize Maize ( ; ''Zea mays'' subsp. ''mays'', from es, maíz after tnq, mahiz), also known as corn (North American English, North American and Australian English), is a cereal grain first domesticated by indigenous peoples of Mexico, indigenous ...
,
beans A bean is the seed of several plants in the family Fabaceae, which are used as vegetables for human or animal food. They can be cooked in many different ways, including boiling, frying, and baking, and are used in many traditional dishes thr ...
,
cassava ''Manihot esculenta'', common name, commonly called cassava (), manioc, or yuca (among numerous regional names), is a woody shrub of the spurge family, Euphorbiaceae, native to South America. Although a perennial plant, cassava is extensively ...
,
sweet potato The sweet potato or sweetpotato (''Ipomoea batatas'') is a dicotyledonous plant that belongs to the Convolvulus, bindweed or morning glory family (biology), family, Convolvulaceae. Its large, starchy, sweet-tasting tuberous roots are used as a r ...
,
peanut The peanut (''Arachis hypogaea''), also known as the groundnut, goober (US), pindar (US) or monkey nut (UK), is a legume crop grown mainly for its edible Seed, seeds. It is widely grown in the tropics and subtropics, important to both small ...
s,
pistachio The pistachio (, ''Pistacia vera''), a member of the Anacardiaceae, cashew family, is a small tree originating from Central Asia and the Middle East. The tree produces nut (fruit)#Culinary definition and uses, seeds that are widely consumed as f ...
s,
banana A banana is an elongated, edible fruit – botanically a berry (botany), berry – produced by several kinds of large herbaceous flowering plants in the genus ''Musa (genus), Musa''. In some countries, Cooking banana, bananas used for ...
s,
millet Millets () are a highly varied group of small-seeded grasses, widely grown around the world as cereal crops or grains for fodder and human food. Most species generally referred to as millets belong to the tribe Paniceae, but some millets also ...
,
pigeon pea The pigeon pea (''Cajanus cajan'') is a perennial legume from the family (biology), family Fabaceae native to the Old World. The pigeon pea is widely cultivated in tropical and semitropical regions around the world, being commonly consumed in Sou ...
s, sugarcane,
rice Rice is the seed of the Poaceae, grass species ''Oryza sativa'' (Asian rice) or less commonly ''Oryza glaberrima'' (African rice). The name wild rice is usually used for species of the genera ''Zizania (genus), Zizania'' and ''Porteresia'', bo ...
,
sorghum ''Sorghum'' () is a genus of about 25 species of flowering plants in the grass family (Poaceae). Some of these species are grown as cereals for human consumption and some in pastures for animals. One species is grown for grain, while many other ...
, and
wood Wood is a porous and fibrous structural tissue found in the Plant stem, stems and roots of trees and other woody plants. It is an organic materiala natural composite material, composite of cellulose fibers that are strong in tension and emb ...
.


Currency

The Haitian gourde (HTG) is the national currency. The " Haitian dollar" equates to 5 gourdes (''goud''), which is a fixed exchange rate that exists in concept ''only,'' but are commonly used as informal prices. The vast majority of the business sector and individuals in Haiti will also accept US dollars, though at the outdoor markets gourdes may be preferred. Locals may refer to the USD as "dollar américain" (''dola ameriken'') or "dollar US" (pronounced ''oo-es'').


Tourism

The tourism market in Haiti is undeveloped and the government is heavily promoting this sector. Haiti has many of the features that attract tourists to other Caribbean destinations, such as white sand beaches, mountainous scenery and a year-round warm climate. However, the country's poor image overseas, at times exaggerated, has hampered the development of this sector. In 2014, the country received 1,250,000 tourists (mostly from cruise ships), and the industry generated US$200 million in 2014. Several hotels were opened in 2014, including an upscale Best Western Premier, a five-star Royal Oasis hotel by Occidental Hotel and Resorts in
Pétion-Ville Pétion-Ville ( ht, Petyonvil) is a commune and a suburb of Port-au-Prince Port-au-Prince ( , ; ht, Pòtoprens ) is the Capital city, capital and List of cities in Haiti, most populous city of Haiti. The city's population was estimated at ...
, a four-star
Marriott Hotel Marriott Hotels & Resorts is Marriott International's brand of full-service hotels and resorts based in Bethesda, Maryland. As of June 30, 2020, there were 582 hotels and resorts with 205,053 rooms operating under the brand, in addition to 160 ...
in the Turgeau area of Port-au-Prince and other new hotel developments in Port-au-Prince, Les Cayes, Cap-Haïtien and Jacmel. The Haitian Carnival has been one of the most popular carnivals in the Caribbean. In 2010, the government decided to stage the event in a different city outside Port-au-Prince every year in an attempt to decentralize the country. The National Carnival usually held in one of the country's largest cities (i.e., Port-au-Prince, Cap-Haïtien or Les Cayes) follows the also very popular Jacmel Carnival, which takes place a week earlier in February or March.


Caracol Industrial Park

On 21 October 2012, Haitian President Michel Martelly, US Secretary of State
Hillary Clinton Hillary Diane Rodham Clinton ( Rodham; born October 26, 1947) is an American politician, diplomat, and former lawyer who served as the 67th United States secretary of state, United States Secretary of State for President Barack Obama from 2009 ...
, Bill Clinton,
Richard Branson Sir Richard Charles Nicholas Branson (born 18 July 1950) is a British billionaire, entrepreneur, and business magnate. In the 1970s he founded the Virgin Group, which today controls more than 400 companies in various fields. Branson expressed ...
,
Ben Stiller Benjamin Edward Meara Stiller (born November 30, 1965) is an American actor, comedian, and filmmaker. He is the son of the comedians and actors Jerry Stiller and Anne Meara. Stiller was a member of a group of comedic actors colloquially known as ...
and
Sean Penn Sean Justin Penn (born August 17, 1960) is an American actor and film director. He has won two Academy Award for Best Actor, Academy Awards, for his roles in the mystery drama ''Mystic River (film), Mystic River'' (2003) and the biopic ''Milk ...
inaugurated the Caracol industrial park, the largest in the Caribbean. Costing US$300 million, the project, which includes a 10-megawatt
power plant A power station, also referred to as a power plant and sometimes generating station or generating plant, is an industrial facility for the electricity generation, generation of electric power. Power stations are generally connected to an el ...
, a water-treatment plant and worker housing, is intended to transform the northern part of the country by creating 65,000 jobs. The park is part of a "master plan" for Haiti's North and North-East departments, including the expansion of the Cap-Haïtien International Airport to accommodate large international flights, the construction of an international seaport in Fort-Liberté and the opening of the $50 million Roi Henri Christophe Campus of a new university in Limonade (near Cap-Haïtien) on 12 January 2012.
South Korea South Korea, officially the Republic of Korea (ROK), is a country in East Asia, constituting the southern part of the Korea, Korean Peninsula and sharing a Korean Demilitarized Zone, land border with North Korea. Its western border is formed ...
n clothing manufacturer Sae-A Trading Co. Ltd, one of the park's main tenants, has created 5,000 permanent jobs out of the 20,000 projected and has built 8,600 houses in the surrounding area for its workers. The industrial park ultimately has the potential to create as many as 65,000 jobs once fully developed.


Infrastructure


Transportation

Haiti has two main highways that run from one end of the country to the other. The northern highway, Route Nationale No. 1 (National Highway One), originates in Port-au-Prince, winding through the coastal towns of Montrouis and Gonaïves, before reaching its terminus at the northern port Cap-Haïtien. The southern highway, Route Nationale No. 2, links Port-au-Prince with Les Cayes via Léogâne and Petit-Goâve. The state of Haiti's roads are generally poor, many being potholed and becoming impassable in rough weather. According to ''
The Washington Post ''The Washington Post'' (also known as the ''Post'' and, informally, ''WaPo'') is an American daily newspaper published in Washington, D.C. It is the most widely circulated newspaper within the Washington metropolitan area and has a large nati ...
'', "Officials from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said Saturday 3 January 2010that they assessed the damage from the 2 Januaryquake in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, and found that many of the roads aren't any worse than they were before because they've always been in poor condition." The port at Port-au-Prince, Port international de Port-au-Prince, has more registered shipping than any of the other dozen ports in the country. The port's facilities include cranes, large berths, and
warehouse A warehouse is a building for storing goods. Warehouses are used by manufacturers, importers, exporters, wholesalers, transport businesses, customs, etc. They are usually large plain buildings in industrial parks on the rural–urban fringe, outs ...
s, but these facilities are not in good condition. The port is underused, possibly due to the substantially high port fees. The port of
Saint-Marc Saint-Marc ( ht, Sen Mak) is a List of communes of Haiti, commune in western Haiti in Artibonite (department), Artibonite departement. Its geographic coordinates are . At the 2003 Census the commune had 160,181 inhabitants. It is one of the bigg ...
is currently the preferred port of entry for consumer goods coming into Haiti. Reasons for this may include its location away from volatile and congested Port-au-Prince, as well as its central location relative to numerous Haitian cities. In the past, Haiti used rail transport, however the rail infrastructure was poorly maintained when in use and cost of rehabilitation is beyond the means of the Haitian economy. In 2018 the Regional Development Council of the Dominican Republic proposed a "trans-Hispaniola" railway between both countries.


Airports

Toussaint Louverture International Airport Toussaint Louverture International Airport ( ht, Ayewopò Entènasyonal Tousen Louvèti, french: Aéroport International Toussaint Louverture) is an international airport in Tabarre, a commune of Port-au-Prince in Haiti. The airport is currentl ...
, located north-northeast of Port-au-Prince proper in the commune of
Tabarre Tabarre ( ht, Taba) is a commune in the Port-au-Prince Arrondissement, in the Ouest department of Haiti Haiti (; ht, Ayiti ; French: ), officially the Republic of Haiti (); ) and formerly known as Hayti, is a country located on the ...
, is the primary transportation hub regarding entry and exit into the country. It has Haiti's main jetway, and along with Cap-Haïtien International Airport located near the northern city of Cap-Haïtien, handles the vast majority of the country's international flights. Cities such as Jacmel, Jérémie, Les Cayes, and Port-de-Paix have smaller, less accessible airports that are serviced by
regional airlines A regional airline is a general classification of airline which typically operates scheduled passenger air service, using regional airliner, regional aircraft, between communities lacking sufficient demand or infrastructure to attract Mainline ...
and private aircraft. Such companies include: Caribintair (defunct), Sunrise Airways and Tortug' Air (defunct). In 2013, plans for the development of an international airport on Île-à-Vache were introduced by the Prime Minister.


Bus service

Tap tap buses are colorfully painted buses or pick-up trucks that serve as share taxis. The "tap tap" name comes from the sound of passengers tapping on the metal bus body to indicate they want off. These vehicles for hire are often privately owned and extensively decorated. They follow fixed routes, do not leave until filled with passengers, and riders can usually disembark at any point. The decorations are a typically Haitian form of art. In August 2013, the first coach bus prototype was made in Haiti.


Communications

In Haiti, communications include the radio, television, fixed and mobile telephones, and the Internet. Haiti ranked last among North American countries in the World Economic Forum's Network Readiness Index (NRI) an indicator for determining the development level of a country's information and communication technologies. Haiti ranked number 143 out of 148 overall in the 2014 NRI ranking, down from 141 in 2013.


Water supply and sanitation

Haiti faces key challenges in the
water supply Water supply is the provision of water by public utility, public utilities, commercial organisations, community endeavors or by individuals, usually via a system of pumps and Water pipe, pipes. Public water supply systems are crucial to properly ...
and
sanitation Sanitation refers to public health conditions related to clean drinking water and treatment and disposal of Human waste, human excreta and sewage. Risk management, Preventing human contact with feces is part of sanitation, as is hand washing wi ...
sector: Notably, access to public services is very low, their quality is inadequate and public institutions remain very weak despite foreign aid and the government's declared intent to strengthen the sector's institutions. Foreign and Haitian NGOs play an important role in the sector, especially in rural and urban slum areas.


Demographics

In 2018, Haiti's population was estimated to be about 10,788,000. In 2006, half of the population was younger than age 20. In 1950, the first formal census gave a total population of 3.1 million. Haiti averages approximately 350 people per square kilometer (~900 per sq mi.), with its population concentrated most heavily in urban areas, coastal plains, and valleys. Most Haitians are descendants of former black African slaves, including
Mulattoes (, ) is a Race (human categorization), racial classification to refer to people of mixed Sub-Saharan African, African and Ethnic groups in Europe, European ancestry. Its use is considered outdated and offensive in several languages, including ...
who are
mixed-race Mixed race people are people of more than one race (human categorization), race or ethnicity. A variety of terms have been used both historically and presently for mixed race people in a variety of contexts, including ''multiethnic'', ''polyeth ...
. The remainder are of European or Arab descent, the descendants of settlers (colonial remnants and immigration during the era of the two World Wars). At the time of the , an event that involved the eradication of whites (mostly French) in Haiti, many of the blacks in Haiti were African-born and had no non-African ancestry. This was because the average African slave in colonial Haiti had a short life span and France continuously imported thousands of Africans yearly to keep the slave population up, by 1790 there were nearly 600,000 slaves, outnumbering whites about 20 to 1. Millions of Haitian descent live abroad in the
United States The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country Continental United States, primarily located in North America. It consists of 50 U.S. state, states, a Washington, D.C., ...
, ,
Cuba Cuba ( , ), officially the Republic of Cuba ( es, República de Cuba, links=no ), is an island country comprising the island of Cuba, as well as Isla de la Juventud and several minor archipelago An archipelago ( ), sometimes called ...
,
Canada Canada is a country in North America. Its Provinces and territories of Canada, ten provinces and three territories extend from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean and northward into the Arctic Ocean, covering over , making it the world ...
(primarily
Montreal Montreal ( ; officially Montréal, ) is the List of the largest municipalities in Canada by population, second-most populous city in Canada and List of towns in Quebec, most populous city in the Provinces and territories of Canada, Canadian ...
),
Bahamas The Bahamas (), officially the Commonwealth of The Bahamas, is an island country within the Lucayan Archipelago of the West Indies in the Atlantic Ocean, North Atlantic. It takes up 97% of the Lucayan Archipelago's land area and is home to ...
,
France France (), officially the French Republic ( ), is a country primarily located in Western Europe. It also comprises of Overseas France, overseas regions and territories in the Americas and the Atlantic Ocean, Atlantic, Pacific Ocean, Pac ...
, the
French Antilles The French West Indies or French Antilles (french: Antilles françaises, ; gcf, label=Antillean Creole, Antiy fwansez) are the parts of France located in the Antilles islands of the Caribbean: * The two Overseas department and region of France ...
, the
Turks and Caicos The Turks and Caicos Islands (abbreviated TCI; and ) are a British Overseas Territories, British Overseas Territory consisting of the larger Caicos Islands and smaller Turks Islands, two groups of Island#Tropical islands, tropical islands i ...
, ,
Puerto Rico Puerto Rico (; abbreviated PR; tnq, Boriken, ''Borinquen''), officially the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico ( es, link=yes, Estado Libre Asociado de Puerto Rico, lit=Free Associated State of Puerto Rico), is a Caribbean island and Unincorporated ...
,
Venezuela Venezuela (; ), officially the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela ( es, link=no, República Bolivariana de Venezuela), is a country on the northern coast of South America, consisting of a continental landmass and many Federal Dependencies of V ...
,
Brazil Brazil ( pt, Brasil; ), officially the Federative Republic of Brazil (Portuguese: ), is the largest country in both South America South America is a continent entirely in the Western Hemisphere and mostly in the Southern Hemisphere, ...
,
Suriname Suriname (; srn, Sranankondre or ), officially the Republic of Suriname ( nl, Republiek Suriname , srn, Ripolik fu Sranan), is a country on the northeastern Atlantic coast of South America. Borders of Suriname, It is bordered by the Atlanti ...
and
French Guiana French Guiana ( or ; french: link=no, Guyane ; gcr, label=French Guianese Creole, Lagwiyann ) is an overseas departments and regions of France, overseas department/region and single territorial collectivity of France on the northern Atlantic ...
. There were an estimated 881,500 people of Haitian ancestry in the United States in 2015, while in the Dominican Republic there were an estimated 800,000 in 2007. There were 300,000 in Cuba in 2013, 100,000 in Canada in 2006, 80,000 in Metropolitan France (2010), and up to 80,000 in the Bahamas (2009). There are also smaller Haitian communities in many other countries, including
Chile Chile, officially the Republic of Chile, is a country in the western part of South America. It is the southernmost country in the world, and the closest to Antarctica, occupying a long and narrow strip of land between the Andes to the east a ...
,
Switzerland ). Swiss law does not designate a ''capital'' as such, but the federal parliament and government are in Bern, while other federal institutions, such as the federal courts, are in other cities (Bellinzona, Lausanne, Luzern, Neuchâtel, St. Gall ...
,
Japan Japan ( ja, 日本, or , and formally , ''Nihonkoku'') is an island country in East Asia. It is situated in the northwest Pacific Ocean, and is bordered on the west by the Sea of Japan, while extending from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north ...
and
Australia Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands. With an area of , Australia is the largest country by ...
. In 2018, the life expectancy at birth was 63.66 years.


Population genetics


Autosomal DNA

The
gene pool The gene pool is the set of all genes, or genetic information, in any population, usually of a particular species. Description A large gene pool indicates extensive genetic diversity, which is associated with robust populations that can survi ...
of Haiti is about 95.5%
Sub-Saharan Africa Sub-Saharan Africa is, geographically, the area and regions of the continent of Africa that lies south of the Sahara. These include West Africa, East Africa, Central Africa, and Southern Africa. Geopolitically, in addition to the List of sov ...
n, 4.3% European, with the rest showing some traces of
East Asia East Asia is the eastern region of Asia, which is defined in both Geography, geographical and culture, ethno-cultural terms. The modern State (polity), states of East Asia include China, Japan, Mongolia, North Korea, South Korea, and Taiwan. ...
n genes; according to a 2010
autosomal An autosome is any chromosome that is not a sex chromosome. The members of an autosome pair in a diploid cell have the same morphology, unlike those in allosome, allosomal (sex chromosome) pairs, which may have different structures. The DNA in au ...
genealogical DNA test A genealogical DNA test is a DNA-based test used in genetic genealogy that looks at specific locations of a person's genome In the fields of molecular biology and genetics, a genome is all the genetic information of an organism. It con ...
ing.


Y-chromosome and mitochondrial DNA

A 2012 genetic study on Haitian Y-chromosomal ancestry has revealed that the population "exhibit a predominantly Sub-Saharan paternal component, with haplogroups A1b-V152, A3-M32, B2-M182, E1a-M33, E1b1a-M2, E2b-M98, and R1b2-V88" comprising (77.2%) of the Haitian paternal gene pools. Y-chromosomes indicative of European ancestry "(i.e., haplogroups G2a*-P15, I-M258, R1b1b-M269, and T-M184) were detected at commensurate levels at 20.3%, Levantine Y-haplogroups were also found.


Duffy antigens

According to a 2008 study examining the frequency of the
Duffy antigen Duffy antigen/chemokine receptor (DARC), also known as Fy glycoprotein (FY) or CD234 (Cluster of Differentiation 234), is a protein that in humans is encoded by the ''ACKR1'' gene. The Duffy antigen is located on the surface of red blood cells, ...
receptor for
Chemokine Chemokines (), or chemotactic cytokines, are a family of small cytokines or Cell signaling, signaling proteins secreted by Cell (biology), cells that induce directional movement of leukocytes, as well as other cell types, including endothelial a ...
s ( DARC)
single-nucleotide polymorphism In genetics, a single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP ; plural SNPs ) is a germline substitution of a single nucleotide at a specific position in the genome. Although certain definitions require the substitution to be present in a sufficiently larg ...
s (SNPs), (75%) of Haitian women sampled exhibited the CC genotype (absent among women of
Europe Europe is a large peninsula conventionally considered a continent in its own right because of its great physical size and the weight of its history and traditions. Europe is also considered a Continent#Subcontinents, subcontinent of Eurasia ...
an ancestry) at levels comparable to US
African-Americans African Americans (also referred to as Black Americans and Afro-Americans) are an Race and ethnicity in the United States, ethnic group consisting of Americans with partial or total ancestry from sub-Saharan Africa. The term "African American ...
(73%), but more than n females (63%).


Racial discrimination

Under colonial rule, Haitian mulattoes were generally privileged above the black majority, though they possessed fewer rights than the white population. Following the country's independence, they became the nation's social elite. Numerous leaders throughout Haiti's history have been mulattoes. During this time, the slaves and the
affranchi Affranchi () is a former French language, French legal term denoting a freedman or Abolitionism, emancipated slave, but was a term used to refer pejoratively to mulattoes. It is used in the English language to describe the social class of freed ...
s were given limited opportunities toward education, income, and occupations, but even after gaining independence, the social structure remains a legacy today as the disparity between the upper and lower classes have not been reformed significantly since the colonial days. Comprising 5% of the nation's population, mulattoes have retained their preeminence, evident in the political, economic, social and cultural hierarchy in Haiti. As a result, the elite class today consists of a small group of influential people who are generally light in color and continue to establish themselves in high, prestigious positions.


Religion

The 2017 CIA Factbook reported that around 54.7% of Haitians professed to being
Catholics The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the largest Christian church, with 1.3 billion baptized Catholics worldwide . It is among the world's oldest and largest international institutions, and has played a ...
while
Protestants Protestantism is a Christian denomination, branch of Christianity that follows the theological tenets of the Reformation, Protestant Reformation, a movement that began seeking to reform the Catholic Church from within in the 16th century agai ...
made up about 28.5% of the population (Baptist 15.4%, Pentecostal 7.9%,
Seventh-day Adventist The Seventh-day Adventist Church is an Adventism, Adventist Protestantism, Protestant Christian denomination which is distinguished by its observance of Saturday, the Names of the days of the week#Numbered days of the week, seventh day of the ...
3%, Methodist 1.5%, other 0.7%). Other sources put the Protestant population higher than this, suggesting that it might have formed one-third of the population in 2001. Like other countries in Latin America, Haiti has witnessed a general Protestant expansion, which is largely
Evangelical Evangelicalism (), also called evangelical Christianity or evangelical Protestantism, is a worldwide Interdenominationalism, interdenominational movement within Protestantism, Protestant Christianity that affirms the centrality of being "bor ...
and
Pentecostal Pentecostalism or classical Pentecostalism is a Protestantism, Protestant Charismatic Christianity, Charismatic Christian movementCardinal Cardinal or The Cardinal may refer to: Animals * Cardinal (bird) or Cardinalidae, a family of North and South American birds **''Cardinalis'', genus of cardinal in the family Cardinalidae **''Cardinalis cardinalis'', or northern cardinal, the ...
Chibly Langlois is president of the National Bishops Conference of the Catholic Church. Vodou, a religion with West African roots similar to those of and
Brazil Brazil ( pt, Brasil; ), officially the Federative Republic of Brazil (Portuguese: ), is the largest country in both South America South America is a continent entirely in the Western Hemisphere and mostly in the Southern Hemisphere, ...
, is practiced by some Haitians today. It originated during colonial times in which slaves were obliged to disguise their loa (''lwa''), or spirits, as
Catholic The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the largest Christian church, with 1.3 billion baptized Catholics worldwide . It is among the world's oldest and largest international institutions, and has played a ...
saints, an element of a process called
syncretism Syncretism () is the practice of combining different beliefs and various school of thought, schools of thought. Syncretism involves the merging or religious assimilation, assimilation of several originally discrete traditions, especially in t ...
. Due to the religious syncretism between Catholicism and Vodou, it is difficult to estimate the number of Vodouists in Haiti. The religion has historically been persecuted and misrepresented in popular media; nevertheless, in 2003 the Haitian government recognized the faith as an official religion of the nation. Many Catholics and Protestants in Haiti denounce Vodou as ''
devil worship Theistic Satanism, otherwise referred to as religious Satanism, spiritual Satanism, or traditional Satanism, is an umbrella term for religious groups that consider Satan Satan,, ; grc, ὁ σατανᾶς or , ; ar, شيطانالخَ ...
'', but do not deny the power of such spirits. Instead, they regard them as adversaries who are "
evil Evil, in a general sense, is defined as the opposite or absence of good. It can be an extremely broad concept, although in everyday usage it is often more narrowly used to talk about profound wickedness and against common good. It is genera ...
" and " satanic", which they are often encouraged to pray against. Protestants view Catholic veneration of saints as idol worship, and some Protestants would often destroy statues and other Catholic paraphernalia. Minority religions in Haiti include
Islam Islam (; ar, ۘالِإسلَام, , ) is an Abrahamic monotheistic religion centred primarily around the Quran, a religious text considered by Muslims to be the direct word of God in Islam, God (or ''Allah'') as it was revealed to Muh ...
, Bahá'í Faith,
Judaism Judaism ( he, ''Yahăḏūṯ'') is an Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic, monotheism, monotheistic, and ethnic religion comprising the collective religious, cultural, and legal tradition and civilization of the Jewish people. It has its roots ...
, and
Buddhism Buddhism ( , ), also known as Buddha Dharma and Dharmavinaya (), is an Indian religions, Indian religion or Indian philosophy#Buddhist philosophy, philosophical tradition based on Pre-sectarian Buddhism, teachings attributed to the Buddha. ...
.


Languages

The two official languages of Haiti are French and
Haitian Creole Haitian Creole (; ht, kreyòl ayisyen, links=no, ; french: créole haïtien, links=no, ), commonly referred to as simply ''Creole'', or ''Kreyòl'' in the Creole language, is a French-based creole languages, French-based creole language spoke ...
. French is the principal written and administratively authorized language (as well as the main language of the press) and is spoken by 42% of Haitians. It is spoken by all educated Haitians, is the medium of instruction in most schools, and is used in the business sector. It is also used in ceremonial events such as weddings, graduations and church Masses. Haiti is one of two independent nations in the Americas (along with Canada) to designate French as an
official language An official language is a language given supreme status in a particular country, state, or other jurisdiction. Typically the term "official language" does not refer to the language used by a people or country, but by its government (e.g. judiciary, ...
; the other French-speaking areas are all overseas '' départements'', or '' collectivités,'' of France, such as
French Guiana French Guiana ( or ; french: link=no, Guyane ; gcr, label=French Guianese Creole, Lagwiyann ) is an overseas departments and regions of France, overseas department/region and single territorial collectivity of France on the northern Atlantic ...
. Haitian Creole is spoken by nearly all of the Haitian population. French, the base language for Haitian Creole, is popular among the Haitian elite and upper classes. French is also popular in the business sector, and to a far lesser degree, English due to American influence. Spanish is spoken by some Haitians who live along the Haitian-Dominican border. English and Spanish may also be spoken by Haitian deportees from the United States and various Latin American countries. Overall, about 90–95% of Haitians only speak Haitian Creole/French fluently, with over half only knowing Creole. Haitian Creole, which has recently undergone a standardization, is spoken by virtually the entire population of Haiti. Haitian Creole is one of the
French-based creole languages A French creole, or French-based creole language, is a creole language, creole for which French language, French is the lexifier. Most often this lexifier is not modern French but rather a 17th- or 18th-century Koiné language, koiné of French f ...
. Its vocabulary is 90% derived from French, but its grammar resembles that of some West African languages. It also has influences from Taino, Spanish, and Portuguese. Haitians often colloquially call Haitian Creole ''Kreyòl.'' Haitian Creole is related to the other French creoles, but most closely to the
Antillean Creole Antillean Creole (Antillean French Creole, Kreyol, Kwéyòl, Patois) is a French-based creole languages, French-based creole that is primarily spoken in the Lesser Antilles. Its grammar and vocabulary include elements of Carib language, Carib, En ...
and
Louisiana Creole Louisiana Creole ( lou, Kréyòl Lalwizyàn, links=no) is a French-based creole languages, French-based creole language spoken by fewer than 10,000 people, mostly in the state of Louisiana. It is spoken today by people who may racially identify ...
variants.


Emigration

There is a large Haitian diaspora community, predominantly based in the US and Canada, France, and the wealthier Caribbean islands. Emigrants from Haiti have constituted a segment of American and Canadian society since before the independence of Haiti from France in 1804. Many influential early American settlers and black freemen, including
Jean Baptiste Point du Sable Jean Baptiste Point du Sable (also spelled ''Point de Sable'', ''Point au Sable'', ''Point Sable'', ''Pointe DuSable'', ''Pointe du Sable''; before 1750 – 28 August 1818) is regarded as the first permanent non-Indigenous settler of what would ...
and W. E. B. Du Bois, were of Haitian origin.Lewis, p. 18. Jean Baptiste Point du Sable, an immigrant from
Saint-Domingue Saint-Domingue () was a French colonization of the Americas, French colony in the western portion of the Caribbean island of Hispaniola, in the area of modern-day Haiti, from 1659 to 1804. The name derives from the Spanish main city in the islan ...
(now the Republic of Haiti), founded the first nonindigenous settlement in what is now
Chicago, Illinois (''City in a Garden''); I Will , image_map = , map_caption = Interactive Map of Chicago , coordinates = , coordinates_footnotes = , subdivision_type = List of sovereign states, Count ...
, the third largest city in the United States. The state of Illinois and city of Chicago declared du Sable the founder of Chicago on 26 October 1968.


Education

The educational system of Haiti is based on the French system. Higher education, under the responsibility of the Ministry of Education, is provided by universities and other public and private institutions. More than 80% of primary schools are privately managed by nongovernmental organizations, churches, communities, and for-profit operators, with minimal government oversight. According to the 2013 Millennium Development Goals (MDG) Report, Haiti has steadily boosted net enrollment rate in primary education from 47% in 1993 to 88% in 2011, achieving equal participation of boys and girls in education. Charity organizations, including Food for the Poor and Haitian Health Foundation, are building schools for children and providing necessary school supplies. According to CIA 2015 World Factbook, Haiti's literacy rate is now 60.7% (est. 2015). The January 2010 earthquake, was a major setback for education reform in Haiti as it diverted limited resources to survival. Many reformers have advocated the creation of a free, public and universal education system for all primary school-age students in Haiti. The
Inter-American Development Bank The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB or IADB) is an International financial institutions, international financial institution headquartered in Washington, D.C., United States of America, and serving as the largest source of development finan ...
estimates that the government will need at least US$3 billion to create an adequately funded system. Upon successful graduation of secondary school, students may continue into
higher education Higher education is tertiary education leading to award of an academic degree. Higher education, also called post-secondary education, third-level or tertiary education, is an optional final stage of formal learning that occurs after completio ...
. The higher education schools in Haiti include the University of Haiti. There are also medical schools and law schools offered at both the University of Haiti and abroad. Presently,
Brown University Brown University is a private research university in Providence, Rhode Island Providence is the capital and most populous city of the U.S. state of Rhode Island. One of the oldest cities in New England, it was founded in 1636 by Roger W ...
is cooperating with L'Hôpital Saint-Damien in Haiti to coordinate a pediatric health care curriculum.


Health

In the past, children's vaccination rates have been low , 60% of the children in Haiti under the age of 10 were vaccinated, compared to rates of childhood vaccination in other countries in the 93–95% range. Recently there have been mass vaccination campaigns claiming to vaccinate as many as 91% of a target population against specific diseases (measles and rubella in this case). Most people have no transportation or access to Haitian hospitals. The
World Health Organization The World Health Organization (WHO) is a list of specialized agencies of the United Nations, specialized agency of the United Nations responsible for international public health. The WHO Constitution states its main objective as "the attainme ...
cites
diarrhea Diarrhea, also spelled diarrhoea, is the condition of having at least three loose, liquid, or watery bowel movements each day. It often lasts for a few days and can result in dehydration due to fluid loss. Signs of dehydration often begin ...
l diseases,
HIV/AIDS Human immunodeficiency virus infection and acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS) is a spectrum of conditions caused by infection with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), a retrovirus. Following initial infection an individual ma ...
,
meningitis Meningitis is Acute (medical), acute or Chronic (medical), chronic inflammation of the protective membranes covering the brain and spinal cord, collectively called the meninges. The most common symptoms are fever, headache, and neck stiffness. Ot ...
, and respiratory infections as common causes of death in Haiti. Ninety percent of Haiti's children suffer from
waterborne disease Waterborne diseases are conditions (meaning adverse effects on human health, such as death, disability, illness or disorders) caused by pathogenic micro-organisms that are transmitted in water Water (chemical formula ) is an Inorganic c ...
s and
intestinal parasite An intestinal parasite infection is a condition in which a parasite infects the gastro-intestinal tract of humans and other animals. Such parasites can live anywhere in the body, but most prefer the intestinal wall. Routes of exposure and infe ...
s. HIV infection is found in 1.71% of Haiti's population (est. 2015). The incidence of
tuberculosis Tuberculosis (TB) is an infectious disease usually caused by ''Mycobacterium tuberculosis'' (MTB) bacteria. Tuberculosis generally affects the lungs, but it can also affect other parts of the body. Most infections show no symptoms, in ...
(TB) in Haiti is more than ten times as high as in the rest of Latin America. Approximately 30,000 Haitians fall ill with
malaria Malaria is a Mosquito-borne disease, mosquito-borne infectious disease that affects humans and other animals. Malaria causes Signs and symptoms, symptoms that typically include fever, fatigue (medical), tiredness, vomiting, and headaches. In se ...
each year. Most people living in Haiti are at high risk for major infectious diseases. Food or water-borne diseases include bacterial and protozoal
diarrhea Diarrhea, also spelled diarrhoea, is the condition of having at least three loose, liquid, or watery bowel movements each day. It often lasts for a few days and can result in dehydration due to fluid loss. Signs of dehydration often begin ...
,
typhoid fever Typhoid fever, also known as typhoid, is a disease caused by ''Salmonella'' serotype Typhi bacteria. Symptoms vary from mild to severe, and usually begin six to 30 days after exposure. Often there is a gradual onset of a high fever over several d ...
and
hepatitis Hepatitis is inflammation of the liver parenchyma, liver tissue. Some people or animals with hepatitis have no symptoms, whereas others develop yellow discoloration of the skin and whites of the eyes (jaundice), Anorexia (symptom), poor appetite ...
A and E; common vector-borne diseases are
dengue fever Dengue fever is a mosquito-borne tropical disease caused by the dengue virus ''Dengue virus'' (DENV) is the cause of dengue fever. It is a mosquito-borne, single positive-stranded RNA virus of the family ''Flaviviridae''; genus ''Flavivi ...
and
malaria Malaria is a Mosquito-borne disease, mosquito-borne infectious disease that affects humans and other animals. Malaria causes Signs and symptoms, symptoms that typically include fever, fatigue (medical), tiredness, vomiting, and headaches. In se ...
; water-contact diseases include
leptospirosis Leptospirosis is a blood infection caused by the bacteria ''Leptospira''. Signs and symptoms can range from none to mild (headaches, Myalgia, muscle pains, and fevers) to severe (pulmonary hemorrhage, bleeding in the lungs or meningitis). Weil ...
. Roughly 75% of Haitian households lack running water. Unsafe water, along with inadequate housing and unsanitary living conditions, contributes to the high incidence of infectious diseases. There is a chronic shortage of health care personnel and hospitals lack resources, a situation that became readily apparent after the January 2010 earthquake. The
infant mortality rate Infant mortality is the death of young children under the age of 1. This death toll is measured by the infant mortality rate (IMR), which is the probability of deaths of children under one year of age per 1000 live births. The under-five morta ...
in Haiti in 2019 was 48.2 deaths per 1,000 live births, compared to 5.6 per 1,000 in the United States. After the 2010 earthquake, Partners In Health founded the Hôpital Universitaire de Mirebalais, the largest solar-powered hospital in the world.


Largest cities


Culture

Haiti has a rich and unique cultural identity, consisting of a blend of traditional French and African customs, mixed with sizable contributions from the Spanish and indigenous Taíno cultures.fdan Haiti's culture is greatly reflected in its paintings, music, and literature. Galleries and museums in the United States and
France France (), officially the French Republic ( ), is a country primarily located in Western Europe. It also comprises of Overseas France, overseas regions and territories in the Americas and the Atlantic Ocean, Atlantic, Pacific Ocean, Pac ...
have exhibited the works of the better-known artists to have come out of Haiti.


Art

Haitian art is distinctive, particularly through its paintings and sculptures. Brilliant colors, naïve perspectives, and sly humor characterize Haitian art. Frequent subjects in Haitian art include big, delectable foods, lush landscapes, market activities, jungle animals, rituals, dances, and gods. As a result of a deep history and strong African ties, symbols take on great meaning within Haitian society. For example, a rooster often represents Aristide and the red and blue colors of the Haitian flag often represent his Lavalas party. Many artists cluster in 'schools' of painting, such as the Cap-Haïtien school, which features depictions of daily life in the city, the Jacmel School, which reflects the steep mountains and bays of that coastal town, or the Saint-Soleil School, which is characterized by abstracted human forms and is heavily influenced by Vodou symbolism. In the 1920s the ''indigéniste'' movement gained international acclaim, with its expressionist paintings inspired by Haiti's culture and African roots. Notable painters of this movement include Hector Hyppolite, Philomé Oban and Préfète Duffaut.Clammer, Paul (2016), ''Bradt Travel Guide – Haiti'', p. 36. Some notable artists of more recent times include Edouard Duval-Carrié, Frantz Zéphirin, Leroy Exil, Prosper Pierre Louis and Louisiane Saint Fleurant. Sculpture is also practiced in Haiti; noted artists in this form include George Liautaud and Serge Jolimeau.Clammer, Paul (2016), ''Bradt Travel Guide – Haiti'', p. 37.


Music and dance

Haitian music combines a wide range of influences drawn from the many people who have settled here. It reflects French, African and Spanish elements and others who have inhabited the island of Hispaniola, and minor native Taino influences. Styles of music unique to the nation of Haiti include music derived from Vodou ceremonial traditions, Rara parading music, Twoubadou ''ballads'', mini-jazz rock bands, Rasin movement, Hip hop kreyòl, méringue, and
compas Compas, also known as compas direct or compas direk (; Haitian Creole: ''konpa'', ''kompa'' or ''kompa dirèk''), is a modern méringue dance music genre of Haiti. The genre was popularized following the creation of Ensemble Aux Callebasses in ...
. Youth attend parties at nightclubs called '' discos'', (pronounced "deece-ko"), and attend ''Bal''. This term is the French word for ball, as in a formal dance. ''
Compas Compas, also known as compas direct or compas direk (; Haitian Creole: ''konpa'', ''kompa'' or ''kompa dirèk''), is a modern méringue dance music genre of Haiti. The genre was popularized following the creation of Ensemble Aux Callebasses in ...
(konpa)'' (also known as ''compas direct'' in French, or ''konpa dirèk'' in creole) is a complex, ever-changing music that arose from African rhythms and European ballroom dancing, mixed with Haiti's bourgeois culture. It is a refined music, with méringue as its basic rhythm. Haiti had no recorded music until 1937 when Jazz Guignard was recorded non-commercially.


Literature

Haiti has always been a literary nation that has produced poetry, novels, and plays of international recognition. The French colonial experience established the French language as the venue of culture and prestige, and since then it has dominated the literary circles and the literary production. However, since the 18th century there has been a sustained effort to write in
Haitian Creole Haitian Creole (; ht, kreyòl ayisyen, links=no, ; french: créole haïtien, links=no, ), commonly referred to as simply ''Creole'', or ''Kreyòl'' in the Creole language, is a French-based creole languages, French-based creole language spoke ...
. The recognition of Creole as an official language has led to an expansion of novels, poems, and plays in Creole. In 1975, Franketienne was the first to break with the French tradition in fiction with the publication of ''Dezafi,'' the first novel written entirely in Haitian Creole; the work offers a poetic picture of Haitian life. Other well known Haitian authors include Jean Price-Mars, Jacques Roumain, Marie Vieux-Chauvet, Pierre Clitandre, René Depestre,
Edwidge Danticat Edwidge Danticat (; born January 19, 1969) is a Haitian Americans, Haitian-American novelist and short story writer. Her first novel, ''Breath, Eyes, Memory'', was published in 1994 and went on to become an Oprah's Book Club selection. Danticat h ...
, Lyonel Trouillot and Dany Laferrière.


Cinema

Haiti has a small though growing cinema industry. Well-known directors working primarily in documentary film-making include Raoul Peck and Arnold Antonin. Directors producing fictional films include Patricia Benoît, Wilkenson Bruna and Richard Senecal.


Cuisine

Haiti is famous for its creole cuisine (which related to
Cajun cuisine Cajun cuisine (french: cuisine cadienne , es, cocina acadiense) is a style of cooking developed by the Cajun–Acadians who were Deportation of the Acadians, deported from Acadia to Louisiana during the 18th century and who incorporated West Af ...
), and its soup joumou.


Architecture

Monuments include the Sans-Souci Palace and the Citadelle Laferrière, inscribed as a
World Heritage Site A World Heritage Site is a landmark or area with legal protection by an international convention administered by the UNESCO, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). World Heritage Sites are designated by UNES ...
in 1982. Situated in the Northern Massif du Nord, in one of Haiti's National Parks, the structures date from the early 19th century. The buildings were among the first built after Haiti's independence from France. The Citadelle Laferrière, is the largest fortress in the Americas, is located in northern Haiti. It was built between 1805 and 1820 and is today referred to by some Haitians as the
eighth wonder of the world Eighth Wonder of the World is an unofficial title sometimes given to new buildings, structures, projects, designs or even people that are deemed to be comparable to Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, the seven Wonders of the World. Candidates ...
. The Institute for the Protection of National Heritage has preserved 33 historical monuments and the historic center of Cap-Haïtien. Jacmel, a colonial city that was tentatively accepted as a World Heritage Site, was extensively damaged by the 2010 Haiti earthquake.


Museums

The anchor of Christopher Columbus's largest ship, the '' Santa María'' now rests in the Musée du Panthéon National Haïtien (MUPANAH), in Port-au-Prince, Haiti.


Folklore and mythology

Haiti is known for its
folklore Folklore is shared by a particular group of people; it encompasses the traditions common to that culture, subculture or group. This includes oral traditions such as Narrative, tales, legends, proverbs and jokes. They include material culture, r ...
traditions. Much of this is rooted in
Haitian Vodou Haitian Vodou is an African diasporic religions, African diasporic religion that developed in Haiti between the 16th and 19th centuries. It arose through a process of syncretism between several traditional religions of West Africa, West and Centr ...
tradition. Belief in
zombies A zombie (Haitian French: , ht, zonbi) is a mythological undead wikt:corporeal, corporeal revenant created through the reanimation of a corpse. Zombies are most commonly found in horror and fantasy genre works. The term comes from Culture of ...
is also common.Clammer, Paul (2016), ''Bradt Travel Guide - Haiti'', p. 35. Other folkloric creatures include the lougarou.


National holidays and festivals

The most festive time of the year in Haiti is during ''
Carnival Carnival is a Catholic Christian festive season that occurs before the liturgical season of Lent. The main events typically occur during February or early March, during the period historically known as Shrovetide (or Pre-Lent). Carnival t ...
'' (referred to as ''Kanaval'' in
Haitian Creole Haitian Creole (; ht, kreyòl ayisyen, links=no, ; french: créole haïtien, links=no, ), commonly referred to as simply ''Creole'', or ''Kreyòl'' in the Creole language, is a French-based creole languages, French-based creole language spoke ...
or
Mardi Gras Mardi Gras (, ) refers to events of the Carnival celebration, beginning on or after the Christian feasts of the Epiphany (holiday), Epiphany (Three Kings Day) and culminating on the day before Ash Wednesday, which is known as Shrove Tuesday. ...
) in February. There is music, parade floats, and dancing and singing in the streets. Carnival week is traditionally a time of all-night parties. Rara is a festival celebrated before
Easter Easter,Traditional names for the feast in English are "Easter Day", as in the ''Book of Common Prayer''; "Easter Sunday", used by James Ussher''The Whole Works of the Most Rev. James Ussher, Volume 4'') and Samuel Pepys''The Diary of Samuel ...
. The festival has generated a style of Carnival music.


Sports

Football Football is a family of team sports that involve, to varying degrees, Kick (football), kicking a Football (ball), ball to score a Goal (sport), goal. Unqualified, Football (word), the word ''football'' normally means the form of football tha ...
(soccer) is the most popular sport in Haiti with hundreds of small football clubs competing at the local level. Basketball and baseball are growing in popularity. Stade Sylvio Cator is the
multi-purpose stadium A multi-purpose stadium is a type of stadium designed to be easily used by multiple types of events. While any stadium could potentially host more than one type of sport or event, this concept usually refers to a specific design philosophy tha ...
in Port-au-Prince, where it is currently used mostly for
association football Association football, more commonly known as football or soccer, is a team sport played between two teams of 11 Football player, players who primarily use their feet to propel the Ball (association football), ball around a rectangular field ca ...
matches that fits a capacity of 10,000 people. In
1974 Major events in 1974 include the aftermath of the 1973 oil crisis and the resignation of President of the United States, United States President Richard Nixon following the Watergate scandal. In the Middle East, the aftermath of the 1973 Yom K ...
, the
Haiti national football team The Haiti national football team (french: Équipe d'Haïti de football, Haitian Creole: ''Ekip foutbòl Ayiti'') represents Haiti in international Association football, football. Haiti is administered by the Haitian Football Federation, Fédér ...
were only the second Caribbean team to make the
World Cup A world cup is a global sport Sport pertains to any form of Competition, competitive physical activity or game that aims to use, maintain, or improve physical ability and Skill, skills while providing enjoyment to participants and, in ...
(after 's entry in 1938). They lost in the opening qualifying stages against three of the pre-tournament favorites;
Italy Italy ( it, Italia ), officially the Italian Republic, ) or the Republic of Italy, is a country in Southern Europe. It is located in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, and its territory largely coincides with the Italy (geographical region) ...
,
Poland Poland, officially the Republic of Poland, is a country in Central Europe. It is divided into 16 administrative provinces called Voivodeships of Poland, voivodeships, covering an area of . Poland has a population of over 38 million and is ...
, and
Argentina Argentina (), officially the Argentine Republic ( es, link=no, República Argentina), is a country in the southern half of South America. Argentina covers an area of , making it the List of South American countries by area, second-largest ...
. The national team won the 2007 Caribbean Nations Cup. Haiti has participated in the
Olympic Games The modern Olympic Games or Olympics (french: link=no, Jeux olympiques) are the leading international sporting events featuring summer and winter sports competitions in which thousands of athletes from around the world participate in a var ...
since the year 1900 and won a number of medals. Haitian footballer Joe Gaetjens played for the United States national team in the
1950 FIFA World Cup The 1950 FIFA World Cup was the fourth edition of the FIFA World Cup, the quadrennial international Association football, football championship for senior men's national teams and held in Brazil from 24 June to 16 July 1950. The planned 1942 and ...
, scoring the winning goal in the 1–0 upset of
England England is a Countries of the United Kingdom, country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Wales to its west and Scotland to its north. The Irish Sea lies northwest and the Celtic Sea to the southwest. It is separa ...
.


See also

* Index of Haiti-related articles * Outline of Haiti


Notes


References


Further reading

* Arthur, Charles. ''Haiti in Focus: A Guide to the People, Politics, and Culture''. Interlink Publishing Group (2002). . * Dayan, Colin. ''Haiti, History, and the Gods''. University of California Press (1998). * Ferrer, Ada. ''Freedom's Mirror: Cuba and Haiti in the Age of Revolution.'' New York: Cambridge University Press, 2014. * * Girard, Philippe. ''Haiti: The Tumultuous History'' (New York: Palgrave, September 2010). * Hadden, Robert Lee and Steven G. Minson. 2010
The Geology of Haiti: An Annotated Bibliography of Haiti's Geology, Geography and Earth Science
. US Army Corps of Engineers, Army Geospatial Center. July 2010. * Heinl, Robert Debs & Nancy Gordon Heinl. ''Written in Blood: The Story of the Haitian People 1492–1995''. University Press of America (2005). . * Kovats-Bernat, J. Christopher. ''Sleeping Rough in Port-au-Prince: An Ethnography of Street Children and Violence in Haiti''. University Press of Florida (2008). . * Prichard, Hesketh. ''Where Black Rules White: A Journey Across and About Hayti''. These are exact reproductions of a book published before 1923: (Nabu Press, , 5 March 2010); (Wermod and Wermod Publishing Group, , 15 October 2012). * Robinson, Randall. '' An Unbroken Agony: Haiti, From Revolution to the Kidnapping of a President''. Basic Civitas (2007). . * Wilentz, Amy. ''The Rainy Season: Haiti Since Duvalier''. Simon & Schuster (1990). . * Marquis, John. ''Papa Doc: Portrait of a Haitian Tyrant'' (LMH Publishing, 2007)


External links

; Government *
Prime Minister of Haiti
*
Haitian Parliament
*
Ministère de la Santé Publique et de la Population
; General information
Visit Haiti
Official Tourism Website *
Haiti
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Central Intelligence Agency The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA ), known informally as the Agency and historically as the Company, is a civilian intelligence agency, foreign intelligence service of the federal government of the United States, officially tasked with gat ...
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Library of Congress The Library of Congress (LOC) is the research library A library is a collection of materials, books or media that are accessible for use and not just for display purposes. A library provides physical (hard copies) or digital access (so ...
(December 1989).
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New Internationalist ''New Internationalist'' (''NI'') is an international publisher and left-wing magazine based in Oxford, England, owned and run by a worker cooperative, worker-run co-operative with a non-hierarchical structure. Known for its strict editorial an ...
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Web Site about Safe and Sustainable Water Solutions for Haiti
{{Authority control Countries in the Caribbean Former Spanish colonies Former French colonies French Caribbean Island countries French-speaking countries and territories Greater Antilles Least developed countries Member states of the Caribbean Community Member states of the Organisation internationale de la Francophonie Member states of the United Nations Republics States and territories established in 1804 1492 establishments in the Spanish West Indies Small Island Developing States 1804 establishments in North America 1620s establishments in New France 1804 disestablishments in the French colonial empire 17th-century disestablishments in the Spanish West Indies Countries in North America