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What Should I Know About Haiti?

A portrait of Christopher Columbus, who explored Haiti in 1492.
Sugarcane, which is grown in Haiti.
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  • Written By: N. Madison
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 17 April 2014
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The republic of Haiti is a country located in the Caribbean Sea. It is part of the island of Hispaniola, occupying a third of its western geography. However, this third of the island is not solely Haiti's, as the country shares this region with the Dominican Republic. Haiti is smaller in size, as far as countries go, taking up about as much space as the state of Maryland. Included in the country's land territory are a few smaller islands, named La Gonave, La Grande Caye, La Tortue, Les Cayemite, and lle de Anacaona.

Most of Haiti is marked by mountainous land, which accounts for about two thirds of its land holdings. What is not covered in mountain terrain is graced by deep valleys and large plateau regions, as well as smaller plain areas. The country’s total territory spans about 10,714 square miles (27,750 square kilometers). Approximately, 10,641 square miles (27,560 square kilometers) of this is land. Haiti’s territory includes about 0.7 percent water.

Haiti is one of the places Christopher Columbus explored in 1492. It fell under control of Spain soon after that event. However, France took over in 1697, when it established today’s Haiti as a French colony named Saint-Dominique. Under French rule, the colony established itself as a leader in sugarcane production, an industry that was dependent upon the use of slave labor.

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Today, Haiti is still independent and is considered a republic. It has an elected government that includes, but is not limited to, a president and a prime minister. The government is responsible for seeing to the needs of a population of more than eight million people. Sadly, the population has a low life expectancy. While some countries have life expectancies in the 70s or 80s, Haitian residents face a life expectancy of about 57 years.

Blacks make up the majority of Haiti’s population, coming in at about 95 percent of the populace. The remaining five percent are mulatto or white. About 80 percent of Haiti’s people are Roman Catholics and the remaining residents are Protestants or have no religion. The official languages are Creole and French and the official currency is the Gourde. A large portion of the country’s population lives in its capital, called Port-au-Prince.

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anon247200
Post 1

Haiti is the only black republic formed of slaves through revolution. How did you manage to miss that fact?

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