Haiti History Timeline

Haiti History Timeline

According to dentistrymyth, Haiti is a country bordering the Dominican Republic and is located on the western third of the island of Hispaniola in the Caribbean Sea, east of Cuba. The country is a former French colony and was one of the first American countries after the United States to declare its independence. The capital is Port-au-Prince.

The country is one of the poorest nations in the northern hemisphere. Despite efforts from e.g. The UN is the country hampered by widespread crime and political violence.

Since 1804, Haiti has been ruled by a seemingly endless series of dictators who introduced total obedience to their authority. The political unrest has divided Haiti into a very small and wealthy elite, and a large underclass of people with little or no economic or political power.

The name “Haiti” comes from the Taino Indians, who called the western part of Hispaniola Ayti or Hayti (the mountainous country).

The island of Navassa, located between Haiti and Jamaica, is the subject of a dispute between the United States and Haiti, both of which claim the island. Haiti claims that Navassa became Haitian after a treaty between France and Spain in 1697, in which France acquired the western part of Hispaniola, plus nearby islands, including Navassa. On the contrary, the United States claims to have the right to the island under the Guano Islands Act of 1856.


1492 – Indigenous peoples suffer worse conditions, and slaves from Africa are imported in 1503.

16th Century – The Spanish Empire declared itself the owner of the entire Caribbean and most of Latin America. Hispaniola, Puerto Rico, Cuba, Jamaica and Trinidad settled.

1697-1804 – The western part of the island was ceded to France in 1697. The state was now a French colony called Saint-Dominigue. The name was changed to Haiti when the former slave Jean-Jacques Dessalines declared independence from France, and himself emperor. Haiti was divided into a black-controlled north, and mulatto-ruled south.

1801 – Toussaint Louverture conquers Haiti, abolishes slavery, and declares himself governor-general of an autonomous government throughout Hispaniola.

1806 – On October 17, Emperor Dessalines was assassinated in an assassination attempt by Henri Christophe, who subsequently appointed himself president and in 1811 king of northern Haiti. A civil war led to the country being divided into a northern African half under Henri Christophe and a southern half under the mulatto Alexandre Sabès Pétion.

1820 – President Jean-Pierre Boyer unites northern and southern Haiti but excludes blacks from power.

1844 – The Dominican Republic declares independence from Haiti.

1863 – US President Abraham Lincoln recognizes Haiti and allows trade for the first time.

1915-1935 – US Navy troops occupy Haiti (during the so-called ” banana wars “). The troops are withdrawn from the country again in 1934, but retain the control of the tax authorities until 1947.

1937 – Dominican dictator Rafael Trujillo expels Haitians working in the country; between 20,000-30,000 were killed.

1956-1971 – Voodoo doctor François Duvalier (“Papa Doc”) took power in a military coup in 1956 and the following year he was elected president, after which he ruled the state dictatorially and brutally until power passed to his son, Jean-Claude (“Baby Doc”). ”) After his father’s death in 1971, which continued the terrorist regime, albeit in a more subdued form. Jean-Claude was deposed in 1986.

1983 – Pope John Paul II arrives in Haiti, becoming the first pope to visit the state.

1986 – Unrest led to the military displacing “Baby Doc”, who was replaced by Lieutenant General Henri Namphy as chairman of the board. Read here.

1990 – The former Catholic priest, Jean-Bertrand Aristide, is elected president in 1991, and from 1994-1996 and again from 2001-2004.

1996 – UN peacekeepers begin replacing US troops.

1997-99 – Serious political stalemate; new government established.

2001 – In July, the President’s spokesman accuses former army officers of trying to overthrow the government after gunmen attacked three places, killing four police officers.

In the month of December, 30 armed men attempted an apparent coup attempt at the National Palace; Twelve people were killed in the attack, which the government says are former members of the military.

2003 – Voodoo is recognized as a religion in April. 61 million people around the world believe in voodoo. The number is rising.

2004 – The celebrations of the 200th anniversary of independence in February are transformed into an uprising against President Aristide, who fled into exile. In March, Gérard Latortue formed a new government.

In the month of May, there are severe floods in the south, and parts of the neighboring Dominican Republic, resulting in more than 2,000 deaths.

In September, Hurricane Jeanne in the area around the city of Gonaïves claimed approx. 3000 deaths.

Late in the year, there are rising levels of deadly political and gang violence in the capital; Armed gangs loyal to former President Aristide are said to be responsible for many killings.

2005 – Former rebel leader Ravix Remissainthe is killed by police in the capital. Read here.

In July, Hurricane Dennis kills 45 people in Haiti.

2007 – UN troops launch harsh new offensives against armed gangs in Cite Soleil, one of the capital’s largest and most violent barracks cities.

2008 – In August and September, four hurricanes ravaged Haiti, causing extensive damage and killing about 800 people and injuring hundreds.

2009 – Former United States President Bill Clinton is appointed UN Special Envoy to Haiti.

2010 – On January 12, Haiti was hit by an earthquake measuring 7.0 on the Richter scale (the worst in 200 years), and subsequently several aftershocks. The epicenter was 15 km from Haiti’s capital, Port-au-Prince. According to a UN status report, the estimated number of lives lost to 316,000 is thought to be as a result of collapsed buildings and lack of assistance.

October-November a cholera epidemic claims 3,500 lives, triggering violent protests. It turned out that Nepalese soldiers brought cholera to Haiti after the January 2010 earthquake.

2011 – Former President Jean-Claude Duvalier returns from exile, accused of corruption and human rights abuses.

As of July, the cholera outbreak had killed a total of 6,000 people and left 400,000 sick.

Haiti History Timeline