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Haiti History Timeline

Haiti's Information

Flag of Haiti
Land Area 27,560 km2
Water Area 190 km2
Total Area 27,750km2 (#143)
Population 10,485,800 (#88)
Population Density 380.47/km2
Government Type Semi-presidential Republic
GDP (PPP) $19.34 Billion
GDP Per Capita $1,800
Currency Gourde (HTG)
Largest Cities

1400s - 1600s

  • (1492) Christopher Columbus landed near present day city of Cap-Haitien, claimed island for Spain; named island Hispaniola
  • (1503) First Africans brought to Hispaniola for labor
  • (1528) Don Sebastian Ramirez de Fuente became first Catholic bishop of island
  • (1697) Spain ceded western part of Hispaniola to France, became Haiti
  • (1804) Haiti became independent; Jean-Jacques Dessalines, former slave, declared himself emperor
  • (1806) Dessalines assassinated; Haiti divided into black-controlled north, mulatto-ruled south
  • (1818-43) Pierre Boyer unified Haiti, excluded blacks from power
  • (1844) Dominican Republic declared independence from Haiti
  • (1863) US president Abraham Lincoln recognized Haiti, allowed trade for first time
  • (1904) Haiti celebrated 100 years of independence
  • (1915) US forces occupied Haiti
  • (1930) First full democratic elections in Haiti; Senator Stenio Vincent elected to six -year term as president
  • (1934) US withdrew troops from Haiti
  • (1937) Dominican dictator Rafael Trujillo ordered expulsion of Haitians who were working; between 20,000 to 30,000 killed
  • (1956) Francois "Papa Doc" Duvalier, voodoo physician, seized power in military coup
  • (1957) Francois Duvalier elected president; Duvalier established one of the most brutal dictatorship in Haitian history
  • (1971) Duvalier died; Jean-Claude "Baby Doc" Duvalier succeeded his father as president for life
  • (1974) Haitian national soccer team participated in World Cup
  • (1983) Pope John Paul II arrived in Haiti, became first Pope to visit Haiti
  • (1986) Unrest led military to oust "Baby Doc"; replaced by Lieutenant-General Henri Namphy as head of governing council
  • (1990) Jean-Bertrand Aristide, former Catholic priest, elected president
  • (1991) Aristide ousted in coup led by Brigadier-General Raoul Cedras
  • (1994) Backed by UN resolution, Clinton administration restored Aristide to power
  • (1995) UN peacekeepers began to replace US troops
  • (1996) Rene Preval, Lavalas party, elected to replace Aristide as president
  • (1999) Preval declared that parliament's term had expired, began ruling by decree
  • (2000) Aristide elected president for second non-consecutive term, amid allegations of irregularities
  • (2002) Haiti approved as full member of Caribbean Community (Caricom) trade bloc
  • (2003) Voodoo recognized as a religion
  • (2004) Celebrations marked the 200th year of independence; Aristide left under pressure of armed rebellion, forced into exile; severe floods in south; first UN peacekeepers arrived to help flood survivors; international donors pledged more than $1 billion in aid
  • (2005) Hurricane Dennis killed 45 people
  • (2006) Preval elected; UN peacekeeping force in Haiti grew to 9,000 troops
  • (2007) UN troops launched tough new offensive against armed gangs in Cite Soleil
  • (2008) Haitians rioted against high food prices; Michele Pierre-Louis succeeded Jacques-Edouard Alexis as prime minister
  • (2009) Former US president Bill Clinton appointed UN special envoy to Haiti; Jean-Max Bellerive became prime minister
  • (2010) Earthquake devastated Port-au-Prince, damaged much of Haiti; President Obama asked Congress for $2.8 billion special appropriation to pay for rescue costs to help rebuild Haiti; cholera outbreak claimed over 2,500 lives, triggered violent protests
  • (2011) Haiti's future uncertain; a fraction of the promised aid arrived; little reconstruction begun; political process unclear; former president Jean-Claude Duvalier returned from exile, faced corruption, human rights abuse charges
This page was last updated on April 7, 2017.

Haiti Trivia

What Languages Are Spoken in Haiti?

French is the official language in Haiti. Other languages spoken in the country include Haitian Creole, Spanish, and English.

What Languages Are Spoken in Haiti?

About the Author

John Moen is a cartographer who along with his wife are the orignal founders of worldatlas.com. He and his wife, Chris Woolwine-Moen, produced thousands of award-winning maps that are used all over the world and content that aids students, teachers, travelers and parents with their geography and map questions. Today, it's one of the most popular educational sites on the web.

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