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History Proyect: Haiti

Why haiti is so poor? I´ll mention some aspects.-


Haiti is the western one-third section of the island of Hispaniola. Dominican Republic is thetwo-thirds section on the east. When Christopher Columbus discovered the New World by landing on the island of Hispaniola the population of the island was about 500,000. With ongoing exploration andsettlement the Native Indian population was decimated. Inferior weapons and ability to fight off new germs like smallpox reduced the population to 3000 natives. These original landowners had littlechance other than to die out or be assimilated into the new population. The island was repopulated with African slaves who were imported to provide cheap labor to harvest sugar cane.


Not long after exploiting the land for sugar cane production the Spanish found larger population in Mexico, Peru, and Bolivia with richer soils and silver mines. They turned their attention tothose places. In the meantime, the emergence of French pirates and French traders gradually took over the western 1/3 of the island (Haiti). The French escalated the slave trade so that by 1785 therewere 700,000 slaves in what would become Haiti, and only 30,000 slaves in what would become Dominican Republic. The French eventually dominated the whole island. Then in 1804 the slaves revolted,defeated the French army, and renamed their island Haiti (the original Taino Indian name for the island). Understandably, the Haitian revolutionaries destroyed the plantation infrastructure and divided theplantations into small family farms. This proved disastrous in the long run for Haiti agricultural productivity.

Environmental Collapse

When Columbus landed on Hispaniola the island was 28percent forested. Today Haiti is only 1 percent forested. The French raped the land of timber in the 18th century, leading to soil erosion, lower agricultural productivity, and consequently lower...
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