According to Localcollegeexplorer, Haiti is a State of Central America (Greater Antilles), which occupies the western part of the island of Hispaniola; the Île de la Gonâve is also part of it. In the first half of the 17th century. French buccaneers settled in the western part of Hispaniola, then belonging to Spain, thus giving rise to the colony of Saint-Domingue, also known by the indigenous name of Haiti. The colony, officially recognized by Paris in 1661 and by Madrid in 1697, met in the 18th century. strong economic and demographic growth and, at the turn of the century, it was the richest in the New World. The revolution in the motherland paved the way for a general uprising of slaves (1791), to which was added the intervention of Great Britain and Spain (1793), which entered the war with France. Abolished slavery (1794), the leader of the insurgents, P.-D. Toussaint Louverture, forced Spain and Great Britain to withdraw from the country (1795; 1798). Occupied the Spanish colony of Santo Domingo (1801), Toussaint Louverture was proclaimed governor for life of the whole island. He reconfirmed the sovereignty of Paris over the colony, but in 1802 he was deported to France at the behest of Napoleon. The black revolt then resumed until the defeat of the French troops (1803) and the proclamation of the independence of the whole island (1804) with the name of the Republic of Haiti. With the liquidation of the white oligarchy, the conflicts between the black population and the mulatto minority, which tended to establish itself as the new ruling class by assuming control of the army, administration and commercial activities, led to a long period of civil wars, which ended only in 1820, when the mulatto president J.-P. Boyer succeeded in asserting his dominion. In 1822 it also annexed the eastern part of Hispaniola, but the unity of the island ended in 1844, following the rebellion of the residents of the former Spanish colony who proclaimed the Dominican Republic. France recognized Haiti’s independence in 1825, in exchange for a heavy financial compensation which contributed to aggravate the country’s already exhausted economic conditions. After the overthrow of Boyer in 1843, political instability remained very high (almost all presidents until 1915 were deposed by insurrections or coups).
From the end of the nineteenth century, economic and financial difficulties favored the growth of foreign interference: in particular, the United States established important interests in Haiti François Duvalier, exponent of a new rising black middle class. Using a ferocious militia loyal to him, the tonton-macoutes (“Ogres” in Creole), Duvalier (nicknamed Papa Doc) firmly seized power and in 1964 assumed the title of president for life. After his death in 1971, his son Jean-Claude (Baby Doc), who succeeded him as president for life, tried to improve the external image of the regime, but kept its violent and corrupt character unchanged. The moderate economic recovery of the 1970s did not alleviate the living conditions of the population, exasperated by unemployment, corruption and the inequitable distribution of income. The explosion of popular discontent in the autumn of 1985 resulted in a revolt that forced Duvalier to take refuge in France (1986). Power was assumed by a junta chaired by the Army Chief of Staff Haiti Namphy, deposed in 1988 by General P. Avril, in turn forced to resign in 1990. In the general consultations held in 1991 under the control of international observers, J.-B. Aristide, a former Salesian priest. In the sept. in the same year the military took back power and forced Aristide into exile, triggering a repression that caused over 2000 deaths. In June 1993 the UN Security Council imposed a trade embargo on Haiti and in 1994 authorized the United States’ armed intervention. Aristide took over the leadership of the country and gave birth to a broad coalition executive. At the end of his mandate (February 1996), having pledged not to reappear, he supported the election of R. Préval. Immediately after, however, the relationship between the two leaders became conflicted and in November Aristide formed a new party, which in July 2000 prevailed in the elections, bringing him back to the presidency. Immediately the opposition began to accuse him of corruption and repression of human rights. In 2004 an extensive revolt forced Aristide to flee the country again (under pressure also from the United States and France), but the clashes between his supporters and opponents continued for a long time, prompting the UN to send a peace force. -keeping. In a climate of widespread violence, Préval was re-elected president in 2006. A new crisis opened in 2008 when massive street movements led to the dismissal of the prime minister, J.-É. Alexis. Only after a few months Préval was able to appoint MD Pierre-Louis in his place, later replaced in 2009 by J.-M. Bellerive. The island was hit in January 2010 by a catastrophic earthquake, which resulted in a humanitarian emergency situation.