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Saint Domingue

How did beautiful, rich, sustainable Haiti become Poor Haiti?

How the tragic situation of Haiti's overpopulation and poverty came about? There were not always 9m hungry people there. When this once rich and beautiful island was discovered by Christopher Columbus in 1492, it was inhabited by a population of about 100,000 Amerindians, living in a steady state economy. The Amerindians refused to mine gold for the Spanish, so the Spanish imported many thousands of slaves from Africa. The French took the whole island over in 1697 and it remained their most lucrative possession until 1825, despite the inhabitants claiming independence and freedom from slavery under the French Revolution of 1789. At that time there were few Amerindians but about 400,000 African slaves and 100,000 colonists.

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