Status of Haiti before Earthquake

Essay by louie345High School, 11th grade July 2014

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Describe The Economic And Social Structure Of Haiti Before The Earthquake

Haiti is an island nation situated in the in the Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea. It has a total land area of 27,750 sq km. Its history has been marred by oppression , foreign rule, reform and finally independence. In the 1400's native Arawak fell under Spanish rule until 1797 when it became the French colony of Saint-Domonique. At this time it became the largest producer of sugar cane and relied on slaves to run their country. In 1791 there was an uprising of the 480, 000 slaves resulting in a declaration of independence by in 1801. However their freedom was suppressed for 3 years. Finally in 1804 Arawak triumphed under Jean-Jacques Dessalines, who gave the new nation the Arawak name, Haiti. Years of strife followed between the light-skinned mulattos who dominated the economy and the majority black population, plus disputes with neighboring Santo Domingo, continued to hurt the nation's development and economy.

After a succession of dictatorships, a bankrupt Haiti accepted a U.S. customs receivership from 1905 to 1941, which finally brought some stability. In 1957 however, a dictator by the name of Francois Duvalier was elected President and in 1964 he was made President for life. Duvalier used violence to impose his rule and despite several attempts to overthrow him he remained president until his death in 1971, when his son succeeded him

After a brief period of reform, the country returned to its old pattern of dictatorship, this time under François Duvalier. Elected president in 1957, he used violence to impose his rule and was widely criticized for human rights abuses. In 1964 a new constitution made Duvalier president of Haiti for life. Several unsuccessful attempts were made to overthrow him before he died in 1971.