Daniel Halliday
Jan 14 · Last update 4 mo. ago.
Is the current situation in Haiti linked to the countries revolutionary past?
Haiti’s Revolution was the largest successful revolt against slavery in history and the only one to lead to the founding of a new state for those freed from slavery. However Haitian society today remains in turmoil and the country has the lowest Human Development Index of the whole of the American continent. How did Haiti end up in this situation and how big a part did its revolutionary past have to play in this?
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Yes - Corruption in Haiti
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Geographic problems
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0 disagrees
Yes - Slaveholder reparations
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0 disagrees
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Yes - Corruption in Haiti

Corruption has a long history in Haiti, and is arguably a result of the state becoming independent so early amidst the many varied continental struggles against colonialism and their slavery-based economies. Haiti’s history as a result has just become a continuous power struggle, and the country has often been embargo isolated following years of corrupt dictators, and this is a situation no one seems able to fix. Corruption is widespread in this part of the world and common in many countries that were once dependant on slavery. This was made worse historically by the continuation of a plantation based economic by leaders such as Henri Christophe, and made worse still in recent history by leaders such as François "Papa Doc" Duvalier who orchestrated a reign of terror to maintain power.

sjsu.edu/faculty/watkins/haiti.htm

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Geographic problems

The situation in Haiti is not simply a direct result of its revolutionary past but also caused by factors such as additional geographic problems. The country is situated on a fault line and in a hurricane zone, an unlucky combination that has meant Haiti has had a lot more than just political issues to deal with. Hurricanes regularly devastate the country with flooding common, but it was in 2010 that a huge magnitude 7.0 earthquake killed hundreds of thousands of people, this was followed by a cholera epidemic later in the year, again made worse by that year’s Hurricane Tomas. Natural disasters remain an ever present destabilising force in Haiti.

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Yes - Slaveholder reparations

The Haitian Revolution has undoubtedly had lasting effects on Haiti as a country but there are some direct outcomes of this revolt that have crippled Haiti until present. One such example is Haiti’s huge independence debt, demanded by France in 1825 through an act of gunboat diplomacy. In order for France to recognise Haiti’s sovereignty the former colonising power demanded 150 million Francs (later lowered to 90 million - $21 billion USD presently) from Haiti to compensate France for the loss of its slave colony and the slave population with it. This debt, plus its interest, took Haiti until 1947 to fully pay off, leaving the country with a huge amount of spiralling debt that without doubt led the country to its current economically unstable position.

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