Indeed, Happy Birthday Haiti!
Cholera crisis Haiti indeed celebrates its 518 years of “history” today!. Let’s see all the things that Haiti has to be grateful to Columbus for (emphasis mine):
- Following the arrival of Europeans, La Hispaniola’s indigenous population suffered near-extinction, in possibly the worst case of depopulation in the Americas. A commonly accepted hypothesis attributes the high mortality of this colony in part to Old World diseases to which the natives had no immunity. Taínos were able to survive and set up villages elsewhere.
- In 1664, the newly established French West India Company took control over the colony, which it named Saint-Domingue, and France formally claimed control of the western portion of the island of Hispaniola. In 1670 they established the first permanent French settlement on the mainland of Hispaniola, Cap François (later Cap Français, now Cap-Haïtien). Under the 1697 Treaty of Ryswick, Spain officially ceded the western third of Hispaniola to France. By that time, planters outnumbered buccaneers and, with the encouragement of Louis XIV, they had begun to grow tobacco, indigo, cotton, and cacao on the fertile northern plain, thus prompting the importation of African slaves. Slave insurrections were frequent and some slaves escaped to the mountains where they were met by what would be one of the last generations of Taíno natives. After the last Taíno died, the full-blooded Arawakan population on the island was extinct.
- The labor for these plantations was provided by an estimated 790,000 African slaves (accounting in 1783-1791 for a third of the entire Atlantic slave trade). Between 1764 and 1771, the average importation of slaves varied between 10,000-15,000, by 1786 about 28,000, and, from 1787 onward, the colony received more than 40,000 slaves a year. However, the inability to maintain slave numbers without constant resupply from Africa meant the slave population, by 1789, totaled 500,000, ruled over by a white population that, by 1789, numbered only 32,000.At all times, a majority of slaves in the colony were African-born, as the brutal conditions of slavery prevented the population from experiencing growth through natural increase.
And that’s just the first couple hundred years of “history”. Click here to read more.
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