The Republic of Haiti, in French ''République d'Haïti'', in the local creole ''Repiblik Ayiti''. Occupies half of the island of Hispaniola (now there's a famous name), with the UsefulNotes/DominicanRepublic taking the other.

Hispaniola was "discovered" by UsefulNotes/ChristopherColumbus on December 25th, 1492 when he accidentally crashed his flagship into it ([[DrunkDriver everyone on board had a bit too much to drink at the Christmas feast]]). The island was originally inhabited by Taíno Indians, which were promptly wiped out by smallpox and the Spanish colonizers[[note]]Though more recent genetic studies indicate that there was also a lot of cross-culture [[UnusualEuphemism scoodylpooping]] going on; regardless, their culture mostly vanished[[/note]]. In 1697, Hispaniola was bisected to form the French colony of Saint-Domingue (present day Haiti) and the Spanish Santo Domingo (present day Dominican Republic) by the Treaty of Ryswick. France would later take over the entire island ''de jure'' in 1795, though by the time the last Spanish had left, Haiti was already independent in fact if not yet name.

The country was originally colonized by literal [[UsefulNotes/TheGoldenAgeOfPiracy Buccaneers]] (so named because they used to sell beef jerky made on wooden racks called ''bucannes'' before realizing that piracy paid better). But as ship raids grew more difficult to pull off, most of these scallywags settled down to become plantation owners, mainly growing sugarcane and coffee (via slave labor). The business rapidly became incredibly profitable, and the colony dealt with this by importing hundreds of thousands of African slaves to increase production. By the 1780s, Saint-Domingue--what the French called the territory--was supplying something like three quarters of the world's supply of sugar and coffee, which France could sell at high margins to make Saint-Domingue the single most profitable European colony by a country mile.

The cost of this was a [[FateWorseThanDeath mind-bogglingly brutal]] form of slavery, the like of which has not been seen anywhere before or since. It was said that half of the slaves sent to work in the fields died within five years[[note]]The French had accounting methods to allow for depreciation of a slave in 5 years - they expected them to be worked literally to death.[[/note]]. However, Haiti soon came to be dominated by a mixed race upper class in addition to the extremely small white upper class known as grand blancs. The petite blancs (small whites) who mostly owned no slaves and worked in mid to low-level jobs resented the fact that the free coloreds were often economically better off and insisted on increasingly racist laws, which in turn arose the ire of the free coloreds.

This all changed in 1791, inspired by the egalitarian sentiments of the French Revolution, and the fact that they outnumbered the whites 10-to-1, the slaves (aided by black freemen and mixed-race mulattos) revolted. Despite the heavy resistance ([[CrazyPrepared the slavemasters had been preparing for such revolt all their lives]]), the rebellion, led by the self-taught military genius Toussaint L'Ouverture, quickly swept over the entire island, forcing France to emancipate all of the slaves in 1794. L'Ouverture would have been content leaving Haiti a French colony nonetheless until UsefulNotes/NapoleonBonaparte attempted to reintroduce slavery and sent over an army to enforce the edict. Yellow fever and the seasoned Haitian army made short work of the French and Haiti became independent in 1804, the first state to undergo a successful slave revolution and the second state in the Americas to achieve independence. However, L'Ouverture was captured during the fighting and died in a French jail in 1803. Haiti eventually took over the eastern part of Hispaniola, uniting the island, which displeased the Spanish-speaking of the eastern part mightily; they fought against Haitian rule won their independence as the Dominican Republic in 1844. The Dominican Republic in turn became re-colonized by the Spanish (the only place ever to be colonized twice by the same European power), but this time Haiti actually lend aid to the Dominican independence movement, leading the Spanish to withdraw in 1865, the year in which the AmericanCivilWar ended and thus any hope of going against the Monroe Doctrine unchallenged.

Since then the country has undergone a succession of coups, repeated occupation by the USA, the rule of the father-and-son despots known as "Papa Doc" and "Baby Doc" Duvalier (the latter rising to power at ''19''), followed by what can only be called anarchy. Things were finally settling down politically, just in time for a horrific earthquake to hit in January of 2010.

The parents of current Creator/{{Nintendo}} of America president Reggie Fils-Aime left for UsefulNotes/TheUnitedStates after their own parents (i.e. Reggie's grandparents, on both sides of the family) started having harsh political disputes among each other.

'''In fiction:'''
Haiti is mostly known for voodoo (despite being 95% Christian), specifically the [[HollywoodVoodoo Hollywood portrayal of it]].

* ''Film/QuantumOfSolace''
* Saint-Monique in ''Film/LiveAndLetDie'' is a NoCelebritiesWereHarmed HollywoodAtlas depiction.
* ''Film/TheSerpentAndTheRainbow''
* Creator/DannyGlover's pet project is a {{biopic}} of Toussaint Louverture (the leader of the aforementioned slave revolt). He's [[DevelopmentHell had a hard time getting funding]], primarily (it is said) [[MinorityShowGhetto because the film would have no or virtually no]] [[MightyWhitey white]] [[WhiteMaleLead people]].
* Music/ArcadeFire's song "Haiti" (from ''Funeral'') is about the days of Duvalier. Frontwoman Régine Chassagne is the daughter of white Haitian emigrants to Quebec.
* Creator/AlexandreDumas ''père'' was of Haitian descent through his father, Napoleonic general [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas-Alexandre_Dumas Thomas-Alexandre Dumas]].
* Music/SteelyDan's "Haitian Divorce" references a [[ForgottenTrope long-forgotten practice]] of New Yorkers [[DivorceInReno going to Haiti to get a divorce]] (NY divorce law is typically about two steps behind everyone else, not getting non-consensual no-fault divorce until 2010--most other jurisdictions had had it since the 70s or 80s). The woman in the song [[SexTourism also has a fling with a hot Haitian guy]] while in the country to her papers, leading to a [[ChocolateBaby particularly obvious child]].
* Podcast/{{Revolutions}} by Creator/MikeDuncan deals with the Haitian revolution in Season 4 and is particularly hard on slavery and all its supporters

[[folder: The Haitian flag ]]

->The blue and red halves are derived from the ''Tricolore'', symbolizing the black majority and peoples of mixed descent, respectively. At the center is the coat-of-arms, featuring a Phrygian cap, a symbol of liberty, perched atop a palm tree. The tree is surrounded by six flags, symbolizing Haiti, which are in turn surrounded by tools of war, such as guns, cannons, anchors and a drum, symbolizing the Haitians' readiness to defend their homeland.