Haiti is a country in the Caribbean Sea, situated on the western half of the island of Hispanola, which it shares with the Dominican Republic. It was landed on by Columbus in 1492, later Spanish colonisation of the island was abandoned with the exception of Santo Domingo in the east. In 1697 the French and Spanish divided the island, and many slaves were imported to work the cash crop plantations. In the French Revolution, slavery was abolished in 1792, but the separatist constitution by Toussaint L'Ouverture caused a failed attempt by Napoleon to reclaim the colony, with Haiti thus becoming the first state born from a slave rebellion in the modern world in 1804. A series of corrupt Imperial regimes were later instated, as reparations for French assets crippled the economy and created instability that saw the Dominican Republic's independence and lasted until 1859, when a more permanent Republic was created. The island fell into the United States' sphere of influence after a US invasion in 1915, after which the Duvalier dynasty came into power in 1957, until the 1986 restoration of democracy. Today it is poverty-stricken after a series of natural disasters, with a population of about 10.8 million as of 2018; it currently uses the Haitian gourde.
See also: French colonies
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