Haiti Timeline

Haiti - A chronology of key events:
1492 - Christopher Columbus lands and names the island Hispaniola, or Little Spain.
1496 - Spanish establish first European settlement in western hemisphere at Santo Domingo, now capital of Dominican Republic.
1697 - Spain cedes western part of Hispaniola to France, and this becomes Haiti, or Land of Mountains. Millions of slaves are forced to work sugarcane plantations that make Haiti the wealthiest colony of France.
1801 - A former black slave who became a guerrilla leader, Toussaint Louverture, conquers Haiti, abolishing slavery and proclaiming himself governor-general of an autonomous government over all Hispaniola.
1802 - French force led by Napoleon's brother-in-law, Charles Leclerc, fails to conquer Haitian interior.
1804 - Haiti becomes independent; former slave Jean-Jacques Dessalines declares himself emperor.
1838 - France recognizes Haitian independence in exchange for a financial indemnity of 150 million francs. Most nations including the United States shun Haiti for almost forty years, fearful that its example could stir unrest there and in other slaveholding countries. Over the next few decades Haiti is forced to take out loans of 70 million francs to repay the indemnity and gain international recognition. Repayments last until 1922 an constitute 70% of Haiti’s GNP
1862 – US finally recognizes Haitian independence
1915 - US invades Haiti following black-mulatto friction, which it thought endangered its property and investments in the country. US Marines force peasants in corvee labor building roads. Resistance to US. 1934 - US withdraws troops from Haiti, but maintains fiscal control until 1947.
Duvalier dictatorships
1956 - Francois "Papa Doc" Duvalier seizes power in military coup and is elected president a year later.
1964 - Duvalier declares himself president-for-life and establishes a dictatorship with the help of the Tontons Macoutes militia.
1971 - Duvalier dies and is succeeded by his 19-year-old son, Jean-Claude, or "Baby Doc", who also declares himself president-for-life.
1986 - Baby Doc flees Haiti in the wake of mounting popular discontent and is replaced by Lieutenant-General Henri Namphy as head of a governing council.
Democracy, coup and intervention
1990 - Jean-Bertrand Aristide elected president in Haiti's first free and peaceful polls.
1991 - Aristide ousted in a coup led by Brigadier-General Raoul Cedras, triggering sanctions by the US and the Organisation of American States.
1994 - Military regime relinquishes power in the face of an imminent US invasion; US forces oversee a transition to a civilian government; Aristide returns.
1995 - UN peacekeepers begin to replace US troops; Aristide supporters win parliamentary elections
Rene Preval, from Aristide's Lavalas party, is elected in December to replace Aristide as president.
2000 November - Aristide elected president for a second non-consecutive term, amid allegations of irregularities.
2004 January-February - Celebrations marking 200 years of independence turn into uprising against President Aristide, who is forced into exile. An interim government takes over.
2004 May - Severe floods in south, and in parts of neighboring Dominican Republic, leave more than 2,000 dead or disappeared.
2004 June - First UN peacekeepers arrive, to take over security duties from and help flood survivors.
2004 July - International donors pledge more than $1bn in aid.
2004 September - Nearly 3,000 killed in flooding in the north, in the wake of tropical storm Jeanne.
2005 July - Hurricane Dennis kills at least 45 people.
2008 August/September - Nearly 800 people are killed and hundreds are left injured as Haiti is hit by a series of devastating storms and hurricanes.
2010 January - Up to 300,000 people are killed when a magnitude 7.0 earthquake hits the capital Port-au-Prince and its wider region - the worst in Haiti in 200 years.
2010 March - International donors pledge $5.3 billion for post-quake reconstruction at UN headquarters.
2010 October-December - Cholera outbreak claims some 6,000 lives and triggers violent protests.
2011 May - Michel Martelly takes up office as president.

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