History of Haiti (1492 – 1986)

Le Marron Inconnu, Port au Prince, by Mark Howard/25 Ed

To say that Haiti has had a turbulent history, is probably a massive understatement. As this website develops, we hope to add more information and analysis about the fascinating, if often tragic, past of the country. To begin with, we offer a timeline which will provide a quick overview.

What is now Haiti occupies the western third of the island of Hispaniola, the other two thirds comprise the Dominican Republic.

Before 1492: Prior to the arrival of the Europeans in the 15th century, it was inhabited by the Arawak and other indigenous peoples, the most dominant of which were the Taino and the Ciboney. The Taino, who were believed to number some half a million when the Europeans arrived, called the island Quisqueya.

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Au Peuple D’Hayti: How Haiti’s Most Historic Document  was Discovered

You can touch it, even turn its pages. But only with white cotton gloves. Yet the eight-page, yellowed, pamphlet feels so precious, sacred even that I leave it to my host and its keeper, James Cronan, a Diplomatic and Colonial records Specialist in Britain’s National Archives in Kew.

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eu manifesto

Everyone knows that Haiti is the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. Few people however know that the EU is the largest single development aid donor to the country. Yet for more than 15 years, the European Commission has failed to provide the European Parliament and the European taxpayer with even the most basic national development assessment for the hundreds of millions of Euros invested in Haiti. This case study aims to underline some of the principal concerns we have regarding EU aid spending in Haiti and will also offer some practical suggestions to MEPs for action on aid accountability and policy.



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haiti 78 front page

The Haiti Briefing, available in English and French and Spanish, is the key publication of the Haiti Support Group. Published quarterly, since 1992, it provides our members, Haiti watchers and decision-makers with analysis of Haiti's development issues, reflected through the voices of popular organisations on the ground. Back issues are available in our archive. The latest issue (No. 78) examines the current political landscape in Haiti. Just months after Jean-Claude Duvalier’s death, and five years to the day that the earthquake struck, Haiti will become a dictatorship once again and as such will take one more giant step back to its Duvalierist past. Read this latest version entitled "Who needs elections?" here.

All issues of Haiti Briefing are now free for all to download! (simply register at the link first if prompted) - please click here