Reevaluating Haitian History

July 26, 2010

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Administrative Building, Port-Au-Prince in the 1900s, photo courtesy of the Library of Congress

Since Haiti declared its independence from the French in 1804, it has been at various points a pariah state, rife with debt, impoverished and politically unstable. It underwent a series of foreign interventions, including the American occupation that began in 1913, which hurt its economy and hurt more people than it helped.

To understand Western conceptions and misconceptions about Haiti, Jerome called Alyssa Sepinwall, history professor at California State University-San Marcos. She says that before Haiti was deemed “unfixable” it was considered a huge success by colonial standards.